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Present Perfect

True or False ?

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 08:50


Sometimes I wonder what we could have done better with all the collective brain energy expended over shell tests and booleanity. Imagine solving an important problem with it ?

Instead, every so often we get to wrestle with the impications of

$ true; echo $?
$ false; echo $?
$ python
Python 2.4.4 (#1, Oct 23 2006, 13:58:00)
[GCC 4.1.1 20061011 (Red Hat 4.1.1-30)] on linux2
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> int(True)
>>> int(False)

It's only two values. Maybe the problem was shell authors didn't know C, only shell ? You'd think this would have been worth standardizing on, where was Mr. Posix back then ?

Yes I realize the usefulness of being able to return different exit values from a program and the accepted practice of exit value 0 meaning "everything's fine, move along, nothing to see".

Maintainer Madness

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 22:46


So, after sitting on my own code for more than six months, I finally got round to knocking off one of those items off my TODO list and I did a first release of MOAP.

moap aims to be a swiss army knife for project maintainers and developers, collecting small bits of functionality related to project maintenance, which in the BM (before moap) era I used to do with various random scripts and hacks.

I've been using it myself for a bunch of projects, including GStreamer, Flumotion, mach, Savon and of course moap itself.

In fact, the release notes were sent out with a simple moap command, and the update to freshmeat was done with a slightly more simple moap command.

MOAP currently does stuff like checking in only files based on the latest ChangeLog entry (much like cicl), update VCS ignore files, send out release mails and submit to Freshmeat based on a DOAP file. In the future, I am planning to add features like the prepare-ChangeLog.pl (my days are just too short to be hacking PERL) script, get tickets fixed by milestone from trac, announce on more websites, ...

I've also added DOAP files to all these projects mentioned before, I hope DOAP sees more and more uptake in the future.

I don't know why it took me so long to put a first release out - I was locking myself into an interdependent cycle between all these projects I've been wanting to release. Ironically working on a release tool caused me to release less in the end. In the end it was probably a simple mental barrier I had to talk myself out of.

I was close to a release at some point, and after that weekend Martyn released his maintainer script. It was so close to what I was working on that I thought I should contact him first or take a look at maintainer.py, and I just never got round to it. I lost track of the "release early, release often" mantra. Anyway, this weekend I decided I would leave myself no excuses anymore and just get it out. And anyway, the more people who take an interest in working on ways to automate release and maintenance work the better.

Now I can focus on putting out a release of mach and savon and go back to business as usual...


Filed under: General — Thomas @ 02:12


Last month I was on the subway and a violin player got on. You see them all the time, and mostly they just quickly work through two or three annoying evergreens as fast as possible so they can make the rounds and coerce cash out of our pockets, making you think "oh no not again... ".

At the next stop however a mother got in, pushing her pram, with a crying baby. The guy stepped over, changed the tune to one of those memorable lullabies, and after a few seconds the baby stopped crying. He played two more, then made the rounds, and probably collected a lot more than he ever did before. It was a moment where you felt everyone around you felt the same way.

Of course, he got off and as he walked away the baby started crying again.


Filed under: General — Thomas @ 17:16


My X just shut down during a yum upgrade. I don't think something like this *ever* happened before in my history with Fedora and Red Hat. But goddamnit, is that annoying.

Last update that it had installed: Dec 03 17:13:25 Updated: selinux-policy-targeted.noarch 2.4.5-3.fc6

Of course, logging back in and allowing the upgrade to continue fails because a bunch of cleanups have not been done, so suddenly I am left with some packages that have multiple versions installed and complain loudly.


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