What a special weekend

January 31, 2005

Boy, it was just special. I worked on some s3kr3t projects and added some not-quite-crack code to yum. Suffice it to say those people who have been craving

yum install /some/file/provided/by/something

can stop jonesing.

I also updated the xml/package/repodata/repomd webpage a little bit. I’m trying to avoid getting any more friendly, wholesome, loving, family-oriented bug reports.

I worked on simplifying the build process for packages going into (pre)extras. I want to see extras happy and built for fc3 and ready for fc4test1 by linux world. That’s sorta its very own deadline.

Cori appears to be back to her normal self. She’s jumping on things and frolicking in the ways she normally does. The girl is knitting up a storm – my scarf is starting to look like a scarf:

It’s all very exciting.

Also she has begun a cape-like thing for cori. It looks like it could be pretty cute. Also the way cori has been coveting our dirty clothes pile I think she’d like something like this to wear around.

hospital days

January 27, 2005

Last night cori wouldn’t jump up on anything and was acting very odd. So we went off to the vet this morning. She has an infection in her anal glands and is now on some antibiotics and pain medicine for the inflammation in those glands. But she’s on the mend and the Vet thinks she’ll be fine in a couple of days.

For the past couple of weeks I’ve had some chest pains and tightness. I didn’t pay much attention to it b/c it was just one of those pains but when it didn’t go away it worried me. It was in the upper left are of my chest and it concerned me b/c it is right where my heart is. So I decided after it bothered me for most of the day to go to the hospital and get myself checked out. 7 1/2 hours later I’m released. I’m fine, I’m in the ultra-low-risk category for heart problems (don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t do drugs, don’t eat meat) and my ekg was good. So all in all I’m fine. They think some of the exercises (speed pilates) may have inflamed the muscles in my chest above my heart and/or I have a mild infection there causing the tightness. Either way it is not life threatening.

So I blew the better part of a day on that but at least I know what’s NOT wrong. On the plus side I got a lot done earlier today so at least I’m in a good place for tomorrow. πŸ™‚ It’s nice to have a reasonably flexible schedule in my job so I can take care of things like this w/o freaking out too many people at work.

not _too_ many people πŸ™‚

Yum 2.1.13

January 25, 2005

I’ve released yum 2.1.13. This fixes a lot of bugs and speeds a number of operations up. In addition, if there is nothing horribly, horribly, obviously, stupidly broken, then this will become 2.2.0 at some point in the future and we’ll start working on new and worrisome stuff in -HEAD. πŸ™‚





rpm: (built on fc3)


For this release special thanks to the following folks for patches, opinions, etc:

  • Gijs Hollestelle
  • Paul Howarth
  • Jeremy Katz
  • Paul Nasrat
  • Terje Rosten
  • Menno Smits
  • Ryan Tomayko

Changes Summary:

– added kernel-devel to ‘installonlypkgs’ by default – redefine it in your yum.conf if you’d prefer it not be there πŸ™‚

– Included a number of patches from Gijs and Terje to clean up and improve the output from yum pre and post transaction. It looks a lot better.

– Added in Gijs patch that displays total amount of data to be downloaded

– enabled regets for rpm downloading

– cleaned up and enabled all the proxy handling on a per-repository basis

– Added in Menno’s GPG automatic key import routines – see ‘gpgkey’ in the yum.conf manpage for more information.

– made sure mirrorlists are not downloaded for disabled repositories

– added repository to transaction confirmation listing.

– packages Providing: ‘kernel’ or ‘kernel-modules’ will always be installed, not updated

– fix for bug #386

– fix for bug #382

– implemented all the transactioninfo stuff – should make obsoletes print out better now and in general make whole portions of code suck less.

– allow group commands to use group ids not just group names – so now you can do: yum grouplist base-x instead of: yum grouplist “X Window System”. You can, of course, mix them up, too.

– use hdr index to grab headers from the rpmdb – much much much faster.

python /path/to/site-packages/yum/config.py /some/yum.conf will now do a readable output of your config settings and all repos

– lots of man page fixes from Menno.

There are a number of other misc changes – but these are the big/interesting things. See the changelog for all the details.

Escapism at its finest!

January 24, 2005

I left town this weekend. I skedaddled. I skipped out. I got the hell out of dodge. Went to Asheville and Johnson City with Eily to see the Floating Men play a few shows. I’ve been listening to this band for 8 years now. It’s kinda weird. We drove up on friday afternoon. Got in to the hotel. It was nice, reasonably comfy. It had the world’s smallest bathroom, though. Off to get food at the Laughing Seed then for extreme chocolate at the Chocolate Fetish. So far so good.

To the show at the grey eagle. The band played well to a not terribly large crowd. Then for what would really be the third set they came down onto the floor and sat about 3 feet away from Eily and me and played all acoustic for a while. The drummer played a chair. And, for the official record, though I was not fast enough with the camera, Jeff did, in fact, dance, in a very interesting fashion. It was cold in there but a nice evening once I got a good tea at the bar.

Back to the hotel, crash. Wake up several hours later, checkout and decide to spend the day shopping and other things. Breakfast of an omelette at beanstreets in downtown. Very pleasant. Off to Tops for shoes to go boot shopping for our dear boot-deprived Eily. She obtained these lovely specimens after dealing with a salesperson who was maybe just a touch too cool for his own good.

Back to the Chocolate Fetish for some more chocolate and then skirt shopping (Because after you have those boots you have to have a skirt!). Misc other shopping and pointing out to Eily places I had been or installed antennaes or other such things when I was in Asheville. Then up to the Grove Park Inn to show what a really serious hotel is all about.

About this time we decided we were once again hungry from all the walking about and we went back to downtown to eat at Salsas. I was not disappointed by the fare, nor have I really ever been.

Off to Johnson City for the second show. A couple of false starts on the journey due in large part to me not remembering how the hell to get there from asheville. πŸ™‚ Once on the right road we were confronted by a great deal of fairly fierce snow. However, after much skilled driving on Eily’s part (and some fortuituous plowing by the NC road crews) we made it to the hotel and then the show. This show was a much larger crowd full of people from all walks of life, including, as we learned by watching her dance, someone who clearly makes or has made her living dancing professionally, say, for lots of 1 dollar bills? She never disrobed but not just anyone can dance like she was dancing. It was impressive if a bit out of place.

Eily hung out and talked to the Drummer (Steve Ebe) about her Brother (another drummer). Both the aforementioned drummers live in Nashville and Eily thinks they should meet and exchange (sorry, pun) notes.

Back to the Hotel. Crash. Wake up several hours later. Pack, grab road food, skedaddle back toward durham. I arrive, promptly get very sleepy, but happy to be home.

Much email to sort and things to do but these things will all come to pass. I’m just glad I’m not in the Northeast, and yet, I will be, in about 3 weeks.

Pictures from the trip

Yum progress

January 20, 2005

Things that have gotten done:

– Merged in Terje’s patches which really make the output look nicer, especially for people downloading hundreds of packages.

– Merged in Gijs patch to the depsolver to make one section search packages that are what we’re looking for, not ALL packages.

– Merged in all of Menno’s gpg public key handling code – now yum will import keys, if you have them specified. It prints out the Key ID and info and asks you to confirm. It will also never import the same key twice. It’s very spiffy code.

– Put in a fix in the depsolver code that’s been outstanding and a little hard for me to replicate until recently. Now it looks like it is working.

– Proxies can be set per-repo now, properly. I need someone with a proxy to properly test this code but it looks right

– Enabled the reget functionality in urlgrabber so now if you’ve already downloaded half the package and you restart it, then it will just continue downloading it from where it left off. However, there’s no way to check if the part you’ve already downloaded is ‘correct’ or not so it will assume it’s correct. Then at the end, it will gpg and checksum check the file. If it fails the checksum and the file size is >= the expected file size then it will delete the file. Seems only fair – no other way to check out the content. And the first person who says ‘use rsync’ gets smacked.

– mirrorlists are now only downloaded if the repo is enabled.

– fixed up some issues with command line order processing with -c and –installroot.

– made it possible to use the groupid from the group metadata, instead of the ‘group name’ to install groups by.

– implemented the transactioninfo code I’ve talked about before. I don’t love everything about the implementation but it’s a good place to start and I think it will make for better output and handling of transaction sets. Now to convince Menno to merge in Xtrigger.

So many more things to do – and so little time to spend on them. Oh well. A few more days of internal testing and then I’ll either put out a daily release, if I think it needs it, or I’ll call it 2.1.13 and release that. We’ll see.

House of Flying Cliches

January 16, 2005

We had a nice evening out. Hung out with Jess having pizza at pepper’s then off to see a movie. We decided to go see House of Flying Daggers. It has subtitles b/c all of the spoken parts are in chinese. The movie starts out well enough. Lots of pretty scenes. Fairly, straightforward plot. Nothing overtly ridiculous. Normal, chinese martial arts look-he-can-distinctly-defy-gravity-in-ways-where-s/he-clearly-doesn’t-have-the-force-or-direction-to-do-so. I’m used to seeing that in these films and it’s kinda cool. The story goes on in the obvious directions. I’m starting to see a theme though. It appears that all characters of only crying out of a single eye and only one tear drop at a time. It must cascade down their face and glisten against their cheek. I’m guessing this was an imperative issued by the corrupt government they keep talking about in the film. Okay, so we get toward the end. The girl has, apparently, been killed by her freaky-women-in-green-mumus-crossed lover. He’s a spy and she falls in love with a spy for the other side, etc etc etc. So she’s apparently dead. The guy she really(currently?) loves comes to avenge her and finds the guy who has apparently killed her. They get into the epic battle, blah blah blah. So you know the bit in movies where the director wants to convey that a lot of time passes? They often will show it in pseudo-time-lapse as fall changes into winter – a snow covered field. Well this occurred in the film, except that our boys we’re fighting the whole time. So my first thought is: “oh, this is to convey that they’ve fought for a whole season”. Then I wonder: “maybe it’s just to convey the coldness and bleakness of the world now that she’s dead, or some such thing”. Either way – a snowstorm kicks in and covers this field/mountain are in a deep, deep snow. If you remember the storms from “The Day After Tomorrow” then you get the idea. So our boys get to the penultimate point in their battle. They both run each other through. And for a moment I think “damn, they’re going to be stuck that way, unable to fall down, locked in their death blows.”; which, could be a nice closing. They die, she dies. They’re forever frozen on this icy plain, yadda yadda yadda. It’s a Chinese flick, everyone’s gotta die tragically.

But nope. They’ve just been impaled but they pull apart, stagger away from each other. Then the guy we don’t really like all that much, he has one of these spiffy flying daggers that they’ve been throwing all through the movie and he knows how to use it. He gets ready to throw it and kill the guy we kinda like. Now keep in mind, at this point I’m of the belief that either:

1. they’ve been fighting for a REALLY long time


2. they’ve actually been fighting so long that the seasons have changed.

The girl, whom everyone thought was dead, gets up and assesses the situation. She has one of these spiffy daggers sticking into to her heart (more or less). Now, my ability to suspend my disbelief is just about done. It seems, though, I’m not alone. The whole audience is laughing at her rising up from being dead for what has felt like about 3 months.

So, She prepares to pull it out to use it to stop the guy we kinda don’t like from killing the guy we kinda like. The guy we kinda like tells her to not do it b/c if she takes it out, then her blood will spill out of her body and she’ll be REALLY dead. As he’s saying this the rest of the audience is giggling b/c we’re fairly convinced, now, that she can’t die. That no matter what she’ll pop right back up, feisty little minx that she is!

I won’t tell you how it completely ends but I felt for certain that someone was going to turn out to be someone else’s daughter or cousin and that’s why, all along, they couldn’t be in love. You know, just to complete my game of movie cliche bingo.

I liked Hero, I liked Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (more or less). I think I’ve reached my fill of chinese flying-martial-arts action/drama films for a little while. I’ll be happy to see something like “eat, drink, man, woman” instead.


Lots of work on yum and createrepo this weekend. I merged in Menno’s GPG pubkey importing routines. He’s enhanced them some over this weekend so more merging for me! Actually it’s really cool, he’s made some great advances with the gpg importing stuff. Gotten it to the point where I think most everyone will be happy with it for key verification purposes. I made a bunch of changes to how the configuration variables are parsed and in what order. If a repository isn’t being used, suffice it to say, it won’t ever download the mirrorlist. Something that had annoyed a number of people. I also merged in patches Terje Rosten that cover a couple of TODO list items. Very spiffy, those. I’ve been getting a number of good patches for yum, recently. Not just good in that they do interesting things but also good in that they’re not dirty hacks. They do the right thing and they typically do it in the right place. It’s cool. After I merge in a couple of more changes and Menno’s new patches I’ll probably release 2.1.13. This will probably be a bit dicey at first but it should fix up a number of bugs people have found. Then for 2.1.14 I’d love to be able to see if Gijs’ sqlite db storage routines work and can speed up startup time for yum. We’ll see.

Paul has started working on Pup which should force me to further refine the callbacks and correctness of the yum code and point up other places where I’m doing things inefficiently. It’s nice to have work going on around yum, it shows me places where I need to fix more things.

Despite the naysayers, we had a lovely irc-based meeting today to discuss the agenda and schedule for FUDCon. It looks terribly exciting, but it seems I’ll have to come up with something to talk about with Paul and Jeremy for the package mgmt session.

Working on buildroots on centos/el and found I could conserve a machine with that process. Quite pleased about that. Need to finish playing with the x86 buildroot on x86_64, see if that works. If so I can conserve two machines, and maybe a bind mount away from other fun.

Been cleaning up linux@duke systems this week. Fix little things that got dropped or missed on them. Trying to reorganize them and update old versions of stuff where I can. I have a couple of boxes there that are utterly ancient that will probably be given a relaxing retirement. Right now I’m trying to decide between getting one box in a rack case or two boxes in mini towers with some spare money we’ve been given. The problem is the same as always. Racks scale for space and mgmt better but when money’s tight it’s convenient to buy a couple of $500 machines to build/serve files/whatever on.

Speaking of $500 machines – I noticed apple’s half-cube. It’s pretty spiffy looking. I can see how these will be nice home machines for people. My concern is, as always, that people will use them and like them and put all their precious data on them, and never back it up. Then, boom, no more family pictures. I think the form factor the macmini is perfect for someone to produce a unit in the same dimensions that includes two hw-raided sata devices that connect via usb2 or firewire. With 3 lights. One that’s power, and two others that show if either of the drives have failed. With simple package kits you can pick up at best buy or wherever to replace a failed disk. I know it’s technically do-able. The question is, is it affordable and would anyone think to do it for home use. I would love to have a raid1 device that I didn’t have to think much about for home use. I know _I_ could make one, trivially, with sw-raid at home. But this isn’t about me, it’s about the average person.

The new coarse-grained scheduling of my time is doing okay, so far. I’ve gotten a lot of misc things knocked out, it’s still hard, sometimes to not drift off target, but it’s not bad. Tomorrow is a physics day so I get to play admin all day long. Hope I can keep from working on the pre-extras and the server setups for linux@duke. Anyone at duke wanna hire me to just do one of my jobs? πŸ™‚

The EFF thing just keeps getting cooler. I got a bumper sticker and a letter in the mail today from the EFF. It said “Fair Use has a Posse”. Very cool and very funny. Thanks again to my anonymous donor.

progress progress progress

January 11, 2005

So progress is being made all over. Let’s see where we are:

FUDCon (Fedora User and Developer Conference) is taking shape. Looks like the feb 17th and the 18th over at MIT during and right after LWE in Boston. We’re getting people and schedules together. It’s a little impromptu right now but Jack and Colin and Greg are bringing things to fruition. Right now, I’m committed to heckling the package management discussion/session that Paul and Jeremy are going to be doing. So this is good. Looks like there will be some private/closed sessions where we’ll be having some governance discussions too. That’s probably for the best. I was a lurker in the fedora.us governance discussions and, well, let’s just say they were a bit heated at times. πŸ™‚

(Pre)Extras: There’s some talk about blessing (Pre)Extras as Extras and just trying to continue with building things as we’re going. But on the plus side some stuff is getting built and the world looks nice-ish and I really like the rss feed of the results. I’m going to try some new stuff sometime this week with the builds to see if I can make them a bit prettier. Wish my x86 build box didn’t suck so much, it’s a pain to wait on it. πŸ™‚

Yum: I committed Menno’s patches to import gpg keys and check them out – it’s pretty cool. Gijs is working on an sqlite db for storing and getting info you’ve imported from the xml metadata. This could mean memory footprint down and access time down. All good things afaict. Paul has been working on the Pup work for FC4 (in between suffering from rpmio fun (Sorry Paul)) so I’m hoping that pre-FC4 tests we’ll have something to show for yum frontends. I’ve committed a handful of changes on my own fixing various bugs.

Centos: Lance and Company have been churning out 3.4. It looks like a lot of folks have jumped on board helping maintain packages and making sure things stay current in Centos. This is all great. Donovan has been doing docs things and web things. Some crazy people are building ia64 and s390 rebuilds for Centos 3.4. There are some people out there who apparently like Itanium. πŸ™‚ It’s nice to see all the centos stuff move along.

Knitting: The girl is progressing apace on the scarf I’ve been promised. It looks spiffy. About 3-5 feet in the center in black and two gray sections on either end. I’m a vaguely monochromatic guy, though maybe I’ll ask her to put a big orange section on one end. I like orange. Socks may be in my future as well. Only Time will tell!

Work Productivity: I’m trying something new to see if it helps my productivity. I’m going to try to dedicate days to one of my jobs at a time. So, monday and tuesday could be physics-only, then wednesday and thursday linux@duke only then friday is clean up or yum-only, or something like that. The idea is to do only things related to that portion of my job on those days and to actively avoid getting sidetracked. Neat idea huh? Think it’ll work? I’m not sure. I just started today and it was VERY HARD to keep from drifting off to something tangentially related but definitely in the “other job” area. We shall see.

Dog: I’ve more or less taught her ‘up’. This means jump up on the nearest high-ish object and sit. She’s actually not bad at it, provided she’s not distracted. Her attention span sucks though and she needs to learn to stay a lot better but, well, who knows. It could happen. I emailed a dog behaviorist and trainer about her. I might be taking her over there and see if I can improve the consistency of her compliance with my requests. I’ve found she seems to be happier and more jolly when she’s being told what to do and rewarded for doing it.

See, all this progress! It’s uplifting. Sorta. Watch it all go into the crapper tomorrow. πŸ™‚

So after this anonymous donation in my name to the EFF that someone did for me for an xmas present I get my hat and shirt today in the mail.

So somewhere out there there is some person who rocks b/c they I now have a cool EFF black hat and shirt.


disappearing act

January 2, 2005

I’ve been conspicuously absent from external irc, most email and blogging since before xmas. I decided at some point during my christmas break that I need to not be glued to the computer reading and working on things for a little while. I’m not sure when but I knew I just didn’t feel like being involved with much of the world or coding or much of anything for a short while. So, I took a little personal vacation. I did some work at the office, just things that needed to be done and I messed around a bit at home. Read a book on dog behavior and communication and I played a good bit of Unreal Tournament for fun.

It was nice to use the computer just to goof off for a bit.

I also washed my car and kinda hung around the house and tried to figure out my dog a bit more with my pedantic knowledge gleaned from my recent reading. πŸ™‚

I think it was a break I needed. I get tired, occasionally, of answering the same questions and dealing with the same problems over and over again. I don’t like feeling burnt out so it’s probably worth while to back away for a bit from time to time.

My holiday season was pretty nice, too. Home with the family and the girl for most of xmas. Got to see my elder brother which is a not-that-often occurrence these days. Got some useful presents and no frivolous cruft this year. Probably the only present I was surprised by was a new pocketknife my dad gave me. It’s pretty cool. I gave some fun gifts that I was happy about and, in general, did as little as humanly possible for a few days.

I tried to keep my email pruned down to a humane amount to inflict on myself Right now I think I have 125 or so unread messages and 44 in my yum vfolder. I’m sure I’ll wince at some of them but, well, you can’t always expect a

Anyway – that’s why I’ve been absent from the world of computers and linux and what not for the past few days. I should land back in reality by monday or so.