Wednesday, December 23, 2009

gnusim8085 maintenance - migration to git

I hate to admit it but I am bad at maintaining gnusim8085. Until few days ago there has been zero activity from my side and almost zero activity overall from last stable release 1.3.5. Hopefully this will change soon.

It was already discussed on the mailing list if we should migrate to some DVCS. But since I was not very comfortable with concept of DVCS at that time we decided to live with svn. But beating my own reluctance (and ignorance) about DVCS I have finally converted the repository to git. I found some time in last week to actually learn basics of git. So I am not living under rock anymore. The conversion was as easy as 'git svn clone <svn_url>; git push <git_url>'. I also hope this will reduce the barrier to entry for contributors/patch writers.
The project is still hosted on because even with really slow UI it is still overall best hosting solution IMHO.

Since the conversion to git I have already pushed some bug fixes and a feature addition. I am having fun using git and going forward I will use git for most of the projects. :-D

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Less than 1% non-Free

Joining in… Planet Ubuntu Virtual Richard M. Stallman meme.

My iBook laptop when using Ubuntu Jaunty.

onkar@iBook:~$ vrms
Non-free packages installed on iBook

linux-powerpc Complete Linux kernel on PowerPC.
tangerine-icon-theme Tangerine Icon theme

Contrib packages installed on iBook

b43-fwcutter Utility for extracting Broadcom 43xx firmware

2 non-free packages, 0.1% of 1389 installed packages.
1 contrib packages, 0.1% of 1389 installed packages.

1. I am not sure why linux-powerpc is being considered non-Free. I will have to discuss with powerpc team in Ubuntu.
2. As already pointed out at several places tangerine-icon-theme actually uses CC-BY-SA license and is wrongly identified as non-Free.

Same laptop with Debian testing.

onkar@iBook:~$ vrms

No non-free or contrib packages installed on iBook! rms would be proud.

1. I am using non-Free firmware for bcm4306 wireless chipset. But I didn't install b43-fwcutter to download/extract firmware. Instead I simply copied the firmware files from Ubuntu to Debian.

My PC with Ubuntu Karmic.

onkar@ubuntu:~/programs/swt-gtk$ vrms
Non-free packages installed on ubuntu

tangerine-icon-theme Tangerine Icon theme

Contrib packages installed on ubuntu

flashplugin-installer Adobe Flash Player plugin installer

1 non-free packages, 0.1% of 1562 installed packages.
1 contrib packages, 0.1% of 1562 installed packages.

1. tangerine-icon-theme shows up here too.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The day has arrived

The day has arrived when ...
1. Debian's next version 5.0 "Lenny" will be released. Not that I use Debian, but a new release means Debian unstable will not be frozen anymore, many new packages will land in unstable and syncs/merges from Debian 'experimental' will reduce in Jaunty development cycle. :-D
2. The Unix time will reach 1234567890. It is about 17 minutes from now. While in some time zones it will be Friday the 13th, in my time zone it is already Valentine's Day. Happy Valentine's Day. :-)

Friday, February 06, 2009

Review Board reaches 1.0 alpha 2 milestone

I don't exactly remember how I came to know about review board. Most probably it was a one of the first ten results in google search for term "code review tool". We decided to evaluate it for use in our time and code reviews have been the easiest part of my job since then.

I must say review board is one of the best tools "of the developers, by the developers, for the developers". The reason it found place in our day to day work is because the initial setup and the use is really easy. I had the review server up and running in flat 30 minutes, this included time to fetch and install all the dependencies.
Note: The setup time may vary on a Windows box.

What makes review board a handy tool is ...
1a. Really intuitive user interface.
Now I haven't looked into other similar tools such as crucible, codestriker but I am really wondering if the UI can be made simpler than what RB offers.
1b. Easy setup.
This shares its first place in the list with 'easy UI'. You have to set it up to believe it.
2. Command line as well as GUI to post the review.
The post-review script is blessing for us because 'p4 diff' s**ks. For other VCS you can use GUI if they want.
3. Syntax highlighting in diff viewer.
Python pygments is working behind the scenes.
4. Diff between the diff revisions.
You post a diff to fix a problem. Someone makes a comment and you post another diff. Not the commenter can check what you actually changed between two diffs. :-)
5. Multiple authentication backends
We are using standard username/password authentication, but there is support for Active Directory as well as NIS.
6. Too many version control systems supported.
You name a VCS and it is supported ... almost. If it is not then scratch your itch. Write a plugin for <insert your favorite VCS here>. On a side note we are using perforce and RB really works well with it.

And the good thing is that it is Free software (otherwise it wouldn't be a subject of this post). :-)

The tool had 1.0 alpha 2 release recently. Which means that all the 'must have' features on the roadmap are implemented. There might be still some quirks/announces depending on the setup but it is being improved every day.

By the way, who is up for the challenge to package review board for Ubuntu before feature freeze. :-)