Older blog entries for jdub (starting at number 178)

Love the Debian HK site, added it to the Planetarium. The description field in their blog feed is: "Unite all Debian users in Hong Kong, dominate the Greater China Linux market, conquer all servers in the world!" As long as Pipka can still speak Mandarin on the mainland, that plan sounds mighty fine to me. :-)  #

There is a great post by 'rkrishnan' on GNOME Bangalore about why blogging is important. It's a fictional conversation between the protagonist and a skeptic, attempting to explain what a blog is, and why it's useful. Various points are made, but the skeptic doesn't seem to understand until the protagonist enthuses, "It is like meditation that comes thru karma."

"Ah, I understand that now."

And with that, I welcome GNOME Bangalore to the Planetarium. :-)  #

Some fascinating stats in the Free/Libre/Open Source Software Asian Developers Online Survey. Marco should be proud, around six percent of respondents knew who he was. Cool!

It certainly gives me pause for thought about the importance of Asia to the Australian economy, how our current government has systematically fucked our good standing in the region, the scaremongering over foreign outsourcing in the local IT industry, and what we have to lose through the bilateral US Trade Agreement (I like Rusty's strategy of dropping the "Free").  #

The GNOME release parties ought to have a slogan, and I think I found a good one on FootNotes: "Will installing it through the night while I am half-dressed and supposed to be finishing homework count as a party?"  #

In case any of the Novell systems administration team read my blog, I just wanted to encourage you to route all important public-facing website decisions through Dave Camp. He's a very smart cookie, loving and huggable. Plus, he would keep Planet Novell alive on the interweb, so everyone could see how much the Novell dudes are rocking.  #

Liiiinkage! Great article on news.com about presence, which links to a bunch of other good articles for people interested in collaboration station ideas. After talking with Gus about the language debates going on at the moment, he suggested I check out RMS's paper on Emacs design and lessons learned. A good read. Why I love the French. Things you never wanted to know about Joe Shaw, who almost redeems himself by having good taste in music. Some quick hacks on install-module produce good results.  #

18 Mar 2004 (updated 29 Apr 2004 at 23:59 UTC) »

I don't have an expressable opinion on the language thing yet. But I'm glad it has been brought up with a fairly sensible analysis, instead of a flamewar. Even so...

Before Havoc's essay: (image)

After: (image)  #

Since Alex Larsson doesn't have a blog, I will have to blog this great article about choice for him: "The ordinary man believes he is free when he is permitted to act arbitrarily, but in this very arbitrariness lies the fact that he is unfree."  #

There'll be an Alan & Telsa moment in our house when Pipka gets up this morning. The Debian Installer folk need testers on weird platforms, so I've been trying to help out with some machines here. Unfortunately, they're hot and noisy, and there is very little room left in the office (which, um, would have nothing to do with the amount of mess)... So sticking them upstairs in the chill-out room with a wireless switch seems to be the best solution. I have the nagging feeling that Pipka won't appreciate them being there for too long, however.  #

Thanks for all the replies about Planet GNOME (already!), lots of food for thought. One particularly humorous response about John's posts: "On some days Planet Gnome is filled with his face and pages of text [...] like that scene in 'Being John Malkovich' where he is inside his own mind and everyone in the room looks like him. In that scene they are all having deep conversations using only the the words 'John Malkovich'." And so, today we offer a tribute to our own John. Malkovich. Malkovich-Malkovich.  #

Today's big thanks go to Wichert. Over the weekend, I finally got fed up with administering the MAC address lists in Craige's Airport. It's not often that I reboot my iBook into OS X, and none of my machines have a JVM on them to run the Java-based admin tool, so I needed another solution. The Airport supports RADIUS...

Enter pyrad, Wichert's pure Python RADIUS client, which also includes a simple server, and an aptly named Twisted module, "curved". Bingo! 10 or 12 lines of Python later, and we have a tiny little RADIUS server that accepts and rejects MAC addresses for the Airport.

Mister RADIUS is a quick hack-job, and doesn't use the Twisted module yet, but I'm sure it will be useful when I start my WRT54G + Twisted hacking in earnest. I wonder if anyone has experience using Twisted in an embedded environment yet...  #

On Planet GNOME

  • Should we have a separate page for interesting GNOME feeds that are not personal or written by human hands? It has been suggested that the FootNotes feed be removed, but it might make sense to aggregate it with similar feeds, such as FTP releases (soon with NEWS love), and other stuff we come up with.
  • What should the guidelines be for inclusion in Planet GNOME? I've been treading lightly on this one, because it's a tough call. My guideline so far has been "positive and mature regular contributor to GNOME". This has worked fairly well, and readers regularly voice their appreciation for this 'passive editing', so it seems to be a feature. I just want to make sure it's on the right track - for instance, so far I have resisted adding people who do packaging only. Obviously, the most important factor is what readers want, not what the egos of contributors want. It sounds a bit backwards, doesn't it? :-)
  • Why do people keep complaining about John Fleck's entries... and what should I do? So, the vast majority of John's posts are not GNOME related, and he does post in quick succession. But John is an upstanding member of the GNOME Old Fogies club, and a longstanding contributor (and one-time esteemed leader) of the GNOME Documentation Project. Funnily enough, a couple of the complaint mails have suggested a new Planet feature: Pooling a particular feed's daily entries into a single block. I'm almost tempted to hack it up, just for the amusement value.

Tell me what you think: jdub at gnome dot org.  #

Last night, my Dad came home from nine months of bumming around Europe with Barbara, his girlfriend. He grew his beard and hair, and looks even more like an older version of me. I only remember his old beard from photos, but now it's a wisened grey, and his hair is long enough to wear in a totally unrighteous ponytail. I can't say I didn't fall for that myself, though. We caught up over some much-needed champagne and vegemite, hearing about the snow, lucky traveller syndrome, and animated descriptions of how terrible Italian drivers are. (My Dad used to be a model "Bloody Volvo Driver", so take that with a pinch of salt.)

Meanwhile, Pipka's presents arrived today - a new bed and a Weber barbeque. We're going to have a party or something next week to bless the barbie, but I guess we should give it a practice run first. But... OH MAN... I'm going to be giving the bed a solo practice run for the next week because Pipka's just been roped into going to Adelaide for work. Suckerific.

Planning to go to SLUG's Debian SIG Bug Squishing Party next Saturday. Hopefully we can smack some bugs up real good. If you're in or around Sydney on the 13th, come along. Sarge needs you.  #

Met Caleb Moore (of SVG Flags fame) at SLUG on Friday night. We both commented on how nice is to meet GNOME-world people "at home". I am Jack's cultural cringe.

Ben Martin (or monkeyiq, of libferris infamy) was down in Sydney for a conference, so I got to meet him again. Encouraged him to make GNOME people more aware of libferris beyond "that's some crazy VFS thing, right?" Hopefully he can go to GUADEC or something.

A while back Ben suggested setting up an academic stream for linux.conf.au, with an official proceedings and such. Considering the number of people in Australia doing research on or with Free Software, it should work incredibly well, and hopefully encourage more. It seems that you have to be very clued in to do this properly, so we're going to find out all the requirements and see if the Canberrans will support it as a one day mini-conf next year.

Jordi is going to be so cranky with me... I applied for the Debian new maintainer process again. Last time I applied in October 2001 and resigned in June 2003. By that point, I was nine months into almost full-time work on GNOME, doing random week-by-week consulting to pay the rent. It was pretty evident that I wasn't going to be useful to Debian at the same time!

But circumstances have changed in the last six months, and even more so in the last sixteen days. The Flow stuff is finally being resolved, with iiNet buying out the dial and DSL customers and taking a few key customer service people with them. That leaves the rest of us in the business-less, received company, with 90 days notice. It seems everyone will be using those 90 days for two things: Looking for their next gig, or hacking on Free Software. If that's not a cool end-of-employment period, I don't know what is. ;-)

Even so, all the Planets have aligned such that my next gig is ready for launch. This is hyperspace.  #

Some things I've seen in the past week or so that I have enjoyed... People are starting to talk about hard numbers when it comes to the Linux desktop. If you love Python and write network-aware software, check out this intro to Twisted on the O'Reilly Python DevCenter. A treatise on boobs, bombs and accountability. A really cool writeup of an interview I did during linux.conf.au - very happy with that one. There's new a gallery of GNOME hackers and their mainstream celebrity stunt-doubles up, care of the Swedish Conspiracy. Edd wrote a great article about the Planet phenomenon on DeveloperWorks, which included his suggestion of a way to link the Planets together via FOAF - the next step for Planet. Ximian released build-buddy, which I should get intimate with at some stage. A whole new raft of Planets have arrived including: Perl (which actually uses the Planet code, written in Python), Twisted, XFce, SLUG (my local user group) and PHP (via some PHP rewrite of Cocoon or something).  #

Hrm. So I think I could fairly reasonably justify going to a whole stack of conferences in the coming months, but they're all at the end of each successive month. Harsh. Plus, USENIX is not on the list because it conflicts with GUADEC. That's a real bummer, because Keith was trying to get me drunk at the linux.conf.au dinner so I'd agree to do a talk there. Here's the list, up to the end of August. I imagine that a GNOME Summit (in the USA) would be in Septemberish, too. Fear.

  • Debconf 4 in Porto Alegre, Brazil: May 26th to June 2nd
  • GVADEC 2004 in Kristiansand, Norway: June 28th to June 30th
  • OSCON 2004 in Portland, USA: July 26th to July 30th
  • FOSSCON in Selangor, Malaysia: Most likely the end of August

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