Monthly Archives: December 2007

Merry Christmas everyone!

Since it’s already that time of the year again, merry Christmas everyone! I hope you’re able to spend the holidays with the ones you love and enjoy a merry, merry Christmas! Have fun everyone!

BTW: Am I the only one who really hates this freakin’ “Last Christmas”-song by WHAM!? Why the heck do the radio stations here in Germany have to have this crap on A-rotation every end of the year? This year I really tried to avoid this song by not hearing radio or watching music television. But I made a major mistake: I went to the Christmas fair… guess what the first song was, I heard when I arrived? Thank god there was enough mulled wine around to ease my pain :)

NP: Thomas D – Liebeslied

On #422085 and #417256

Since I received a terrifying amount of insults via mail for not implementing this feature request after my last blog entry, where I asked for help developing rng, I’d like to make my position about this issue clear.

Why I was opposed to implement it:

  1. I personally hated that some packages sent a huge amount of unrelated info with every bugreport for this package, even if it’s not meaningful for this bugreport. I made a quick check against my favorite package with a very long output and thought (and still think) that this info is not even relevant for the majority of bugreports of this package. So I thought it was not too much to ask, to write the reporter a friendly mail to post the output of this script, if it’s really needed.
  2. I was personally very annoyed by packages with very long presubj text, which I doubt anyone reads anyway. Since I don’t want rng to be annoying to the users, I decided to leave that feature away. An implementation of this feature would mean to pop up a window with some text the user should read before continuing to report the bug. I don’t like popups and don’t want rng to make use of them.
  3. I’m definitely opposed to a feature which will pop up a terminal where a user has to do something before he can proceed reporting a bug. Sorry, but this won’t happen in rng. I might consider such a thing if it could be scripted to use QT or even GTK but a terminal popping up in a GUI application is a no-go for me, sorry.
  4. I was personally very annoyed by some of the reactions on this bugreport. Since we’re all volunteers and stuff and this feature is maybe a nice-to-have but definitely not a must-have, I decided to put this issue very low on my to do list.

However, I agree that the stuff in /usr/share/bug isn’t completely useless. The opposite is true, it makes the life of maintainers easier and rng should make use of it where possible.

So what can we do now? Maybe we can start all over and discuss this issue in a more friendly and constructive way?

Here’s my offer: rng will support bugscripts, but it will not feature a terminal popping up asking a user questions. I’m developing a GUI application and a popping up terminal is not very GUI’ish for me. What can we do about this? Is there a way to implement this?

Supporting presubj might be okay too, but I don’t want rng to be annoying. Popups are annoying and having to read the same stuff again and again when reporting multiple times on the same package is annoying too. Maybe rng could spawn a pop up with a checkbox “Don’t show this text again when reporting a bug against this package”? Maybe we could have an option in the (not yet implemented) preferences window where we could suppress those messages completely?

And please, don’t use abusive language or even insults when contacting me about this issue. My rng-time is currently very limited and my motivation to work especially on this issue is already very low. We’re speaking here about a fully optional feature. Providing the output of some scripts or having to read a presubj is helpful, but not mandatory when reporting a bug. So please, be nice! I really don’t need all that stress right now.

Want to get money for nothing and chicks for free, too?

Is anyone out there interested in helping me developing reportbug-ng? I’m currently very busy with my diploma thesis and can’t spend as much time on my pet bug reporting tool as I’d like to spend. The package itself has some small bugs, is not yet feature complete, but in a fairly good shape and quite popular too.

If you’re interested you should have experience with python, QT and maybe some SOAP-skills. You don’t have to be a Debian Developer or -Maintainer!

I haven’t done this before so I don’t know that the best practice for such a situation is. I’m currently thinking of something like:

  1. First you send me patches, which I’ll review, apply and upload
  2. After a while you get write access to the BZR repo
  3. Finally become co-maintainer of the package if you want

Interested? Then write me a mail to: venthur at debian org.

Oh, and please don’t write if you just want to get your pet-bug-which-I-still-refuse-to-fix fixed.

PS: If you prefer guys over chicks, you’re welcome too ;)

Forcing win32-loader to use i386?

Dear Lazyweb,

I’m happily using the win32-loader from to install Debian/Etch on several Lenovo X61s subnotebooks which don’t have a DVD drive but a running XP preinstalled. The installer correctly detects a 64bit architecture and therefore installs AMD64. Unfortunately I want to run i386 on those machines. Is there a way to force a specific arch for the win32-loader?

Edit: Of course I already tried to install Debian from an USB stick on those machines, but the Debian installer refuses to work at the point where it’s unable to find the DVD/CD drive on the subnotebooks without one. I’ve tried netinst and businesscard, none of them worked from USB for me. Any hints?