FLOSS Project Planets

Drupalize.Me: Drupal 8 Beta is So Close

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2014-09-16 09:10
Recently, the biggest piece of news in the Drupal 8 world is that we are finally down to just one beta-blocker. This is really great, but what does it mean exactly? Well, in the big picture it means that we are very close to releasing a beta version of Drupal 8 for everyone to start playing with, and this is a major step towards getting the final release out the door.   What is a Beta?
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Petter Reinholdtsen: Speeding up the Debian installer using eatmydata and dpkg-divert

Planet Debian - Tue, 2014-09-16 08:00

The Debian installer could be a lot quicker. When we install more than 2000 packages in Skolelinux / Debian Edu using tasksel in the installer, unpacking the binary packages take forever. A part of the slow I/O issue was discussed in bug #613428 about too much file system sync-ing done by dpkg, which is the package responsible for unpacking the binary packages. Other parts (like code executed by postinst scripts) might also sync to disk during installation. All this sync-ing to disk do not really make sense to me. If the machine crash half-way through, I start over, I do not try to salvage the half installed system. So the failure sync-ing is supposed to protect against, hardware or system crash, is not really relevant while the installer is running.

A few days ago, I thought of a way to get rid of all the file system sync()-ing in a fairly non-intrusive way, without the need to change the code in several packages. The idea is not new, but I have not heard anyone propose the approach using dpkg-divert before. It depend on the small and clever package eatmydata, which uses LD_PRELOAD to replace the system functions for syncing data to disk with functions doing nothing, thus allowing programs to live dangerous while speeding up disk I/O significantly. Instead of modifying the implementation of dpkg, apt and tasksel (which are the packages responsible for selecting, fetching and installing packages), it occurred to me that we could just divert the programs away, replace them with a simple shell wrapper calling "eatmydata $program $@", to get the same effect. Two days ago I decided to test the idea, and wrapped up a simple implementation for the Debian Edu udeb.

The effect was stunning. In my first test it reduced the running time of the pkgsel step (installing tasks) from 64 to less than 44 minutes (20 minutes shaved off the installation) on an old Dell Latitude D505 machine. I am not quite sure what the optimised time would have been, as I messed up the testing a bit, causing the debconf priority to get low enough for two questions to pop up during installation. As soon as I saw the questions I moved the installation along, but do not know how long the question were holding up the installation. I did some more measurements using Debian Edu Jessie, and got these results. The time measured is the time stamp in /var/log/syslog between the "pkgsel: starting tasksel" and the "pkgsel: finishing up" lines, if you want to do the same measurement yourself. In Debian Edu, the tasksel dialog do not show up, and the timing thus do not depend on how quickly the user handle the tasksel dialog.

Machine/setup Original tasksel Optimised tasksel Reduction Latitude D505 Main+LTSP LXDE 64 min (07:46-08:50) <44 min (11:27-12:11) >20 min 18% Latitude D505 Roaming LXDE 57 min (08:48-09:45) 34 min (07:43-08:17) 23 min 40% Latitude D505 Minimal 22 min (10:37-10:59) 11 min (11:16-11:27) 11 min 50% Thinkpad X200 Minimal 6 min (08:19-08:25) 4 min (08:04-08:08) 2 min 33% Thinkpad X200 Roaming KDE 19 min (09:21-09:40) 15 min (10:25-10:40) 4 min 21%

The test is done using a netinst ISO on a USB stick, so some of the time is spent downloading packages. The connection to the Internet was 100Mbit/s during testing, so downloading should not be a significant factor in the measurement. Download typically took a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on the amount of packages being installed.

The speedup is implemented by using two hooks in Debian Installer, the pre-pkgsel.d hook to set up the diverts, and the finish-install.d hook to remove the divert at the end of the installation. I picked the pre-pkgsel.d hook instead of the post-base-installer.d hook because I test using an ISO without the eatmydata package included, and the post-base-installer.d hook in Debian Edu can only operate on packages included in the ISO. The negative effect of this is that I am unable to activate this optimization for the kernel installation step in d-i. If the code is moved to the post-base-installer.d hook, the speedup would be larger for the entire installation.

I've implemented this in the debian-edu-install git repository, and plan to provide the optimization as part of the Debian Edu installation. If you want to test this yourself, you can create two files in the installer (or in an udeb). One shell script need do go into /usr/lib/pre-pkgsel.d/, with content like this:

#!/bin/sh set -e . /usr/share/debconf/confmodule info() { logger -t my-pkgsel "info: $*" } error() { logger -t my-pkgsel "error: $*" } override_install() { apt-install eatmydata || true if [ -x /target/usr/bin/eatmydata ] ; then for bin in dpkg apt-get aptitude tasksel ; do file=/usr/bin/$bin # Test that the file exist and have not been diverted already. if [ -f /target$file ] ; then info "diverting $file using eatmydata" printf "#!/bin/sh\neatmydata $bin.distrib \"\$@\"\n" \ > /target$file.edu chmod 755 /target$file.edu in-target dpkg-divert --package debian-edu-config \ --rename --quiet --add $file ln -sf ./$bin.edu /target$file else error "unable to divert $file, as it is missing." fi done else error "unable to find /usr/bin/eatmydata after installing the eatmydata pacage" fi } override_install

To clean up, another shell script should go into /usr/lib/finish-install.d/ with code like this:

#! /bin/sh -e . /usr/share/debconf/confmodule error() { logger -t my-finish-install "error: $@" } remove_install_override() { for bin in dpkg apt-get aptitude tasksel ; do file=/usr/bin/$bin if [ -x /target$file.edu ] ; then rm /target$file in-target dpkg-divert --package debian-edu-config \ --rename --quiet --remove $file rm /target$file.edu else error "Missing divert for $file." fi done sync # Flush file buffers before continuing } remove_install_override

In Debian Edu, I placed both code fragments in a separate script edu-eatmydata-install and call it from the pre-pkgsel.d and finish-install.d scripts.

By now you might ask if this change should get into the normal Debian installer too? I suspect it should, but am not sure the current debian-installer coordinators find it useful enough. It also depend on the side effects of the change. I'm not aware of any, but I guess we will see if the change is safe after some more testing. Perhaps there is some package in Debian depending on sync() and fsync() having effect? Perhaps it should go into its own udeb, to allow those of us wanting to enable it to do so without affecting everyone.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

CTI Digital: First-timers guide to DrupalCon

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2014-09-16 06:09
Ticket bought, flights and accommodation booked, like hundreds of others you’re DrupalCon bound for the very first time! No doubt you are very excited, perhaps a little nervous, not quite sure what to expect? Panic not, by the time you’ve read this blog you’ll be all set to make the most of the experience.   Rest assured, approaching half of attendees are first timers, just like you. Everyone was a newbie once. Drupalists are a friendly bunch, so once you get going it’ll be a breeze.    So here goes ….   Plan now!   Don’t spend valuable time during DrupalCon picking what session to watch next. Do yourself a favour, plan your schedule ahead not when you arrive  but be flexible in case something good comes up you might have overlooked! https://amsterdam2014.drupal.org/schedule.     “be flexible, you never know what opportunities you'll get during the conference, sometimes you might have to break your schedule to accommodate.” James Davidson @davidsonj   Who’s coming?   Browse the attendee list [https://amsterdam2014.drupal.org/attendees] ahead of time, there are bound to be some familiar faces you have spoken to on IRC, Drupal.org or social media.    Beyond this there will be other Drupalists sharing your interests, reach out to them and start a conversation ahead of time to help crystallize new friendships during the conference.   Not everyone is able to stay the whole time so be sure to ask those who you are most keen to see. Hatch a plan beforehand, most people’s calendars fill up fast.   Business cards   Even if you aren’t on the business side of Drupal, you will speak to a LOT of people at DrupalCon. Do get some business cards printed. This will save time and ensure you remain in touch with people beyond the conference. Moo.com [www.moo.com] are cost effective or use Lullabot’s wicked new digital card app “Shoot” [ https://www.lullabot.com/blog/article/lullabots-latest-mobile-app-shoot]   What (not) to pack   Be clear - there is no dress code. DrupalCon is inclusive, anything goes. Bring comfortable shoes, you will walk miles during the conference. To be honest, I always pack light and wear less than I think. Don’t forget smartphone and laptop chargers!   An international power adapter and power strip is an essential accessory. Keep those gadgets juiced up.    “Carrying a power strip around with you is often a good way to make friends at conferences.”  Larry Garfield @Crell   I find a notepad invaluable although you can be sure to stock up on these in the Exhibitor Hall.   Make sure you pack enough to survive in your carry on baggage just in case your hold bag goes missing. Even better, just go carry on.   Mobile data   Be sure to check with your mobile phone supplier any costs associated with data usage before you arrive. There will be ample free wifi at the conference centre so maybe you can manage without.   Money   Are you sure your credit card is accepted in The Netherlands? Be sure to inform your card company that you are traveling and to expect overseas transactions charges. Arrange euros ahead of time.   Twitter is your friend   Not only will major announcements be made on @DrupalConEur, there will be a stream of helpful advice and a certain amount of cat herding so be sure to follow.   A lot of attendees use Twitter to make plans during the conference so be sure to track the official #DrupalCon hashtag. Use the hashtag yourself to make plans, form new connections and share photos.    Help   The volunteers at the Help Desk where you register are available throughout the duration of the conference to assist with any enquiry or help you may require.   Before DrupalCon if you need to contact the conference organisers, the best method is the site contact form [https://amsterdam2014.drupal.org/contact-us]   “volunteer, be front desk, on the rooms, whatever, there is not a better way to meet new people if you don't already” Pedro Cambra @pcambra   Arriving   A lot of people save money travelling from the airport by sharing transport. This can be planned ahead of time using social media or more spontaneous or bumping into people wearing Drupal t-shirts. Remember there are thousands of us arriving in a short space of time, you are bound not to be alone.   Registration   Avoid the queues at registration by visiting before Tuesday morning. The registration desk is open during Sunday and all day Monday.   Say hello!   This is your chance to meet people for real. Don’t spend your whole time head down in a screen. Conversations are all around you, go start one. Don’t be daunted because the person across the hallway is a ‘rockstar Drupaler’. We all like talking about what we love.   “do not session cram your day as it will make your head spin, say hi to people (we are not scary) :)” Emma Karayiannis @emma_maria88   “don't be surprised if everyone seems to know everyone; at my first #DrupalCon I thought: established social group; but half were newbies!” J-P Stacey @jpstacey   SWAG!   Sponsors compete with one another to see who can create the coolest Drupal related giveaways. The best goodies go fast so be sure to attend the exhibit hall at the earliest opportunity.    Pro-tip: The Exhibit Hall opens Monday 17:00-18:30. There is a party like atmosphere, it’s a really nice way to ease into the DrupalCon flow. This is also when the smart people get their SWAG.    Don’t be shy, the sponsors really want you to take their swag home. Also, be sure to leave spare space on your journey out for SWAG coming home. Be sure of the baggage allowance of your airline!   Bookstore   Then there’s the Drupal Association’s confusingly have a “Bookstore” which actually sells way more than books. They have some awesome Drupal memorabilia, proceeds of which go to fund the Drupal project.     Exhibit Hall [https://amsterdam2014.drupal.org/exhibit-hall]   Social calendar   Amsterdam in particular has some noteworthy social events scheduled by the local community and attendees alike. Dinners, cultural evening, women in Drupal, pub crawls, the arrival of Tour de Drupal are amongst some of the events currently available.    [https://amsterdam2014.drupal.org/event/women-drupal-meetup]   Monday   Many people arrive ahead of the main conference. This can be an excellent time to arrange meetings with people before things get too hectic.    The community summit [https://amsterdam2014.drupal.org/community-summit] or business day [https://amsterdam2014.drupal.org/business-summit] are a really great ways to forge new connections and share knowledge at the same time.    Tuesday   DriesNote The Dries’s Keynote is always a full house. In fact I strongly advise get your seat early or possibly miss out! A pro-tip is attend Rob & Jam’s pre-keynote, you’d be mad not to anyway [https://amsterdam2014.drupal.org/prenote] , and bag yourself a prime location for the DriesNote early (they always share the same location).    Say cheese! A huge tradition at DrupalCon is the group photo. Be sure to be among the sea of Drupalists immediately after the DriesNote. We hear an octocopter will make an entrance in Amsterdam to help capture the epic numbers we now have. See how we did it in Prague last year [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tHvys7xTRM]   Thursday   Trivia Night A quiz night about Drupal. Unmissable, I am not kidding you. For many it’s the highlight of the social calendar. There are bonus points for teams with DrupalCon first timers so you will be most welcome! What better way to meet new people, and there are amazing prizes to be had.   Friday   Sprints! There are opportunities for everyone to contribute to sprints no matter if you’ve never attended a (code) sprint before. Special First-Time Sprinter Workshops [https://amsterdam2014.drupal.org/first-time-sprinter-workshop] exist to guide those of you who are new to sprinting. “Everyone can get involved in many aspects, including documentation, UX, design, testing, and development.”   Taking part in these mass participation sprints is invigorating and should certainly be on your schedule.   There’s more besides sessions at DrupalCon...   With so many great sessions to choose from there are bound to be clashes. Don’t panic, the amazing team at DrupalCon reliably have all sessions published same day to Youtube [https://www.youtube.com/user/DrupalAssociation].   Aware of these recordings you should consider what else there’s available to do ….   Hallway track   For many a highlight of the conference is those chance meetings in the hallway. Do take the opportunity to stop and spend time talking with people in the hallway.    BoFs?   Affectionately know as “BoFs” - Birds of a feather conversations offer a rare opportunity to meet and discuss a theme with Drupalists sharing a common interest. As a first time DrupalCon attendee I can’t stress how valuable BoFs are. There’s no need to register, just turn up or even arrange your own! [https://amsterdam2014.drupal.org/bofs]. Many presenters will arrange companion BoFs for their sessions, this is a great time to deep dive into a subject.   “the BoF is where the conversations happen, sessions are recorded but these aren't, many goodies happen there” Pedro Cambra @pcambra   Sprints   From 27th September all the way through to 4th October there are ample opportunities to get involved in sprints. In particular the mass Friday sprints are open to all with mentors to help you make your first core contribution. Go for it! https://amsterdam2014.drupal.org/sprints   Relax! There will be other DrupalCons   Don’t try and do everything first time round. With so many amazing keynotes, sessions, BoFs and people to meet plus a packed social calendar - there’s no denying there’s a temptation at DrupalCon to burn the candle at both ends. Be careful though, without some proper rest and healthy food you can easily get run down and suffer post conference DrupalFlu.   So pace yourself. Head for bed when others say “just one more”, eat some fruit, drink water and get some sleep. You’ll enjoy DrupalCon and take home just amazing memories.   Further reading   Jeffrey McGuire’s A-Z of DrupalCon https://www.acquia.com/blog/what-is-drupalcon   Doug Vann has further tips on what to bring to DrupalCon [http://dougvann.com/blog/top-ten-things-bring-you-drupalcon-austin]   Image courtesy of Michael Schmid  
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Back from Akademy 2014

Planet KDE - Tue, 2014-09-16 06:04

So last week-end I came back from Akademy 2014, it was a loooong road, but really worth it of course!
Great to meet so much nice people, old friends and new ones. Lots of interesting discussions.

I won’t tell again everything that happened as it’s been already well covered in the dot and several blog posts on planet.kde, with lots of great photos in this gallery.

On my part, I’m especially happy to have met Jens Reuterberg and other people from the new Visual Design Group. We could discuss about the tools we have and how we could try to improve/resurrect Karbon and Krita vector tools.. And share ideas about some redesign like for the network manager…

Then another important point was the BoF we had with all other french people, about our local communication on the web and about planning for Akademy-Fr that will be co-hosted again with Le Capitole du Libre in Toulouse in November.

Thanks again to everyone who helped organize it, and to KDE e.V. for the travel support that allowed me to be there.

PS: And Thanks a lot Adriaan for the story, that was very fun.. Héhé sure I’ll think about drawing it, when I’ll have time..

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Continuum Analytics Blog: Introducing Blaze - Migrations

Planet Python - Tue, 2014-09-16 06:00

tl;dr Blaze migrates data efficiently between a variety of data stores.

In our last post on Blaze expressions we showed how Blaze can execute the same tabular query on a variety of computational backends. However, this ability is only useful if you can migrate your data to the new computational system in the first place.

To help with this, Blaze provides the into function which moves data from one container type to another.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Just Arrived

Planet KDE - Tue, 2014-09-16 05:36


Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Hideki Yamane: Intel 910 SSD 400GB - $420

Planet Debian - Tue, 2014-09-16 04:10

Intel SSD 910 (400GB, SSDPEDOX400G301) is cheaper than ever in Japan - only $420 (and its spec sheet says "Recommended Customer Price BULK: $1929.00", wow).
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

guix @ Savannah: Join us for a Guix hackathon on Sep. 27-28!

GNU Planet! - Tue, 2014-09-16 03:58

The GNU Guix project is organizing a hackathon on September 27th and 28th, 2014. The hackathon will take place primarily on-line, on the #guix IRC channel on Freenode. We have started collecting a list of hacking ideas. Feel free to stop by and make more suggestions!

The hackathon is accessible to anyone with experience in GNU/Linux packaging or systems hacking. Scheme programmers will find additional things to work on in the tool set. Finally, we will also be welcoming newcomers and helping them get started.

This is a followup to last year's hackathon, organized for GNU's 30th anniversary.

About GNU Guix

GNU Guix is the functional package manager for the GNU system, and a distribution thereof.

In addition to standard package management features, Guix supports transactional upgrades and roll-backs, unprivileged package management, per-user profiles, and garbage collection. It also offers a declarative approach to operating system configuration management. Guix uses low-level mechanisms from the Nix package manager, with Guile Scheme programming interfaces.

At this stage the distribution can be used on an i686 or x86_64 machine. It is also possible to use Guix on top of an already installed GNU/Linux system, including on mips64el.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

V.S. Babu: Setting up Xubuntu in Lenovo Flex2 14D

Planet Python - Tue, 2014-09-16 01:45

Lenovo Flex2 14D is a good laptop with decent build quality, light weight, 14" screen and touch screen for those who like it. With AMD A6 processor version, it is reasonably priced too.

It comes pre-loaded wth Windows 8.1 and a bunch of Lenovo software. If you want to get this to dual boot with Ubuntu Linux, here are the specific fixes you need to do.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Károly Négyesi: What JS makes this monkey dance?

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2014-09-16 00:27

Today I found myself in a complex codebase and my ticket was: this JS on this old page makes the monkey dance, can you make it dance on the new page? Well, my JS knowledge is... limited but I have a really mean right click. So I right clicked and looked around the source Chrome showed me. There was a div with a class slideshow-node-embed-processed. Now that's important: -processed is added by the jQuery once plugin that Drupal 7 happens to ships with. It's much easier to recognize the handiwork of the plugin than actually use it -- this is true for many similar reverse engineering scenarios. Next step is ag slideshow-node-embed (you have ag installed, don't you?) which comes back with a single JS file called sites/all/themes/foo/js/node-embed.js. Next ag -A2 -B2 node-embed.js -- just searching is pointless but by adding some context to it hopefully we can see some settings or CSS necessary.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Drupal core announcements: Drupal core security release window on Wednesday, September 17

Planet Drupal - Mon, 2014-09-15 22:20
Start:  2014-09-17 (All day) America/New_York Sprint Organizers:  David_Rothstein

The monthly security release window for Drupal 6 and Drupal 7 core will take place on Wednesday, September 17.

This does not mean that a Drupal core security release will necessarily take place on that date for either the Drupal 6 or Drupal 7 branches, only that you should prepare to look out for one (and be ready to update your Drupal sites in the event that the Drupal security team decides to make a release).

There will be no bug fix release on this date; the next window for a Drupal core bug fix release is Wednesday, October 1.

For more information on Drupal core release windows, see the documentation on release timing and security releases, and the discussion that led to this policy being implemented.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Bryan Pendleton: MRAP-a-tat-tat

Planet Apache - Mon, 2014-09-15 21:57

What.

Just what.

The world is insane.

  • Bay Area police departments got millions in military surplus, records showAsked why Antioch police needed a mine-resistant personnel carrier weighing more than 30,000 pounds, Antioch police Captain Leonard Orman said the vehicle was critical to the department's ability to protect officers during a natural disaster or in incidents that require a SWAT team.

    "It's a defensive vehicle that provides the ability to be protected from gunfire, including high-powered rifles," Orman said. "If someone is barricaded in a home and there is an injured person on the ground, we can use it to rescue the person without exposing ourselves to fire."

    ...

    UC Berkeley's police department used the 1033 program to request about a dozen M-16 rifles, which it said would give officers firepower equal to that held by some of the criminals they encounter, said Lt. Eric Tejada, a department spokesman.

    "We feel that those specialists need to have a rifle that's capable of dealing with some incidents that can involve the modern-day weapons that you see now," Tejada said. "It's smart for us to utilize the resources that you can get for free."

  • Davis acquires mine-resistant war vehicle while some complain of militarization of policeChief Landy Black of the Davis police defended the acquisition of the MRAP, saying in a statement that its heavy armor “makes it the perfect platform to perform rescues of victims and potential victims during … active-shooter incidents, and to more safely deliver officers into an active-shooter incident.”

    ...

    “I can’t imagine why Davis needs a tank,” Davis Mayor Dan Wolk said Wednesday. “It’s in a city garage and I hope it stays there.”

  • Dozens of police departments suspended for losing US military-grade weaponryAccording to the media outlet Fusion, its independent investigation into the Pentagon’s “1033 program,” which equips state and local police departments across the US with excess military equipment, turned up an alarming trend: Not only did many law enforcement agencies fail to comply with the program’s guidelines, they routinely lost dangerous weaponry.

    Already, the investigation has found that police departments in Arizona, California, Mississippi, Missouri, Georgia, and others have lost or cannot account for various types of weapons. This list includes M14 and M16 assault rifles, .45-caliber pistols, shotguns, and even vehicles.

  • The Pentagon Is Giving Grenade Launchers To Campus PoliceDavid Perry, the president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, told Politico that 1033 mostly funnels “small items” to college police forces for daily use. These could be anything from office supplies or uniforms or car parts, but it’s probably not all that tame. Campus Safety magazine recommends that universities take part in the 1033 program to cover a range of needs from storage units to grenade launchers. That is, after all, what the program was designed to achieve.
  • Finding Funds for Your Equipment, Programs and People (Part 2 of 2)Military surplus and contractors via the 1033 program, however, can be excellent sources of used equipment.

    The 1033 program (formerly the 1208 program) permits the secretary of defense to transfer excess U.S. Department of Defense personal property (supplies and equipment) to state and local law enforcement agencies. Anything from used grenade launchers (for the deployment of less lethal weapons) to trucks to boats to storage units may be available for a significantly reduced cost.

  • Ferguson aftermath: California city tells cops to get rid of armored vehicleDavis Police Chief Landry Black made the case for keeping the MRAP, saying the police department had confiscated much high-power weaponry in the last year. He said there were specific guidelines for its use, and that it is a necessary piece of safety equipment for the city.
  • Police Armored Vehicle Is Unwelcome in California College TownSheriff Brown of Santa Barbara County said there had been “a lot of misunderstanding about the program — in some quarters, even hysteria.”

    “The reality is that this is a great program,” he said. “It provides law enforcement with a lot of very valuable equipment that in many instances — in fact, most instances — could not be obtained or afforded, and allows us to do a better job of protecting our citizens and our own public safety personnel.”

  • Commentary: A militarized police force may see its citizens as the ‘enemy’Even college security forces are getting their share: A sidebar noted that nine out of 10 universities employ armed officers authorized to use deadly force.

    And in 2013, “the campus police at The Ohio State University procured a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle (MRAP), according to the Daily Caller website. The vehicle, which school officials noted was ‘acquired at no cost from military surplus,’ has a gun turret on the roof and is designed to stave off ambushes and roll over improvised explosive devices. OSU was also the first agency in the state to acquire an MRAP at the time.

"Campus Safety Magazine"? There is such a thing?

My head hurts. I am sad.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Justin Mason: Links for 2014-09-15

Planet Apache - Mon, 2014-09-15 19:58
  • The State of ZFS on Linux

    Linux users familiar with other filesystems or ZFS users from other platforms will often ask whether ZFS on Linux (ZoL) is “stable”. The short answer is yes, depending on your definition of stable. The term stable itself is somewhat ambiguous. Oh dear. that’s not a good start. Good reference page, though

    (tags: zfs linux filesystems ops solaris)

  • Screen time: Steve Jobs was a low tech parent

    “This is rule No. 1: There are no screens in the bedroom. Period. Ever.”

    (tags: screen-time kids children tv mobile technology life rules parenting)

  • CausalImpact: A new open-source package for estimating causal effects in time series

    How can we measure the number of additional clicks or sales that an AdWords campaign generated? How can we estimate the impact of a new feature on app downloads? How do we compare the effectiveness of publicity across countries? In principle, all of these questions can be answered through causal inference. In practice, estimating a causal effect accurately is hard, especially when a randomised experiment is not available. One approach we’ve been developing at Google is based on Bayesian structural time-series models. We use these models to construct a synthetic control — what would have happened to our outcome metric in the absence of the intervention. This approach makes it possible to estimate the causal effect that can be attributed to the intervention, as well as its evolution over time. We’ve been testing and applying structural time-series models for some time at Google. For example, we’ve used them to better understand the effectiveness of advertising campaigns and work out their return on investment. We’ve also applied the models to settings where a randomised experiment was available, to check how similar our effect estimates would have been without an experimental control. Today, we’re excited to announce the release of CausalImpact, an open-source R package that makes causal analyses simple and fast. With its release, all of our advertisers and users will be able to use the same powerful methods for estimating causal effects that we’ve been using ourselves. Our main motivation behind creating the package has been to find a better way of measuring the impact of ad campaigns on outcomes. However, the CausalImpact package could be used for many other applications involving causal inference. Examples include problems found in economics, epidemiology, or the political and social sciences.

    (tags: causal-inference r google time-series models bayes adwords advertising statistics estimation metrics)

  • Top 10 Historic Sites in Ireland and Northern Ireland — National Geographic

    Shamefully, I haven’t visited most of these!

    (tags: history neolithic ireland northern-ireland national-geographic tourism places)

  • Software patents are crumbling, thanks to the Supreme Court

    Now a series of decisions from lower courts is starting to bring the ruling’s practical consequences into focus. And the results have been ugly for fans of software patents. By my count there have been 11 court rulings on the patentability of software since the Supreme Court’s decision — including six that were decided this month.  Every single one of them has led to the patent being invalidated. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all software patents are in danger — these are mostly patents that are particularly vulnerable to challenge under the new Alice precedent. But it does mean that the pendulum of patent law is now clearly swinging in an anti-patent direction. Every time a patent gets invalidated, it strengthens the bargaining position of every defendant facing a lawsuit from a patent troll.

    (tags: patents law alice swpats software supreme-court patent-trolls)

  • Riding with the Stars: Passenger Privacy in the NYC Taxicab Dataset

    A practical demo of “differential privacy” — allowing public data dumps to happen without leaking privacy, using Laplace noise addition

    (tags: differential-privacy privacy leaks public-data open-data data nyc taxis laplace noise randomness)

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

James Duncan: A Swift kickstart

Planet Apache - Mon, 2014-09-15 18:00

My friend Daniel Steinberg has been busy at work since WWDC writing a book on Swift as the development releases of Xcode and Swift have come out of Apple over the Summer. I love how he developed this out in the open and has been pushing out releases as he goes. It’s a model way to make an eBook and perfect way to leverage the iBook Store for this subject. Plus, I love the name.

via permalink
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

KDE Telepathy 0.9-beta

Planet KDE - Mon, 2014-09-15 16:49

We have released a beta of KDE Telepathy 0.9, and libkpeople 0.3.0

Features include:

  • OTR
  • Improved group chats
  • Modernised video chats, now based on GStreamer 1.0
  • Lots of fixes and speed improvements

Tarballs are available here and here.

If you're interested in developing and contributing follow our quick start git installation guide

Please report back any bugs so we can make 0.9.0 a great release.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

FSF Blogs: IPA Font license added to license list

GNU Planet! - Mon, 2014-09-15 16:42

We recently updated our list of various licenses and comments about them to include the IPA Font license. It is a copyleft free software license for fonts, incompatible with the GPL. The IPA Font is one of the few freely licensed high quality TrueType fonts available for Japanese characters, so verifying that the license is actually free is an important step for Japanese hackers. That success does come with one caveat: the IPA Font license has a somewhat burdensome requirement regarding the use of the name of the font. The license requires that derivative works not use or include the name of the original work as a program name, font name or file name. Since fonts can be easily aliased with free software tools, this isn't too big of an issue, more of an annoyance. Despite this flaw, fonts distributed under the terms of the IPA font license carry freedom to users, and so it deserves a spot on our license list.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

IPA Font license added to license list

FSF Blogs - Mon, 2014-09-15 16:42

We recently updated our list of various licenses and comments about them to include the IPA Font license. It is a copyleft free software license for fonts, incompatible with the GPL. The IPA Font is one of the few freely licensed high quality TrueType fonts available for Japanese characters, so verifying that the license is actually free is an important step for Japanese hackers. That success does come with one caveat: the IPA Font license has a somewhat burdensome requirement regarding the use of the name of the font. The license requires that derivative works not use or include the name of the original work as a program name, font name or file name. Since fonts can be easily aliased with free software tools, this isn't too big of an issue, more of an annoyance. Despite this flaw, fonts distributed under the terms of the IPA font license carry freedom to users, and so it deserves a spot on our license list.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Faac – play CD-DA audio files

LinuxPlanet - Mon, 2014-09-15 14:25

You might need faac when playing audio cd in your computer with Foresight Linux 3. And from scratch, it’s not possible. You need to install a codec called faac. Now it’s possible to install it. Also you will be able to play audio files that are located in ipad, iphone and alot more devices.

Installation information is available at: http://wiki.foresightlinux.se/index.php?title=Faac

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Ritesh Raj Sarraf: apt-offline 1.5

Planet Debian - Mon, 2014-09-15 14:17

I am very pleased to announce the release of apt-offline, version 1.5.

In version 1.4, the offline bug report functionality had to be dropped. In version 1.5, it is back again. apt-offline now uses the new Debian native BTS library. Thanks to its developers, this library is much more slim and neat. The only catch is that it depends on the SOAPpy library which currently is not stock in Python. If you run apt-offline of Debian, you may not have to worry as I will add a Recommends on that package. For users using it on Microsoft Windows, please ensure that you have the SOAPpy library installed. It is available on pypi.

The old bundled magic library has been replaced with the version of python magic library that Debian ships. This library is derived from the file package and is portable on almost all Unixes. For Debian users, there will be a Recommends on it too.

There were also a bunch of old, outstanding, and annoying bugs that have been fixed in this release. For a full list of changes, please refer to the git logs.

With this release, apt-offline should be in good shape for the Jessie release.

apt-offline is available on Alioth @ https://alioth.debian.org/projects/apt-offline/

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Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Daniel Greenfeld: Adding Django form instance attributes

Planet Python - Mon, 2014-09-15 13:30

Sometimes in the clean(), clean_FOO or save() methods of a Django form, you need to have additional form instance attributes available. A sample case for this is having user_id available. This is a simple example of how to do it in Class-Based Views.

Assuming this form:

from django import forms from .models import MyModel class MyForm(forms.ModelForm): class Meta: model = MyModel def __init__(self, user_id, *args, **kwargs): super(MyForm, self).__init__(*args, **kwargs) # set the user_id as an attribute of the form self.user_id = user_id

Now that the form is defined, the view needs to inject the form with the user id:

from django.views.generic import UpdateView # this assumes that django-braces is installed from braces.views import LoginRequiredMixin from .forms import MyForm from .models import MyModel class MyUpdateView(LoginRequiredMixin, UpdateView): model = MyModel form_class = MyForm success_url = "/someplace/" def get_form_kwargs(self): """This method is what injects forms with their keyword arguments.""" # grab the current set of form #kwargs kwargs = super(MyUpdateView, self).get_form_kwargs() # Update the kwargs with the user_id kwargs['user_id'] = self.request.user.pk return kwargs Additional Notes

You can use this technique with:

  • forms.Form
  • forms.ModelForm
  • CreateView
  • FormView
  • UpdateView

As always, http://ccbv.co.uk is a great resource for deliving into Django forms.

While this technique is used by django-braces through the UserFormKwargsMixin and UserKwargModelFormMixin mixins, it's useful to know how to do it outside that very useful tool. The reason being that attaching the user object or user_id is just one option out of many.

django-vanilla-views

This should also work with django-vanilla-views, but I haven't tested it yet.

See you at BarCamp Django SF!

On October 4th and 5th I'll be at BarCamp Django SF if you want to talk about Django, Python, or have me teach you how to do cartwheels.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets
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