Tag Archives: debian

Debian follows Openoffice.org 3.x in the experimental archive

While Debian unstable is in freeze (and deep freeze), Rene Engelhard, started uploading openoffice.org 3 packages to the experimental archive.

I’ve been enjoying following the openoffice.org development process through updating the packages on my machine. As Rene keeps the packages up to date, I got to use 3.0-beta2, 3.0-rc2/3/4, 3.0 official, 3.0.1-rc1/2 and 3.0.1 official.

The packages are uploaded simultaneously with the availability of the versions. As I’m following the RTL related bugs (and fixes), I get a chance to enjoy the fixes very quickly and easily.

So, I see this as an opportunity to thank Rene for his excellent work (;


Filed under Debian GNU/Linux, Openoffice.org

“apt-get install love” – what more do we need?

Going over the NEW queue, I found a package named “love”. The first things I could think about is the line “apt-get install love” and the related jokes.

Seems that the love package won’t do what you think it will do, as the ITP says:

ITP: love — easy game development framework based in Lua and OpenGL

I don’t have any idea what do people think when they name their project with such a name… But good luck with the framework.


Filed under Debian GNU/Linux

Is building packages like riding a bicycle ?

It has been 3 months since the last time I handeled a debian package. I got a few days of, and want to return to care about my packages (some got new bugs, others have new upstream versions).

I found it a bit weird to return to handle the packges, felt a bit rusty at the begining. It took me about an hour to remember everything I need. I started with my php-doc packages, which had her last upload about a year and a half ago.

Grabbing the new source from CVS is easy enough, but starting to track all the changes took some time. It seems that the PHP Documentation Group have (finally) chnaged the license (bye bye OPL) to CC-BY v3.0. It took me some time to figure if that’s a DFSG compatible license, but since the CC-SA v3.0 is good enough, so should the CC-BY be.

The package build system has also changed, and I still need to learn it. They decided to stop using autoconf/make to configure/build the package, and create something of their own.

All of this takes a lot of time, but I feel that most of it comes back quite quickly. I just need to start doing packages in order to have everything return… just like riding a bicycle (:


I’m verry amused about using the bicycle analogy, since I don’t know how to ride them. Hope people won’t say that about my packges…


Filed under Debian GNU/Linux

Hosting Debian people in Israel

This week was the third time this year I got to host people from Debian in Israel. I find it very interesting to meet people from the project in a totaly different environment from the usuall confrences.

Having a relax talk (and maybe some good food) is a better way to know people than the quick talks I’m used to from more formal meeting. And having the chance to show them a city or the country is of course something I can’t do abroad (:

So, if you’re in the area – let me know. I can’t provide a place to crash, but can still help…


The invetation is open to any free software related people… don’t be shy.

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Filed under Debian GNU/Linux

The 2nd Debian Openoffice.org bug triage has ended – 300+ bugs processed

The 2nd bug triage began with 285 bugs, which grow to around 310 bugs, since during the 4 months of the triage more bugs were reported.

So, I’m glad to announce the beginning of (my) 2nd openoffice.org bug triage. This triage targets 285 bugs out of 330 open oo.org bugs. The selected bug are ones which were reported against versions lower the 2.3.1 or have no version information at all.

At first, the triage advanced quickly with 21% of the bugs processed during the first 24 hours and 40% during the first 10 days. This left a long trail of bugs to handle manually.

The triage began for version 2.3.1, but was delayed to let version 2.4.0 to propagate into Lenny, as that was Rene’s preferable version to release with. When the triage resumed in late April, I had a 2.4.0 available in all of our repositories (sid, testing and backprots). Which meant that everyone could verify their bugs against the same oo.org version. Bug triaging heaven (:

Two thirds (66%) of the bugs were closed in this triage, most of them after a check from the submitter or myself and a few after the submitter was unresponsive and I couldn’t verify the bug myself.

Verifying the bugs myself is the most demanding part of the triage. Reading each report and understanding the problem takes a lot of time. Reproducing the problem usually takes less time than understand it. That’s way have test cases attached to bug reports are so important.

In several cases the instructions were so simple I could just open the file, check something and verify the bug. That was done in a robotic manner or in a monkey like one. These kind of attachments enables a lot of people to help with triaging, even if the lake the technical background of the program in subject.

So after closing 200 bugs and verifying around 100+, the oo.org bug count is set to 140 outstanding bugs, and 70 bug being forwarded to upstream. Except from about 10 bugs, all of the remaining 130 bugs are relevant for version 2.4.0. No need to wonder if the bug still occurs before reading the report…


Filed under Debian GNU/Linux, Openoffice.org, QA stuff

I’m not going to DebConf 8

After 3 years in a row, I’ll miss DebConf this year. Seems that I shouldn’t have filled the reimbrusment form too late in the night, as I mixed the the “unable to pay” amount with “able to pay”. That’s a 1500 USD difference…

Flights across the planet (Israel -> Europe -> South America) are expensive. Further more, their costs went up, meaning that even if I got the all the reimbursement I asked for, I would still need to add money (which is a bit of a problem as I’m looking for a job).

I hope I could virtually attend the conference thought the lectures’ video streams, but that can’t be compared to actually attend the conference.

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Filed under Debian GNU/Linux

Ubuntu’s reportbug-ng sends bug reports to Debian’s BTS

I checked the Debian firefox bugs page and noticed a new bug was reported against firefox. Checking the bug report showed the bug is new as it reported against version 3.0b5. As there’s now firefox package in debian testing/unstable that was weired enough.

Reading the bug report revealed these details:

Package: firefox
Version: 3.0~b5+nobinonly-0ubuntu3


Debian Release: lenny/sid
500 hardy-updates us.archive.ubuntu.com
500 hardy-security security.ubuntu.com
500 hardy us.archive.ubuntu.com

I mailed the user to see why does he reports Ubuntu’s bugs to Debian. He replied that he’s using the reportbug-ng program and wasn’t aware that his bug have been sent to Debian.

I check the reportbug and reportbug-ng in Ubuntu and found that reportbug has the needed patch for Ubuntu:

diff -pruN 3.39/reportbug.conf 3.39ubuntu3/reportbug.conf
--- 3.39/reportbug.conf 2004-12-06 13:59:04.000000000 +0000
+++ 3.39ubuntu3/reportbug.conf 2007-10-25 07:22:47.000000000 +0100
@@ -6,7 +6,7 @@
# severity normal

# BTS to use
-#bts debian
+bts ubuntu
# See ‘reportbug –bts help’ for a current list of supported BTSes

# Submission address: default is ‘submit’

but since hardy reportbug-ng package in Ubuntu is identical to the one in Debian.

$ rmadison -u ubuntu reportbug-ng
reportbug-ng | 0.2007.10.30~feisty1 | feisty-backports/universe | source, all
reportbug-ng | 0.2007.06.27 | gutsy/universe | source, amd64, i386, powerpc
reportbug-ng | 0.2007.10.30~gutsy1 | gutsy-backports/universe | source, all
reportbug-ng | 0.2007.10.30 | hardy/universe | source, all
reportbug-ng | 0.2008.03.28 | intrepid/universe | source, all

Doing more checks reveals that this is a known problem in Ubuntu and is already reported at Bug #175508. This was also discussed three weeks ago on “Ubuntu Open Week – Reporting Bugs“.

A quick look at the reportbug-ng code makes it clear that reportbug-ng will require more work to support the Ubuntu BTS. There were also some comments about the configuration for Ubuntu in reportbug, as it just send the reports to ubuntu-users mailing list and not to the real BTS at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/.

I’m still not sure what to do about the bug. On one hand, that package originates in Debian, and the bug is probably relevant. On the other hand, the cause might be a change from Ubuntu. In any case, I
don’t see the user following our BTS, and I don’t way to fixed package (if and when created) to propagate to Ubuntu.


Filed under Debian GNU/Linux, QA stuff, Ubuntu

What can Debian learn from Fedora about recruiting new people?

I’ve been visiting the fedora website in the last couple of days. One thing caught my interest, and that’s the “join Fedora” link just bellow the “get Fedora” one.

I clicked on it and got to this very simple “Join Fedora” page. The appealing part is the large icons which roughly lists the main ways to contribute to Fedora:

  • Content Writer
  • Designer
  • People Person
  • OS Developer
  • Translator
  • Web Developer or Administrator

Clicking etch icon gives you a description of relevant skills, related teams and typical tasks of this role. This is very useful for people not sure about what can they do or where exactly their skills are needed.

On the Debian’s website we have a “help debian” page which lists very similar functions the user can help with. The difference is that we list them at text which is less appealing than the Fedora’s icons. Fedora does have similar text to Debian, but it is organized into roles instead of suggesting everything to everyone.

I also think there’s a semantic difference with the term help and join. To me joining a project sounds more strong than helping it. Probably because joining something makes you a part of it, while helping does not. Although in the end both term have the exact same meaning in for the project themselves – users getting involved.

Openoffice.org has a big “I want to participate in openoffice.org” text in their font page, which like Fedora leads to a set of defined roles. Same thing in Ubuntu with their “Get Involved” page. It is important that each role page will have links the to tools people need in order to start contribute.

I don’t have the required graphical skills to do such icons, but I’m willing to create/edit the pages on the Debian website. I’ll be happy to hear comments before I approach the debian-www people.


Filed under Debian GNU/Linux, Fedora, Openoffice.org

conffiles, newer packages and purging

Earlier this month Kumar Appaiah opened a bug against the culmus package as part of the stable -> unstable piuparts upgrade tests.

First, I’m proud in Debian to have these tests. Thanks for the people involved with running them, parsing the log files and reporting the bugs. I really feel the lake of such checks in commercial distributions I work with.

After finding the time to get to the bottom of the bug, and talking with Kumar, it seems most of the bugs found in the test are similar. I think this might indicate something wrong in a more basic level of the package handling.

The source of these bugs is how to handle files which were conffile in version x, but aren’t included in version x+1 (as a regular file). In the common situation, the conffiles are removed only during the purge process and not during upgrade or removal. But if a conffile doesn’t exist in the x+1 package, no one will “own” it after the upgrade, and no will purge it in due time.

This is why changing conffiles can result in extra files on our system, which is the problem discovered by the recent piuparts test.

One solution will be that each package maintainer will add the necessary code to the maintainer scripts to remove the file on upgrade. A second solution is to decide the wanted behavior in such a case and to have dpkg handle it for all packages.

The behavior can be to remove the old conffile during the upgrade (postinst script) or to dynamically add it to the list of files owned by the package. Although technically possible, I’m not sure if the second method is “legal” with the debian policy.

I thought it would be better to hear others’ opinions before submitting a wishlist bug about this.


Filed under Debian GNU/Linux