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.

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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.