10 Aug 2004 shlomif   » (Master)

Newborn Second Nephew

My cousin and his wife had a baby a couple of weeks ago. They called him Matan, and the celebration of the Brith was after a while. The food there was good. At first the songs were quite cheesy and the volume was very loud, but afterwards, they both improved. As usual in such occasions, the mother of the newborn, recited a cheesy poem she wrote. (I really would have preferred a a simple, non-verse, speech). I met there many of my relatives, and also met the daugter-in-law of my aunt (a different one) for the first time. I wanted to talk to her, but couldn't because of the loud music.

Tau-Sec Meetings

I attended the first two meetings of the TAU Security Forum. The first meeting feature Noam Ratheos (of Beyond Security) in a presentation about Port Knocking. I met some familiar faces there, including Xantia. This was the first event I saw her attending for a long time. The presentation was very interesting, and introduced me to this new security technique. After the presentation, Chen, Adi Stav, another guy called Michael "Talash" Perelmutter and I went to a local Cafe to eat supper and talk. We discussed many topics. It turned out Michael lived right next to my house, so we walked together, and he gave me his contact information on the way.

The second meeting took place this Sunday. It started out with a general 1 hour discussion about Spam, conducted by sun. The discussion was interesting, but it did not touch the surface of this complicated subject. Then he gave a presentation about Cross-Site Scripting exploits and SQL injections. It had a somewhat slow start, but got better after the break. I did not learn anything new, but it was still fun seeing the exploitable code written and the exploits done in real-time.

Chen wasn't there, but Michael was and we walked all the way home, and this time ate Falafel at a restaurant close to my house. Michael and I exchanged a few E-mails since we met, and it's always nice become aquainted with someone new.

Too Little Time

When it rains - it pours. When it shines - it is blazing hot. I was quite bored some time ago because I did not want to do anything. Now, however, I don't have enough time to do everything. There are so many things I'd like to do, and projects I'm involved in, and it seems that I don't have enough time. What I do is work a bit on one thing, and then switch to another. I seem to be multi-tasking very nicely like that.

More GIMP Work

I've done more gimpressionist cleanups and bug-fixing. Take a look at the GIMP's ChangeLog for more verbose information. Now perhaps the only thing left to do, before making some overhaul changes, is to rename more variables into more meaningful names. (most of them are already renamed), and fix the rest of the bugs in the bugzilla.

I also helped David Odin (aka dindinx) with converting plug-ins code from the depracated GtkPreview to the newer GimpPreviewArea widget. I discovered a bug in gflare while I was doing the conversion.

Finally, I wrote a fix to a minor but annoying bug, and it was applied yesterday. The fix was quite complicated though.

Telux Lecture: Bugzilla for End-Users

Shoshannah Forbes gave a presentation about using Bugzilla for the Tel Aviv Linux Club a week ago. The lecture was entertaining and also taught me some new things. Nothing more to say - sorry.

Wikipeders Meeting

The Hebrew Wikipedia maintainers held a meeting some time ago, to celebrate its one year anniversary. Out of the people who attended it, I was only familiar with Shoshannah Forbes and with Ofer Weisglass. Another thing that alienated me was that I barely touched the Hebrew version and just contributed some stuff to the English resources.

Still, the people there were friendly and many discussions embarked. One of the things that was said there, that although the Hebrew Wikipedia is quite limited in size, it is statistically among the first, in the average length of the articles, and the number of times each one was edited. This is still a good accomplishment.

August Penguin 3

The yearly meeting of Israeli Linux Enthusiasts this year, known as August Penguin, took place last Friday. I got up early and was given a lift there to help with the reception. There I met some of the organizers (many of whom I personally know), and was assigned as one of the three reception people. Many people have arrived and there was a long line. But eventually, Arik Baratz, ladypine and I handled all the early comers, and we were free. Among the people who attended the conference, I saw for the first time, two people whom I knew from online but never met face-to-face: Yotam Rubin (who created and maintained the Freecell Solver Debian packages in their beginning), and Diego Iastrubni (who translated Mandrake Linux to Hebrew, and is now translating KDE).

I started attending the first presentation about Co-Linux, did not find it very interesting, so I went out and instead hanged around in the lobby. I met some familiar people with, and had some short conversations with them. Then came the time for the second presentation, (about Embedded Linux) so I sat on the floor, and listened to it. It was quite interesting, but shortly afterwards I was volunteered to man the Hamakor stand, and sell CDs to people (and give away one free to those who were already Hamakor members). This consumed most of the day until the key-signing party, and I missed the geek trivia, the prizes giveaway, and the second presentation.

Despite the fact that I missed most of the attractions, I had a very good time, and enjoyed the conference a lot. It was also very successful as 240 people attended it, more than twice than last year.

Here are some English reports of the conference: by RRX, by Haggai E.. And some Hebrew ones: by Orna Agmon, by HeyYal, by yehuda, by an anonymous penguin, in the press.

GPG Script

The August Penguin key-signing party was conducted in a way that the a file containing the fingerprints was distributed to everybody, and was verified to be correct by its SHA1 hash. Then, mulix, who organized it made the keyring available to the public. Now the question is whether the signatures in the keyring are the same as those in the file.

To resolve it, I wrote a script that checks the signatures in the file and verify that they are the same as those reported by GPG in the key-ring. You can freely use it under the terms of the MIT X11 license.

Using it I signed the keys, by first running it, and then using kgpg (part of kdeutils) to sign all the keys at once. Truly an improvement over last time, where I signed each key individually, using my password like a zillion times.

Better-SCM Work

I went over the E-mails that were sent to me regarding the Better-SCM site, answered them, etc. I lost interest in it for quite a while and now I have a renewed interest. Another thing I did was revamp the code that renders the comparison. At first I had two very similar scripts, one that converts the custom XML grammar to HTML, and the other one that does the same for DocBook. So, the duplicate code was eliminated by using some common Perl classes. Then, I wrote an XSLT transformation for transforming it to HTML. For help I referred to Norman Walsh' tutorial, and to someone very knowledgable on FreeNode's #xml channel. The resultant transformation was pretty nice, and I found the experience to be quite enlightening. I'm looking forward to working with XSLT more in the future.

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