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Name: Tim Bishop
Member since: 2003-06-11 18:36:46
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Aside from the below mentioned projects, I'm also involved with FreeBSD. I maintain a handful of ports, and I try to get involved with other ports where I can. In the day job I run a variety of systems that support a University Computer Science department.


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Work is stacking up in the office now. I work in a University and now the summer has landed it's the time to overhaul everything before the next academic year starts. I mainly do Unix stuff, so it could be worse (deploying Windows desktops is so boring :-). I've got a pair of new Sun servers to deploy, and a lot of software packages to update.

At the moment I'm working on the languages; the new gcc will roll out tonight, and I'm in the process of building a new perl. It all takes a while because I have this thing about doing things neatly - I can't stand a mess :-)

We're also a bit short staffed right now because my colleague (who does the same job as my essentially) is sunning himself in Italy, and my boss has just got himself a new Palm.

When I finally have some time I'll go back to customising RT (see previous diary entries), and hopefully look at developing i-scream some more.

After some evaluation I'm pretty happy with RT3. It's done everything I had set out to look for except an email-based nagging system. It may well have such a feature, I just haven't found it yet :-) My boss also seems quite enthusiastic about it, which is always a good start.

Of course, setting up and testing RT was the easy part... The original aim was to have a tracking system for email support, and this required one thing other than RT - an email address. It took us a good few days to come up with a decent address, which is probably just as long as it took to get RT going. Why is it that things like picking names, chosing colours, and other asthestics always always seem the most tedious?

Next on my task list for RT is to move it to our production Solaris servers. I'd love to keep running it from a FreeBSD machine, but at work we run Solaris (and my colleagues aren't in the BSD camp). I'm not totally against this as Solaris is a decent platform (on Sun hardware), and seems to be pretty solid and reliable. I just know that installing and maintaing it on Solaris will be more work without a ports tree.

On to something completely different now. One of the FreeBSD portmgr team pointed out that libstatgrab doesn't compile on FreeBSD 5.1. This didn't really come as much of a surprise given the configure script only works on OS's that we've written libstatgrab for. Maybe this is short-sighted, but as libstatgrab relies very much on OS specific code it's highly likely it won't work on other platforms. So, tomorrow I'll build a FreeBSD 5.1 box and do some testing. With any luck the code will work and it'll just be a case of fixing the build stuff. If not, I'll have to hand over to the guy writing libstatgrab. Whilst I'm at it I might install a few of the other BSD's so we can make it work on even more platforms.

In my previous article I mentioned that I also wanted RT for i-scream bug tracking. I made a start on this over the weekend by upgrading perl to 5.8.0 on the FreeBSD server running the i-scream website. This went smoother than I had imagined - I'd envisaged a fair few problems with having two version of perl; one in the ports tree and one in the base operating system. Fortunately the two seemed happy to co-exist with the aid of the use.perl script that comes with the port. I reinstalled my perl programs, mailscanner and spamassassin, just to be on the safe side, and all seems well. Next I'll be getting RT going.

On a personal note I'll be moving house at the end of the month. This brings about one problem - how do I move the server with a 421 day uptime. It has a UPS, so I guess in theory I can keep it all switched on during the move, if I'm quick! Sounds like it could be fun.

11 Jun 2003 (updated 12 Jun 2003 at 07:18 UTC) »

This is my first diary entry. So hello to anyone reading this. I'll be brief, because my hayfever is driving me mad.

Today concluded my efforts at trying to get RT3 going on my FreeBSD machine. I'm using Apache2, and mod_perl2 - which didn't work well with the current port. After some reading up, and with the aid of google, I managed to produce a patch to get it working.

My need for RT is two fold; firstly I want to use it for i-scream to allow easy submission and tracking of bug reports, and we're also looking for something similar at work.

So far I'm impressed with RT - it's managed to be clean and simple, yet full of decent features. Hopefully I'll still have the same opinion after I've spent some time configuring it for my needs.


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