Pavol Rusnak #cypherpunk #hacker #openhw #privacy #bitcoin #newmediaart

Google Summer of Code Mentors Summit 2008 - Day 0

Day 0 - 2008/10/24

In my previous blogpost I described the project I mentored during this year’s Google Summer of Code event. At the end of October I was invited into Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California for Mentors Summit. Here you can find my remarks.

  • arrived at the Wild Palms Hotel at around 3pm and took a short nap
  • Google planned a dinner for us at Amarin Thai restaurant, left the hotel around quarter to six
  • used VTA public bus transport to get there; turned out to be pretty adventurous: one had to request the stop and the stops were not announced; fortunately had a map software in my cellphone so I was able to track my position by looking out of the window and advancing cursor in my mobile map :)
  • arrived to the restaurant; not so many people yet, soon started to change …

  • met Leslie Hawthorn (the official geek herder :)) for the first time
  • sat at the table with Earl Miles and his wife from Drupal, David Wollner from BZFlag and Joel Sherrill from RTEMS project
  • talking about our projects; served with various Thai dishes, some of them were very exotic
  • after an hour or so we headed to the Tied House

  • some snacks and free beer at the Tied House, heeey! :)
  • American beer is not what I’m used to, too thick for me :(
  • went to two tall guys: Matt Handley from Adium and Werner Guttmann mentoring Castor
  • when talking about Czech Republic, Ondrej Certik from Python Software Foundation appeared too
  • heard two people talking about openSUSE Build Service, interested who could it be …
  • mystery solved: Oleksandr Moskalenko from the Scribus team and Lance Albertson from Oregon State University - Scribus is one of the first larger projects that started to build their own packages using Build Service, Lance was mentoring a project which aimed to create packages for various distributions using Gentoo ebuilds
  • noted that the dependencies of the packages are the a big problem, Lance had to admit that I’m right; they actually use database of packages and their dependencies for each distribution, must be huge and hard to maintain!
  • there are two Gentoo mentors here! Donnie Berkholz and Alec Warner
  • short talk with Johannes Schmid from GNOME about Mono
  • approached by Stefan Reinauer from coreboot; learned that he used to work for SUSE once, in the Arch team; he decided to start his own business with LinuxBIOS (or coreboot, like it is called nowadays)
  • short talk with guys from OSSIM project (Pablo Rincón Crespo and Juan Manuel Lorenzo)
  • headed back to the hotel with Brooks Davis from FreeBSD and his wife

  • finally found out who my roommate is! it’s David Bruce from Tux4Kids project
  • we talked a little bit about his work, promised to show him openSUSE Build Service the other day
  • I fell into bed exhausted, but really looking forward for the actual summit and its sessions

Days 1 and 2 will appear tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. I promise to post some photos too :)

Mango - Migration Assistant Next GeneratiOn

This years Google Sumer of Code, student Peter Libič tried to implement an idea of Migrating Assistant. MacOSX contains utility which can import users, application settings and various files from old Macintosh to new one. Idea to port this functionality to Linux is not new. Something similar was created during GSoC two years ago by Ubuntu, but we tried to use different approach (object oriented C++) so the code is better extendable and maintainable.

Application support is not as wide as it probably should be, but because of the clean design, we hope that the number of supported applications will rise in the future. You can try Mango for yourself - packages are ready in BuildService and we are looking forward to feedback from you. See for more info and installation instructions …


Scout finally searches in zypp repositories

I finally implemented very important feature of scout: It is now able to search for binaries in all enabled zypp repositories. SAT-solver files are used for this, so user does not have to install any external index files. I really would like to thank Klaus Kaempf for his exhaustive help with python bindings for satsolver. Another great news are that Werner Fink applied command-not-found patch for bash package, so 11.1 will probably contain this feature working out of the box! Current early implementation has one problem though: it is pretty slow comparing to older use-own-sqlite-database approach (2 seconds compared to 0.2 seconds). But it indexes more repositories at once (I have 14 enabled) and I believe the code could more optimized and thus whole search faster in the (near) future.

Feel free to test the packages from BuildService (follow the instructions on wiki) and tell me what you think of it ! :)

Scout: bash-completion, documentation, python indexes and Java demo

A lot has happened since the public release of scout. Blogpost registered more than 400 hits, Marek Stopka created bash-completion, Thomas Schraitle wrote docbook documentation and Michal Vyskocil prepared module for python and its indexes. Thank you all! I started a wikipage like Thomas suggested and indexed Packman repositories for their binaries.

Michal also prepared small demonstration video about using scout in java wrapper. The wrapper runs java application and greps stderr for exceptions. When NoClassDefFoundError/ClassNotFoundException is detected, the classname is taken to scout, which resolves it to package name, installs the package with zypper and tries to run application again! I like this idea pretty much. Michal is currently working on perl indexes and we will probably index also ruby and pkgconfig files.

Watch mentioned java demonstration video here:


Scout demonstration video

I created the demonstration video for scout like I promised in previous post. Here you are: