Older blog entries for baruch (starting at number 56)

In the interest of tracking those who abandoned their Advogato diary to supposedly greener pastures, I've created Planet (former) Advogato. The domain ain't pretty, but it works.

I obviously missed plenty of peoples that have a new blog, but as usual in Open-Source, it's an early release. Let me know if you know of others that I should add.

Thanks for SpamAssassin

Yesterday I had my disk filling up. If you saw old blog posts in my RSS feed and Planet FOSS-IL didn't update, that's the reason.

Another side effect of that condition was that SpamAssassin got stuck. The effect of that was that further mails were not processed by it, they were sent right to my mailbox. And I had a reminder of what it means to have life without SpamAssassin. I got in a period of about 12 hours just over 300 spam messages.

Thanks to SpamAssassin folks, I don't need to suffer this on a day to day basis.

Now, if they only got this hangup bug fixed, all would be well.

Oh, and the Subversion peoples need to see what needs to be done with all those damn log files, they filled my HD. Still need to research what caused a single project to fill 12GB of disk space.

You can comment at my blog.

I've moved my blog to my website at http://baruch.ev-en.org/blog/.

I've imported all of my posts from Advogato into it, and posted a new one.

I still don't know if this will be my final post here, but I really like the fact that I can actually see how many are reading my blog and get comments on posts. I will miss the community sense.

Filed a bug report with Mercurial and it got fixed pretty fast, though I was asked to actually produce a small test case script. This turned out to be a good experience.

I've also filed bug reports and feature requests at AlbumShaper, and they get solved one by one. I'm still stuck with a bug that prevents drag-n-drop from working when using the Ion2 window manager.

I've been distracted from working by the Gramps program to generate the family tree. This is a really nice program and I've already got a lot of data into it. It generates some nice graphs with GraphViz. I need to figure out how to make it work properly with Hebrew in the text, currently Hebrew is munged and I use English names instead. This is a bit uncomfortable for those in my family whose English command is lower than their Hebrew command.

I've caused my parents to go out and ask for the missing pieces of information, so now I have better knowledge of my family tree, and hopefully a chance to preserve some of the family history.

I just found AudioScrobbler, the idea sounds nice though I didn't get to find any musical neighbours yet.

The XMMS plugin is just crap! It hangs when there is an ID3v2 tag, I fixed that and provided the patch to the Debian BTS. The author should learn about reusing libraries and find some that implement this code already. Or at least copy code from another GPLed app instead of inventing his own.

drag-n-drop woes

I've been trying to use AlbumShaper for managing my digital photo albums, but for a while now I had a problem that I couldn't reorder the photos in it because I couldn't drag-n-drop the photos.

After much trying and playing I found that when I'm working in my normal window-manager (ion2) I can't drag-n-drop, but when I switched to another environment, such as Gnome or KDE, with another window-manager, everything works.

Now I got my albums in order, but I haven't figured out what is the reason for this wierd behaviour.

We've had a conference call with Diane Peters from the OSDL and Matt McCooe who is responsible to licensing for NUIM. This will hopefully help to clear up the issues.

It was suggested that releasing the code under the GPL gives implicit license to the patent, but that to ensure that no-one will fear future litigation we can license the patent to OSDL for sub-licensing.

This is in the works now, and I've communicated the above to the kernel folks and at least Dave Miller said that he sees no trouble licensing-wise with our contributions.

Hopefully now our patches will receive the technical review that they need to continue their journey in the linus tree.

Bugs, Bugs & Bugs

I've been drilling into the inner workings of my changes, they seem to work for all of my tests, but I wanted some more confidence.

It appears that my patches break the counting of fackets_out (which I haven't deciphered it's use yet). It causes no known effect, but that does not mean it's not a bug.

Where did I put the pesticider? (An environmentally clean pesticider! -- It is actually proven to work, it hasn't killed any pest! :-)

p.s. relayfs rulez! I'm pumping tons of data out of the kernel for tracing purposes, and it just works, with little damage to performance. (Derry, this is the case where gdb is not helpful).

27 Apr 2005 (updated 27 Apr 2005 at 19:25 UTC) »
Licensing, Patents and in between...

We have finally got the approval to release H-TCP under the GNU GPL, it's been a long time and quite a bit of work to convince the university administration that it is ok to do so and that they will come to no harm by approving it. So I've submitted a note about that to LKML, only to get back a message that we need an explicit patent license for the pending patent. That means another long wait, and more dealings with the bureaucracy to get that sorted.

The problem begins with the way research is funded, you always have some strings attached. You need to show later in some review how good your research is and the fruitful results it brought humanity. Only that everyone is just so damn busy to really understand the results that they prefer to see more "tangible" results, such as patents, articles and such. You have some new code for Linux Kernel? We care not about it, we prefer an almost useless patent that is unlikely to bring any profit over real benefits to humanity.

And so you have a patent, except that you don't own it. The university does. So in order to allow others to use your invention, you need to ask someone (more often than not, more than one person) for permission to release your work for the general good. It sucks.

Basically the administrations that run the universities have lost sight of the real purpose of universities and are just looking at everything through the financial reports. No wonder RMS quit MIT to do his Free Software, he'd probably still be fighting with the administration to get a single program released with sources.

On some happier note

On the suggestion of David Miller I've contacted Diane Peters from OSDL to help us understand what we need to provide so we won't stumble through the maze like blind folks. She had agreed to help which is great, so we are trying to organise the meeting with her to get the information and then we'll (hopefully) be able to sort it all out.

Performance issues with 2.6.11

I'm close to being desperate with 2.6.11 with regards to TCP performance, some change or another between 2.6.6 and 2.6.7 killed performance and I can't find anything wrong, not in the TCP code and not in the e1000 driver.

On 2.6.6 with only H-TCP patches, I'm getting 300Mbit/s (and 40ms rtt) with no troubles at all. In 2.6.11 I'm lucky when I'm getting 150Mbit/s. The H-TCP port between the versions is simple enough and has no real changes.

I'm not sure if it's something that I did wrong in my porting of the code, or something in Linux itself. I'm close to leaving it for now and returning to it later, but it does mean that I'll probably leave my patches unsubmitted. Which means more work later on when I come back to it, forward porting the patches from 2.6.6 to whatever will be the version at the time.

I managed to get my presentation done in time and in a good manner. I covered most of what I wanted, though I left out the actual technical details of my work. It was a postgrad seminar presentation and my time slot was short as it was (30 minutes).

I didn't get a lot of feedback, but what I got was that it was good.

English not being my mother tongue I sometimes got stuck to find the best word/phrase, but got over it.

Not too bad overall. The slides are temporarily at http://baruch.ev-en.org/Baruch_seminar.pdf

Now I need to go back to my work, get performance of 2.6.11 to be at least that of 2.6.6, get the patches in order and send them to netdev for review.

This time I hear the H-TCP patches might have their license issue solved, so they have a fair chance of being included.

I'm using quilt to maintain my kernel patches, and it's nice and dandy, but sometimes you need to validate that all your patches are applying and the kernel compiles at all stages, Enter quilt-compile-all script:

#!/bin/bash
set +e
function die {
	echo "$1"
	exit 1
}

[ -d patches ] || die "Are you in a quilt managed directory?"

quilt pop -a [ $? -ne 2 ] && die "Quilt pop -a failed." make clean [ $? -ne 0 ] && die "Make clean failed." make -j2 [ $? -ne 0 ] && "Initial make failed."

while [ "$(quilt unapplied)" != "" ]; do quilt push [ $? -ne 0 ] && die "Quilt failed." make -j2 [ $? -ne 0 ] && "Make failed." done

echo "Compilation succeeded." exit 0

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