vacation and resume

May 27, 2005

So the girl told about the vacation time far better than I could. Needless to say it was nice to be away. Coming back sucked but that’s just b/c I had N things to catch up on where N is an integer that increased geometrically every few minutes today.

I finally got a new edition of my resume done, which is always nice, even got some comments on how to make it better.

In the fedora world it sounds like we’re going to be branching FE4 soon and making development truly rawhide again. Which means I need to segment some time off and do:

  1. a new yum release for 2.3.3 and 2.2.2
  2. all the misc patches for createrepo
  3. mock 0.2 release
  4. merge mock into the archwelder code properly
  5. setup new build sys code that dcbw has been doing and see what breaks
  6. centos 3.5 release for duke
  7. fc4 prelim work for duke internal
  8. all this while also banging my head on all the physics summer projects

We’ll see what I can actually get done.

rant and time away

May 21, 2005

Annoying radio show:

Listening to some ridiculous radio show this morning and became quite irritated very early. The show was suggesting that happiness and optimism was healthier and therefore much effort should be exerted to achieve this state so one might live longer. No comment was given to the state of the world and that some of the depression that a great deal of people in this and other countries are going through could be caused by a general malaise about how fucked up things have truly gotten. It seems to be some depression is appropriate. Moreover if you are depressed by how completely buggered things are then it might be a better course of action to work to fix it rather than solely focus on improving your state of mind. There are some people who cannot do anything about the state of the world. They are too disenfranchised, too worn down, too unempowered to do anything. But this radio show was on NPR, it was going out to mostly liberal white americans. This is a class that has disposable income and it SHOULD have enough sense to do something about the sorry state of things. Alas, not enough people are. We’ve been hung up on making ourselves happy and never got through the whole thought that maybe we aren’t happy b/c things are so brutally unfair for so many people. I’m reminded of Utah Phillips who was commenting on being a pacifist: “As a white male growing up in the late 20th century I come into this world ARMED TO THE TEETH”. It’s not enough to be a pacifist, it’s not enough to be nonviolent you actually have to work against the weapons you bring with you. In order to achieve justice you have to be working against the privilege and benefits you rode into the world with. You have to use the weapons you have to remove the powers from yourself and your class to acheive fairness and justice. It matters. I think this is one of the many reasons I spend so much of my time working on open source projects. In some small way it assuages some of my guilt about being as privileged as I am. And maybe that makes me a bit happier about the world.


I’m going away from the computer(s) for a few days. So if you’re looking for me – email, don’t look for me on irc.

Misc things:

Some fun stuff accomplished: – someone suggested that they thought fedorapeople should be available as its own subdomain in the ‘planet.*’ genre of things so

And I finally upgraded and updated the torrent server for fedora and friends so:

I also found myself able to help out gnome in much the same way but I figure you should see luis for that information.

Work today was less painful than yesterday. I didn’t have anyone trying to make me feel crappy as a tactic, which is good. I talked to some folks that I trust, got some checks on my sanity and actions and made some progress. In short, I wasn’t entirely in the right in being pissed off yesterday, but I wasn’t entirely wrong, either. The meeting I had to be in went forward and it doesn’t look like things will be that bad.

On the plus side my resume is coming together reasonably well and I should have something to send out to various places and get an idea of what the market for an enterprising young man, such as myself, looks like. 🙂 It’s astounding how much stuff has changed on my resume in the last 6 years. Just astounding.

I realized, also, while looking at jobs that are posted out there that I definitely want to get a job where I’m able to work on yum and continue pursuing fedora. I started working on yum b/c of my job but I’ve continued working on it b/c it matters to a lot of people and I’d like to do more.

Fedora has gone from “we need this for work” to “Damn it, this is going to succeed come hell or high water”. That and I like the idea that Fedora feeds directly into what comes out as RHEL (for evidence of that do a package list comparison between FC3 and RHEL4).

So I guess it means I’m going to be picky about any job that might be out there. That’s hardly shocking but it makes any search a bit more complex. Oh well, no harm in trying.

mock and buildsystems.

May 16, 2005

We’ve been using mach in fedora extras as a mechanism for making buildroots and building packages. The problem I kept running into is that mach was made to do a bunch of things and the more I looked at it the more I realized that we didn’t need a lot of those features. It’s always been my view that an unused feature is just a place in the code where bugs can occur. So I started, at first, just stripping out the uneeded features from mach. Then after doing that for a couple of hours I realized it would be easier to just take the useful functions and ideas from mach and put them into a new program that:

  1. thomas wouldn’t have to worry about merging back in
  2. wouldn’t get us caught up in some other release of things
  3. could be hacked to be integrated with the buildsystem automation code more readily

So I came up with mock. It has a significantly reduced feature set from mach and if I have my druthers it will stay that way. It’s named mock b/c it is a lesser or fake ‘mach’. I thought it was a clever name. 🙂 Anyway mock only makes a chroot, installs a srpm given to it on the command line, rebuilds the srpm into another srpm inside the chroot, checks for its builddeps, installs those, then rebuilds the new srpm into binary rpms. It doesn’t try to do anything terribly clever.

It doesn’t handle more than one srpm at a time. If you try to use the same chroot as someone else at the same time, on the same machine it will probably explode, luckily, that isn’t a feature set requirement I needed to deal with. Moreover it makes it very trivial to make a new chroot under a new name but with the same repositories as an older one. I’ve got to work on the README for it and make it clear how/what it does.

So right now it’s the base I’m working from for package rebuilding and it’s probably where I’ll be going for the fedora extras buildsystem work.

Speaking of that Dan Williams has done some terribly cool work to make it the infrastructure for build automation much more interesting and robust. We’ll be making his new automation work interact with mock sometime this week and seeing about a deployment for building packages for fedora extras. After that I can think of a dozen systems that might be able to benefit. Dan has mentioned the aurora project. Colin mentioned the potential mpackage site and I’m sure there are other less obvious but still cool uses.

I’m really looking forward to it unfolding. In comparison to where fedora extras was back in november we’ve come a long way. Hope we can keep it up.

One of those days

May 16, 2005

Yesterday was one of those days. It started out reasonably well. Seemed like things were lining up and then the afternoon hit. I got a phone call from someone who was doing his best to piss me off and trying to make me feel bad about myself. It was a choice combination. However, I agree with Eleanor Rooseveldt – “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent” so I stood my ground and made it clear that I’m glad he decided to tell me his opinion but I just can’t bring myself to care. It amuses me, though. Not more than a month ago I received a meritorious service award from the university for, in many ways, doing exactly what it was this person wanted me to not do. The gist of it was he didn’t like that when I disagreed with someone I tried to drum up support amongst the affected set of people to bolster my opinion. I think he really disliked it b/c I don’t agree with him and made other people not agree with him.

All this made me think about this job some, though. I’ve been here about 5.5 yrs and maybe its time I start thinking about whether this is enough of a run or not. Job hunting sucks but maybe it’s a good time to think about moving and changing somethings in my life habits at the same time. I’m not quite 30 and maybe I should be evaluating the important things. I’ve enjoyed working here b/c I’ve been able to spend a bunch of time working on items for linux and open source development. I’ve helped projects, started projects, moved things along and I like that I have something to show for it. I like that there are lots of people using a program I wrote and following suggestions I gave. That’s cool, to say the least. Though maybe I need to evaluate some options. It’s been a long while since I last looked around the job market seriously and I honestly don’t know what to expect anymore. We’ll see, a change of environment might be fun.

Damn Jasmine Tea

May 5, 2005

I think I’ve said this before but I have a mild love-hate relationship with Dragon Phoenix Pearl Jasmine Tea. I love it b/c it tastes wonderful. I also love it b/c after drinking it I find I’m EXTREMELY focused and clearheaded about almost everything.

I hate it b/c I get into productive kicks that keep me from going to bed for hours on end. Odd, ain’t it?

But it’s so good. And it’s so good for my email backlog. 🙂


May 4, 2005

I’ve been in a buildsystem cone of silence. I’ve been working on making the build system automation for fedora extras happen and I’ve not felt like talking to anyone. Luckily, I got things doing some of what they need to be doing now so I’m going to speak to others. 🙂 Mostly, I’ve been working on making it so people can request builds without me being involved in anyway. 🙂 I feel quite happy about that, in fact. Right now the buildsys will spawn jobs on different hosts based on arch it needs and it communicates between hosts using xml-rpc. There’s currently the requirement of a shared filesystem for writing out logs and the rpms to but I might have a few ideas on how to get rid of that part. I’d love to make the build system work w/o caring where the build hosts are, as long as their accessible by http(s), but for the moment I’ll settle for working w/o me involved.

I’ve been neglecting other things while working on the buildsystem mostly b/c I don’t have that much free time and normally yum eats up most of it. But I needed to get this stuff rolling and I’m feeling reasonably good about it. I’m sure I’ll get lots of people emailing about how the code sucks and that it will fail in the following 20 different ways but it’s nice to have something that appears to work as I planned it to work.

There’s still a lot to be done for the future. Jeremy has a point the cvs-based build queue isn’t going to work forever, simply b/c of conflicts and what not, so we need to get something happening that uses the users .fedora.cert file for authentication to request a build. That should allow for a bit more atomicity and much easier accountability.

I need to spend some quality time making up the new yum releases and answering all my backlogged email about yum and fedora. I’m a bad person. I’ll get to it soon enough. Just a few more test runs and we’ll see if I can keep it from blowing up.