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The OSLUG Planet

June 03, 2007

Brandon Philips

procmail magic: I am not afraid of lists anymore
by Brandon Philips at June 03, 2007 08:03 PM under automation

Yesterday a number of list posts from lists I had forgotten to write a procmail rule for made their way into my inbox. I didn’t like the idea of adding yet more cookie cutter rules to my ever expanding .procmailrc to fix the issue so, I went hunting for a better solution.

After searching for a bit I found jdub’s procmail which got me most of the way there:

# MOST LISTS - Automagically handle lists
* ^((List-Id|X-(Mailing-)?List):(.*[ ]/[^>]*))

    * LISTID ?? ^/[^@.]*


# MAJORDOMO - Automagically handle Majordomo lists
* ^Sender:.*owner-[^@]+@[^@+]+
* ^Sender:.*owner-/[^@+]+

But, mailing lists have listname-owner instead of owner-listname so I wrote this:

# MAJORDOMO with inverse owner
* ^Sender:.*-owner@[^@+]+
* ^Sender:[     ]*/[^@+]+
    ifup.`echo $MATCH | /bin/sed -e s/-owner//g`/

Does anyone know how to skip that sed call? I am not too terribly happy with it but it works.

Final result: 80 insertions, 116 deletions and it handles all of my lists- not just the ones that I remember to add. w00t

May 28, 2007

Frederic Wenzel

Open Source Cola
by Fred at May 28, 2007 04:18 PM under websights

OpenColaWikiHow has a howto for making “OpenCola”, a soft drink with a GNU GPL licensed recipe.

The main ingredient is — how surprising — sugar:

When you make cola, you basically end up filling a glass with sugar and then adding just enough water and ancillary ingredients to get it to dissolve.

writes Cory Doctorow on BB.

I have to admit this doesn’t really make me want to try it out — even though I realize that there’s probably just as much sugar in commercial pop.

Sometimes I am plain impressed with how we can seriously drink that stuff.


May 22, 2007

Donnie Berkholz

The difference between Justice Kennedy and me
May 22, 2007 01:52 PM under culture
From this morning's New York Times story on abortion, but the actual matter is irrelevant to me:
Given those stakes, the justice argued, “The state has an interest in ensuring so grave a choice is well informed.”

No, the state's business is to stay the hell out of the people's choices.

Michael Burns

Boss Wanted
by mburns at May 22, 2007 02:44 AM under OSL

The Open Source Lab is a heavyweight in the Open Source world, helping host everything from Firefox, the Apache Foundation, Gentoo Linux, Drupal, the Linux kernel, Eclipse and the Freenode IRC network. Linux PPC, Alpha, NSLU2 and handheld development all has a role here in Corvallis. We are one of the largest non-profit software shops working on the One Laptop Per Child program and provide a top-notch FTP mirror service for numerous Linux distributions and applications. We are currently hiring a lead Systems Administrator. Want to make a difference? Want to have an impact on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) on a global scale? Then come apply to be my boss.

Perks include awesome workstations, Redbull refrigerator, talented student works at your command and mind-blowing chowder every Friday.

May 21, 2007

Justin Gallardo

The OSL is Hiring!
by jirwin at May 21, 2007 10:51 PM

I have been an employee here at the Open Source Lab for nearly a year now, and can easily say that they have supported me in all of my FOSS endeavors(e.g. OLPC, OpenID). The nurturing environment has been extremely helpful to students, including myself, providing a spring board into the 'real world', helping countless students land jobs with big names like Google, Novell, Mozilla, and IBM.

While the Open Source Lab has been crucial in so many students professional lives, it has also helped some of the biggest open source projects(Linux Kernel, Gentoo, Debian, Drupal, Freenode, Mozilla, and OLPC to name a few) out there become what they are today.

The OSL is hiring a new manager type person to realize the big picture of things, and help continue the excellence of the lab. If you are looking for a great place to work and want to help out the FOSS community please take a look at the job posting.


May 19, 2007

Michael Marineau

Ecuador Photos!
by marineam at May 19, 2007 09:11 PM under life

I've finally gotten around to posting my photos from Ecuador. Perhaps I'll write more about the trip some day but for now feel free to browse through them. :-)

Alex Polvi

Opening at the Open Source Lab
by polvi at May 19, 2007 03:06 PM under Mozilla

As an undergrad, the OSL pretty much changed my life. It lead to my internships with Mozilla and Google, along with set me on a career path that seems pretty solid. The OSL has given many students a chance to learn and work with open source. Furthermore, it has supported most of the major open source projects out there (Mozilla, the Kernel, Gentoo, Debian, Freenode, Drupal, to name a few).

So yeah, OSL FTW. If you are a manager/oss-lover type, and interested in joining the fun, you should check this out.

update: goto and search for #0000693.

May 15, 2007

Alex Polvi

by polvi at May 15, 2007 09:29 PM under Personal

Over the past couple months I’ve gotten into triathlons. So far I’ve raced in 3 sprints (500yd swim, 20k bike, 5k run), and one olympic distance (1.5k, 40k, 10k). My most recent race, Wildflower, completely changed my perspective on the sport.

There were two notable differences that Wildflower had over the other triathlons, scale and distance. All of my previous races had somewhere between 100 and 300 racers. That means each age/sex division has 15-20 competitors. At Wildflower, however, there were 3500 racers in my distance (7500+ overall!!). On top of that, my age division (mens collegiate) had ~150 athletes. To make it even more intense, collegiate men were the first wave to go into the water! When I stepped out of the water somewhere around the 50th racer, there were another 3400 people behind me. This is A LOT different then what I had experienced previously.

About to go for a swim…

a couple bicycles…

Unfortunately, as a strong swimmer, but weak cyclist and runner, this means I got passed by about 2000 people.

getting passed

Oh well, I may not be fast, but I am in darn good shape! :D

May 13, 2007

Michael Burns

One Laptop Per Child at Portland's Barcamp
by mburns at May 13, 2007 08:40 PM under OSL

Yesterday was BarcampPortland1, the first ad hoc conference held in Oregon. The Open Source Lab represented by bringing 5 (five!) OLPC XO machines to show off. One acted as a and four were put in on a table for anyone to play with. There was a steady stream of questions, fans and (most importantly) children wishing to play with the laptop.

For one of the largest Barcamps to date, the topics were a bit more narrow than I had hoped. Themes for the camp seemed to be Identity (OpenID), Web services(Rails) and Community. I enjoyed talks on Microformats and (with Ward Cunningham in the circle of chairs) a discussion about Wiki communities.

May 12, 2007

Donnie Berkholz

BarCamp PDX: Haskell session
May 12, 2007 10:52 PM under development
Haskell: How and Why?
Bart Massey, Portland State U.

Functional programming language
- General purpose

The next big thing? Driven by open source adoption


You give up global variables, and variables altogether.

Incrementally compiled, like Python bytecode

And now I have to leave to go home...
BarCamp PDX: Communities Gone Awry session
May 12, 2007 09:47 PM under communication
I facilitated this discussion, which is why my notes may suck more than usual.


Online consensus?

- Hierarchy (org charts)
- Total democracy, or representative
- Dictator, active or inactive

Effect of using a distributed SCM on governance?

Respect is critical to being listened to ...

The importance of people who are catalysts (why? no clue, but they make things work). What motivation do they have to volunteer? The gratitude of others.

How to keep communities close-knit as they grow?
- Manifesto saying what's acceptable, with an enforcer!
- Create smaller communities
- People to connect these communities
- One person can ruin an entire team: vetting new community members
- A "boot camp" for new members to intensively indoctrinate them to the social norms
- The buddy system: mentorship

Book: The Tipping Point

Dunbar's number: maximum number of people who can work together. 150 to 300, depending on how strictly they're indoctrinated

How do you tell whether someone's really indoctrinated to the social norms? What criteria?
BarCamp PDX: Business 101 session
May 12, 2007 07:47 PM under communication
Much smaller group this time ... about 15. People from 2-person startups, Microsoft and anywhere in between. Some from tech, some from biz, some consultants ... I'm here to think about what it takes to start my own business (not now, but who knows?).

Issues: growth, fundraising

How do you decide where to take your business? Where do you get the info?
- Personal experience of making and watching mistakes, not so much market research
- Customer surveys, combined with a newsletter asking for feedback and building community
- Build community so customers do marketing for them
- Tiny percentage responded to newsletter, 15-50 of 4000
- Targeted survey to 150 users (of 4000) got about 50% response rate
- How do you connect others' business experience with your business?
- Enterpreneurs' forum
- CEO roundtable: get small biz owners together over meals
- Successful people in business meet, swap ideas that worked, discuss biz plans & needs
- Business Enterprise Center: incubator provides space, mentorship
- Bring in various experts in legal issues, accounting, etc to talk
- Choosing to build a business around yourself and your reputation vs a company reputation
- Even the name of your company depends on this
- Lifestyle business (you can leave whenever you want) vs having employees, etc.
- The people are the value, when they leave there's no value left
- Small companies working with small companies or big companies?
- How do you build a consulting business that isn't a lifestyle business?
- Growing without relying on just your personal reputation
- Locking into models
- If the model requires a certain technology, it can't last forever
- Flexibility
- Do what you're good at
- Outsource finances, etc. Time vs money
- Your time is best spent on your expertise
- You drop way too much time on things you're unfamiliar with
- In the same way, use the tools you're familiar with
- CFOs from big businesses can run small biz into the ground
- They don't understand the urgency of time and the shortness of money
- Online database of information and experience from other owners?
- Trust issues
- My thought: show me the data, and I can draw my own conclusions (i.e. Fred Brooks)
- Ratings? Wiki-like model?
- What questions do you need to ask for a business plan? A list ... inspires thought
BarCamp PDX: Collaboration in Communities session
May 12, 2007 06:48 PM under communication
Dawn Foster, one of the BarCamp PDX organizers, is facilitating this discussion. She's interested in how people build communities.

How is collaboration changing within communities? Moving from mailing lists, newsgroups to blogs, wikis, forums ...

Face to face (F2F) interactions build more trust than you get online.

How to bring non-technologists into online communities? Knitting is one of the biggest of these.

People treat each other differently F2F than online. Educating newer generations in social norms, cultural differences, etc all play a role.

How do you find forums moderators, e.g.? Let people who might want to contribute know where you need help. Not just technical but someone to set the expectations for community norms. Important to create a sub-community for the moderators.

Communities self-organize their structures more than being placed into a hierarchy.

Network weaving: intentionally creating tighter and more connections within groups. People apparently do this for a living?

Building a strong community, from a corporate standpoint (or any project), means that people have got your backs when bad PR comes up. Give trust to your community, and they'll reciprocate. Companies have done this forever as product advisory councils, which also provides a beta testbed.

Building an internal corporate community is required before you can build a strong external community. And letting your internal engineers or whatever hear real customers firsthand sometimes makes the difference. Connect the creators to the users.

Business models move more toward ecosystems and away from your traditional corporate structure. Away from a two-state system and toward a spectrum -- no longer just producer vs consumer.

When do bloggers become marketers? Are they still impartial if some company pays them to blog about its products? Does it matter?

More stuff. Funny relevant comic at
BarCamp PDX: User Experience session
May 12, 2007 05:44 PM under communication
I'm going to post my notes from the BarCamp Portland sessions here.

Packed room. We started out brainstorming one word each that's related to the user experience. Ideas include: results, easy, story, predictable, relevant.

Startups: Don't be afraid to throw some UI paradigm away. Your users may hate it, however much you love it.

Does gradually changing the UI work, or piss people off? No consensus.

Techies are really bad at pretending to be the naive users, so test it on real users!

Accessible interfaces as secondary UIs are different and need to be tested as such.

User personas are caricatures of reality and don't model true users well.

And then we ran out of time...

Michael Burns

Maintaining the status quo
by mburns at May 12, 2007 05:39 PM under OSL

The OSL attributes much of its existence to Oregon State Unviersity's need for a DNS and DHCP management application to serve the entire campus. That need spawned a program--Maintain versions 1, 2 and now 3--that allow a diverse group of users and administrators to register and track the network address assignment and name resolution of over 30,000 machines. It scales from campus-wide Network Engineering, down to the Forestry department, and is also used by students to register their computer to the public wireless network. Very sweet.

One tool to rule them all

Part of the engineering behind Maintain 3 (currently on the 3.1.x series) is to move toward a more modular base, something that Maintain 2 was not flexible enough to achieve. The hope being that with proper modularity, shortcomings in the core system (which we ran into in earlier iterations) could be resolved without significant code modifications. One common fear with maturing products is that the abstraction used to more elegantly solve a problem (or an entire class of problems) pulls you further and further away from your core goal. This isn't necessarily bloat, but rather a loss of focus. At the same time, with more general solutions and abstract design, you are not tied to only solving your product's original goals allowing you to reach a larger userbase.

Think of a project like Drupal, where much of the functionality is an aggregation of modules that are built on Drupal's base--essentially a user/permission model, a module system and a layout engine. This is one of the million Content Management Systems. It isn't a blog, a forum site, or a website wizard, but it lets you do those things. The idea is that you worry about the content, while it worries about form handling, user security roles, and compartmentalization of systems. It gets the boring stuff out of your way. The same is true for Firefox and it's widely popular add-ons system.

Pulling it all together

What I would like to see is for Maintain to fill this roll for IT departments. Become the Drupal for networking. Make modules powerful enough to become the focus and have the core utilities Maintain fall away to the background. Maintain (and a sister-product, RAIV--a Rack and Inventory Viewer) is largely now a general framework for modules to be added onto, and embracing this direction will serve to build a community around it. DNS and DHCP, for instance, are the two fundamental modules and they are able to be disabled with a single checkbox.

Already we have a module for running Nessus scans on Maintain host. Snort is hopefully on the way. Inventory, warranty tracking on hardware, and host discovery modules are in various stages of planning/development. What else could an IT infrastructure-focused system like this do? A monitoring module for tracking server uptime? SNMP-pulling for detailed host information? The possibilities are endless.

May 09, 2007

Donnie Berkholz

Increasing contributions and interest via personal project aggregation
May 09, 2007 06:06 AM under communication
I just posted this to the Gentoo development list, but I thought other projects could use a similar idea so I decided to add it to my blog.

Hi all,

I'm sure I'm not the only one with a number of projects I'll never get to, but I'd really like them to happen anyway. I suggest we create some sort of page that aggregates all of these personal projects together, so anyone can browse through them and look for stuff that sounds fun.

The goal is to increase contributions from outside by giving them a ready list of projects of all sizes and difficulty levels to work on, projects that go beyond what happens at Bugday. Further, it could also help current Gentoo developers who are bored or have lost interest in what they're doing by helping them to find somewhere new to contribute.

A prototype with just my projects is at

Thanks for your comments!

May 06, 2007

Frederic Wenzel

If I was a Programming Language…
by Fred at May 06, 2007 08:38 PM under Mozilla

So yeah, another day, another blog meme, and this one seriously is on the cheesy side but fair enough: I am C++. ;)

You are C++. You are very popular and open to suggestions.  Many have tried to be like you, but haven't been successful
Which Programming Language are You?

I am not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing — especially considering I haven’t coded in C++ in, well, forever. The closest I’ve got in the last years was Java cause most programming assignments in my university are in Java. And whenever I can choose freely, let’s just put it like that: C++ is usually not on top of my list.

Now, which one are you?

(via binblog and JP (who is Prolog: talk about weird programming languages!))

May 03, 2007

Beth Gordon

by Beth at May 03, 2007 11:26 PM

la feliz divina providencia says:
soy una llevadulces

la feliz divina providencia says:

P… ham or eggs? involve or commited? r u a pig or a chiken? says:
desde mi punto eres la traedulces

la feliz divina providencia says:
i love you

Frederic Wenzel

Sun joins OpenOffice “porting to Mac” project
by Fred at May 03, 2007 08:43 PM under Mozilla

Sun’s engagement in OpenOffice.orgI’m delighted to hear that Sun announced today joining the Mac OSX port of

Sun, who founded the OpenOffice project by open-sourcing the StarOffice program code shortly after they acquired its former vendor StarDivision, are going this way due to the increasing use of Macs. They write:

Why is Sun joining the Mac porting project? If you look around at conferences and airport lounges, you will notice that more and more people are using Apple notebooks these days. Apple has a significant market share in the desktop space. We are supporting this port because of the interest and activity of the community wanting this port.

I am very glad to see this happen as it makes a native “aqua” port of OpenOffice much more likely to happen in this century than it was ever before.

And since most people at Mozilla are using Macs these days, this seems to be something to look forward to for a whole bunch of people.

(via TUAW)

Last updated:June 07, 2007 08:38 PM
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