Older blog entries for Marcus (starting at number 78)

James: YaST is written in C++ and YCP (Yast Control Protocol), a interpreted script language (a middle thing between C and tcl and LPC perhaps). It meanwhile also has perl bindings (and likely others can be added too.)

Also, SUSE and Novell ship both KDE and GNOME even favoured now, so this choice is left to the user.

And I don't get the YaST QT vs GTK question? Both are fine GUI toolkits. Oh and did you know that YaST has an ncurses GUI frontend? This is what I use usually.

It took me one day to relax from my hate of Mozilla and GNOME regarding Mozilla browser maintenance timeframe issues. Not a good sign. But at least we will no longer ship galeon and I try to get rid of epiphany too. (We can not supply Mozilla updates without breaking them. And we cannot update them due to their gtk2 version requirements. In distributions which are just ONE YEAR old now!)
I would just like to kill every package using mozilla libraries from the future distros and just have Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird as toplevel apps (where we can easily do version updates).

Thats just the normal problem you get from such massive monsters. What happened to small and just one task?

4 Aug 2005 (updated 4 Aug 2005 at 15:22 UTC) »

Carpal tunnel syndrom gone now, after 1.5 weeks of not touching keyboards. Spent most of the time relaxing and reading Cryptomonicon again, and Robert Asprin.

As for comments on some planetsuse.org posts, Seb:

  • openSUSE should be seen as "opening SUSE developement to the community" which is probably the best fitting way to describe it.
  • package management: You consider this easy to change, but it is not. Changing the package management is a very big effort.
    However you might be enlightened to hear that we will be supporting YUM repositories.
  • the ilove rnotify kernel is no longer necessary, all is in mainline now and will be in 10.0.
  • As for your suggestions on the development model, just hold your breath.
  • SuSE is SUSE is suse is SUSE is SuSE....
My team has been busy and released kernel updates today ... so go and run the online update! :)

Scotty dying is kinda sad... but well, we all grow old and he was pretty old during the movies already.
Speaking of the movies, Mueller (german drugstore chain) had several startrek movies at 5 euro a piece, so I bought ST 2, 3 and 5. Watched ST 2 (Wrath of Khan) ... still not the full speed of the later movies, but starting too. And plotholes you could fly a romulean warbird through.

Did not doo much hacking over the weekend, just some bits of 16bit OLE. 16 bit compound storage handling is pretty broken and either needs to be fixed or thrown away.

Went to visit the Nuernberg Dungeons. A very large underground area of caves built into the sandstone. Several hundred years used for necessary cool temperatures for brewing beer, it was used for bombshelter during 2nd worldwar. Now the caves are mostly unused except for showing tourists round.
Am I the only one thinking 'server rooms'? :)

Long week now over.

Cleared up a bit of the HAL confusion. Apparently all is work in progress, but at least I now do it like Fedora does, so perhaps we can establish a semi standard.

Not much security updates released this week due to internal deadlock caused by releases of some important service packs to our main maintained product.

Worked on a 16bit WINE application and found several regressions and lacking features. Sent patches and caused Alexandre to fix stuff ;)

Hands still hurting to some degree.

Things I hated today... Can't remember.

Bought a USB keyboard. Nice, shiny and black.

At work ... after talking to some HAL knowledgeable guys I found out I need to change my SUSE libgphoto2 package to use HAL better.

Then I found out that HAL has this evil libgphoto2 usermap to FDI converter. WTF? Those guys never even said a single word to the gphoto developers that they need the map in this format, they just went and wrote a script? Another example of NIH syndrome... :/

So I now just added a FDI map output to print-usb-usermap, the program we have for dumping such maps and have it work the canonical and correct way.

Things i hated today: hal.

18 Jul 2005 (updated 19 Jul 2005 at 15:59 UTC) »

Monday morning, promising to be very hot again.

My hands hurt, likely originating from either overusing my Laptop keyboard in the last months and/or the PowerMac G5 keyboard. This is the first time in my long life as programmer so I am a bit terrified. I will get a USB keyboard for the laptop at least and see if it will help.

Did not get sunburned on the weekend, did not do much opensource wise.

Kernel updates, mozilla updates will make this week again one to remember. badly.

Todays hate: Acrobat Reader version upgrades.

Released a Acrobat Reader Upgrade... waiting for the next buffer overflow.
Our Mozilla maintainer in some frustration of the huge mass of firefoxes and mozillas he has to update in the next days.

In my spare time...
I bought a new camera from eBay and ported the standalone program to libgphoto2. After some cleanup (shrinking the original .c file down to 700 lines) I then put the windows driver into the disassembler ... and behold, the camera can not just download and delete pictures, but also remote controlled capture and other wild things. So more fun to have next weekend.

Long time no write.

I am security teamlead for quite some time now. Does this mean visionary leader? No... these are the other guys.
No, my day job is fixing all the security holes in others peoples software and getting these fixes out to the customer. And to some degree avoiding these updates "pro actively" as the american slang goes.

Things I started to hate:

  • Acrobat Reader. Binary dreck with x known and xxx unknown buffer overflows and other security problems. Almost every one of them a potential worm vector.
    No source code to audit.
  • Real Player. Binary dreck with x known and xxx unknown buffer overflows and other security problems. Almost every one of them a potential worm vector, just web based instead of e-mail based.
    No source code to audit.
  • Mozilla. Huge piece of s...oftware designed with flashiness in mind but not with security. While not much overflows, a lot of design flaws exposing problems.
    Monthly security updates.
  • OpenOffice_org ... just like Mozilla, but much much larger.

And then we get new interacting programs via dbus and the like... more interesting things to come.

And the whole heap of whole Novell Sourcecode to be opensourced ... I am full a fear.

I want to be a simple developer again ... sometimes.

Its way too hot.

We have like 33 degrees celsius in germany now, which turns the brain to mush and reduces motivation to a minimum. Sadly I still have to work, puzzle out LSB failures and problems and similar.

Spent some time looking at enhancing the agfa cl20 driver in gphoto2. The CL20 produces JPEGs with EXIF data, however this EXIF data is broken. So I will regenerate the EXIF data using libexif from the driver and basically just reuse the data already inside the old data, including the thumbnail. Bit of a pointless exercise, I have to admit. But the code will be cleaner afterwards.


Long time no see, dear diary.

Well, a lot of things happened during the last year.
I was laid off from Caldera during the outsourcing of the UnitedLinux development effort towards SuSE. So not really laid off, but migrated to some degree.

At SuSE I am doing a bit of packaging work (gPhoto and WINE related things), but mostly I am associated with the PowerPC architecture maintenance team.
The PowerPC team does not do work for little Macs, G4s, iBooks or similar, but for IBM iSeries and pSeries machines. So we unfortunately do not do colorful products, but a part of the Business product SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) and its maintenance.
I am responsible for the toolchain (gcc, binutils...) and glibc. That does not mean I hack things in there, but that I get people to fix the bugs and fix the packages.
However I can now read PowerPC assembler and reduce any gcc bug to small testcases.

As for OpenSource work, I am doing more work in the region of gPhoto now. For instance I now own a small number of digital cameras. Not all of them have drivers written by me, not all of them work yet.

Not much WINE work in the last year. I don't have the time anymore, even though I would like to do more.

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