Back Home

After 5+ hours on a bus, several hours at Ezeiza airport, and 12 hours on two different planes, I'm back home from Debconf8, (technically speaking I've been back since 8am yesterday, but was in no condition to post).

Debconf8 was definately the best organized of the 4 Debconfs I've attended, and Argentina was an awesome setting, but it is good to be home.

Pictures are here or here.

Update: I've updated the Debconf8 set on Flickr with a panorama of the beach and skyline in front of the conference venue.

Happy Birthday Debian

15 years ago today, Debian was born.

Publishing divergence from upstream

On Monday I attended Martin Krafft's talk, Packaging with version control systems. Martin has started a project, coordinated via http://vcs-pkg.org, to explore work patterns for packaging and cross-distro collaboration using distributed version control systems. This is a topic that I've spent a fair amount of time on so it was interesting to see Martin's packaging work flow, and hear him discuss its evolution.

Today I attended a Bof organized by Luciano Bello. Luciano is the developer that discovered the recent OpenSSL vulnerability. The point of the BoF was to discuss ways of preventing this sort of thing from happening in the future. The vulnerability in question was introduced in a Debian-specific patch, so a good bit of the discussion centered around code review and the need to make Debian's upstream divergences more transparent.

There were quite a few in attendance that felt that the best way to publish divergences is by using a patch series, (something that recently received first class support by way of the new dpkg v3 format). I used to fall into this camp, but a blog post from Joey Hess got me to reevaluate my work flow, and I now feel pretty strongly that using a patch series is not the answer.

I switched to Git a while back and have adopted a work flow similar to Martin's with an upstream branch, a Debian packaging branch, and topic branches for each customization or bug fix. Obtaining the divergence from upstream is a simple matter of diff'ing the topic branches against the upstream branch and the entire change history is preserved. Using a patch system alone seems woefully inadequate when compared to any of the modern VCS, and generating a patch series from branches in a VCS feels like, as Martin likes to say, Yak Shaving.

I plan to subscribe to the vcs-pkg.org mailing list and follow the discussions taking place there. It should be interesting.

It tickles

Look, a bidet! And I used it!

A bidet

Debconf8

It's that time of year again!

Going to Debconf

I'm at the airport soaking up a little free bandwidth (yes, it would seem that San Antonio International finally has free wifi), before boarding a flight to Houston, and then on to Buenos Aires. With the layover in Houston, the four wait before catching the bus to Mar del Plata, and the six hour bus ride itself, I'm looking at a full 24 hours of travel.

This year I am going to try and post at least a couple of times while there, and put up a few pictures while I'm at it.