Thursday 21 May 2009

Kernel issues - Debian and pristine

Ever since I bought this laptop I was quite content with it running Debian GNU/Linux (Lenny) and, except the sleep functionality not working (bug reported, but I have no answer for any new approaches) I have no other major issues.

Actually, the problems are partially solved since I am in a "pick your favourite bug" situation:
  • with the 2.6.26 kernel from Debian the information about the power source is incorrect (kernel bug which goes away for me right since 2.6.27)
  • while with a newer (>=2.6.27) pristine kernel, power information is accurate, but the entire bluetooth stack (init.d scripts and apps) needs a restart after a hibernate/resume cycle to work again; I added my info in the corresponding upstream bug and I hope it gets fixed
Still, I am really curious, since the Debian Kernel Team policy is to accept only patches accepted upstream, theorecally that would mean newer upstream kernels should work wrt that bluettoth issue, assuming this isn't a regression (it doesn't look like one from my experience).

So what is present in Debian kernels that isn't in the pristine ones that makes BT work afer resume? If you know the answer, please add it to the bug report.

On the Debian side of the kernel, which are the chances that newer Lenny kernels will include the power fixes necessary for MSI laptops to report power related info correctly? I know, I know, I should probably report a bug, but I want to know first if there will be a lenny-n-half release, otherwise it doesn't make sense.

Friday 15 May 2009

svn-buildpackage is now orphaned

I have decided that is high time to declare svn-buildpackage orphaned since many people are replying on it to be useful, but nobody cared enough to answer to the RFH Eduard Bloch made some 3 years ago.

I know it would have been better if I would have asked a request for adoption, but, honestly, the package didn't had a maintainer in the last year and that would have been lying to everybody.

The package is quite important and I would hate to see it leave the official archive since many people do need it and use it regularly (I know for sure the GNOME, Perl and the Debian Games Team use it) and I have enjoyed working on the package while I was motivated.

The code is maintained in SVN and the trunk can be viewed at:

and can be checked out with any of these commands:

# read-only copy
svn co svn:// svn-buildpackage

# read write, if you have an account on

svn co svn+ssh://

Also, note that the package has several features which the new maintainer(s) should be aware of and must make sure they all work when changing the code. Also, there are some things to remember:
  • there is support for native and non-native packages
  • non-native packages' repo can be a complete repo (with an upstream branch) or an incomplete repo (just the differences from the upstream - most times the debian directory, but not always)
  • there is an interactive and a non-interactive mode, both have to work properly
  • the packages can be stored in the repo under 2 different layouts and both have to work since they are both used; support for an arbitary layout would be great and I have a few ideas about how to implement that, so please contact me if you want to work on that
  • team maintainance workflow MUST be supprted and should be one of the highest concerns for the maintainer; this means that being able to work on a new package without issuing more than one command to have all necessary stuff for the build, package upgrades to be done is the target to reach for (currently the situation is a lot better than it was in the past)
  • there is on misfeature from the past that should be finally dealt with - something that was supposed to work as a cache ended up working like an override; meanwhile the effect for new packages/checkout has been minimised, but the code could do better at dealing with old checkouts affected but this (drop the old file name for the overrides, use a new one and scream when the old file name is encountered)
  • 0.6.24 is waiting for an upload
  • a test frame is missing and would be most welcome; I already started working on this based on the git test frame, but didn't managed to have a good-enough-to-publish code

These being said, I am really hoping svn-buildpackage will find a new maintainer since it deserves a lot more attention than I am providing. Don't forget, 0.6.24 is wating for an upload already.

Update: Neil Williams answered and agreed to take over maintenance, but he doesn't usually use svn-inject and svn-upgrade, so somebody taking care of those would be needed. Ironically, those two scripts are the ones in the worst shape of the three main scripts.

Tuesday 12 May 2009

To the person that almost ran over us

Yesterday, as I was driving towards towards Bucharest, just after exiting Roșiori de Vede, somebody driving a white van with a trailer almost ran over us. I had to drive on the opposite lane to avoid the collision.

During the incident I was cold blooded and managed to keep a clear mind, but right after it, I felt my knees softening and had to stop to recover.

So, in the remote case that person will read this post, thanks for at least breaking when I horned.

Friday 8 May 2009

I bought a folding bicycle

For some time I've been pondering about buying a bicycle since it seems my weight has been increasing lately up to about 90 kg, which, for my height and age, is about 20 kilograms too much.

But since I am living in a rented apartment, storing the bicycle was a problem, until I realized I could buy a folding bicycle. When that idea hit me, I literally couldn't sleep until about 6 am and I searched the internet about the options, issues to expect, things to check.

In the end I found a Dahon Mu P8 bicycle someone was selling on a bidding site and, after seeing it I concluded that was in mint shape, so there was no reason not to buy it since the price was half of a new one, while this one was only a year old.

I bought the bike yesterday and rode it to work from the place where I met the person who sold it to me and it was quite an enjoyable experience. I still have to do some minor adjustments (saddle is a little bit loose and folding could be better if the handle bar was in another position) before I can ride it regularly to work, but that's just, well, a minor problem :-P.

Now I have a way to do regular exercise without feeling is a drag, so I expect to lose some weight soon after I start riding it to work regularly :-) . Maybe I'll manage to lose about 5 kilos until DebConf, which would be great.

Friday 1 May 2009

I'm going to DebConf9

I purchased my tickets and I'll be flying from Bucharest directly to Madrid on the 22nd and I'll be returning on the 30th. If somebody wants to fly with me on the same flights (although only the return seems more possible), please contact me privately*.

Although initially I planned to go with my wife and go on a vacation to Portugal or Spain after DebConf, we later agreed it would be better if we decouple the vacation from DebConf, so I'll be travelling alone.

* Igor, you might be interested in this post, but I won't mind being contacted by other people, too.