10 Nov 2011

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Stephen Smoogen: Been sick (2011-11-02 => 2011-11-08)

Tuesday night last week (2011-11-02) I got a horrible headache and went to lay down.. ended up getting some sort of "creeping crud" that was going around the neighbourhood. Spent most of Wednesday and Thursday laying in bed watching Economics lectures I had gotten earlier in the year as a present. I went to a technical school which at the time didn't have much in the way of softer sciences like Economics so it has been an area that is interesting but foreign. When Economists use the words like people are "rational actors" it means something completely different from what a psychologist would mean. I can see why it causes so much confusion with people. I also finished watching the lecture series on Chinese history, which was quite good but now I want to find out more details on various periods.

On Friday I got back to work and spent the day reading emails and getting quotes for new systems... and then spent the weekend sleeping for the most part. Went to a Magic show one day which was fun, but I was wiped out too much to try and figure out how the tricks were done. Monday was getting ready for the upcoming release. Do we have enough disk space (yes), Are permissions set correctly (yes), Did we correctly calculate the speed of a laden swallow (no). Tuesday was watching servers, going to some phone meetings, and ordering equipment I got quotes on last week. Ordered some Xmas presents for family and started to figure out what cards to send this year.

Today has been dealing with a lingering cough from the "creeping crud". It goes from just a burble to something that sounds like Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Work wise was a deluge of emails and deal with next years ordering cycle.

Finally for people looking at interesting ideas in computer games, I found this article fascinating. Glitch sounds like a game I would enjoy playing in or writing. Cooperative games have been more my pull. That said, I am actually trying to figure out the old Empire game.

10 Nov 2011 12:47am GMT

09 Nov 2011

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Matthias Summer: ATI Radeon HD und Fedora 16

Für die ATI Radeon HD Serie gibt es noch keine Treiber für Fedora welche die Lüftersteuerung unterstützen. D.h. bei einer ATI Radeon HD Grafikkarte läuft der Lüfter immer auf 100%. Dies kann man mit folgendem Befehl als root umgehen: echo low > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_profile Mögliche Einstellungen sind: low mid high auto default Das funktioniert jedoch nur [...]

09 Nov 2011 11:39pm GMT

Thomas Vander Stichele: Mach 1.0.0 “Madera” released

Another November, another Fedora. 16 came out, so it was time to update mach again.

And today I thought, is there any reason mach isn't 1.0 yet ? Am I going to do anything more to this piece of code before I want to call it that ?

And the answer is, no. It's the first Python application I've written, and I'm not particularly proud of the code, but I'm happy I've made good use of it for so long, and that it helped push packaging approaches forward and sparked ideas for the Fedora build system.

Since I didn't like the original code for mach2 (there was a version 1 which was Makefile-based), I started a rewrite with unit tests, better code layout, decent classes for abstracting distro-specific stuff, and so on.

The experience of how mock was created based off mach2 was a slightly sour one however, so I wasn't really motivated to finish the mach3 rewrite. Sometimes that's the drawback of open source - sure, forking is specifically allowed, so don't whine about it when it happens. But when it's done gratuitously, with no serious attempt at collaborating, it doesn't feel like it's in the spirit of open source.

Anyway, that was a long time ago. mach2 as it is today, is done. It really only needs updating for newer versions. As long as it works for me, it's unlikely I will continue mach3, but who knows?

Enjoy the release!

09 Nov 2011 10:56pm GMT

Matthias Clasen: Better logging

First an update on deprecations: GLib and GTK+ master have been fully converted to use function attributes for deprecations now, and most uses of G_DISABLE_DEPRECATED guards in GLib headers have been removed. They are still used for deprecated things that are not symbols, like macros and enum values. I haven't done the same for GTK_DISABLE_DEPRECATED yet, but it should happen fairly soon. Looking forward to a future of less deprecation-induced build breakage (unless you insist on -Werror, of course…).

Continuing the theme of 'making things suck less for developers'… another favourite is logging. It is very hard to get right; you want to add plenty of debug and diagnostic messages to help with, well, debugging. But then people complain if you fill up their syslog or .xsession-errors with tons of debug spew, like here. The GLib logging system with g_log() and the macro wrappers g_debug(), g_warning(), etc leaves much to be desired. It does have the concept of replaceable log handler functions, which is ok for complicated uses. But unfortunately, the default handler is so inflexible that many applications are forced to install a custom handler just to be able to turn debug output on and off.

As a small step towards making better logging, the default log handler in GLib master now only emits errors, warnings and criticals. Informational and debug messages are only emitted if you set the G_MESSAGES_DEBUG environment variable. The value can be a list of log domains that you are interested in, or the special value 'all' to get it all. As a reminder, the log domain is almost invisible in your code unless you use g_log() directly; it's what you define by adding -DG_LOG_DOMAIN="MyCoolApp" to your CPPFLAGS.

09 Nov 2011 10:41pm GMT

Matthew Garrett: Properly booting a Mac

This is mostly for my own reference, but since it might be useful to others:

By "Properly booting" I mean "Integrating into the boot system as well as Mac OS X does". The device should be visible from the boot picker menu and should be selectable as a startup disk. For this to happen the boot should be in HFS+ format and have the following files:

That's enough to get it to appear in the startup disk boot pane. Getting it in the boot picker requires it to be blessed. You probably also want a .VolumeIcon.icns in / in order to get an appropriate icon.

Now all I need is an aesthetically appealing boot loader.

comment count unavailable comments

09 Nov 2011 10:06pm GMT

Pulp Team: Pulp Fedora 16 Builds

I forgot to mention in the last announcement that Community Release 18 will be the last build of Pulp offered on Fedora 14. Going forward support will continue on Fedora 15 and 16.

The latest testing build for Pulp is available on Fedora 16 and can be found in our testing repositories. Instructions for using our testing repositories can be found in the installation portion of our user guide. As you can imagine by the term "testing build", we make no guarantees as to its stability. :)

09 Nov 2011 9:08pm GMT

Fabian Deutsch: Presence and adjustable video quality.

Presence - a small vala, gstreamer, clutter and dirac/schroedinger - based bi-directional video tool, is configurable now.

You can actually use it to establish uni- or bi-directional audio/video streams in trusted/local networks. Sometimes this can be handy, as those streams can be set-up to have a much better quality than generic VoIP solutions ...
You can even receive more than one stream.

Currently you can adjust the video size, the compression quality and the framerate to get the optimal balance between performance and capabilities of the underlying hardware.
A next thing is to tune those parameters automagically - but I'll need to find out how to detect dropped frames or an increased latency. Additional there should be a way to adjust the latency/buffer on the receiving side, to match the amount of data coming in.

Find it on gitorious.

09 Nov 2011 9:01pm GMT

Fabian Deutsch: Wrapping OpenCL™ in Vala℠

soda straw wrapper

Because of the recent stirs regarding OpenCL in our FLOSS ecosystem (think about clover, pocl, libclc and there is one I am missing ...) and some demand on my side, I tried to use OpenCL (in form of Intel's OCL SDK - as clover and pocl require some bleeding edge clang/llvm) from Vala - my favorite language in the ecological niche of GNOME.

My first attempt was a straight binding of the cl.h without modeling the intended OO structures. Modeling the intended structure is possible, but there are more things to do, like run-time checks (ever heard of ErrorCode?) ..
Yesterday I ended in writing a small set of wrapper classes in vala (so effectively a GLib wrapper around the low-level OpenCL C API), calling the native C functions via the created low-level API.
Today I got first basic kernel running, that's nice progress (I just tested in on a CPU, GPUto go ...)
This wrapper removes a lot of the boilerplate (and checks) needed to get OpenCL and a kernel running.

There is still much room for improvement in the wrapper, much can be cleaned up and VAPI can be restructured to incorporate the OO structure of OpenCL.
This could lead to a simpler wrapper.

Well, it's start - like the projects mentioned in the first paragraph ...
Dig into it at gitorious.

09 Nov 2011 8:58pm GMT

Suchakra: FUDCon↔FUNCon @ Pune 2011

There are many things you remember once an event is over and then there are some which are etched on your mind. I'll always remember everyone saying thanks for the artwork and the Tee design. I was happy and thoroughly excited to see the Fedora Design team's efforts plastered all over the venue! And oh yes! above all, Kashyap's geekish quote of the event, "That's nested bullshit!" will always remain the identifying bit for this FUDCon.


I missed half of it, thanks to Air India and the morons who were dancing on the Trivandrum Airport runway and caused a 12 hour flight delay. I entered the COEP auditorium only at the exact moment when Sitaram's Gitolite talk came to an end. Being a TCS guy now, I felt proud to have him on the venue :) I had a small chat with Sitaram and he as confused about my name (as its Dutt/Sharma sometimes, somewhere) I told him that I chop my name sometimes so that others don't get intimidated by the string array overflow in my name :P I was escorted to the speaker's lounge where I met Shravan, Saleem, Kushal, Arun SAG, Siddhesh, Shakthi and Aditya Patwari. Ankur Sinha Vaidik and Ratnadeep were among the new folks I had met and got along with well due to the familiar geek chemistry we all share. Satya, PJP and Rahul also greeted me and I was among the titans by now. Both of my talks were scheduled for the next day and I had to get some stuff/codes from my lab. So mostly I missed the other sessions on day one too.


I came on time for Harish's talks and grabbed some swag from Saleem and went off to Seminar Hall where my talk was scheduled. I could mostly see people I already knew sitting among the attendees. There were some new students who seemed interested too and were listening intently. I had expected 20-25 attendees and got what I wanted :) My talk was well received and a few guys actually came to ask some stuff. I immediately knew that a hackfest/workshop kind of stuff for them was essential to keep the inquisitiveness alive. I listened intently to Siji's talk on Disko UI framework for embedded devices and then had a chat with my long time Embedded Nirvana buddy Chaitannya for quite sometime. We discussed about Siji's talk for a while and then lots of other awesome stuff at length. I went to speakers lounge thereafter and started preparing for the Fedora Design session I had to eventually take. I intended to get more people involved in design activities related to Fedora by at least demoing them how I remixed art to create some graphics for this FUDCon.

I say FUD! You say CON!

The day also went by and I spent some time in speaker's lounge preparing for hackfest tomorow before hitting the FUDPub!! Now this was the most interesting part of Day 2. It was truly an amazing experience to see Kushal dancing around and Rahul all energized and shouting Hey-you-bugger all the time. We later in the evening had a round table humour conference, where Rahul was pulling anyone's leg whom he could get hold of. The rooftoop FUDPub was indeed a unique experience with Eugene and Jared Smith dancing to bollywood numbers while Shrishti discussed Arun's baby pink slippers and Aditya telling me about Arun's biceps and his screwdriver dreams! (sorry Arun I had to write that :P )


This was the workshop/hackfest day! This is what I was looking for at last. I knew some people might be interested and even if they were not, I managed to get at least half a dozen enthusiastic guys and girls for a Qt/Embedded Linux workshop we had. (I was planning to actually hijack other's hackfests to get some people for mine but time and tide were merciful to the others it seems)

Thanks to Shakthi for the pic

We sat around in a circle in the auditorium and stared with basics of embedded Linux and then towards Qt application development on embedded devices. I had lots of interruptions wherein I had to go repeatedly with Saleem to get the awesome Fedora cake done :) (say thanks to us!) However I managed to show the workshop attendees a demo code cross-compiled and run on my rooted android device before we wrapped up the conference. We went for a dinner later in the evening after having Rahul's hey-you-bugger rounds once more at the hotel and laughing our asses off.

I had always been reading something about the Fedoraproject and its values since I got involved in it - Freedom, Friends, Feaures, First! This FUDCon was indeed the first time I was able to experience the true meaning of these words as the event went by. Love you guys (and girls) See you all soon!

09 Nov 2011 8:02pm GMT

Hernan Vivani: Factura Electrónica con Software Libre – Reutilización de Ticket de Acceso

Para los que han implementado el uso de factura electrónica con software libre a través del desarrollo en python realizado por la gente de Sistemas Agiles, como comentábamos en este artículo, seguramente se han encontrado últimamente (nov/2011) con un problema ajeno a esta implementación, pero que trae grandes dolores de cabeza.

Resulta que ultimamente hemos tenido grandes problemas de comunicación con los servidores de AFIP a la hora de actualizar facturas electrónicas utilizando WSFEv1.

Uno de los errores mas comunes es: "600: ValidacionDeToken: Error al verificar hash: VerificaciónDeHash: Error al convertir de Bas64 al token:"

Este es uno de los varios errores que se producen por un corte o timeout en la comunicación con el servidor.

Gracias a nuestro gran amigo Reinghart, hemos descubierto que reutilizando el ticket de acceso, se puede bajar un poco la taza de comprobantes rechazados.

Sumado a esto, notamos que nuestros sitemas, están generando facturas electrónicas con una frecuencia muy alta (2 o 3 facturas por minuto), lo que para un sistema ocn problemas de ancho de banda y concurrencia es bastante dificil de manejar, así que tambien hemos descubierto que si se graban comprobantes cada 3 minutos, prácticamente no hay rechazos.

Espero que esta información sea útil para muchos que se estén rompiendo la cabeza con este tema en estos días.

Pueden encontrar mas info de este y otros problemas en el foro de google pyafipws.

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09 Nov 2011 6:38pm GMT

Sebastien "Kenshin" Natroll: Un informaticien en fac de médecine.

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Tout d'abord, laissez-moi vous dire que « Non, je n'ai pas quitté mon travail pour partir en médecine ». Si je me suis amusé à tromper mon entourage, je ne tiens pas à me faire questionner ici sur les raisons qui m'auraient amené à faire une chose pareille.

Lundi 7 novembre, après un week-end de repos, je rejoignis par le train la ville de Nancy sur invitation de mon acolyte @Carangueijo_. Je m'apprêtais à passer une journée dans la peau d'un étudiant en première année de médecine. Le stratagème était au point, j'allais pouvoir me faufiler dans l'amphithéâtre Parisot (oui oui, du nom de Laurence, qui était étudiante à Nancy) et assister aux cours indigestes auxquels se frottent chaque jour ceux qui sont pour moi des têtes brûlées. (n'y voyez rien de péjoratif)

N'ayant expérimenté que le BTS, je ne savais pas du tout à quoi m'attendre en me rendant en fac. La seule certitude : le vocabulaire de l'informatique n'est pas à l'ordre du jour. Toutefois, c'est avec une certaine curiosité que j'attendais de savoir de quoi il en retournait.

Première Année de Cruauté, d'Épuisement et de Souffrance.

Après avoir galéré à retrouver la place que me réservaient les sympathiques compagnons martyrs de @Carangueijo_ (riez pas !), il était l'heure de sortir une feuille, un stylo (pour faire mine de hein… même si j'ai pas mal gratté. « M'en fous, j'suis payé ». C'était ma phrase fétiche.) et de poser quelques questions.

« Il est où, le prof ?
- Il est pas là. Le cours est filmé et diffusé simultanément dans plusieurs facs.
- D'accord. Et donc, si t'as des questions tu fais comment ?
- Tu le contactes par mail.
- Si je comprends bien, il n'y a donc que les élèves et des pions.
- Exact. »

Première heure de cours. La base ici, c'est de prendre des photos des schémas (même si certains cours sont podcastés ensuite. Certains, pas tous) et de gratter soit sur une feuille, soit sur un Mac. (ils sont tous des Mac ces jeunes, enfin presque. Et ils sont tous droitiers. Enfin, presque)
Je me suis laissé émerveiller par la dextérité de @Carangueijo_ sur NeoOffice (moi qui ne sais pas faire un tableau. Je ne suis pas dactylo) et j'ai pris un malin plaisir à tromper la vigilance des pions en faisant mine de chercher à comprendre et surtout, à leur adresser un large bonjour en arrivant.

Quant aux cours en eux-mêmes, autant vous l'avouer : si vous sortez d'une série autre que S et que les mathématiques et la physique ne sont pas vraiment vos meilleurs amis, préparez-vous à ne rien comprendre. Pour compenser mon idiotie profonde, je faisais ce que je fais de mieux : repérer les fautes d'orthographe (ils sont médecins, pas hommes de lettres), retenir des mots très longs et amusants comme fluorodeoxyglucose (y a rodéo dedans) et hexachlorocyclohexane, monter une liste de mots en -ine comme : myosine, tropomyosine (une évolution, comme dans Pokemon), titine (il ne parlait pas de voiture) etc, et sourire devant des mots comme sarcomère (le vaisseau mère de Sarkozy ?!)

Comic Sans
Tourne sous Mac mais fan de Comic Sans.

Le cours à peu près humain était celui sur les tissus. Le prof enchaînait ses diapos bourrés d'effets mais aussi de Comic Sans et s'est même permis une petite aparté sur le sport. J'ai eu le temps d'un instant d'oreille à l'affût, avant de ne rien comprendre à ses propos. Dommage.

Troisième et dernière heure, la plus insoutenable. C'est à ce moment précis que l'amphi se vide littéralement. « Atomes, biomolécules, génome, bioénergétique, métabolisme ». On m'a prévenu : « Personne ne comprend ce cours. »
Effectivement, c'est un cours qui ressemble plus à une partie de Triomino Deluxe édition Bac+8 et > qu'autre chose…

Nucléophile… une nouvelle paraphilie ?

Régulièrement, des étudiants sortaient, vaincus par l'abominable professeur. Ils se faisaient sortir sous les sifflements un peu « Game Over » de leurs camarades impitoyables. (Dallas, c'est la Petite Maison dans la prairie jouée par une bande de pédales en robe longue à côté…)

C'est en sortant de cette séance de torture que nous avons croisé une amie du collège qui m'a proposé de prolonger d'une journée l'expérience. Mardi, bis repetita, les trois même cours, les trois mêmes profs, les mêmes compagnons martyrs de @Carangueijo_ (qui m'ont pris soit pour un fou, soit pour un fou. Ou les deux. Je suis fou, c'était bien vu) +1 (l'amie en question, si vous m'avez suivi), un rewind qui n'avait que pour seule différence avec la journée de lundi l'ordre des mots que je ne comprenais pas. Enfin, je crois.

Ce que j'en retiens : Découvrir le quotidien des étudiants en médecine constitue une expérience enrichissante (avec un passage en TD où j'ai risqué de me faire griller), même si comme je vous le dis je n'ai strictement rien compris à leurs cours.
On m'a d'ores et déjà invité à réitérer l'expérience, invitation que j'ai acceptée avec plaisir. Wink

09 Nov 2011 5:05pm GMT

Radek Vokál: My favourite rhythmbox plugin

Desktop Art - don't know if you heard about it already, it's very simple - it gives you info about current track including the cover art on the desktop. Simple, minimalistic but actually really nice.

Installation on Fedora 15 and CentOS 6 is as easy as ..

mkdir -p $HOME/.gnome2/rhythmbox/plugins/
cd $HOME/.gnome2/rhythmbox/plugins/
git clone git://github.com/wippler/desktop-art.git

After that make sure you've enabled the plugin in rhythmbox and also set proper position of the plugin. Quick tip, make sure you have gnome-python2-rsvg installed on your system.

09 Nov 2011 1:56pm GMT

JoergSimon: [ FUDCon Pune 2011] Travel und Event Pictures

09 Nov 2011 11:23am GMT

Mo Morsi: Bringing the Android back to the Mazes of Menace

I am pleased to announce a new release of the Nethack Encyclopedia, my first android app in production. Before I jump into release notes, please take note that due to my hardware crash a while back I lost my android signing keys, and had to release the software as a new app, dubbed the 'Nethack Encyclopedia Redux'. If you've downloaded the old version, please uninstall and download the newer one (I marked the old as being deprecated, not sure if the Android platform takes care of notifying the user of this though). Regardless, new features shipped with the app include

I am looking for some more constructive feedback, namely around testing on multiple sized devices. I've done a little, but not nearly as much as I should have and still have quite a bit of hard coded pixel values in the layouts.

And with that I leave you with some screenshots of the new version. Hope this helps your travels through the dungeons!

read more

09 Nov 2011 10:40am GMT

Pavol Rusnak: Getting SSH fingerprints for machines in your network

Some time ago we were trying to get SSH fingerprints for all machines in our local network. Solution is not that straightforward, but it's not a rocket science either:

for i in $(seq 2 254); do
    ssh-keyscan -t rsa,dsa,ecdsa 192.168.1.$i >> $tmpfile
ssh-keygen -l -f $tmpfile
rm -f $tmpfile

First, we retrieve the keys using ssh-keyscan, store them into temporary file and compute fingerprints afterwards using ssh-keygen. Or is there a less complex and more elegant solution?

PS: Thanks David for kicking in the right direction.

09 Nov 2011 10:19am GMT

Elad Alfassa: Thank you, yum developers

Thank you for yum shell. It certainly saved me a lot of work today (recovering from a stupid error I made).

So I just wanted to say, Thanks.

09 Nov 2011 9:51am GMT