09 April 2014
While trying to debug a bandwidth problem on a 3G connection, I tried speedtest.net, which ranks fairly high when one searches for “bandwidth test” on various search engines. I was getting very strange results, so I started wondering if my ISP might be bandwidth-throttling all traffic except the one from speedtest.net tests. After all, that’s on a 3G network, and another french 3G ISP (SFR) apparently uses Citrix ByteMobile to optimize the QoE by minifying HTML pages and recompressing images on-the-fly (amongst other things).
So, I fired wireshark, and discovered that no, it’s just speedtest being a bit naive. Speedtest uses its own text-based protocol on port 8080. Here is an excerpt of a download speed test:
< HELLO 2.1 2013-08-14.01
> DOWNLOAD 1000000
Yeah, right: sequences of “ABCDEFGHIJ”. How course, extremely easy to compress, which apparently happens transparently on 3G (or is it PPP? but I tried to disable PPP compression, and it did not see any change).
It’s funny how digging into problems that look promising at first sight often results in big disappointments :-(
09 April 2014 à 19:23
19 March 2014
tc qdisc add dev wlan0 root handle 1: cbq avpkt 1000 bandwidth 10Mbit
tc class add dev wlan0 parent 1: classid 1:1 cbq rate 3Mbit allot 1500 prio 3 bounded isolated
tc filter add dev wlan0 parent 1: protocol ip u32 match ip protocol 6 0xff match ip sport 80 0xffff flowid 1:1
Thanks to traffic control, the GStreamer queue never got empty in my test.
git clone git://git.collabora.co.uk/git/user/alban/tcmmd
git clone https://github.com/alban/tcmmd
Q: Instead of sending the 5-tuple to tcmmd, why not set the IP type-of-service (TOS) on outgoing packets with setsockopt-SO_PRIORITY
to avoid changes in the application and have an iptables target to feed that information about connections back to the ingress traffic control?
A: It could be possible if the bandwidth was fixed, but on mobile networks, the application needs to be changed anyway to give feedback when the queue in the GStreamer pipeline get emptied.
Q: Why not play with the TCP windows instead shaping the ingress traffic?
A: As far as I know, Linux does not have the infrastructure for that. The TCP windows to manipulate would not be from the GStreamer application but from all other connections, so it can't be done from userspace.
Q: Does it work with IPv6?
A: No. The architecture is not specific to IPv4 but it is just not implemented yet for IPv6. Tcmmd would need to generate new TC rules because the IP headers are different between IPv4 and IPv6.
Thanks Sjoerd for the architecture diagram and proof-reading.
19 March 2014 à 14:11
27 February 2014
Following my blog post on the topic, I played a bit with various options.
But let’s explain my use case (which might be quite specific). I need to deal with three main sources of events:
- the Zimbra instance from my lab. It provides a CalDav interface.
- the ICS export from my University’s teaching timetable.
- a calendar for personal stuff. I don’t want to use my lab’s Zimbra for that.
Additionally, I follow some ICS feeds for some colleagues and other events.
I tend to access my calendar mostly on my computer, and sometimes on my N900 phone.
None of the web interfaces I looked at enabled me to (1) manage different calendars hosted on different CalDav servers; (2) subscribe to ICS feeds; (3) provide a CalDav interface to synchronize my phone.
I ended up using a radicale instance for my personal calendar, which was extremely easy to set up. It’s unfortunately a bit slow when there are many events (1600 since 2010 in my case), so I ended up importing only future events, and I will probably have to cleanup from time to time.
I switched to using IceDove with the Lightning add-on to manage all my calendars and ICS feeds. It’s unfortunately slower and less user-friendly than Google Calendar, but I’ll live with it.
On my N900, I used syncevolution to synchronize my various CalDav calendars. It works fine, but understanding how to configure it is rather tricky due to the number of concepts involved (templates, databases, servers, contexts, …). The synchronization is quite slow (several minutes for the 400-events Zimbra calendar), but works.
I also wanted a way to export my calendars to colleagues (both in a “free/busy” version, and in a “full information” version). I quickly hacked something using ruby-agcaldav (which is not packaged in Debian, and required quite a few dependencies, but it was easy to generate packages for all of them using gem2deb — the situation with other languages did not look better).
The resulting script is:
cal = AgCalDAV::Client.new(:uri => 'LABCALDAVSERVER', :user => 'xx', :password => "xx")
ev = cal.find_events(:start => '2014-02-01', :end => '2200-01-01')
cal = AgCalDAV::Client.new(:uri => 'RADICALESERVER', :user => 'xx', :password => "xx")
ev2 = cal.find_events(:start => '2014-02-01', :end => '2200-01-01')
limit = (Time::now - 7*86400).to_datetime
# create new empty calendars
ncpriv = Icalendar::Calendar.new
ncpub = Icalendar::Calendar.new
(ev + ev2).each do |e|
next if e.end < limit # drop old events to keep the calendar small
# build event for the free/busy calendar
pe = Icalendar::Event.new
pe.start = e.start
pe.end = e.end
pe.klass = "PRIVATE"
pe.transp = e.transp
# build event for the calendar with event information
pube = Icalendar::Event.new
pube.start = e.start
pube.end = e.end
pube.transp = e.transp
if not e.klass == "PRIVATE"
pube.summary = e.summary
pube.location = e.location
# export free/busy calendar
fd = File::new('xx.ics', 'w')
# export calendar with event information
fd = File::new('yy-Zeeh9bie.ics', 'w')
So, mostly everything works. The only thing that doesn't is that I haven't found a way to subscribe to an ICS feed on my N900. Any ideas?
27 February 2014 à 16:39
25 February 2014
I’m trying to self-host my calendar setup, and I must admit that I’m lost between all the different solutions.
My requirements are:
- (A) manage my own personal calendar using a reasonably modern web interface (probably on my own CalDAV server)
- (B) display a dozen public ICS calendars in the web interface. Organizing those public calendars in a tree would be great.
- (C) display several caldav calendars (from two different instances of zimbra), preferably in RW mode
- (D) provide ICS links with a secret token that allow me to provide a full view of my calendar to some people (except for private events, where I should just be marked ‘busy’)
- (E) provide ICS links with a secret token that allow me to provide a “busy/available” view of my calendar to some people
- (F) export something usable on my n900. MFE would be great since that is already known to work.
- (G) easy to setup (Debian packages available in wheezy or wheezy-backports, especially for the server part)
- (H) preferably lightweight. I don’t need a full groupware application. I can ignore the other bits if really needed.
It does not seem to be possible to find a single framework doing all of the above. AFAIK:
- Owncloud does A, D, G
- Baikal does A. not sure about the rest.
- For (B), an alternative is to script the download of the ics and then upload it to the CalDAV using cadaver. But that sounds quite low-level for such a trivial use case.
- I’ve looked at using IceOwl (and Thunderbird+Lightning) with a CalDAV server such as Radicale. That would solve A (using iceowl instead), B, C. But which CalDAV servers support D, E, F ? Radicale does not do any of those, apparently.
What did I miss?
25 February 2014 à 21:31
17 January 2014
One of my pet projects in Debian is the Debian Maintainer Dashboard. Built on top of UDD, DMD provides a maintainer-centric view to answer the “I have a few hours for Debian, what should I do now?” question (see example).
Christophe Siraut did a lot of great work recently on DMD, rewriting much of the internals. As a result, he also added a RSS feed feature: you can now get notified of new TODO list items by subscribing to that feed.
If you have suggestions or comments, please use the debian-qa@ list (see this thread).
17 January 2014 à 09:20
07 October 2013
I attended Open World Forum last week (thanks to Inria for funding my travel). It was a fantastic opportunity to meet many people, and to watch great talks. If I had to single out just one talk, it would clearly be John Sullivan’s What do you mean you can’t Skype?!.
On Saturday, I delivered a talk presenting the Debian project. It was my first DPL-ish talk to the general public, so it still needs some tuning, but I think it went quite well (slides available). Next opportunity to talk about Debian: LORIA, Nancy, France, 2013-10-17 13:30 (iPAC seminar).
07 October 2013 à 14:33
25 September 2013
Some time ago, Ubuntu had Ubuntu Brainstorm, a website where non-developers could submit ideas of improvements, and other people could comment and vote on them. I was wondering if there was existing software to deploy a similar service, e.g. as a plugin to popular forum software. I’ve found ideascale.com, but relying on the Cloud for that is not acceptable for my planned use.
(For clarification: my immediate interest for that is unrelated to Debian work)
25 September 2013 à 07:33
21 August 2013
So, I’m back from DebConf, which probably translated to the 10 busiest days of my life, but also to one of the best times of my life. The Le Camp venue clearly contributed to this success: having everybody at the same place, but at the same time many opportunities for quiet chat or just enjoying the view, was really a good idea. Everybody who made DebConf possible deserve a huge “thank you”, as well as all attendees: it is really a honor to be a part of such a fantastic community.
Now, let’s go back to daily life, and to my re-filled Debian TODO list!
21 August 2013 à 07:21
16 August 2013
This upload was the first one of my very first package in Debian. It was sponsored by Dafydd Harries, who I’ve finally met at DebConf13, and got out of NEW on 2005-08-16. Exactly 8 years ago today. I only realized that yesterday evening, and Debian’s birthday feels even more special to me now. Dafydd, it looks like I owe you a lot! :)
16 August 2013 à 07:27
This DebConf is obviously quite special for me, being the DPL. It has really been great so far to talk to meet so many people, and especially to meet so many new Debian contributors or Developers. I’m really happy to see that the next generation is ready! :)
On Sunday, I delivered my Bits from the DPL talk. The video is available, and I’ve finally uploaded the slides (working link here, it seems that Penta ate my slides). I hope you enjoyed it/will enjoy it!
16 August 2013 à 07:20
03 August 2013
This June, I was in Seoul, Korea for the GNOME.Asia Summit, the yearly occasion to meet up with the Asian side of the GNOME community. As always, it was an awesome conference, with so many cool people. I learned about new projects like Seafile and got to meet new friends and catch up with old ones.
I’d also to thank my employer, Collabora, for sponsoring my flight and the GNOME foundation for paying the hotel.
03 August 2013 à 21:49
28 July 2013
Last week-end I was in Greece, in Thessaloniki, enjoying the openSUSE Conference 2013. If I had to summarize the event in one word, that would be:
wow! It was the first time we had this event in another city than Nuremberg and Prague (two places where SUSE has offices), and it was the first time the organization was fully lead by the community. I was quite confident that things couldn't go wrong since, after all, what matters is that we're all in the same place. But I was amazed that the whole event went so smoothly! This was really a great job from a whole team of volunteers:
Just to give an example of the hard work that was accomplished: most (all?) talks were successfully streamed, and the recordings are already online! Stella and Kostas definitely deserve credits for the overall success, as they kept leading the organization in the right direction since last year, and the event wouldn't have been possible without their dedication. Our sponsors also helped make all this happen, so many thanks to SUSE, ARM, DevHdR and Oracle!
Having people from all over the world was once again an opportunity to meet up with old and new friends, who were coming from Brazil (Izabel, Carlos), the US, all over Europe obviously, but also India (Manu, Saurabh) and China as well as Taiwan (Sunny, Max, David, etc.)... The conference is the global event of the openSUSE community, without any doubt. With 250 attendees, there were a lot of hallway chats and informal meetings; I'm sure the
GNOME couch tradition that we initiated with Dominique and Richard will stay over the years ;-)
Unsurprisingly, the openSUSE Board took opportunity of having so many community members to discuss several topics with as many people as possible. The board also organized for the first time a session about team reports. Even though several teams didn't participate to that session (generally because no team members was there), we had more than ten teams joining the party on stage, and this was probably one of the best way to see how broad our community really is and to learn the latest developments in various areas of the project. We also had our usual town hall meeting which went rather nicely, with useful feedback to the board.
The bad thing for me is that I had to stay only for a few days due to work, but there's already a next opportunity to meet with the community: this will be the openSUSE Summit in Orlando next November. And if you cannot make it, then I can only recommending making sure that you will join us next year, for the openSUSE Conference in Dubrovnik!
28 July 2013 à 17:35
01 July 2013
Last Thursday was the first meet-up of the OpenStack Rhône-Alpes group, in Grenoble. The idea of organizing such a meet-up came up just one month ago, at Solutions Linux; having such an OpenStack meet-up in Rhône-Alpes feels so natural, given the amount of people we have in the area (we can even include Geneva ;-)). Dave did a great job with the organization, and HP provided a pretty nice venue (and sponsored food!).
We managed to attract around 25 people to this event, and given that it was our first and that we did nearly no noise about it, it's not too bad :-) We had people attending from HP, Bull, Red Hat, SUSE and more, and four of us delivered quick talks about XLcloud (by Patrick Petit, from Bull), oVirt (by Dave Neary, from Red Hat), HP's public cloud (by Gavin Brebner, from HP) and Crowbar (by yours truly). I must admit that Gavin Brebner's presentation about abusing HP's public cloud was extremely interesting; there's a lot of cool stuff happening to keep a public cloud running.
Of course, we enjoyed some nice food afterwards and stayed chatting a bit longer about OpenStack and other technical bits. And best of all: we celebrated OpenStack's third birthday a bit early:
If everything goes well, the next meet-up of the group will be in Lyon, in September, stay tuned! And we'll make more noise, so we hope more people will join!
01 July 2013 à 19:24
13 May 2013
Visiblement, la Poste utilise des machines qui, parfois, ont faim et doivent se nourrir :
Dommage pour cette lettre !
13 May 2013 à 15:16
30 March 2013
The graph below is generated from popcon submissions. Since they include the version of the popularity-contest package, one can determine the Debian release that was used by the submitter (a new version of the popularity-contest package is generally uploaded just after the release to make that tracking possible).
The graph is similar to the one found on popcon, except that versions newer than the latest stable release are aggregated as “testing/unstable”.
- Popcon submitters might not be representative of Debian users, of course.
- There’s quite a lot of testing/unstable users, and their proportion is quite stable:
- Today: testing/unstable: 43119 submissions (31.4%); squeeze: 75454 (54.9%); lenny: 13603 (9.9%)
- 2011-02-04 (just before the squeeze release): testing/unstable: 29012 (29.7%); lenny: 57262 (58.6%); etch: 10032 (10.3%)
- 2009-02-13 (just before the lenny release): testing/unstable: 30108 (36.9%); etch: 49996 (61.2%)
- I don’t understand why the number of Debian stable installations does not increase, except when a new release is made. It’s as if people installed Debian, upgraded directly to testing, and switched back to tracking stable after the release. Or maybe people don’t update their systems? A more detailed analysis could be done by looking at the raw popcon data.
- Upgrading to the next stable release takes time. Looking at the proportion of users still using oldstable one year after the release, it would be better not to remove oldstable from mirrors too early.
Scripts are available on git.debian.org.
30 March 2013 à 13:52
16 March 2013
After one week of campaign on -vote@, many subjects have been mentioned already. I’m trying here to list the concrete, actionable ideas I found interesting (does not necessarily mean that I agree with all of them) and that may be worth further discussion at a less busy time. There’s obviously some amount of subjectivity in such a list, and I’m also slightly biased ;) . Feel free to point to missing ideas or references (when an idea appeared in several emails, I’ve generally tried to use the first reference).
On the campaign itself, and having general discussions inside Debian:
- have those discussions on a more regular basis, outside DPL elections (from lucas)
- use polls to measure consensus (from lucas, question from mjr)
- use a pre-arranged questionnaire that DPL candidates would fill in (from algernon)
On getting new users and contributors to Debian:
- discussion on the various steps: Debian user – first contribution – regular contributor – DM/DD (from lucas)
- maintain a single list of “paths in” (from moray and lucas)
- have some “neutral” people to ask about tasks, and to get suggestions from in response to explaining their current skills and experience (e.g. http://www.debian.org/women/mentoring) (from moray)
- more local meetings, compile list of regional contacts (moray)
- increase Debian presence at local meetings. Advertise the Debian Events initiative that facilitates that (from lucas)
- provide “Debian ambassador” title for students, similar to what is done by Google or Microsoft (from moray)
- re-work on advertising gift tags (bugs suitable for new contributors) (from lucas)
- make sure teams have list of easy tasks in their wiki pages (from lucas)
- discussion on student projects involving Debian (from lucas)
- do mentoring inside teams, like DebianMed’s MoM (from moray)
- participate in other internship-like programs, like Outreach Program for Women (link from lucas), or organize our own, which would also avoid some restrictions from GSoC (northern hemisphere only (point made by moray), restricted to students (ana))
- extend internship-like programs to other kinds of work (packaging, documentation, etc.)
- localize -mentors@ (mailing lists + IRC channels for DE, FR, ES contributors) (from lucas)
- organize IRC schools/seminars about e.g. packaging (from lucas)
- introduce more gamification in mentoring (from rra)
Infrastructure, processes, releases:
- improve infrastructure to help with team maintenance (e.g. PET) (from lucas)
- authorize NMUs for archive-wide changeovers such as /usr/doc -> /usr/share/doc (from moray)
- increase visibility of RC bugs squashers by listing them in Debian Project News (from lucas)
- provide inexpensive non-monetary gifts (free t-shirts?) to RC bug squashers (from lucas)
- re-open discussion on gradual freezes (from lucas), focus attention on more important packages by improving tools (from lucas) and removing packages earlier (from moray and lucas)
- involve upstreams and downstreams in RC bug fixing (from algernon)
Relationships with upstreams/downstreams:
- use Debian money to sponsor maintainers to attend upstream events (from lucas)
This list could be moved to wiki.d.o if others find sufficiently useful to help maintaining it.
16 March 2013 à 19:05
13 March 2013
Have you heard about it? openSUSE 12.3 is out!
I did an upgrade earlier today on my main laptop (with a simple
zypper dup after having updated the repos configuration, which went surprisingly fast), and this release looks great! But the best part: it comes with OpenStack love!
For the first time, an openSUSE release provides a fully working set of OpenStack packages. We had some OpenStack packages in the previous release, but they were not in such a great shape and some components were even missing (although we fixed that later on with packages in the build service).
With 12.3, you can finally enjoy OpenStack with the Folsom release in a very straight-forward way, and therefore you can easily deploy your own cloud. The packages that we provide are built from the
stable/folsom branch, and there's an online update coming soon so you can enjoy the
stable/folsom code as of end of last week.
To help people who might not want to learn everything needed to properly deploy OpenStack, we also have a small openstack-quickstart package, that comes with a script that can be used to deploy everything locally. It is obviously not recommended to run this on your main computer (I usually run this in a virtual machine), but it gets you quickly to the point where you can play with OpenStack.
Dashboard of an OpenStack cloud running on openSUSE 12.3
Play today with Grizzly!
Of course, Folsom is relatively old at this point and the new version, Grizzly, is to be released in three weeks. But don't be sad! We've been working on Grizzly packages for some time now: you can grab them from the Cloud:OpenStack:Master project in the build service (hey, look, it's even building packages for SLE and openSUSE 12.2! the build service is a rather convenient tool!). I guess we'll properly move them to Cloud:OpenStack:Grizzly once Grizzly is officially released.
Develop with DevStack!
I mentioned a few months ago that I had finished porting DevStack to openSUSE 12.2, and I wrote some small documentation on how to use it. It's really a neat tool, both for playing with OpenStack and for developing for it.
However, I realized earlier this week that I had never double-checked everything was still okay for 12.3. It turns out there's a small issue that completely breaks it, oops ;-) But once the fix is checked in, DevStack will be usable on the latest openSUSE. I'll do some more tests before marking this version of openSUSE as supported in DevStack, but that shouldn't block anyone from using DevStack on 12.3.
We're pretty open about how we develop OpenStack in openSUSE. Andreas wrote a post about all this a few days ago. We've opened up (or rather, revived) a mailing list dedicated to the cloud recently, which developers, packagers and users can all use to discuss OpenStack. And unsurprisingly, we also have an
#opensuse-cloud channel on Freenode. But most importantly, we've worked on making public the infrastructure we use to build OpenStack for openSUSE.
I think the important bit on this is that everybody is able, and welcome, to join this effort. It's not just about being able to say "see, we have OpenStack"; it's about building a rock-solid experience for OpenStack, and enjoying doing that!
Now, let's celebrate the release: party time! :-)
13 March 2013 à 19:02
04 March 2013
(Looking for those graphs online, I realized that I never properly published them, besides that old post)
I’ve been playing with snapshot.d.o, which is a fantastic resource if you want to look at Debian from an historical perspective (well, since 2005 at least).
We now have more team-maintained packages than packages maintained by someone alone. Interestingly, the “small, ad-hoc group of developers” model does not really take off.
Maintenance using a VCS
A large majority of our packages are maintained in a VCS repository, with Git being the clear winner now.
Possible goal for Jessie: standardize on a Git workflow, since every team tends to design its own?
Again, we have a clear winner here, with dh. It’s interesting to note that, while dh was designed as a CDBS killer, it kind-of fails in that role.
Possible goal for Jessie: deprecate at least pure-debhelper packaging?
Patch systems and packaging formats
Again, clear winner with 3.0 (quilt).
The (dirty) scripts that generate those graphs are available in Git (but you need to connect to stabile to execute them, and it’s rather time consuming — hours/days).
04 March 2013 à 13:05
03 March 2013
When Francesca started her DPL game, I too started think about possible candidates. Here is my shortlist of dream candidates:
- <insert your name here>
- <or here>
- <or there>
- <or even there>
Seriously, if you are a DD, you have the right to run. There’s no need for someone to nominate you. If you think that you could possibly say something interesting during the discussion period, and can spare the time to participate in the -vote@ discussions, please run. DPL campaigns used to be a great time where Debian visions, goals, politics and random stuff were discussed. The more candidates, the more interesting campaigns (8 candidates in 2007!).
Also, there are already
two three other candidates, so even if you don’t want the job, it’s not that risky.
(Initially, I thought about nominating everyone, but security-wise, it might not be such a great idea.)
03 March 2013 à 19:54
01 February 2013
In a couple of hours, I'll be taking the train and heading to Brussels for FOSDEM. I've lost counts of how many FOSDEM I've attended, which is probably a good indication of how great the event is!
As usual, this will be a good place to catch up with friends, but also to talk with tons of different people about so many topics. If you want to chat about OpenStack, SUSE Cloud, openSUSE or GNOME, I'll be glad to join you.
The schedule is quite packed, but from what I can tell so far, I'll be sitting in the cloud devroom on Sunday (don't hesitate to join in order to learn about what's happening in the OpenStack world!). Oh, I'll also give a talk in Janson about challenges that the GNOME project is facing, just before the closing keynote.
And no, I won't have my blue hat, so you'll need to find another way to catch me (hint: I have a SUSE backpack nowadays) ;-)
01 February 2013 à 10:56
25 January 2013
Last week-end, just before leaving for some travel, I became aware that gnome-panel was being forked into consort-panel (btw, I commented on that post, but I guess it was a bit too late since it's stuck in the moderation queue).
Now, let me start by stating clearly that I have nothing against forks: people are free to go this way, and that's cool with me. However, I quickly got confused for three reasons: I thought it was clear that volunteers are welcome to maintain gnome-panel, I thought I had explained to Ikey in June 2012 why some changes would be blocked from entering fallback mode but could hopefully happen in a not-too-distant future, and I'm getting explicitly blamed here and there for putting roadblocks.
I usually don't mind being blamed, but I prefer when it's for good reasons ;-) Of course, as a maintainer, I reject patches. There are usually good reasons, including the fact that there's a design philosophy that a module like gnome-panel had to follow since it was fully part of GNOME. Rejecting patches is part of the maintainer job. It doesn't mean that contributions are not welcome, but I guess it can be perceived as such... Another task of a maintainer is to enable people to keep the code alive, and in the case of gnome-panel, it was clear to me that having the fallback mode as part of GNOME 3 was a blocker to do so. It took more time than I would have liked, but this is something that got fixed when the fallback mode got dropped of GNOME 3.
With this in mind, and to clarify why I got confused by the fork announcement, here's a quick timeline of events in 2012, related to the fate of gnome-panel, covering what I was aware of until the blog post from a few days ago:
- June 24th & 25th: I get a mail from Ikey about some patches he wrote to revert changes that were done in gnome-panel 3.x. I answer that this can't get in at the moment, due to the fact that the fallback mode is an official part of GNOME 3 and has to work the GNOME 3 way. I also mention that this direction of gnome-panel could change if the fallback mode is dropped from GNOME (and that I would step down as maintainer if gnome-panel becomes actively developed again). As far as I know, this mail discussion (six mails) is the only time I've interacted with Ikey until I commented on his blog post a few days ago (no other mail, nothing in bugzilla; there might have been some irc chat, but I don't keep irc logs).
- June 25th: I start a thread on desktop-devel-list to see if we still need to keep the fallback mode as part of GNOME 3.6, and I invite Ikey to participate in the thread (in the private mail discussion mentioned above). A decision is taken, and it's to keep the fallback mode for now.
- end of August: I start the DropOrFixFallbackMode feature page for GNOME 3.8, because I feel the fallback mode in GNOME is not getting enough love. This feature page explicitly mentions that
some people would like to improve components of the fallback mode to work differently, and that dropping the fallback mode would enable these people to step up and push for what they'd like to do.
- December 5th: I send a mail to a small group of people who I know might be interested in keeping some fallback components maintained, to help them start on their work. Clearly, I failed to include Ikey in the discussion, but only because I had forgotten about our discussion from June.
The ironic point here, at least to me, is that it's Ikey's mail that triggered my push for the fallback mode to be dropped from official GNOME so people could work on gnome-panel with more freedom. Which is what seems to be wanted.
Anyway, let me take this as an opportunity to remind everyone that people are welcome to become maintainers of gnome-panel. It'd be preferable to maintain it in the GNOME infrastructure, but I guess even just forking it with full history on gitorious/github would work. No need to rename, no need to follow the GNOME 3 design, etc. If full forking+renaming is preferred for some reason, in the end, that's fine; I'd be curious to know what good reason exists, though.
And as usual, you're welcome to blame me for X, Y or Z :-)
25 January 2013 à 15:08
21 December 2012
One of the first things I did when I joined the Cloud team at SUSE was to start porting DevStack to openSUSE. DevStack is a set of shell scripts to build complete OpenStack development environments. It is useful to create a small OpenStack environment that will be used for hacking, testing, etc. and is therefore primarily used for upstream development. Getting this to work on openSUSE seemed like a logical first step before doing more OpenStack work. I got things working pretty quickly, but for various reasons, this all stayed in a personal branch of mine (except for a few preliminary patches).
A few weeks ago, I got time for DevStack again. So I rebased my branch, cleaned up everything, and started submitting the patches. After reviews from Sean Dague and Dean Troyer (and some patch rewriting to address the issues that were raised), the openSUSE support landed in master. A few other people tested it, and nobody has been hitting any major issue, so yesterday, I finally submitted the patch to make openSUSE 12.2 a supported distribution. Now you can play with DevStack on openSUSE!
I wrote some documentation for DevStack on openSUSE if you want to get more details on how to use it. But I guess it wouldn't hurt to show how easy it is to setup your own OpenStack environment this way...
I'm shamelessly stealing instructions from the single VM DevStack guide to show you the very short version. Just run the following in an openSUSE virtual machine (do not run this on your main system unless you're 100% sure it's what you want: DevStack is a little bit too invasive right now; see Daniel's analysis on this topic):
zypper in git-core
git clone https://github.com/openstack-dev/devstack.git
echo ADMIN_PASSWORD=password > localrc
echo MYSQL_PASSWORD=password >> localrc
echo RABBIT_PASSWORD=password >> localrc
echo SERVICE_PASSWORD=password >> localrc
echo SERVICE_TOKEN=tokentoken >> localrc
echo FLAT_INTERFACE=br100 >> localrc
(You'll actually need to call
FORCE=yes ./stack.sh until the patch mentioned above gets in.)
And there you go, you have OpenStack running! That was quite easy, right? :-) You can connect to the web dashboard (horizon) or use the command line tools (hint:
source openrc will setup the proper environment variables for you). Here's a few commands you can use to get started:
glance image-list # find out which image is available
nova boot --image cirros-0.3.0-x86_64-uec --flavor m1.tiny cirros-test # start an instance of one specific image
nova list # see what instances are in the cloud
So go ahead, read the documentation, play with all this, and enjoy DevStack on openSUSE!
21 December 2012 à 13:02
27 November 2012
During the last two week-ends, I went to two different events. That's part of my end-of-year sprint where I travel too much: SUSEcon and openSUSE Summit in September, OpenStack Summit and openSUSE Conference in October (oops, didn't find time to write about these events), two weeks vacation in Thailand in October/November (yes, we enjoyed the time there!), one week of team meeting in Prague right now, and two other trips to Paris during those few months... Crazy planning!
I attended these events with my advocate hat to deliver GNOME-related talks (and also to chat with people a bit about openSUSE, and of course to meet good friends of mine ;-)). I feel there's a big need on GNOME's side to communicate more and clarify our direction and opinions, and on top of that, there's a lot of mis-informed statements around that people blindly trust and that need to be debunked. My talks were simply part of my local contribution towards that goal. And apparently, that's something that seems to be most welcome!
The Journées du Logiciel Libre (or JDLL) is an event that occurs every year in Lyon. Lyon being close to home, it's an event I can attend quite easily and this is not something I can complain about ;-) We did have some great people at the event this year, including a french-turned-british-turned-french-again guy.
When I got asked to give a talk about GNOME this year, I wasn't sure I would have anything really interesting to tell, so I suggested an interactive session around the recent hot topics in GNOME (you know, GNOME OS, systemd, fallback mode, etc.). In the end, even though I had many slides ready, we simply discussed the questions that were raised by the audience, and I believe that this session proved to be very useful for the attendees. So a good experience, and a format I'll likely use again.
I also had the opportunity to play a bit with Firefox OS. I've been following the project for quite some time but never took time to really try it, so I was really glad to be able to take a long look at it. There's still some work to do, and, hrm, well, that was visible ;-) I managed to crash things without even trying to be nasty. I hope it will take off, though: there's a need for an alternative closer to our ideals.
The Debian France team organized a Mini-DebConf in Paris, and I was invited for a slot. I chose to talk about
GNOME vs downstreams, and discuss the love/hate relationship we have, and how the future direction can be good/bad for different downstreams. The idea was simply to get out some information out about what GNOME is doing, and to clarify where the project is heading, as this has some pretty big impact on our downstream friends. Obviously not everything is perfect in GNOME but I feel that the project is, overall, doing okay as an upstream. (I'm kind of sad to discover an ABI breakage in glib after I told to Stefano and Lucas that we were not breaking ABI in our platform; oh well).
This Mini-DebConf was a pleasant surprise, as there were quite a number of attendees, and the whole event went quite smoothly (well, at least for the day I was there). It was also interesting to hear about the different opinions with regards to the Debian release cycle (got some pretty good food for thoughts), and I enjoyed Sylvestre's talk about making Debian compiler agnostic. The event had many other great talks — definitely an event I'd recommend attending, even to non-Debian people.
27 November 2012 à 23:15
25 November 2012
During the Paris Mini-Debconf, Nicolas Dandrimont talked about The state of mentors.debian.net: GSoC and beyond. He said that Half of Debian’s packages are maintained by sponsored maintainers. That statement was actually wrong, as he confirmed later.
However, using a few UDD queries, I could come up with:
- 3147 packages out of 18649 packages in sid (17%) were last uploaded using a sponsored upload.
- There are 963 distinct sponsorees, vs. a total of 2015 distinct emails in the Changed-By field of packages in sid. Given that it’s more likely for DDs to have used several emails to upload packages, it’s very likely that half of the package maintainers are sponsored maintainers.
- There are 2185 packages without a DD in either the Maintainer: or the Uploaders: fields. (That includes some packages that are maintained by a team that could include some DDs)
Full UDD notes:
all packages in sid:
select source, version from sources_uniq where release = 'sid'
packages in sid known to upload_history:
select source, version from upload_history where
(source, version) in (select source, version from sources_uniq where release = 'sid')
packages that were uploaded by the changed_by person:
create temporary table sources_not_sponsored as select distinct source, version
from upload_history, carnivore_keys, carnivore_emails
where (source, version) in (select source, version from sources_uniq where release = 'sid')
and fingerprint = key
and carnivore_keys.id = carnivore_emails.id
and carnivore_emails.email = changed_by_email;
packages not uploaded by the changed_by person:
create temp table uh_sid as select source, version, fingerprint, changed_by_email
where (source, version) in (select source, version from sources_uniq where release = 'sid');
create temp table uh_sid_sponsored as select source, version, fingerprint, changed_by_email from uh_sid
where (source, version) not in (select source, version from sources_not_sponsored);
list with sponsor login:
select distinct source, version, fingerprint, changed_by_email, login
left join carnivore_keys on fingerprint = key
left join carnivore_login on carnivore_keys.id = carnivore_login.id;
=> 4188 sponsored packages. some of them are in a strange state (changed_by is a DD, but uploaded by another DD). excluding those:
create temp table sponsored_but_dds as select distinct source, version, fingerprint, changed_by_email, login
from uh_sid_sponsored, carnivore_emails, carnivore_login
where changed_by_email = carnivore_emails.email
and carnivore_emails.id = carnivore_login.id;
create temp table really_sponsored as select distinct source, version, fingerprint, changed_by_email, login
left join carnivore_keys on fingerprint = key
left join carnivore_login on carnivore_keys.id = carnivore_login.id
where (source, version) not in (select source, version from sponsored_but_dds);
=> 3147 sponsored packages
select distinct changed_by_email from really_sponsored ;
=> 963 different sponsorees
select distinct changed_by_email from upload_history where
(source, version) in (select source, version from sources_uniq where release = 'sid');
=> 2015 distinct emails.
no DD amongst maintainer or uploader:
create temp table dds_emails as select email from carnivore_emails, carnivore_login
where carnivore_emails.id = carnivore_login.id;
select source, version, maintainer, uploaders from sources_uniq
and maintainer_email not in (select * from dds_emails)
and not exists (select * from uploaders where release = 'sid' and sources_uniq.source = uploaders.source and sources_uniq.version = uploaders.version and email in (select * from dds_emails))
and maintainer_email != 'firstname.lastname@example.org'
and (source, version) in (select source, version from really_sponsored);
25 November 2012 à 23:31
This week-end I attended the Paris Mini-Debconf, which was really a great event, and a nice opportunity to meet everybody again.
I delivered a lightning talk on “Get involved! It’s not that hard!“, which was also a good excuse to mention the Debian packaging tutorial and the Debian Maintainer Dashboard.
25 November 2012 à 23:06
21 November 2012
No fallback mode in GNOME 3.8
As announced by the release team two weeks ago, the fallback mode will be gone in GNOME 3.8. The decision was taken after some discussion on the mailing list back in June and in October, as well as some discussion during Boston Summit 2012. We also have a wiki page detailing the discussion arguments.
In my opinion, the biggest issue we had with the fallback mode is that, with only a few cycles, it quickly became clearly not tested enough, and lacked manpower for proper evolution along with other GNOME 3 changes. This resulted in a much lower quality than what we expect from GNOME. Moreover, several applications actually started requiring Clutter, and therefore didn't work anymore in a real fallback manner (ie, where you have no proper 3D acceleration); this means the fallback mode, when really used as a fallback, was not offering a fully usable desktop, and would be considered more like an alternative shell than a fallback mode.
Where does this leave us?, you might ask.
Well, for a start, GNOME 3.x had several iterative cycles to bring tons of improvements. Many users who were using the fallback mode because they didn't like the GNOME Shell experience are now happy with 3.6. But we're going an extra step starting with the next version: there is an explicit goal of having the project provide a set of extensions to help even more people preferring the fallback mode experience. The tentative list of what the extensions would provide is classic alt-tab, task bar, minimize/maximize buttons, and a main menu. This effort is being publicly tracked, so everyone can participate: if you're interested in contributing to these extensions, don't hesitate, I have no doubt help will be welcomed! Update: this topic is being discussed on desktop-devel-list right now!
There will also be work on improving GNOME 3 when running with software rendering. Of course, llvmpipe was a good start, and llvmpipe itself is getting better and better. But in addition, there are plans to offer a reduced resources mode, with fewer animations, that would be used in different circumstances, including when using software rendering. This should really improve the performances under llvmpipe.
There might be cases where these improvements will not be good enough in 3.8 (or with the Mesa and llvmpipe versions available at that time), resulting in a GNOME version that people might not consider acceptable in terms of performance or hardware support. Things will improve with time, obviously, and 3.10 will solve more and more issues; hence I would recommend to people hitting such issues to stay with 3.6 for a few more months.
All in all, the community is working on having future versions of GNOME, starting with GNOME 3.8, offer an improved alternative to the fallback mode.
Future of gnome-panel (and other fallback components)
Of course, this raises the question of what happens to the components of the fallback mode: gnome-applets, gnome-panel, gnome-screensaver, metacity, notification-daemon, polkit-gnome, etc. These components don't necessarily have to go away: they're just not part of what the GNOME project officially releases, and people are welcome to keep working on them. It's really up to each maintainer.
As for myself, I do not intend to keep maintaining gnome-panel after 3.6.x. I did a 3.6.2 release a few days ago, and it might well be what I consider my final release. If there's a strong push for some patches, there could be a 3.6.3 tarball... So, if you want to keep gnome-panel alive, contact me and you can become maintainer. As long as I either know you, or I can see that you have some minimal coding abilities, you'll get the maintainer hat for free :-)
Now, I believe a group of people could well adopt all the fallback components and keep building a great desktop, on top of other GNOME 3 bricks. They wouldn't even have to restrict themselves to what the GNOME 3 vision is (which is something that blocked some people from seriously contributing to gnome-panel). I don't think it'd be actually too much work: the code is already there! Of course, there would be some compatibility bits removed from other GNOME modules that would need to be moved elsewhere, but in most cases, it's really just about
moving the code, not
To be honest, I would really have loved if the MATE people had taken such an approach (maybe it's not too late?). I think it's a more reasonable effort than effectively forking all of GNOME 2, including obsolete technologies, as the amount of work is much more reasonable.
I'm eager to see if a group will step up to keep alive this old code, which represents thousands of hours from many of us! I wouldn't use it, but it would still make me happy :-)
21 November 2012 à 15:18
25 October 2012
During the Squeeze release cycle, Alexander Reichle-Schmehl used to blog every week about this. Let’s try to continue the tradition.
The UDD bugs interface currently knows about the following release critical bugs:
- In Total: 916
- Affecting wheezy: 464
That’s the number we need to get down to zero before the release. They can be split in two big categories:
- Affecting wheezy and unstable: 327
Those need someone to find a fix, or to finish the work to upload a fix to unstable:
- 77 bugs are tagged ‘patch’.
Please help by reviewing the patches, and (if you are a DD) by uploading them.
- 17 bugs are marked as done, but still affect unstable.
This can happen due to missing builds on some architectures, for example. Help investigate!
- 235 bugs are neither tagged patch, nor marked done.
Help make a first step towards resolution!
- Affecting wheezy only: 137
Those are already fixed in unstable, but the fix still needs to migrate to wheezy. You can help by submitting unblock requests for fixed packages, by investigating why packages do not migrate, or by reviewing submitted unblock requests.
Note: I’m looking for someone to send this posts on a regular basis. All you need is a blog syndicated on Planet Debian (there’s a secret UDD page that generates the HTML code for you ;) ). Contact me if you are interested. taken!
25 October 2012 à 09:07
13 October 2012
I'm supposed to be flying over the Atlantic right now to attend the OpenStack Summit, but British Airways had other plans for me: I'm stuck in London for a few hours, and will head towards New York tonight, before going to the west coast. But since I have Internet access, I guess it's a good opportunity to write about something that happened last month: I joined the openSUSE Board as chairman!
(And if you were wondering: I'm still part of the SUSE Cloud team, and the chairman position simply comes on top. The fact that I'm heading to the OpenStack Summit should have given you a hint already ;-))
For those who don't know about the governance structure of openSUSE, the openSUSE Board is a group of six people that exists to serve and guide the community. This includes working on legal and financial topics, talking to our different sponsors, etc., but it specifically does not deal with the technical side of the project. The Board is made of six members: five who are elected by the community, and one (the chairman) who is appointed by SUSE.
The new openSUSE Board Chairman. Picture by Andreas Jaeger
Until recently, Alan Clark was the chairman, but he recently got elected chairman of the OpenStack Foundation. I was surprised when I got asked if I'd be willing to step up, but that was a pleasant surprise: I was actually considering running for the next board elections, so it didn't take me too much thinking to accept :-) I got interviewed twice about this new position. This is quite cool, as it shows how much people are interested in what's going on in the openSUSE world.
I do believe there's a lot the Board can do to help the project, and there are many ideas I'd like to push, a lot of them coming from my experience at the GNOME Foundation. But the way I (and I hope, many others) see it, the chairman is just one member among others; of course, the chairman should be a bit more proactive in pushing the others, but that's the main difference. It's therefore important to have great people in the Board, like we do today. But guess what, we also have elections coming in a few weeks, so if you feel you can make a difference, consider running! If you don't want to run but have ideas to share, don't hesitate to mail the board or me to send us your input.
Because of this new position, I went last month to Orlando, in order to attend SUSEcon and the openSUSE Summit that was organized just after SUSEcon. This was really a last minute decision: I booked my flights three days before leaving... Both were amazing events, especially when you think that this was the first year for both events.
Of course, it was a great opportunity for me to chat about openSUSE and the Board with many people, including Ralf Flaxa (VP of Engineering at SUSE) and Michael Miller (VP of Global Alliances & Marketing at SUSE) who both care a lot about openSUSE. It turns out they simply told me, when I asked if they were expecting anything special from the chairman:
do what's good for the project! Pretty cool to hear :-)
It was no surprise, but there was quite some discussion about the cloud during SUSEcon. And actually, I was surprised at how much interest there was from everyone. I was helping on the SUSE Cloud booth, and many people came in — some to just learn about the field in general, while others had some pretty deep questions about the technologies. Everyone was mentioning OpenStack during the keynotes, and the SUSE Cloud product was deployed live during the closing keynote to show how easy it is to deal with. SUSE also produced some fun videos about the cloud.
SUSE's birthday cake. Picture by Andreas Jaeger
Since SUSE is 20 years old now, SUSEcon was also the perfect time to celebrate SUSE's birthday. Some kernel hackers were nice and took time to participate in a happy birthday video, we had a fun birthday party, and we also went to see the Blue Man Group (great show!). Andreas Jaeger uploaded pictures of the whole event, if you want to remember what you enjoyed there, or see what you missed ;-)
The openSUSE Summit had many people coming (more than I expected!), and it was a lot of fun. Bryen and the whole team did an amazing job with the organization, and I think everybody enjoyed the family atmosphere that this event had. There were also great sessions (although I only attended two of them), and thanks to ownCloud and Omnibond, we had fun parties in the evenings. I especially loved building the small boats (or a car, like Simona and I did).
The openSUSE Summit also hosted a GNOME hackfest on user observation. Anna, Federico and Cosimo wrote about it already. It looked like it was a useful hackfest, from what I could see!
Scott loved the Summit! Picture by Andreas Jaeger
If you want to see pictures from the openSUSE Summit, go check Andreas' gallery. Between the sessions, the geeko lounge, the parties, huge geekos, a raffle to win a Raspberry Pi (all profits went to the GNOME Foundation), and more, there's lots to see :-)
Oh, and I had the opportunity to talk with Sam Varghese during SUSEcon about how GNOME is doing. I hope the resulting article gives a new perspective about the current direction to people outside the GNOME community.
My flight is probably about to leave; time to look for the boarding gate...
13 October 2012 à 17:16
12 October 2012
In the last two weeks, I took some time to review patches submitted for cups-pk-helper and desktop-file-utils, and worked a bit on the code. This means new releases, which keeps me on track for the "two releases a year" schedule followed for those software :-)
It is recommended to update to the 0.2.3 version of cups-pk-helper, due to a security flaw in the old code (CVE-2012-4510). I found it while fixing a compiler warning about a return value being ignored; re-reading that old code, I realized that it was, hrm, not really solid, that it was not checking permissions, and that it could actually be abused to overwrite any file (among other issues)... Thankfully, this can only be exploited if the user explicitly approves the action since it's protected with polkit authentication (using the admin password). So this is not as severe as it could have been. I want to thank Sebastian Krahmer from the SUSE Security Team, who was really helpful in reviewing my iterative fixes.
The other changes are build-time compatibility with cups 1.6, some additional paranoid processing of the input we get via dbus, and updated translations (thanks to transifex).
Update: the 0.2.3 tarball had a small bug when detecting the cups version, try 0.2.4 instead ;-)
The 0.21 release of desktop-file-utils is mainly about an update of the validator to deal with several recent (and not so recent) changes in the XDG Menu specification: a main category is not required anymore (although still recommended if one main category makes sense for the application), Science is now a main category, and new categories have been registered (including the Spirituality one, that has been discussed years ago).
The validator now also correctly handles the new values for the
AutostartCondition field used by GNOME 3, and features some experimental hints in the output for .desktop files that could possibly be improved. Those hints are experimental since I'm unsure if they will really help, or just annoy people (note that they can be ignored with the
--no-hints option). At the moment, they only deal with categories, but I guess it shouldn't be hard to find more hints to add (such as
hey, you're missing an icon!).
Of course, while working on desktop-file-utils, I took a look at some patches and issues that were recently discussed on the xdg mailing list, and pushed some changes to the menu specification. I'm a bit sad about the fact that nearly nobody is actively working on most specs (blaming myself too, since I look at patches/issues only a few times a year) and that feedback about the proposed changes is rare (these days, I'd say getting two or more people to approve a change is an exception). It'd be great to have a few people step up and bring new energy to this effort!
12 October 2012 à 15:57
04 September 2012
The last few weeks were a bit crazy, but there was a good reason for this: the team I've joined a couple of months ago has been focusing on polishing SUSE Cloud for its first stable release. We had some long working days, but we did it: SUSE Cloud 1.0 went out last week! There's been some positive noise in the online media, which is always good to see :-)
With this first milestone now reached, I've looked back a bit at the switch to my new position. It was a bit of a slow start because of hardware failures (try getting a full development and testing environment for some cloud stuff on one laptop with 2GB of RAM; possible, but painful) and because there was a lot to learn; it was actually quite frustrating to feel useless for so long.
However, it seems I found the highway after coming back from GUADEC and everything is going very smoothly now. Of course, doing something completely different was a bit of a challenge for me, and I didn't know how I'd react to playing nearly full-time with OpenStack and Crowbar (a tool created by Dell to ease OpenStack deployments that we adopted). It turns out I'm enjoying it! On top of that, the SUSE Cloud team is really great, with a good mix of fun and work. The only missing bit is that we haven't properly celebrated the SUSE Cloud release with ice cream — I'll have to get this fixed ;-)
04 September 2012 à 05:49