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April 2007

Gewassert!

Wenn man - wie wir heute - von Warnemünde nach Kühlungsborn fährt, dann fühlt man sich zwangsläufig an die DDR erinnert. Um Heiligendamm herum wird ja bekanntermaßen ein netter Schutzzaun gebaut - für die Kleinigkeit von 12 Mio. Euro. Interessanterweise werden auch zwei Kontrollstellen errichtet. Ebenfalls mit Stacheldraht umzäumt und relativ wetterfest. So wie es im Vorbeifahren aussah, stehen zeltähnliche Blechbaracken auf Betonfundamenten und der Zaun an sich ist natürlich videoüberwacht. Im Grunde fehlen eigentlich nur noch die Selbstschußanlagen und der Minenstreifen - Little-DDR wäre dann perfekt.
Aber auch auf dem Wasser ist ein entsprechendes Sperrgebiet eingerichtet worden, wie jeder sich auf den Seiten der Polizei MV überzeugen kann. Teilweise wird das Seegebiet vor Heiligendamm für einen gesamten Monat gesperrt. Das große Sperrgebiet gilt immerhin "nur" 6 Tage - 6 Tage in der Hochsaison, in denen die Marina Kühlungsborn nicht benutzbar ist, da weder Schiffe ein- noch auslaufen dürfen. Auch die diesjährige Pfingstregatta Rostock-Kühlungsborn ist hiervon betroffen: bisher haben etliche Segler die Gelegenheit benutzt und sich ein paar Tage über Pfingsten in der Marina Kühlungsborn aufgehalten. Dank des G8-Gipfels wird dieses Jahr daraus nichts, da man ansonsten Gefahr laufen würde, 6 Tage länger in der Marina bleiben zu müssen, weil man nicht mehr auslaufen darf, da die Marina mitten im Sperrgebiet liegt.
Ich glaube, die Menschen hier haben sich die Freiheit und die Demokratie 1989 anders vorgestellt, als sie damals auf die Straßen gegangen sind. Und da wundern sich die Politiker in diesem Lande noch, warum das Wählervolk politikverdrossen ist, wenn sich die gewählten Politiker so dermaßen abkapseln...

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Should m68k drop the Debian distribution?

Heute, irgendwann zwischen 10 und 11 Uhr, bekam mein Segelboot wieder Wasser unter den Kiel (und ringsherum ;). Nach einer geraumen Vorbereitungsphase (Abschleifen, Grundieren, 2x Anti-Fouling) und tatkräftiger Hilfe beim Aufbocken auf den Slipwagen von Jens, Peter, Georg und Hansi haben wir (Georg, Daniel und ich) das Boot ins Wasser geschubst, was relativ problemlos ging. Nun fehlt im Wesentlichen nur noch der Mast, gefolgt von einer entsprechenden Aufräumaktion unter Deck.
Und dann könnte es auch schon nächstes Wochenende mit dem Segeln losgehen. Jedenfalls hab ich mir vorgenommen, mehr als das eine Mal vom letzten Jahr zu segeln... ;)

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Sleepless in Warnemünde

Debian Etch has been released lately, as you may know, and the work on Debian Lenny is already starting. For some of the DDs the work is way much different than for the rest of the DDs: the good ol' brave porters of m68k.
Stephen Marenka asked on debian-release what is needed to get back and be able to release with Lenny?
The answers are shaking:

1. To get back to testing: Basically, the release team didn't mind the
state we had with m68k in testing recently - basically, we just ignored
it, but it was still there. The release team didn't asked for full
dropping from testing, we just didn't mind either way. We also wouldn't
mind for m68k to be back in testing - as long as we can just continue to
ignore it.

2. To get released (or a realistic chance to): Basically, make sure that
the toolchain works (see the other mails), and get really fast buildds
(otherwise, the security team would probably veto the inclusion). The
second might happen with Coldfire, but - the how is your part, not ours
(i.e. if you do it some other way, that's ok as well of course).

Having said that, I can understand if the ftp-masters don't want to have
an architecture be in testing unless there is reason to believe it is
possible to include it in the next stable release, but that's not the
domain of the release team.

ad 1)
Ah, ok... as long as we are ignored, everything is fine. But how will testing m68k get updated when the testing scripts ignore m68k? Pardon me, but isn't this a little bit strange, at least?

ad 2)
Getting really fast buildds - good joke, indeed! Or is this a Friday, 13th habit like April Fools Day?

Conclusion)
Let's summarize: we can release with Lenny, when we get back in shape - but testing is needed for this, where we're ignored for. And without faster buildds for an arch such as m68k, there's simply no way back to make it into a release again - because of this.
Describing Coldfire as such a possibility for faster machine seems a little bit strange to me. CF is totally new, there's not progress yet on the CF front to my knowledge and a combined m68k/CF port may introduce other drawbacks, which nobody can predict for sure today. Do you really believe that ftp-masters or release team will allow such a port to get released? I don't.
Getting faster buildd in a reasonable amount of time is illusory for m68k. We can get more buildds online, but not "really fast buildds". Despite one older blog post of me, I'll receive just another '060 m68k soon (to be hosted by a fellow DD). A few days ago, two other m68k buildds were added to the m68k buildd rotation list. That will make 3 more buildds for the m68k.

Anyway, in most cases your first impression is the correct one and my first impression of the Vancouver Massacre/Proposal was: this is a plan to drop m68k!
Well, the lastest incidents confirm this impression, IMHO.
After all, I think that the m68k port would be best served by dropping Debian instead of being dropped by the project. The m68k port - de facto - has been dropped already. I'm disappointed.

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Upgrading to Etch considered harmful

Na toll!
Da naht der G8-Gipfel, es ist 0:36 und die jungen Herren mit den wenigen Haaren und dem noch weniger darunter haben nichts besseres zu tun, als den ganzen Abend schon im Warnemünder Park herumzukrakeln. Aber deren Freunde in den geräumigen grün-weißen Volkswagen T3 sind auch schon da.
Viel scheint es aber wohl nicht zu bringen, da einige der geistig erdfarbennahen Bevölkerungsgruppe sich vom dortigen Kinderspielplatz an unseren Gartenzaun verlagert haben, was nicht unbedingt ein besseres Gefühl ist, um sich beruhigt ins Bett zurückbegeben zu können.
Deppen!

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The big Debian day

Oh well... today I upgraded a server at my workplace from Sarge to Etch. This went fairly well EXCEPT that the machine was quite slow afterwards and Samba didn't work anymore. No problem, I thought, because during the upgrade the Samba was displaying a note that I'll need to change the passdb line, because it doesn't support chained backend lists anymore.
The problem was, that this didn't help. To make a long story short:
During the upgrade the file /etc/libnss-ldap.conf has been overwritten without any notification. There's even no /etc/libnss-ldap.conf.dpkg-old file.
Apparently the QA of the Etch release failed in this particular case. Am I the only one who's using LDAP?

Update:
Meebey hinted me to have a look at the config file. The problem is, that the config file has a Debconf header, which indicates that it is handled by debconf. I'm used to edit those files anyway, because usually debconf (or the package scripts) notices if the file was changed manually and gives a warning about this issue. Well, the libnss-ldap package seems to be rather dumb and doesn't recognize when something has been changed within its configuration file. So, removing the debconf header will prevent this from happening again. Thanks, Meebey!

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Serendipity and shared installations on Debian

Today - as many of you have already noticed - is/was a big day for Debian:

  • Sam Hocevar won the DPL election
  • Debian (old)stable 3.1 released a new version
  • Debian Etch 4.0 was released

Well, I could add another topic:

  • Debian is no longer Debian for me because not all of my archs are supported anymore

In a more detailed view:
Sam Hocevar won the DPL election
Congrats to Sam! I can agree with most of the points he made in his DPL platform, e.g. a sexier website, sexier distribution, remaing the universal OS, etc.
sexier website: Really, the current design of Debians website is awful. It's really something back from the 90s. Bad look, bad design and stuff you're looking for is difficult to find, because it's badly structured and stuff is spread all over the place. I think, it would be good to have some decent CMS and some good designers/graphic artists - a good package maintainier doesn't make a good webdesigner.
sexier distribution: Many people are using Ubuntu because they're desktop users. The current release cycles are way too long and drive people away from Debian. It's a different matter, of course, for servers or managed systems like Terminal Servers or such. Those are fine with longer release cycles. Splitting up the release in some core and sub releases is a quite common proposal. Yes, this split is difficult, but I think it's the way to go.
remaing the universal OS: As of the release of Etch, Debian became the no-more-universal OS - just because m68k wasn't released for obscure reasons. I'm a great m68k user and now I'm left behind by Debian with the problem that my pet arch is not supported anymore. Running testing/unstable is not an option for m68k IMHO. Because the m68k porters didn't come up with an alternative release plan so far, I think it's the best to shutdown my 3 m68k machines - all of them are m68k buildds - within the next weeks or months. They're producing (well, some little) heat, some disturbing noise and consume a lot of power of course. Currently I accept those drawbacks in order to help the m68k port by donating CPU power running some buildds for about 7 years now. I've spent much more money on this purpose - not only for paying the electricity bills - for phone calls to get crashed remote machines rebooted, sending replacement parts for other buildds or even driving by car to bring machines or other parts to other persons (like crest.debian.org to Michael Schmitz or accel boards to the Netherlands for porting stuff. Anyway, I will happily reactivate the machines when it's up to make a new release for the m68k architecture again! :)

Some other point Sam mentioned in his platform is this:

There are very useful services around, such as http://www.buildd.net/, http://bts.turmzimmer.net/ or http://bjorn.haxx.se/debian/. I cannot understand why they are not Debian services.

I already had a conversation with Sam about this in which I expressed my general intention to develop at least Buildd.Net beyond its current state - it's quite frustrating for me to see Buildd.Net being stuck in development just because I've no more time and skill to develop Buildd.Net further. Sadly, my call for help wasn't as successful as I wanted. Only two persons wanted to help: faw and joey - and both are quite busy with other stuff.
Apparently, Buildd.Net will most likely suffer from shutting down my m68ks due to the missing m68k Etch release as well, because it was always a frontend to my m68k buildds in my eyes. All other stuff on Buildd.Net is just a nice addition to that. And when I don't operate m68k buildds on a daily basis, it's obvious that I won't invest much more time into the development of Buildd.Net. This is already true for the past year where I haven't found the time to fix some serious problems in the backend scripts and database of Buildd.Net, which basically breaks store_packages2.py (source and therefor ptracker.cgi(example) as well. I even haven't found the time to setup trac and svn again after the move to the new server during last autumn.
Erm, anyway.. back to the topic: I wish Sam the best for his period - but I don't think that he can make a big change. I doubt in general that any DPL is able to push big changes in Debian. One reason for this is the short period of just one year. Another reason is that many DDs won't let big changes to be made.

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