Diary of a geek

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Andrew Pollock

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Wednesday, 02 July 2008

Is autofs maintained upstream?

The current autofs package in Debian unstable has twenty-nine patches applied to it.

The Ubuntu autofs package in Hardy Heron LTS has thirty patches applied to it (twenty-nine of them being the Debian ones).

We discovered a bug today in Hardy's autofs, which will undoubtedly also affect Debian's autofs as well, which is apparently fixed in the likes of Red Hat Enterprise Linux for something like four years.

So either Red Hat is doing a shoddy job of feeding patches back upstream, or upstream is doing a shoddy job of accepting them.

The fact that Debian has to carry twenty-nine patches suggests something is similarly wrong in our camp.

We've been finding various problems in autofs in our environment recently, and have accumulated maybe half a dozen patches or so in the last month. I'll have to make sure that they get fed back into Debian and Ubuntu at the very least. Given the nature of one of the bugs we found today, I have grave doubts about the code quality of autofs. I have to wonder if it's worth rewriting from scratch in Python or something.

[23:40] [debian] [permalink]

On microblogging

Now that Tim Connors has taken the lid off it, I feel I should opine on the matter.

Microblogging is just not terribly exciting for the reader. I don't see the point in aggregating it.

I don't particularly find Mikal's blatherings terribly exciting reading. I don't find Stewart's twitterings much fun either. I think Facebook's status updates are a better way to poll such things, myself, and it's where I confine my "microblogging" to.

I think one of the things that used to make reading blogs more worthwhile than reading mailing lists was the high signal-to-noise ratio. Back in the day, there was a bit of a "cost" or barrier to entry for writing a blog post. For most blogs, it wasn't as easy as writing an email. I still hand-craft my blog posts in HTML, so for me to write something, I have to have enough inclination to fire up an editor and write the words. Often I run out of motivation half way through a blog post, and just end up scrapping it. I'm sitting on a few more lengthy posts that I haven't managed to summon up the energy to write at all yet.

I think some of the "push-button publishing" out there is rapidly commoditising blogging, to the point where it becomes as easy or easier than writing an email. And we all know what happened to email...

Blogging for me is essentially a journal. I like to use it to refer back to. To share what I'm doing with others. Occasionally it can be cathartic. Often it's a substitute for going to work and telling my co-workers about what crazy geeky thing I've done in my spare time. Mostly it's for me. The fact that I choose to share it with the world is not really a primary motivating factor for me, it just makes it more accessible for me, and sometimes helpful for others.

[08:43] [tech] [permalink]