Search Results: "terpstra"

15 May 2011

Christian Perrier: 2011 week 19 Debian work

That was a damn busy week. It was mostly centered about attending SambaXP, the annual Samba user and developers conference, in G ttingen, Germany. The only free software conference I attend with expenses paid by my employer, Onera. This year was the 10th edition and, as last year, to the "who was there for the nth edition" game, I won by staying alone as they asked who attended all editions of the conference. :-) That was a great week, with time spent with people as interesting as Andrew Tridgell, Jeremy Allison, John Terpstra, Volker Lendecke, Kai Blin, to name a few. A good opportunity, again, to get input from our packaging work for that big piece of software, as well as getting visibility about the future of Samba. I also had a great, even if short talk, with the kind Karolin Seeger, the release manager of Samba for 3 years now. We talked about....children, as she's now a mother since last year (with a non negligible impact on her professionnal life, as often in Germany). Great meeting, too, with Brad Kuhn, from the Software Freedom Conservacy, who had a keynote about GPL licence enforcment activities. It becomes more and more sure that Samba3 and Samba4 will reconverge together after the Samba Team releases Samba 3.6. It brings plans for our packaging work: I think we'll stick with having samba 3.6 in wheezy while the brand new shiny Samba4 probably stays separate in some way. Our users (and /me first) clearly need stability in the file and print services first. Of course, I did some packaging work there: samba 3.6.0pre3 was uploaded to experimental, about 10 days after its official announcement. I also worked on the samba *binary* package bugs, triaging them as usual. We now have 51 bugs opened against the samba binary package: 18 unclassified, 11 moreinfo (several likely to be closed as unreproducible or user error), 1 wontfix, 8 with a pending patch and 13 forwarded upstream. I'm also thinking about a possible way to ask about SMB2 support in samba: it won't be activated by default in 3.6 (mostly because us, distros, requested for that and, by "us", I mean Debian, RHEL, SuSe and their derivatives, so quite a large consensus). Still, it would be good to put some light on SMB2 support and a debconf question about it could be a solution (not shown by default and defaulting to no SMB2). I also worked quite extensively on packages maintained by No l K the, Ralf Treinen and me, aka "the pkg-running team". I did setup a git repo for my new "garmin-ant-downloader" package, that allows downloading track files from Garmin Forerunner 405 GPS watches (guess what is the brand and model of mine!). My first packaging git repository! Thanks to Ralf for his advice and help in this. I triaged bugs in the other two packages we maintain: pytrainer (more bugs forwarded upstream) and garmin-forerunner-tools (which was later uploaded by Ralf). I also setup a team mailign list so, now, we're a real team...:-) Few activity on the l10n front: a few Smith reviews are in progress and I completed 1 or 2 French translations, and reviewed some others. Regular activity, then. The only specific stuff is that I'm now pushing harder for the French DDTP effort, doing many reviews and translations there. We try to reach 100% in the "popcon500" packages. Later, we'll try to head at reaching the hieghts reached by the Italian and German teams, who are, on this l10n activity, way ahead from us. Finally, during the SambaXP conference, and as usual (except last year because of too heavy work duties), I visited my German friends, living "close to" G ttingen, accomppanied by Luk Claes and his friend and colleague Ivo, who were also attending SambaXP. Great barbecue at Andreas and Kathrin Tille's place, facing the Wernigerode castle at sunset. And the best sp tzle ever at Meike and Alex Reichle's place in Hildesheim, with a french touch on the salad's dressing as well as great Chilean wine brought by Meike's coworker Wolfram. Always a great time to see these good friends even if that means driving a few hours (and being flashed....twice! german speed cameras on the way to and back Andreas place!) To complete the week, I ran a 34km/800m+ trail today in the Rambouillet forest, completing it in 3h31. I'll probably blog separately about running updates as it is now quite some time that I didn't. Guess what? I'll be sleeping well tonight...

19 April 2008

Christian Perrier: Samba week

I spent the entire week at the SambaXP conference in G ttingen, Germany. The conference is the annual conference of the community of developers, contributors and users of Samba. I general call it "my annual german pilgrimage" as I attended all seven editions of the conference, the only FLOSS conference I attend on my work time, as my daily work involves quite a lot of uses of samba. This year featured a workshop or training session held by John Terpstra, longstanding FLOSS evangelist and member of the Samba Team for over 10 years, and Karolin Seeger, the brand new release manager of Samba. This has indeed been an incredible opportunity to have discussions with them about the packaging work for Samba. Actually, the work we did in the last 3 years to bring Samba Debian packages in a very good shape (when I don't screw up) is much appreciated. I think these days have been another opportunity to keep that link very closed. I have been impressed by the promising work of Karolin with respect to the preparation of the release and the very serious way she has to do that well as her very friendly, while still discreet approach to technical discussion. Some work was done on Samba package bugs, though less than usually (the remaining ones are harder and harder to tackle!). I mostly work on Debian packages as well as .deb packages prepared by Sernet (the services company that organises the conference and employer of some Samba Team members), as these could some day become the packages provided by the Samba Team. Talks at the conference were pretty interesting, to keep connected with Samba 3.2 and 4.0 development. News from Andrew Tridgell about exchanges with Microsoft (yes, The Evil) and access to MS documentation, are very promising. The collaboration between Samba developers and Microsoft enginneers is now working well again, at the engineers level (as Tridge says: "lawyers are away, now, we can talk at the engineers level and restore the link that existed in the early 90's"). I also could measure the progress of the Openchange project whose ultimate aim is to provide a complete Microsoft Exchange replacement solution. They currently have working MAPI libraries and an Evolution plugin for Exchange is under development, while the bricks to build a server are patiently being put together. Good discussions with Julien Kerihuel, the lead (and French) developer and manager of the project. Jelmer Vernooij and I also settled the final plans to get Samba4 packages in Debian. I proposed to make a first upload to experimental, but quite soon to upload to unstable, the point being a largest as possible exposure of that code, so that upstream developers (Jelmer himself, Andrew Bartlett and a few others...) get as much feedback as possible. That upload will not be targeted for lenny (we'll block it from entering testing). For that reason and also because Samba 3 and 4 will certainly coexist for years, the source package will be named "samba4". Expect more news quite soon. And final conclusion of that week: I've also been delighted to be able to visit Alex and Meike in Hildesheim, as well as Andreas in Wernigerode. It's always a great pleasure to see longstanding Debian friends. At the beginning of the week, I planned to see *two DD and finally, at the end of the week, I can tell I've seen *three* Debian developers, finally!

7 July 2007

Martin F. Krafft: Hacker tools in Germany

I am sure you've heard that "hacker tools", including nmap and other system administrastion essentials, may be considered illegal in Germany as of now. It'll depend on whether judges determine that e.g. nmap is a tool primarily used to do harm, so we all have not become criminals overnight, but there will be complications and ridiculous showdowns in courtrooms. I was only one of thousands of protestors, when this bill was first discussed by our politicians. Back in October 2006, I wrote an email to Ilse Aigner, the spokesperson for education, research and the estimation of consequences of techynology (whatever that may be) of the Christian Democratic and Christian Socialist Unions, who is a member of the German Bundestag. She's the Bundestag representative for my hometown. Surprisingly, I got a reply from her secretary, which I shall quote in full below:
im Auftrag von Frau Ilse Aigner ich habe mich bez glich Ihres Anliegens bei unserem Referenten der CDU/CSU-Arbeitsgruppe f r Recht erkundigt. Ich wurde darauf hingewiesen, dass die Bedenken Ihrer Branche hinsichtlich des Refentenentwurfs eines Strafrechts nderungsgesetzes zur Bek mpfung der Computerkriminalit t bekannt sind. Auch hat der Bundesrat eine Pr fbitte ge u ert. Zwar ist der Referent der Meinung, dass die Gefahr der Illegalisierung schon jetzt nicht best nde, trotzdem wolle man aber im laufenden Gesetzgebungsverfahren alle Bedenken beseitigen. Seien Sie versichert, dass Sie auch in Zukunft weiterhin Ihre Arbeit ganz legal aus ben k nnen.
That last sentence says: rest assured that you may continue to exercise your profession legally in the future. In the spring of 2007, it seemed as if all protests were overheard, the Bundestag pushed the new legislation 202c StGB, and the Bundesrat drew in their horns and failed to appeal the decision. I wrote another email to the secretary of Ilse Aigner asking whether I can still "rest assured", but this time, no response came back. And now the law has been passed. Politics as we know it. On the topic of whether the Debian project now has to provide a non-German archive for Germany, I find myself in the middle of the swamp of German legislation. On the one hand, publication or distribution of "hacker tools" has been made illegal, in addition to their (ab)use. On the other hand, however, the law only makes tools illegal which are (a) primarily used for cracking, and (b) are used with malevolent intentions. It's the "yes or no?" "maybe." bullshit which makes it impossible for people to do their job in Germany, if they actively want to stay on the legal side. A good example is the tax system where you have three options: do it yourself with minimal time investment and pay way more taxes than you have to, or let a tax advisor do it, or try to do it right yourself. If you do the latter, it's like walking a thin ridge in absolute darkness, except you won't be told immediately when you fall off. I think Debian should not take any action. We're not malevolently or intentionally distributing tools primarily used for cracking, so we stand good chances of getting by with it. Apart, Debian is not a legal entity in Germany anyway, so who are they to sue? NP: Overhead: Metaepitome Update: Thomas Jollans writes in that Debian can't be sued, but the German mirror operators can, with which I have to agree. Then the solution is obviously to move the German mirrors. That's a topic for this thread.

6 January 2007

Eduard Bloch: Just orphan by force

Yes Mark, your rant expresses well what I think. And also what I have said before but apparently not many people do care. I still think that we need a strong DPL or a special delegate with powers of orphaning packages by force, since sometimes getting a new maintainer is a step ahead no matter how much experience the new maintainer needs to have. Skills can be learned. But skills in the hands of an inactive maintainer is simply dead potential. Doing something somehow is sometimes better than not doing anything. A such hypothetical delegate would need to have the right nose to detect such cases and orphan such packages. No matter how important this package is - bugs are bugs are bugs and they need to be fixed in a timely manner, ie. without unacceptable/long delays, no matter which RL problems of the particular maintainer do hinder him/her.

24 August 2006

Marco d'Itri: On sourceless firmwares

This post was part of my answer in a thread about the "sourceless data" general resolution on the debian-project mailing list. Firmwares are an essential part of any modern computer, and it is an annoying but currently hard to change fact of life that we lack the source for almost all of them. I reject the notion that we can ignore some fundamental parts of the computers which we use only because we do not distribute them: this would be hypocritical. Even if Debian stopped distributing sourceless firmwares users would continue to use them, either on a flash chip or by downloading and installing them on their file systems. Such a change on our part would not drive users to buy hardware whose firmwares are accompanied by their source, because with a very small number of exceptions there are no such devices. The claim that vendors would start to distribute the firmware sources is unproven, and indeed I cannot see how it could happen when only a small part of the community would care enough to deliberately make life harder for their customers. Instead this would push the less technically competent users toward other distributions, whose commitment to free software is usually less strong than our own. In this scenario I do not see an advancement for the cause of free software.

6 May 2006

Martin F. Krafft: "Ubuntu Certified Professional"

I realise this newsbit is now a month old, but I only just saw it, and wasn't exactly pleased. Ubuntu has announced the launch of an Ubuntu-specific certification exam, based on the LPI certifications. LPI was alwats supposed to be an independent certification. With Canonical pushing in, this may well be the end of it. In related but other news, I wonder of what a "Ubuntu Certified Professional" is supposed to be capable. It's a single exam on top of LPIC 1, but does passing that make anyone a "professional"? It's the old experience vs. certification debate, and so far, LPI has steered clear of either side (or at least done their best). With Canonical entering the picture, the LPI certifications will now inch closer and closer to the pool of the certifications offered by all the commercial vendors. And those pretty much accomplish the exact opposite of what their trying to do. At least in my experience, it's always been a direct correlation: those eager to display their certifications were mostly unsuitable for anything. Those without certifications were the ones to hire. Also see this thread...

22 April 2006

Randall Donald: Collaborative maintenance

Raphael Hertzog's post to debian-devel-announce regarding Guidelines for packaging projects on Alioth has got me thinking about trying out the collab-maint project suggestion. It seems a great idea for people who want to help out.

12 April 2006

MJ Ray: Reforming the NM Process

Suggestion: ... [temporary link to lurker copy until lists.d.o reruns]

13 December 2005

Kai Hendry: unstable is just that

“unstable is just that” is what some dork says to me on #debian when I said:

i’ve nuked my machine from a dist-upgrade from unstable last night. It won’t boot. The shell doesn’t look right. help. :)
To make matters worse. Last night I did some house cleaning and ripped out all my old kernels to save space. My 6.5G root partition (everything except home) was full!
  1. Ok, try dpkg or apt news on #debian. Nothing.
  2. How about blog postings on Debian Planet? Bah…
  3. I quickly page in mutt and see if debian-devel has talked about it. Hmmm, seemingly no.
  4. Perhaps debian-user via the lurker interface. Hmmm no.
  5. Ok, people in #debian-devel will hate me, but I’ll ask there.
  6. They point to the topic: FUCKED: yaird/kernels (#343042/#343048) Aha!
Ok, I need a rescue CD. Which one I wonder? Let’s try this one grml. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some sort of Web page like telling about current high priority problems that will probably affect most Debian users? Right now, I have to look all over the place. Very tiring.