Monthly Archives: June 2007

What does it take to break rng?

Actually just a small change in the html code of our BTS. The problem was easy to fix and the new version is already uploaded, but this shows again how fragile the connection between BTS’ html output and rng is. I’ve heard other tools where affected too — just one reason more to switch to SOAP as soon as possible.

An unfortunate side effect of today’s upload: In the last weeks I tried very hard to finally get rng into testing by not uploading as often as I wanted to. The problem aren’t RC bugs, but archs like SPARC or ARM which seem to have problems keeping up with the build queue. Being of priority extra doesn’t help very much, since packages with higher priorities (like: all other packages but rng) always jump the queue. Unfortunately my request to fix the override disparity I filed two weeks ago wasn’t processed yet and the only one who could fix this is currently on vacation. In fact others could fix this too, but it looks like they’re on vacation too. I guess I’ll just exclude both archs in one of the next uploads until things run smoother again.

But not everything is dark: with the current upload, a Dutch, a Frech, a Norwegian and a Polish pony found a new home.

Update: Looks like the override disparity has been fixed. Whoever fixed this, thank you! Rng should be available on all our archs by tomorrow and in testing in 10 days!

Localizing reportbug-ng (II)

A month ago I asked for help to localize reportbug-ng. To my surprise translations came in pretty quick. Junichi Uekawa was the first one, he sent his Japanese translation only a few hours after my request for help.

Currently we have rng translated into the following languages: Catalan, Czech, English, German, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish. Thanks David Planella, Miroslav Kure, Junichi Uekawa, Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña and Daniel Nylander for your translations!

But that’s not enough. If your language is missing, please consider translating rng to your language. Just take the source of the current version in unstable, grab the .pot and translate it. There isn’t really that much text to translate. The .pot contains only 42 messages and most of them are very short.

When you’re done, please file a l10n+patch bug against rng with the translation attached. I’ll include your translation as soon as possible, thank you in the changelog and will probably name my first pony after you ;)


1 Kilobyte = 1000 ± 24 bytes

Could you exactly say how big your hard disk has to be at least when the vendor claims it’s 500 Gigabytes big? Do you know how many bytes a file has when the filemanager says 2 Megabytes? Do you know what your DSL-provider actually means with 2 Megabit per second?

Experienced users surely can since they know the meaning of “Kilobyte” depends on the context. Sometimes it’s 1000 bytes, sometimes it’s 1024.

Non technical users will tend to assume that a 1 Kilobyte is 1000 bytes (which is correct, since k is the SI prefix for kilo) while users with technical background will tend to assume (depending on the context of course) it’s 1024.

There is a solution for this ambiguity, but unfortunately it doesn’t come for free: First, it sounds really stupid (kibi-what?) and second it will add an extra character (kB -> kiB) and we all know how stuffed our 80 column terminals already are nowadays.

If you have better arguments against the binary prefix notation please, join the discussion. Personally I’d find it very cool if we could use SI prefixes where we mean n * 10^3 and binary prefixes where we mean n * 2^10 in Debian consistently.

Rebuilding the Archive Using Cowbuilder (II)

A few months ago I wrote a script to rebuild the archive using cowbuilder. This script had a subtle bug: If you where running a sid machine and wanted to rebuild testing, the script would fetch the sources from sid (via apt-get source) and build this package in a testing environment.

Thanks to Gregor Herrmann (Currently unassigned NM with ~180 packages in the archive!) this bug is fixed now and it should be possible to rebuild the archive correctly for every host/build-environment combo.

To rebuild the archive, just get the scripts and

sudo aptitude install cowdancer grep-dctrl
sudo cowbuilder --create --distribution lenny --basepath /var/cache/pbuilder/testing-base.cow
./getlist lenny                  # get the list of packages
./buildall list.lenny.i386 lenny # build all packages in list.lenny.i386 in a lenny environment

Thanks Gregor for your patches and good luck with your NM process!