My March 2017 Activities

March was a busy month, so this monthly report is a little late. I worked two weekends, and I was planning my Easter holiday, so there wasn’t a lot of spare time.

Debian

  •  Updated Dominate to the latest version and uploaded to experimental (due to the Debian Stretch release freeze).
  • Uploaded the latest version of abcmidi (also to experimental).
  • Pinged the bugs for reverse dependencies of pygoocanvas and goocanvas with a view to getting them removed from the archive during the Buster cycle.
  • Asked for help on the Ubuntu Studio developers and users mailing lists to test the coming Ubuntu Studio 17.04 release ISO, because I would be away on holiday for most of it.

Ubuntu

  • Worked on ubuntustudio-controls, reverting it back to an earlier revision that Len said was working fine. Unfortunately, when I built and installed it from my ppa, it crashed. Eventually found my mistake with the bzr reversion, fixed it and prepared an upload ready for sponsorship. Submitted a Freeze Exception bug in the hope that the Release Team would accept it even though we had missed the Final Beta.
  • Put a new power supply in an old computer that was kaput, and got it working again. Set up Ubuntu Server 16.04 on it so that I could get a bit more experience with running a server. It won’t last very long, because it is a 32 bit machine, and Ubuntu will probably drop support for that architecture eventually. I used two small spare drives to set up RAID 1 & LVM (so that I can add more space to it later). I set up some Samba shares, so that my wife will be able to get at them from her Windows machine. For music streaming, I set up Emby Server. I wold be great to see this packaged for Debian. I uploaded all of my photos and music for Emby to serve around the home (and remotely as well). Set up Obnam to back up the server to an external USB stick (temporarily until I set up something remote). Set LetsEncrypt with the wonderful Certbot program.
  • Did the Release Notes for Ubuntu Studio 17.04 Final Beta. As I was in Brussels for two days, I was not able to do any ISO testing myself.

Other

  • Measured up the new model railway layout and documented it in xtrkcad.
  • Started learning Ansible some more by setting up ssh on all my machines so that I could access them with Ansible and manipulate them using a playbook.
  • Went to the Open Source Days conference just down the road in Copenhagen. Saw some good presentations. Of interest for my previous work in the Debian GIS Team, was a presentation from the Danish Municipalities on how they run projects using Open Source. I noted how their use of Proj 4 and OSGeo. I was also pleased to see a presentation from Ximin Luo on Reproducible Builds, and introduced myself briefly after his talk (during the break).
  • Started looking at creating a Django website to store and publish my One Name Study sources (indexes).  Started by creating a library to list some of my recently read Journals. I will eventually need to import all the others I have listed in a cvs spreadsheet that was originally exported from the commercial (Windows only) Custodian software.

Plan status from last month & update for next month

Debian

For the Debian Stretch release:

  • Keep an eye on the Release Critical bugs list, and see if I can help fix any. – In Progress

Generally:

  • Package all the latest upstream versions of my Debian packages, and upload them to Experimental to keep them out of the way of the Stretch release. – In Progress
  • Begin working again on all the new stuff I want packaged in Debian.

Ubuntu

  • Start working on an Ubuntu Studio package tracker website so that we can keep an eye on the status of the packages we are interested in. – Started
  • Start testing & bug triaging Ubuntu Studio packages. – In progress
  • Test Len’s work on ubuntustudio-controls – Done
  • Do the Ubuntu Studio Zesty 17.04 Final Beta release. – Done
  • Sort out the Blueprints for the coming Ubuntu Studio 17.10 release cycle.

Other

  • Give JMRI a good try out and look at what it would take to package it. – In progress
  • Also look at OpenPLC for simulating the relay logic of real railway interlockings (i.e. a little bit of the day job at home involving free software – fun!). – In progress

Ubuntu Studio 17.04 Released

We are happy to announce the release of our latest version, Ubuntu Studio 17.04 Zesty Zapus! As a regular version, it will be supported for 9 months. Since it’s just out, you may experience some issues, so you might want to wait a bit before upgrading. Please see the release notes for a complete list…

via Ubuntu Studio 17.04 Released — News – Ubuntu Studio

My Monthly Update for January 2017

It has been a quiet start to the year due to work keeping me very busy. Most of my spare time (when not sitting shattered on the sofa) was spent resurrecting my old website from backups. My son had plenty of visitors coming to visit as well, which prompted me to restart work on my model railway in the basement. Last year I received a whole heap of track, and also a tunnel formation from a friend at work. I managed to finish the supporting structure for the tunnel, and connect one end of it to the existing track layout. The next step (which will be a bit harder) is to connect the other end of the tunnel into the existing layout. The basement is one of the favourite things for me to keep my son and his friends occupied when there is a visit. The railway and music studio are very popular with the little guests.

Debian

  • Packaged latest Gramps 4.2.5 release for Debian so that it will be part of the Stretch release.
  • Package latest abcmidi release so it too would be part of Stretch. The upstream author had changed his website, so it took a while to locate a tarball.
  • Tested my latest patches to convert Cree.py to Qt5, but found another Qt4 – Qt5 change to take into account (SIGNAL function). I ran out of time to fully investigate that one, before Creepy was booted out of testing again. I am seriously considering the removal of Cree.py from Debian, as the upstream maintainer does not seem very active any more, and I am a little tired of being upstream for a project that I don’t actually use myself. It was only because it was a reverse dependency of osm-gps-map that I originally got involved.
  • Started preparing a Gramps 5.2.5 backport for Jessie, but found that the tests I enabled in unstable were failing in the Jessie build. I need to investigate this further.

Ubuntu

  • Announced the Ubuntu Studio 16.02.2 point release date on the Ubuntu Studio mailing lists asking for testers. The date subsequently got put back to February the 9th.
  • Upgraded my Ubuntu Studio machine from Wily to Xenial.

Other

  • Resurrected my old Drupal Gammon One Name Study website. I used Drupal VM to get the site going again, before transferring it to the new webhost. It was originally a Drupal 7 site, and I did not have the required versions of Ansible & Vagrant on my Ubuntu Xenial machine, so the process was quite involved. I will blog about that separately, as it may be a useful lesson for others. As part of that, I started on a backport of vagrant, but found a bug which I need to follow up on.
  • Also managed to extract my old WordPress blog posts from the same machine that had the failed Drupal instance, and import them into this blog. I also learnt some stuff in that process that I will blog about at some point.

Plan status from last month & update for next month

Debian

Before the 5th February 2017 Debian Stretch hard freeze I hope to:

For the Debian Stretch release:

Generally:

  • Finish the Gramps 5.2.5 backport for Jessie.
  • Package all the latest upstream versions of my Debian packages, and upload them to Experimental to keep them out of the way of the Stretch release.
  • Begin working again on all the new stuff I want packaged in Debian.

Ubuntu

  • Finish the ubuntustudio-lightdm-theme, ubuntustudio-default-settings transition including an update to the ubuntustudio-meta packages. – Still to do (actually started today)
  • Reapply to become a Contributing Developer. – Still to do
  • Start working on an Ubuntu Studio package tracker website so that we can keep an eye on the status of the packages we are interested in. – Started
  • Start testing & bug triaging Ubuntu Studio packages. – Still to do
  • Test Len’s work on ubuntustudio-controls – Still to do

Other

  • Try and resurrect my old Gammon one-name study Drupal website from a backup and push it to the new GoONS Website project. – Done
  • Give JMRI a good try out and look at what it would take to package it. – In progress
  • Also look at OpenPLC for simulating the relay logic of real railway interlockings (i.e. a little bit of the day job at home involving free software – fun!).

Happy New Year – My Free Software activities in December 2016

So that was 2016! Here’s a summary of what I got up to on my computer(s) in December, a check of how I went against my plan, and the TODO list for the next month or so.

With a short holiday to Oslo, Christmas holidays, Christmas parties (at work and with Alexander at school, football etc.), travelling to Brussels with work, birthdays (Alexander & Antje), I missed a lot of deadlines, and failed to reach most of my Free Software goals (including my goals for new & updated packages in Debian Stretch – the soft freeze is in a couple of days). To top it all off, I lost my grandmother at the ripe old age of 93. Rest in peace Nana. I wish I could have made it to the funeral, but it is sometimes tough living on the other side of the world to your family.

Debian

Ubuntu

  • Added the Ubuntu Studio testsuites to the package tracker, and blogged about running the Manual Tests.

Other

Plan status & update for next month

Debian

Before the 5th January 2017 Debian Stretch soft freeze I hope to:

For the Debian Stretch release:

Ubuntu

  • Add the Ubuntu Studio Manual Testsuite to the package tracker, and try to encourage some testing of the newest versions of our priority packages. – Done
  • Finish the ubuntustudio-lightdm-theme, ubuntustudio-default-settings transition including an update to the ubuntustudio-meta packages. – Still to do
  • Reapply to become a Contributing Developer. – Still to do
  • Start working on an Ubuntu Studio package tracker website so that we can keep an eye on the status of the packages we are interested in. – Still to do
  • Start testing & bug triaging Ubuntu Studio packages.
  • Test Len’s work on ubuntustudio-controls

Other

  • Continue working to convert my Family History website to Jekyll – Done
  • Try and resurrect my old Gammon one-name study Drupal website from a backup and push it to the new GoONS Website project.
  • Give JMRI a good try out and look at what it would take to package it.

Manual Tests of Ubuntu Studio Packages

We have been caught out a few times in the lead up to some of the recent releases of Ubuntu Studio, where we discovered very late that there were problems with a particular package. If you are an experienced Ubuntu Studio user, or you would like to begin helping out in the Ubuntu Studio Developers Team, why not start testing packages for the next release (Zesty 17.04)?

Step 1 – Install the Ubuntu Studio Development Release

It is not recommended to install the development release on a computer where you cannot afford to loose important data. In order of preference, install it on:

  1. A spare computer with lots of audio/video hardware plugged in.
  2. A spare computer.
  3. Your main desktop/laptop computer with a spare hard disk plugged in.
  4. A Virtual Machine on your main desktop/laptop (not really suitable for audio/video applications).

Instructions for installing the Ubuntu Studio Development Release can be found here.

Step 2 – Choose a package to test

The list of Test Cases for Ubuntu Studio Zesty 17.04 can be found on the QA Package Tracker.

screenshot-from-2016-12-11-200300

Step 3 – Check package versions

It is a good idea to note down the version number of the package in the Ubuntu development release (you will need it when reporting any bugs you find), and also in Debian (and also upstream if you are keen). Let us in the Ubuntu Studio Development Team know if our package is way out of date so that we can look into what is blocking the newer version.

To find the version in Ubuntu use the search form at the bottom of this page. For Debian, use the search form at the bottom of this page. Make sure you search in the right distribution (Ubuntu – Zesty at the moment, Debian – unstable).

Step 4 – Run the test

Click on the package you want to test in the QA package tracker (see screenshot above), and the test case should appear.

Screenshot from 2016-12-11 20:20:02.png

Follow the steps of the test case. It is as simple as that. If you are an experienced user of that package, feel free to test further functions. The more bugs we find early in the release cycle, the more chance they will be fixed before the release.

Step 5 – Record the results & report bugs

For this step you will need to have a Launchpad login. Log into the package tracker. You can see the button on the above screen-shot. Record your results (hopefully a “pass”) in the bottom of the tracker. The results will be stored, so feel free to come back and test the same package later and add another result. If you spot a minor bug, then see if it has already been reported in Launchpad, and if not then report it. Add the bug number to the applicable column in your test result. If you cannot complete the test case due to a bug, please mark the test as failed (and add the bug number to the report). Feel free to add as many comments to the test result as you like. In particular, we are interested in your test environment (e.g. laptop/desktop/Virtual Machine), and the version of the package when you tested it.

Step 6 – Improve the Test Cases

If you have got this far, and finished a test, then well done and thank you! You deserve a break. But why stop there? Test a different package. We also need help maintaining the Test Cases. If you spot a mistake in a Test Case, or a note a possible improvement, then report a bug against the manual-tests in Launchpad. If you think we are missing a Test Case for an Ubuntu Studio package, then please also report a bug (after checking that there isn’t already one).

You could also help out further by actually correcting, or creating the Test Case yourself. There are excellent documents on how to do this on the QA wiki here:

Contributing Manual Test Cases

My Open Source Contributions June – November 2016

So much for my monthly blogging! Here’s what I have been up to in the Open Source world over the last 6 months.

Debian

  • Uploaded a new version of the debian-multimedia blends metapackages
  • Uploaded the latest abcmidi
  • Uploaded the latest node-process-nextick-args
  • Prepared version 1.0.2 of libdrumstick for experimental, as a first step for the transition. It was sponsored by James Cowgill.
  • Prepared a new node-inline-source-map package, which was sponsored by Gianfranco Costamagna.
  • Uploaded kmetronome to experimental as part of the libdrumstick transition.
  • Prepared a new node-js-yaml package, which was sponsored by Gianfranco Costamagna.
  • Uploaded version 4.2.4 of Gramps.
  • Prepared a new version of vmpk which I am going to adopt, as part of the libdrumstick transition. I tried splitting the documentation into a separate package, but this proved difficult, and in the end I missed the transition freeze deadline for Debian Stretch.
  • Prepared a backport of Gramps 4.2.4, which was sponsored by IOhannes m zmölnig as Gramps is new for jessie-backports.
  • Began a final push to get kosmtik packaged and into the NEW queue before the impending Debian freeze for Stretch. Unfortunately, many dependencies need updating, which also depend on packages not yet in Debian. Also pushed to finish all the new packages for node-tape, which someone else has decided to take responsibility for.
  • Uploaded node-cross-spawn-async to fix a Release Critical bug.
  • Prepared  a new node-chroma-js package,  but this is unfortunately blocked by several out of date & missing dependencies.
  • Prepared a new node-husl package, which was sponsored by Gianfranco Costamagna.
  • Prepared a new node-resumer package, which was sponsored by Gianfranco Costamagna.
  • Prepared a new node-object-inspect package, which was sponsored by Gianfranco Costamagna.
  • Removed node-string-decoder from the archive, as it was broken and turned out not to be needed anymore.
  • Uploaded a fix for node-inline-source-map which was failing tests. This turned out to be due to node-tap being upgraded to version 8.0.0. Jérémy Lal very quickly provided a fix in the form of a Pull Request upstream, so I was able to apply the same patch in Debian.

Ubuntu

  • Prepared a merge of the latest blends package from Debian in order to be able to merge the multimedia-blends package later. This was sponsored by Daniel Holbach.
  • Prepared an application to become an Ubuntu Contributing Developer. Unfortunately, this was later declined. I was completely unprepared for the Developer Membership Board meeting on IRC after my holiday. I had had no time to chase for endorsements from previous sponsors, and the application was not really clear about the fact that I was not actually applying for upload permission yet. No matter, I intend to apply again later once I have more evidence & support on my application page.
  • Added my blog to Planet Ubuntu, and this will hopefully be the first post that appears there.
  • Prepared a merge of the latest debian-multimedia blends meta-package package from Debian. In Ubuntu Studio, we have the multimedia-puredata package seeded so that we get all the latest Puredata packages in one go. This was sponsored by Michael Terry.
  • Prepared a backport of Ardour as part of the Ubuntu Studio plan to do regular backports. This is still waiting for sponsorship if there is anyone reading this that can help with that.
  • Did a tweak to the Ubuntu Studio seeds and prepared an update of the Ubuntu Studio meta-packages. However, Adam Conrad did the work anyway as part of his cross-flavour release work without noticing my bug & request for sponsorship. So I closed the bug.
  • Updated the Ubuntu Studio wiki to expand on the process for updating our seeds and meta-packages. Hopefully, this will help new contributors to get involved in this area in the future.
  • Took part in the testing and release of the Ubuntu Studio Trusty 14.04.5 point release.
  • Took part in the testing and release of the Ubuntu Studio Yakkety Beta 1 release.
  • Prepared a backport of Ansible but before I could chase up what to do about the fact that ansible-fireball was no longer part of the Ansible package, some one else did the backport without noticing my bug. So I closed the bug.
  • Prepared an update of the Ubuntu Studio meta-packages. This was sponsored by Jeremy Bicha.
  • Prepared an update to the ubuntustudio-default-settings package. This switched the Ubuntu Studio desktop theme to Numix-Blue, and reverted some commits to drop the ubuntustudio-lightdm-theme package fom the archive. This had caused quite a bit of controversy and discussion on IRC due to the transition being a little too close to the release date for Yakkety. This was sponsored by Iain Lane (Laney).
  • Prepared the Numix Blue update for the ubuntustudio-lightdm-theme package. This was also sponsored by Iain Lane (Laney). I should thank Krytarik here for the initial Numix Blue theme work here (on the lightdm theme & default settings packages).
  • Provided a patch for gfxboot-theme-ubuntu which has a bug which is regularly reported during ISO testing, because the “Try Ubuntu Studio without installing” option was not a translatable string and always appeared in English. Colin Watson merged this, so hopefully it will be translated by the time of the next release.
  • Took part in the testing and release of the Ubuntu Studio Yakkety 16.10 release.
  • After a hint from Jeremy Bicha, I prepared a patch that adds a desktop file for Imagemagick to the ubuntustudio-default-settings package. This will give us a working menu item in Ubuntu Studio whilst we wait for the bug to be fixed upstream in Debian. Next month I plan to finish the ubuntustudio-lightdm-theme, ubuntustudio-default-settings transition, including dropping ubuntustudio-lightdm-theme from the Ubuntu Studio seeds. I will include this fix at the same time.

Other

  • At other times when I have had a spare moment, I have been working on resurrecting my old Family History website. It was originally produced in my Windows XP days, and I was no longer able to edit it in Linux. I decided to convert it to Jekyll. First I had to extract the old HTML from where the website is hosted using the HTTrack Website Copier. Now, I am in the process of switching the structure to the standard Jekyll template approach. I will need to switch to a nice Jekyll based theme, as as the old theming was pretty complex. I pushed the code to my Github repository for safe keeping.

Plan for December

Debian

Before the 5th January 2017 Debian Stretch soft freeze I hope to:

Ubuntu

  • Add the Ubuntu Studio Manual Testsuite to the package tracker, and try to encourage some testing of the newest versions of our priority packages.
  • Finish the ubuntustudio-lightdm-theme, ubuntustudio-default-settings transition including an update to the ubuntustudio-meta packages.
  • Reapply to become a Contributing Developer.
  • Start working on an Ubuntu Studio package tracker website so that we can keep an eye on the status of the packages we are interested in.

Other

  • Continue working to convert my Family History website to Jekyll.
  • Try and resurrect my old Gammon one-name study Drupal website from a backup and push it to the new GoONS Website project.

Open Source Contributions – April & May 2016

Due to holidays in London, and planning next the next one, the 1604 Ubuntu Studio (Xenial) release, doing the documentation to become an Ubuntu Member (most of which I have separately blogged about), and a recent stretch of fantastic weather in Denmark, I have not been so productive in the last two months. But here is some of the stuff I managed to get done, or at least started on.

Ubuntu Studio:

  • Dropped the redundant ubuntustudio-sounds package from ubuntustudio-look package and left for Kaj to upload. Then submitted a removal bug.
  • Changed the Ubuntu Studio seeds to use the new Debian Multimedia puredata metapackage, instead of having to manually add new puredata packages.
  • After the Xenial release, prepared the package tracker ready for Yakkety appliaction testing.
  • Updated the Ubuntu Studio backports list with the priority packages that we want to keep the LTS releases up to date with.
  • Improved the Ubuntu Studio backports wiki so that others can join in to help with the work.
  • Started the process to backport Ardour to Xenial and Trusty. Had to change the packaging for the Trusty backport, due to the automatic debug package migration options not being recognised in Trusty.

Debian:

  • Uploaded the latest Gramps release (4.2.3), including providing a patch to update the appdata.xml file to the latest specification.
  • Continued helping to mentor Lucio Carreras with trying to package the sayonara media player application for the Debian Multimedia Team.
  • Sebastian Ramacher was working on an upload of the latest idjc package which needed the latest version of libshout-idjc. So I uploaded this to help out.
  • The was discussion (#825186) about which tasks from the Debian Multimedia blend to include in a new option in the Debian Installer. Hopefully Debian Stretch will be the first release where users can select which blends to install as part of the normal installation process.