Recent blog entries for daniels

tech So, ChipX86 finished up the styles for planet.fd.o, so I put them up, toyed with them a bit, added some new features, and wham. We're now cliche-of-the-month compatible. Word! (23:38 | #)

day 2: 'give keithp a hug for me': Day two was relatively uneventful: I spoke, Thom spoke, we drank more beer. I'm sure I could write more about it if I wasn't trying to do so 8 days later. (20:56 | #)


lca wrapup (day 3 onwards) - 'dude!' 'rock!': Saw excellent tutes about Cairo and the GNOME Platform Libraries, and did a whole crapload of hacking - easily the most productive week I've ever had. Found out cool stuff about where I stand in fd.o, and watched more cool talks about stuff like D-BUS, GStreamer, and the stuff I've always wanted to find out more about but never had time to. I rounded off my talk schedule with willy's talk on PCI (the scheduling conflict between PCI and RCU kinda sucked, but willy's talk rocked), and Tridge's junkcode directory; then I watched the GCC regression talk, which wasn't quite as technical as I would've liked.

In between all this, I also saw easily the best talk of the conference: Jeff Waugh on 'To The Teeth: Arming GNOME for Desktop Success'. He ran through all their strategies for release management (particularly pertinent for me now), how they dug themselves out of their pre-2.0 hole, the GNOME infrastructure, where GNOME's going, and more. The dude can talk, and had excellent subject matter, too; two great tastes that taste great together.

In between all this, socialising, and spending entirely too much time at the pub, I also found time to somehow win an iPaq for "leading" (it fell to me by default, because I suggested it) the Debian Apache FIXIT, which rocked way hard. The others (Willy, Thom, Trent, Gus) won WiFi cards; Gus for turning up halfway through our allotted time and complaining that something was broken.

It was fantastic to not only get to learn so much, hack so well (it's that much easier when you can just wander over and ask people questions, or hack together), but meet all the people I've been working with for the last 4+ years now, as well as other random luminaries. On the whole, everyone was way cool. Getting dunked for $110 also rocked hard.

I'd just like to say a huge word up to the organisers for a fantastic conference, HP for food, drinks and iPaqs, everyone I met for being a dude, Pia for getting better, Jeff and Pia for the dinner ticket, Apple/AARnet/Internode for WiFi and bandwidth, Romana for providing a house and a car, Trish for providing a car, and ... yeah. People. It was fantastic, and I'm still happy. :)

Oh, and Havoc's Ray Bans were too funny, especially at about 10pm when he took them off because he had a sudden flash of realisation that he 'couldn't see shit'. On the same page, rock on to the face of Sun Microsystems.

so tell me what makes you so afraid, of all these people you say you hate (20:57 | #)

day 0, day 1: 'mad props to <organizers|keithp|...>': So, I turned up to the airport at about 6am to meet Thom May for the first time in way, way, way too long (2.5 years, I think). We both had a much-needed espresso and chatted about crap for a while before he jumped on his flight to Adelaide. I followed suit after a while, going on a Virgin Blue flight at 0815, arriving at 0900. We taxied to Lincoln College, and eventually went on a voyage of discovery to St Mark's (after Thom warning the dude at Lincoln about Jeff "jdub" Waugh, who was going to turn up and ask if they could put him up).

After finding my room, finding Jamie Wilkinson had a tutor room far, far bigger than mine with a couch and double bed in the mix as well, seethed for a while, but then got over it and went out for lunch with Thom and Jeff, and random other people (including Gus Lees, who later turned up and held forth about a variety of issues).

I then got horribly lost, and discovered how much Adelaide's public transport sucks on a Sunday. When I rejoined everyone, "everyone" was at The Archer (Stewart Smith, Dan Treacy, Gus, David Lloyd, eventually Mike Beattie, Jamie, Colin Charles, Stuart Young, Nathan Parslow, Jonathan Grey, Jason King), and we stayed there for a while before eating possibly the best chicken kebab (the skewer variety) and seafood pack I've ever had. Rock on Adelaide Burger Bar, on O'Connell Rd (very close to Lincoln, and thus quite close to St Mark's).

After going home and sleeping, we went off to line up and register. This netted us lots of cool stuff, including a laptop-ish bag, Vortexes for the professional attendees (not us skanky students), water pistols, complete with war games rules of engagement, and other way cool stuff. The organizers had everything down pat - although it's been said over and over again, mad props to them. They've done an amazing job.

Debian MiniConf was heaps of fun - rocked up, saw Mike and sat down next to him, and who was next to him but Matt Wilcox. Had a good chat with Matt about various things while KPresenter (not even kpresenter: kdebase) built on the iBook; I would later beg an AlBook off Apple as they were loaning them to finish the build. Then a 6'7" giant wearing a bright tie-dye shirt rocked up, to the cheers of all, and sat in the rows ahead of us. AJ Towns turned up later, as did a few other DDs. Jon Oxer sat up the front doing a masterful job of organizing (warning: vanity within), while Thom wrote his talk, a row in front of me. Most of the talks rocked, that's for sure.

The food isn't brilliant, but we're staying at a residential college and eating at a uni's food court. You can't really win, I 'spose. Unfortunately, it's been impossible to get connectivity in the theatres (apparently this will chnage) to do things like look up supporting material, although I'm sure half of everyone will just IRC. Interesting tricks with power boards to get laptops charged have ruled the day. At the end of the day, being absolutely buggered from a massive previous week (sort of a festival of my 18th), I wandered home, got into bed, and slept for about 12 hours. Now, breakfast time on day 2. (08:12 | #)

a new(ish) email script: So, I finally rewrote ~/bin/blog, which all my email gets forwarded to, and made it work properly. If the GnuPG signature isn't there, or doesn't verify, it kicks it to the curb, and only works if there's a proper signature (don't laugh - it used to end up creating an empty file). It's also a hell of a lot nicer - I wrote a small GnuPG interface (needed to specify --keyring), as Mail::GnuPG didn't work. It also defangs the MIME nicely (no more errant =3D's), and is generally far better. I'm going to clean it up and post it on my Pyblosxom hacks section later on (which already has my propagation script). It's also about half the size of the old one, in addition to sucking far less, and being more flexible, and not requiring any external scripts, and using less tempfiles. Yay! (21:19 | #)

beware the ides of march, and openldap2: Be warned, woody users: do not upgrade to the version of OpenLDAP from I did so on tycho, a machine I maintain, and about an hour later, the other people who use the machine started complaining that they couldn't log in. Myself and the other admins have /etc/passwd logins, but everyone else was LDAP. No-one with LDAP could log in.

That's because our LDAP database was now magically empty. Empty. No amount of dpkg-reconfigure'ing could even convince it to add an admin user to the database. I removed the relevant section from my sources.list, spat on the ground, and swore never to use it again. Stick with the version in woody. (09:44 | #)

pyblosxom and proper rss - howto: Step 1: Get Pyblosxom.
Step 2: Install (this is non-trivial).
Step 3: Grab the files from my site and dump them in your root entries directory. Modify them to taste.

Wham! You now have an outgoing RSS feed (http://yoururl/to/blog?flav=rss), complete with descriptions and dates. What's not to love? (09:48 | #)

openldap resolved - yay planet debian: With the able assistance of nobse, I resolved the OpenLDAP issue. OpenLDAP 2.1 is quite strict in what it accepts now, and you can't have an object being both an inetOrgPerson and an account (but posixAccount is OK). I had all the users as being both, so the upgrade errored out, with a one-line error, which was just line noise in a dist-upgrade to a few packages - the postinst should, IMO, error out if the upgrade fails.

Thanks again to Norbert for chasing this one up - you rock, dude! :) Planet Debian hasn't even been alive a couple of days and it's already been immensely useful. (13:00 | #)


new from ikea, the dumpkopf!: Is there any way to get Mailman to allow senders based on the Sender: header? Katie is set up to propagate to a number of Mailman lists, but I can't seem to find a way to always accept anything sent by it, since the From: line varies (from daniel@, to archive-admin@, to whoever uploaded the package) - I'd love to be able to just green-light anything from archive-admin@. (19:05 | #)

konq and lj - bad interactions: I use LiveJournal a fair bit, mainly as an aggregator for various friends' journals. So, 90% of what I do with the LJ site is going to the aforementioned URL and reading. The other 10% is adding friends.

Konq chooses to always show the top JavaScript menu, taking up the top three rows. And display most of the text from half a line above the first menu. This means I have to guess whether I did what I wanted to right or not, and have to spend about a minute playing around with moving my mouse around the menus until the button I want to click becomes visible, and not hidden behind all the menus. Grr.

nanasawa is coming into work very soon for a dist-upgrade (no more Gentoo), and a new KDE snapshot. Hopefully this one plays nicely with LJ. (20:05 | #)

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