Getting the Epson Perfection 3940 scanner setup on Linux requires jumping through just enough hoops that even if you have managed it before, it's easy to forget when it comes time to do it again.
I put this here in the hopes that it will make things easier for someone, (and it's entirely likely that someone will be me one day :).
adduser youruser scanner).
sudo aptitude install xsane).
rpm2cpio iscan-firmware-18.104.22.168-10.i586.rpm | cpio -i --make-directories).
sudo install -m 644 usr/share/iscan/esfw52.bin /lib/firmware/)
My latest project at work is Cassandra, a distributed, eventually consistent, column oriented data store. It's somewhere between Dynamo (Cassandra's original author worked on Dynamo), and Google's BigTable. It was developed as an internal application at Facebook, later open sourced, and is now an Apache incubator project.
The external interface to Cassandra is thrift-based. Thrift is a framework for creating network services, services that communicate using a compact binary data format. It's similar to Google's Protocol Buffers, but with more of a focus on RPC, and greater language coverage, (much greater actually). The bottom line, any application that uses Cassandra for structured data storage is going to need Thrift. So, I filed an ITP (Intent To Package) and have started work on packaging it for Debian.
Thrift is an interesting project to package as it has an architecture specific application (C++), 6 architecture specific and 5 architecture independent libraries, and covers 12 different languages. That's right, 12.
I'm still somewhat undecided on a game plan; the options I've considered so far are:
I've already taken a stab at #1 and it didn't seem promising. #2 is an option I still consider on the table but I'm a little concerned that it could lead to a mess. #3 and #4 really boil down to the same thing, collaborating with others to package as much as possible while maintaining the standards everyone expects from Debian. I guess I'm currently leaning toward some variation of #3 or #4, probably through the use of collab-maint or a dedicated Alioth project.
For the time being, my efforts can be tracked in Git here, so drop me a line if you're interested in joining the fun!
NP: Sand and Mercury, The Gathering