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Linux, WLAN, Netgear and Madwifi - a neverending story

Maybe some of you have already noticed, that there's a new section (flavour) on Buildd.Net called skolelinux, which maps to etch-skolelinux and has currently i386 and powerpc included.

This was just a quick addition and maybe there're are some things wrong. Please let me know about those when you find something.

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Buildd.Net: etch-skolelinux added

Oh, well... in my last blog entry I stated that I'll move my drupal installation to my new server.

But I didn't know at that time that drupal has been orphaned and a grave bug has been filed to prevent it from being released with Etch. Very, very bad...

However, I've evaluated serendipity yesterday evening, but although it looks very nice and feels more speedy than drupal, it lacks some of drupals features like static pages (or I haven't found out how to do that).
And additionally, the Debian package of s9y has some issues when using a remote database. You can't start with a remote config using dbconfig -common (which is a really nice thingie on itself), but you have to abort the current debconf run, edit your config file of s9y in /etc/dbconfig-foobar/ and (really important!) fix a bug in /etc/serendipity/database.inc.php:

Instead of $dbserver='yourserver'; it has to be $dbhost='yourserver';, because database.inc.php is being sourced in /usr/share/serendipity/www/serendipity_config_local.inc.php which has the following line:

$serendipity['dbHost'] = $dbhost;

So, it's really unlikely that s9y will ever know where your database server is. Alternatively you can change that line in /usr/share/serendipity/www/serendipity_config_local.inc.php, of course.
Guess I'll have to file a bugreport about that.

Anyway, it would be nice if someone would adopt drupal and make it into Etch.

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Blog migrating considered harmful

I'll move the drupal installation to a new host in the next days. So, it's somewhat likely that somthing will break. Sorry for that in advance... :)

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Migrating to a new server

Ok, Dunc-Tanc (DT) is being discussed everywhere like here, here or here.

The reason for discussion is the amount of US-$ 6000 (or EUR 4800, as Marc Haber calculated).
For many of the readers that is really, really much money for just a month. Maybe it's even close to a yearly income in some other countries.

Many calculations and posts are dealing with living costs of Steve, costs of bureau rent, taxes, etc... but how about this calculation:

  • Many DDs are unemployed or studying.
  • An unemployed person (>1 year unemployed) gets so-called HartzIV in Germany, which is about 345.- EUR per month. Unemployed people are allowed to earn additional ca. 160.- EUR per month.
  • That will enable 30 unemployed Debian Maintainers, Developers or Users to earn some money for their living for a month. 30 people could be paid to do a BSP for a whole month.

Now, who will get more work done within a month, when you have to give away 6000 US-$? 1 person or 30 persons?
Recalculate this with your average income of your country. Maybe Joachim Breitner can tell you, how much work can be done in Ghana for 6000 US-$ and how many people can make a living out of this?

So, you might guess it: I'm not very pleased about that high amount of money that is being spent for a single person. I think the money could've spent more efficiently.

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Dunc-Tanc and what can be done with 6000 US-$...

Thomas Pöhnitzsch wrote in a comment to my previous blog entry about replication with PostgreSQL:

we had just finished a big project (based on sarge) which, among other features, required almost the same setup. I have pgcluster-debs for postgresql versions 7.4.7 (the orignal sarge one), 7.4.13 and 8.1.4 available. You can get my patches and I could point you to all the pitfalls we encountered. If however you think your project will be finished here, I have to disappoint you. Pgcluster is still a bit buggy at some ends and may need some debugging and patching until you can ship it. So expect it to become a tough ride at worst. But as I really would like to see pgcluster becomming an official debian project I really would like to assist you as much as I can.

It would be really nice to have pgcluster debs available, but sadly I couldn't reach Thomas by mail. Maybe I just found an outdated email address by search for his name on Google?

Anyway, it would be nice to get in contact with you, Thomas. You could use my Feedback Page to get in contact with me. Other interested people can use that of course as well... ;)

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PGCluster debs

Dear Lazyweb...

For a project I need to setup two freeradius server with a PostgreSQL database backend. It's intended that the freeradius server are accessing their database backends locally, i.e. on the same machine. Of course, the two database needs to be in sync.

And now there's a problem: each radius server needs to write to its database, of course, which makes such solutions as slony-1 impossible to use. Otherwise slony-1 works nicely for replication.

Next option is pgcluster which ought to be a master-master replication. Sadly, it seems that there's no Debian package. Don Armstrong tried to make one some time ago, as he told me on IRC, but due to the bad debugging options pgcluster gives, he got stuck somewhere.

So, I ask you, dear Lazyweb, if there are other options left? It's no necessary to have a full master-master replication, but in a master-slave replication writes to the DB should automatically and transparently get redirected and spooled (in case the master is unreachable). (Although is is near master-master replication ;).
Or had anyone else more luck with making PGCluster Debs? Or would like to join forces with Don Armstrong and me to make some?

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PostgreSQL and Replication

Or: The Consequences of that awful Vancouver Proposal...

It's no news that I'm no big fan of the Vancouver Proposal. It's aiming into the wrong direction, IMHO, and is not very well thought through. It's basically a master plan of dropping archs.

Anyway, the more m68k is diverting from the other archs after exclusion of testing migration, the more it becomes clear what consequences this has for an arch that is going to be dropped from Debian.

Roman Zippel (a m68k hacker) summarizes some consequences quite nicely in his post to debian-68k and debian-release.

As someone who has recently looked at and fixed many problems, I must say
the release team has done m68k no service by doing this and actually
sabotaged m68k in its ability to catch up again. ...

Roman did really amazing work in tracking down and fixing the toolchain problems m68k had. Many kudos for that!
And it was some kind of obvious that the testing migration exclusion will hurt m68k more than it would help. And it will get worse and worse over time. And still the Vancouver proposal has no plan how to proceed in such a situation.

So the situation is now that m68k gets kicked out without no alternative
in place? Once the current building frenzy calms down, the situation
shouldn't look too bad and if bugs for which fixes exists in the BTS where
actually fixed, m68k could be released with just a few packages less.

True. Instead of dropping a complete arch, it would've been better to just drop some package from that arch from the release. There's a thread on -devel about this about that.


Not releasing m68k could have far worse consequences and should be
absolutely the last resort, e.g. it makes it difficult to upgrade between
stable releases, which might become a real issue, as m68k is likely to
need an ABI change for TLS support.

I doubt that anyone proposing the Vancouver plan was thinking about those kind of problems. Great job. Thank you!

As Wookey stated in the above mentioned thread on debian-devel, m68k just was the first arch and arm will follow most likely.
So, I propose to change Debians website from ''Debian is a free operating system (OS) for your computer.'' to the more appropriate ''Debian is a free operating system (OS) for your i386/amd64 computers.''

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Consequences on not being an Release Arch anymore

Basically, this is my first new entry in s9y after announcing the migration from Drupal to Serendipity. There are more to come, for sure. ;)

Please feel free to leave comments, if you like...

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