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moap 0.2.5 “Matonge” released

Filed under: moap,Releases — Thomas @ 22:10


With a push and a shove, I excreted a new release of moap

An exciting release for me - with the help of some friends, bugs got fixed and features got added.

There is now a Bzr and a Git backend, bringing the number of supported VCS systems up to 5 - better than any copy I of prepare-ChangeLog.pl that I know of.

I also added a Bugzilla bug querying backend.  And Stefan is working on a SourceForge tracker backend.

One of the nicer things I've added recently is a way of being helpful to users when a dependency is missing.   For example, if you don't have Genshi installed, it will tell you that you're missing Genshi, and where you can find Genshi.  If moap knows about your distribution, it will even tell you how to install it if it knows.

If moap doesn't know about your distribution, or about how to get this dependency for your distribution, it will give you a link to file a ticket with the summary filled in for you already.  All you need to do is enter some information on how to detect your distro or install the dependency for your distro.  If this works out well, I can see myself adding this sort of thing to other projects.

Anyway, that brings me again one step closer to my talk at GUADEC, "Practical Project Maintenance".  The talk will also discuss moap, but the idea of the talk is mostly to draw on some of my experiences - as well as others' - in doing project maintenance work.

If you have any suggestions or ideas for this talk, or things you think I should cover, feel free to comment.


Filed under: Hacking — Thomas @ 17:47


The number one irritation I had when editing zone files was having to update the serial number.

After googling for a while, I found some ideas on how to make vim help there. And then I tweaked it a little for my Fedora Core setup, and made it automatic so that it does it when I open the file. That's fine, since only if you save the file (which means, you made a change you want) does it actually update the serial on disk.

Now it's edit - save - reload.

.vimrc snippet:

" define command to increment the SOA in zone files
function! UPDSERIAL(date, num)
if (strftime("%Y%m%d") == a:date)
return a:date . a:num+1
return strftime("%Y%m%d") . '01'

command Soa :%s/(2[0-9]{7})([0-9]{2})(s*; serial)/=UPDSERIAL(submatch(1), submatch(2)) . submatch(3)/g

" executed the command when you edit the zone file
autocmd BufRead /var/named/*zone Soa

Summer in the city

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 01:04


Summer has hit in all its sticky sweaty glory.  This is my least favourite part of Barcelona - the summer months.  It's doubly bad because my most favourite season - spring - was basically non-existent - it was either rainy like hell or overly hot.  Too bad.

Now it's going to take a good two weeks of insomnia to adjust to the heat, and then holding on until August when a deadly calm hits the working part of the city.   There's still tourists - mostly the ones that are crazy or ignorant about the temperature - but most real people flee the city.  Here's hoping I can get stuff done while customers go quiet for a while.

I left work rather late and got hit by the wet summer heat, sprinkling droplets of sea salt all over my arms and legs.  I swung by Ciudad Condal on the way back from work - comfort food, always works - and I arrived with a thin film covering my body.  I probably stunk the place up but I don't care, Ciudad Condal is my hangout you tourists.

I will be happy to see Kristien tomorrow night and I hope we can still have our day off together on Thursday.  Time together is in short supply as it is, given her irregular schedule and her face on TV.

Friday we're having a little ex-work get-together, the people from 4FM meeting up at a bar.  It's going to be fun seeing those people back - the ones that deserted me, the ones that I deserted, and my bosses from before who sold the company at the wrong time and missed out.  It'll be a night filled with fun war stories.  It's so much easier to look back with fondness when time has put distance between me and the memories.


Filed under: General — Thomas @ 23:29


I started noticing some of my Bloglines feeds not updating. In particular, my Penny Arcade and Dinosaur Comics ones were definitely over a month stale. So I thought, "what the heck, let's try the contact link and ask what's up."

The mail I got when opening a ticket had this in it:

Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.

It is on a line on its own, there is no irony around it, and it is so sharp and pointily effective that I have no choice but to take this at face value, instead of writing it off as cheesy American service.

This line made me do two things:

  • Make the best, clearest possible bug report that I could, instead of a half-assed "I can't figure out what the URL is that breaks because your web interface doesn't make it easy" - instead I went digging around until I found a link to export to .opml then scan through that .opml file
  • When I realized that I could in fact export my subscriptions and thus possibly switch to another service, I thought "Man, these guys care, so I am going to stick with them."

We should hire the guy who wrote this template for our support team. We've had two incidents over the past week that could have been handled better :)

one button life change

Filed under: Hacking — Thomas @ 22:18


This weekend.  Lots of plans, getting organized, cleaning out my inboxes, lots of things working against me.

Like, say, my ADSL connection being reset every 30 minutes.  Goddamnit that is awful and I have still after three years not been able to figure out why.  It starts happening at some point, then goes on for a few days, then goes away.   Really shitty to have in Evolution ,because it means you have a small window in which you can trust theconnection to work, and Evolution typically can't complete most of the operations it's trying to perform in that window.  And then it just hangs on whatever task it's doing (either showing (...) or Working (0xp01nter) at the bottom).

It was so bad that I decided to go to the office today just to get shit done, knowing there would be a perfectly fine internet connection over there.

During my mail cleanup I also Google'd a little to figure out if at all, and if so how, offline folders in Evolution actually work with IMAP (I'm still not sure after the googling).

And there was this one post that said that there is a Cancel button.  And that you can actually <b>click it and it cancels</b> the running tasks.

What ? Where ?

I've been using Evo since like forever and I've never seen a Cancel button ! Where the hell is ... Oh, hey, what's that red round button at the top to the right with the white cross through it.

OMG.  It works.

This is definitely going to beat the crap out of --force-shutdown if this thing keeps working as well as it is right now.

On unrelated news: my private Inbox is currently EMPTY and my work Inbox has no mails in Inbox for June.

Of course, I always cheat a little bit and move reasonably old mails to a THROUGHBOX folder which I promise myself to get through someday (needless to say it has mails from as far back as 2000), but I did process over four months of mail and am back on top of my INBOXes.

Let's see how long I last this time...

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