Older blog entries for jaldhar (starting at number 6)

16 Apr 2003 (updated 16 Apr 2003 at 04:25 UTC) »

dovecot .debs
As there are no better ideas, today I'm going to split up the dovecot package into 4 pieces. Here is the background. Dovecot is an IMAP server that like all IMAP servers listens on port 143 (or 993 for IMAP over SSL.) This means in Debian package dependency terms that dovecot must 'Provide:' the virtual package imap-server. It also needs to 'Conflict:' with imap-server because only one daemon can have the port. Now it has gained a POP3 server component. So it also has to provide and conflict with pop3-server for the same reason. The thing is it is possible that a user may want the IMAP server but turn off the POP3 server and use, say, qpopper instead. But he can't install qpopper because it also provides pop3-server which conflicts with dovecot. The only solution is to split it into dovecot-imap and dovecot-pop3 with dovecot-common for the shared bits. The fourth package called dovecot is simply a dummy which installs dovecot-imap to allow smooth upgrades. This is one area where Gentoo has us beat at the moment. I don't know if there is an ebuild for dovecot but theoretically hey can specify "give me just the IMAP piece not the POP3" in some configuration somewhere. It will be interesting to see if Debian can come up with some solution to this. Having lots of little packages around is icky. The dummy package could be avoided by having dpkg use a field called 'Replacement-for:' or similiar (not 'Replaces:' which is something else.) IIRC, this idea was suggested before but no one ever implemented it.

Deadbeat Maintainers
Wow it looks like asuffield went through with his list of maintainers with excessive old release-critical bugs. Although there may be some false positives this is an important first step in getting rid of some of the cruft (human and package) in Debian which we desperately need to do if we ever hope to release sarge anytime soon.

Taxes (or Dear Prudence)
Another gorgeous day. Too bad I had to spend most of it running around doing my taxes. Last year was our worst ever financially thanks to the rotten economy but we still kept up our quality of life thanks to prudent budgeting and investments. Some of our friends who went nuts during the dot-com bubble are really hurting though.

Happy birthday Chloe! dyork do keep us informed of her progress. My little girl is 17 months old and amazes me every day with the new things she learns. Here's a tip for when Chloe starts walking and touching things in earnest: Velcro anything valuable to the ceiling. Preferably a ceiling in another house.

Screen scraping is so '90s! All the cool kids are using XML-RPC.

There's one kind of politics which is on-topic for the hacker community and that is the openness of information. My threat was absurd but in response to another absurdity. My understanding is that the trust metric is related not to your personality (else I would be a superfunkygrandmaster instead of a journeyer) but your contributions to free software. For instance I don't much care for some of rms's ideas or the way they are expressed but it doesn't stop me from thinking he is a frickin' genius or using ls, grep, etc. By all means people should shun mglazer if his PHP code is crap but not because they don't like his views. And if one is going to ban politics, do it fairly. All the anti-war comments have to go too. (Though I like the life-related comments in general as it helps put a human face on the people who provide our software.)

On the contrary I would like to think I would defend the anti-glazer in the same way. Working in New York I'm constantly harangued by people whose politics are diametrically opposite to mine. Plus I'm regularly exposed to things that offend me as a Hindu such as advertising for Big Macs. But we have to tolerate them because...there is no other way to live together. Really how hard is it to just ignore the diaries of people one isn't interested in? I'm seeing some extreme reactions to an extremely small deal.

I'm flattered but please decertify me. You don't know me so that would be an abuse of the principles that govern this site.

Spring is here!
After a long and gloomy winter, good weather is here at last. Yesterday we took Shailaja to the Temple for the evening arati and tonight we shall go to the park and play on the swings.

Project idea
This concept was prompted by a gushy New York Times article about some Microsoft IM presence-type app, the Sgt. Peppers' album cover and "The Picture of Dorian Grey." Anyway here's the idea. You have a picture of some type. It could be the Sgt. Peppers album cover, the Last Supper, a Dali painting or whatever. Each figure in the picture represents one person in your buddy list, IRC channel, web site etc. and as they login and logout or the moral equivalent, the figure appears or disappears from the picture. Freaky eh? I have no graphics skills but if you do, run with it.

Unofficial Pine Packages For Debian
I've updated my unofficial packages to link against the latest libc-client which might fix some problems people were having. Get them here.

If Advogato was a Marx brothers film, you'd be the old fat lady with the pearls who gets a pie thrown in her face.

I have a good mind to certify mglazer as master just to piss you off. But that would be an abuse of the trust metric just as your advocacy of punishing him for his expression is an abuse of the trust metric.

The anti-war (or should I say pro-dictator) crowd are maniacs who need to be confronted with every means at our disposal. Rock on!

WebService::Advogato 1.00 Released
you can get it from CPAN. I followed the published API very closely. Are there any extra convenience methods I could add? Give me feedback.

10 Apr 2003 (updated 10 Apr 2003 at 14:46 UTC) »

This post sent via XML-RPC
I asked for help on Perl Monks and was given some good advice. I decided to abandon Frontier::Client and use RPC::XML instead. To my surprise it was also quite easy to use. So now my WebService::Advogato module is complete and only needs some tests and documentation before it is shipped off to CPAN.

1 Apr 2003 (updated 1 Apr 2003 at 06:06 UTC) »

Thanks to gary I have my passphrase back. I never would have guessed it in a million years. I don't know what I was thinking when I came up with it.

Hacking time was limited today and instead of working on my Debian packages, I got sidetracked by Advogatos' XML-RPC interface. I started work on a perl client for it. I'm using the Frontier::RPC2 module and apparently not understanding how to get back array responses. All the methods that return single value responses are working fine though so I will just sleep on it and things will i'm sure magically clear up in the morning.

Hooray! I managed to get back into my account. Actually I found a backup of the cookie, I still don't remember what the passphrase is. I must remember to ask raph if it can be retrieved/reset.

So in the meantime what have I been up to? Well I've given away some of my minor Debian packages. I'm not dropping out of Debian altogether, I just want to concentrate on some more original work rather than just packaging other peoples stuff. Unfortunately it looks like webmin/usermin will have to go too but I want to do the decent thing and fix it up before dropping them. The woody package still hasn't been updated despite the number of bugs fixed in -9. The sid packages have some open bugs including one critical one. When that's done I'll put them up for adoption.

Debian has a new sourceforge type site. I've moved the CVS for my "Introducing Debian GNU/Linux" flyer (some propoganda suitable for tradeshows etc.) there. documentation is one of the areas I want to concentrate on now.

As usual, my candidate for Debian Project Leader didn't win. Usually I vote for Branden but this time I split my first choice vote between him and bdale. So of course Martin Michelmayr won. Still he is a good guy and hopefully will give Debian the shakeup it needs.

Thanks to those people who certified me. rkrishnan and walters I recognize from debian but forgive me lypanov and dtucker how do I know you? I'd like to certify you back but I understand it would mess up the trust metric to give certs to people you don't know (or more likely can't remember because you have a memory like a sieve.)

27 Feb 2003 (updated 27 Feb 2003 at 04:27 UTC) »

So I finally got around to creating an Advogato account yesterday. I don't know what took me so long, I've been lurking here for years. Of course I promptly forgot my pass phrase. Is there any way to reset it?

Oh and please certify me. I desperately crave your validation. :)

Debian is going through one of its periodic bouts of hand-wringing. I've made some proposals. Let's see if they stir up any discussion.

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