Older blog entries for slef (starting at number 96)


Confused yet?

Want to Hack in London next Tuesday?

If you're going to be near the LUDEx next week and would like to spend an hour in the afternoon hacking fun free software stuff, please email me off-list and ask.



So far, I have Planets building locally for AFFS, ALUG, the town where I live and some of my friends who don't appear on any of the sites I routinely read. The town one threw up a new bug: Local-News html-escapes and then URL-encodes the link tag in its RSS. I'm going to have to read the spec on that one, but I've hacked it in for now, as per "be liberal in what you accept".

SCSI is no fun. So far, the SCSI adapter only recognises the first device. I'm not sure whether they're both terminating devices. I'll try some more experiments, but it's slow because getting it wrong hangs the SCSI subsystem until the next reboot.

I want to rearrange the hardware in here. All (well, many of) the devices are on the wrong machines. I need a secure networked filesystem, print service and scanning (wireless in use). Time to investigate nfs v4 and some others, but I suspect hacking ssh into use may happen again.


schycyroll and missing dates

I have a working schycyroll running locally, updating pages from local mirrors of RSS files. I still run it by hand, until I'm happy I've caught most of the deaths from evil invalid RSS files.

For some reason I don't understand, it doesn't like livejournal's html. I can understand it not liking advogato's old html4, but even when the lj looks like xhtml, it's refusing to parse it. I'll look at that Real Soon Now.

I had trouble with feeds that have no/invalid date stamps. If the date stamp is invalid, the mabloss library makes a new date stamp. As a result, all entries without a good stamp got a new stamp on each run, which wasn't the desired effect. My current solution is only to update the description of existing entries from the RSS, but I'm sure that will bite me later.

I guess I should look at planet and spycyroll to see what I can learn from them, now that I have a basic design based on the set theory I posted earlier. I wonder how they handle these problems and what other problems I still need to handle. From a quick glance, spycyroll doesn't seem to handle a basic problem: when do you remove old blog items?

Time to update MaBloss with a package including schycyroll (1.1.1). Next trick will be to build some planets on a public-accessible server.


[Blog] Schycyroll algebra

Basic set theory rule of blog aggregate generation: aggregate_i+1 = (blogs/aggregate_i) u (aggregate_inblogs)

I need to update 2822->div handling of X-URL and rssitem->2822 From and Message-ID creation, too.


Copyright and Hacking

I'm not sure whether it's just that I hadn't spotted it before, but the US-Aus FTA (and the danger of a US Digital Millenium Copyright import) has made Linux Australia campaign. I think many Aussies drank the "technical advantages will be enough" juice of some OSS-hardcores far too deeply. Some time ago, I was told that Australia was an example of FSF's failure to campaign convincingly. When I looked, Australia had no real FSF presence!

I've been worried for some time that the lack of an FSF-sympathetic body meant the Aussies were going to get squished by the proprietary publisher political (P3) lobbyists, but I can't do everything and Aus is a long way from here. Fortunately, as the P3 guys attack, the freedom fighters there have got organised. I wish them success. If you are in Australia, please help their campaign. Freedom to hack may depend on it.

More locally, FFII are holding another on- and off-line protest . I'm not participating online this time because the last one took a site I used offline for weeks. I had to hunt for mirrors and backups. It is not good to waste free software supporter time like that. When FFII stop talking about "close" and "block access", I will support their protests again.

Nearly had a bad thing happen to mabloss, as I confused > with | when moving blog entries around. Fortunately, I had the newly-clobbered script open in an editor, so no harm done. I uploaded a new tarball of mabloss to stop that happening again. I guess a release was needed if I was worried about losing my edit.

Music sales are down. Aren't we surprised? No. I agree with most of richdawe's comment on music - additionally, when vendors start suing their target market, it puts me off buying from them. Living in a crap FM/AM coverage area, I probably bought more recorded music before getting ADSL and satellite and getting access to a decent selection of radio stations.

That reminds me to describe the fun hardware hack. I want to be able to listen to sat radio without the tv on, so I hooked up some PC speakers (into the VCR, because the sat box's audio sockets seem to be an odd size). No power points available, so solder a 99p DC plug onto a 89p 4-AA battery holder and we have music! I am really out of practice at soldering: took 3 goes to get a good joint. Sounds good now, but I wonder how long the batteries will live. Time to read the speaker specs and do some maths.


Limbering up

Limbered up for today's serious hacking by putting together a small library for doing Condorcet ballots in MzScheme. You can see some output on ALUG main. Yet another bit of code that I should upload somewhere. Something to convert submitted ballots into email would be next, but it's not worth developing further yet.

It's now lunchtime. Maybe for this afternoon's limbering, I'll hack the improvements I want into MaBloss.

I'm sure there was something else. Never mind.


Strangled fruit

Thanks to all answering my appeal for UK language info. I'll reply ASAP if I haven't already.

Another Monday and another "do today" mailbox of 22 items, as well as the paper items on the in-tray and whatever else turns up during the day. Good mix of topics, with some sysadmin, some koha, some AFFS, some GNUstep.org, some financial and some other stuff. Should be an interesting day.

Not sure what I've been doing for the last week, other than working. I have some simple software that I should package up and release this week, doing web/email "cloaking" (framed bounces and aliases to us). Still not hacked the new ideas into mabloss or jewel. Had an email about web site stuff. I should update my savannah project page.

Also need to upload the fixed wily to unstable, as upstream seem uninterested in the patch (or anything much I write). Maybe one last try at sending it to them first.


Calling Cornish, Welsh, English, Gaelics, Scots

I'm compiling a listing of free software translation projects for the UK's languages. I've not found much for Cornish, Scots or Scots Gaelic. If you know of active translations for those languages, please click the link and email me a URL. Many thanks in advance!

More info...


Back to work, slave!

The world got its revenge today. Nearly 2 hours to clear the email that arrived overnight. Most of it was work stuff, not lists, so can't really be ignored.

After that, this morning was solid work, doing a dependency chase on an archaic non-Debian machine that I can't upgrade. I just hope the customer's firewall is up to the job. It seems restrictive when trying to work through it, but I still worry it would let the box be used in DoS tricks. I've told the customer my thoughts, so it's their choice now.

Trying a new trick with todo lists, using an "action this day" mailbox and moving things to and from the inbox. If it works, I'll write it up.

Lots of stuff pending for AFFS, GNUstep.org and others. Everything is waking up from hibernation, it seems. Really doesn't feel like spring here yet, though.


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