A Bit of a Rantโ€ฆ

Well, I’ve finally got my pbuilder environment updated. It’s far easier than it used to be. The package ubuntu-dev-tools contains a wonderful pbuilder-dist script that handles most of the details (though I had to modify it some – removing some quotes around arguments to get it to work for me under gutsy). And I promise that guide is coming! It’ll be far shorter now, which I think is a good thing. But when trying to update the Mugshot packages, I ran into a bit of a hitch. I wanted to be sure to base them off of Heikki’s packages. Unfortunately, svn.debian.org kept timing out for me. So I did the responsible thing and logged onto the Debian IRC channel to make sure it was just me. Turns out it is – still not sure why. Contrary to many Ubuntu users’ beliefs, they were incredibly helpful and supportive. However…

There’s always the catch, isn’t there?

Of course, there was the initial “Why can’t Ubuntu users tell the difference between Debian and Ubuntu?” bit. But when I explained what I was trying to do, that went away. Other users tried, and they got in fine. In fact, I started to have a great conversation with one of the users. He (or she – it’s IRC, I don’t know) and I were discussing some of our experiences with different distros. A bit of a bonding moment (which I believe the Ubuntu and Debian communities need more of). Of course, within barely a minute we were cut off by a moderator of the channel. Now, I realize they were just doing their job. After all, a Debian support channel isn’t the appropriate forum for having a personal conversation. But what about community? There needs to be some balance. Rules and regulations are all fine and good, but with some discrimination. Especially considering the recent bad attitudes of Debian vs. Ubuntu. Next time I run into a problem with Debian, am I going to use their support channels? No. What if it effects more than just me?

As a side note, I did apologize for my breach of conduct. But with that said, I’ve never experienced that degree of rudeness with the Ubuntu community. Considering we’re the corporate whores, you would think we’d end up being the jackasses. Maybe it’s the code of conduct, maybe it’s the social contract, maybe it’s just community norms, but I can’t help but wish we could all get along better.

End rant.

If anyone wants to give feedback (especially Debian community members – please, if I’ve offended you, let me know!) feel free.

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Why Iโ€™ve Been Busy

My apologies to all of the Mugshot fans out there. I haven’t been keeping up with the builds lately, but for good reason. If any of you out there are in the Rochester, NY area, my thesis defense at the Rochester Institute of Technology is now scheduled. The announcement follows…

Alternate Syntax for XSLT

David Love
http://www.cs.rit.edu/~dpl1926/

November 15, 2007
2:00pm
GCCIS Room 3000

Advisor: Dr. Axel-Tobias Schreiner
Reader: Dr. James Heliotis
Observer: Dr. Stanislaw Radziszowski

Abstract:

XSLT is a transform language for XML that is defined over XML. In other words, XSLT is a language that performs transforms on XML documents, and XSLT programs are themselves XML documents. While XSLT is by nature a functional language, its definition as an XML application obfuscates this fact. Previous research projects have taken the XML-Infoset and provided an alternate syntax in the form of S-expressions, along with providing languages to perform transformations of the new representation in manners similar to that of XSLT. For example, SXML / SXSLT performs this function by embedding said languages in
Scheme.

XLove applies modern principles of object-oriented design, namely design patterns, to this problem. Xl is an alternate syntax for the XML-Infoset. It maintains a clear distinction between attributes and elements (while having a concise notation for namespaces). The syntax is built into a representation over the Document Object Model by observers responding to parsing events. Xlt is an alternate syntax for XSLT designed to emphasize the functional nature of the language. A set of visitors transforms the input Document Object Model tree into an output tree by mapping the Xlt abstract syntax tree to XSLT. The resultant document is a valid XSLT program over the Document Object Model which can than be directly executed or output as an XML file.

Mugshot 1.1.46

Sorry for the delay in the release. I’ve been quite busy lately and this one required a bit of tweaking (not much – just a small patch to account for differences in Ubuntu’s loudmouth package – details are available in the changelog). Behold the tree of woe…

->  dists
	->  dapper
		* 1.1.40 (src amd64 i386)
	->  edgy
		* 1.1.46 (src amd64 i386)
	->  feisty
		* 1.1.45 (src powerpc)
		* 1.1.46 (src amd64 i386)

UPDATE:

Powerpc is now in as well:

->  dists
	->  dapper
		* 1.1.40 (src amd64 i386)
	->  edgy
		* 1.1.46 (src amd64 i386)
	->  feisty
		* 1.1.46 (src amd64 i386 powerpc)

Mugshot 1.1.45

No, I haven’t forgotten about writing that pbuilder guide (I just haven’t had time for it). However, here’s the new mugshot version:

->  dists
	->  dapper
		* 1.1.40 (src amd64 i386)
	->  edgy
		* 1.1.45 (src amd64 i386)
	->  feisty
		* 1.1.42 (src powerpc)
		* 1.1.45 (src amd64 i386)

As always, other builds are greatly appreciated.

Mugshot 1.1.42

After much waiting (on the part of you, dear reader), Mugshot 1.1.42 is available in the repositories for both edgy and feisty (amd64, i386). Unfortunately, dapper did not want to play nice (the dbus version is just too old – not sure what can be done…). This also means that I do have a pbuilder setup that builds for dapper, edgy, and feisty (amd64, i386). It’s pretty slick now that I’ve figured out how to do it, so expect a pbuilder guide soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

I haven’t looked at the possibilities of cross-compiling yet, so eventually I may end up spitting out ppc packages as well. Until then, PowerPC builds are always welcome. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to look at Big Board soon, and possibly start providing packages of it as well.

Without further ado, the beloved tree chart:

->  dists
	->  dapper
		* 1.1.40 (src amd64 i386)
	->  edgy
		* 1.1.42 (src amd64 i386)
	->  feisty
		* 1.1.42 (src amd64 i386)

Make sure to check out the new “Filter” feature – if you ever get annoyed at watching your stuff pop-up (I don’t really, but I can see how it could be bothersome), worry no more!

UPDATE:

Thanks to Keywan, ppc packages are now available in the repositories. The updated tree chart “goes like this” (yes, that was an oblique Invader Zim reference ๐Ÿ™‚ ):

->  dists
	->  dapper
		* 1.1.40 (src amd64 i386)
	->  edgy
		* 1.1.42 (src amd64 i386)
	->  feisty
		* 1.1.42 (src amd64 i386 powerpc)

Happy Birthday To Me

Happy birthday to me. I’m officially 25 (well, give it two hours) – which in the US means I’ve finally crossed two barriers:

1. No more hassle in renting a car.

2. My parents’ income doesn’t matter on my FAFSA.

The latter doesn’t much matter considering grad student status does the same thing. So it’s only number 1 I’m really celebrating. It looks like my mid-life crisis (a.k.a. age 40) is the next big milestone to look forward to.

On a mugshot sidenote, I’ve been playing around with getting all of the nifty new application information working. It’s very hackish so far (which is why I haven’t inflicted it on anyone yet), but I’m managing to make some progress. If anyone can give me pointers on good ways to hook into the nifty package install progress bar that update-manager and synaptic use, I’d be grateful. Otherwise, I’ll try to come up with something. For some reason, it only appears to work in firefox. I’m guessing this has something (possibly) to do with the canvas widget and how epiphany is built. I’m not going to worry overly much about it at this point – I’m planning on upgrading to Feisty when it is officially released (looks like it missed by birthday by two days!).

Also, I’m considering deprecating the dapper packages. While it is still a supported release, I haven’t received any new builds for a while. On the other hand, I could always learn how to use pbuilder / buy myself some new hard drives. I haven’t really come to a conclusion yet. Anyone who’s reading, feel free to list your release / architecture combination in the comments so I can get a feel of what all is out there.

If you feel like celebrating with me, go to the nearest Irish (or approximately Irish) pub and drink a shot of irish whiskey for me. No, I’m not Irish (I think), but it seems to be the celebratory thing to do around these parts. ๐Ÿ™‚

New Cell Phones

Kimberly and I have both recently gotten new cell phones. The Motorola RAZR V3. It’s available in any color you want as long as that color is black… I mean gun metal.

Overall, we’re pretty happy with the phones so far (though the UI sucks – I could rant for hours about everything that’s wrong with mobile phone UIs, but I’ll spare you that for now).

In the process, Kimberly ended up switching to Cingular / AT&T / Ma’ Bell or whatever you want to call them. This followed, let us call it, a “confrontation” between Kimberly and her old cell phone (guess who won).

The best part is after the initial fees, her bill is actually going to be lower. Rock on. As a bonus, we’re both “iPhone ready” if / when we decide to upgrade to one of those.

If you happen to be around the Kenosha area (hey – it’s not that far of a drive from Chicago), our wonderful service provider is Superior Wireless.

Disclosure:

My brother happens to work there, but I’ll guarantee you that you will get good service regardless of who you are. The best part is that all of the employees are very down to earth people who aren’t going to try to bullshit you into spending money you don’t need to. They also won’t try to sell your grandfather the latest blackberry (unless he actually wants it, of course). And if you’re going to get screwed by a phone company, I’ve found Cingular to be the least painful.