Sunday, January 27, 2008

Automated Build System improvement

This task was on my to do list for a long time, one of the main limitations on the ABS was the inability to build packages which would depend on other new packages submitted to the ABS.
I have created a script with scans the post_build directory and generates a local repository, this repository is then used on the sbuild environments.
Now that the package building infrastructure covers most of it's requirements it is the time to focus on improving the publishing system. As it is now, the package publishing depends on manually inserting data into mysql tables, this process is too much human dependent (error prone and time consuming), most of the publishing data should be retrieved automatically from the package descriptions files.
Hopefully during the next months I will have sufficient time for the publishing improvements.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Package requests: Launchpad and Suggestion

I have been quiet for a while due to some other projects I am involved in. Today I started creating packages again and I checked the bugs list to see what I wanted to pick up.

Looking at the enormous list of requests I was a bit overwhelmed to say the least and here is it that I found Launchpad to be missing certain options.
In the overview I missed dates, when was the request placed, when was the last update, why can't I sort or filter by status. I know, launchpad isn't maintained by us, but still.

Another thing is that of all the requests I believe I know of only 2% what they are. And not so much precisely but what category it would be at the website, like Games, Audio etc. See the thing is I tend to build packages that I think are useful and packages I would use myself. I won't create packages for games for example, I don't play games on my Linux box, I rather play them on the wii or on my Windows box. So it would be helpful if I could see in a glance what the request is for. I think this could be something we could implement, we could use tags to link the request to a certain category on our website.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

One step back, one step forward

yesterday I have decided to try some improvements on the wiki & build hosting server, since I had 1 spare 250GB SATA Disk from the old windows partition I was planning to integrate it with the existing system building a RAID 1. Because I am new to RAID with Linux and PC class systems I have decided to backup the hosted VMs just in case. Sade option, the RAID 1 build just presented be a frustrating "Mirroring failed" message during the build process.
Since I had to rebuild the disk, took the chance to improve performance by splitting file system over different disks to achieve parallel disk I/O.
After some long hours of lost time and frustration is all up and running again.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Site user's registration status

The user's registration option was implemented on April 2007, the purpose was:
  • usage measurement
  • global communications (using the registration email)
  • restrict release comments (to avoid spammers)
The only restriction for anonymous users is the inability to post comments, still we got 8580 user registrations (only accounting authenticated emails), from which 2568 have logged in on the last 3 months.
There are 795 release comments and we sent a few (maybe 3) global communication emails.
The user registration function is extremely poor, there is no profile page, neither a password reset/change option, this is something that definitively needs a big improvement.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Wiki Rebuild (Again)

The DekiWiki on a VM which looked a promise for stability and easy of administration made me extremely frustrated yesterday.
After running the wikiupdate script and the debian vm apt-get upgrade, I just go into an half work system, any wiki edits would just return numeric errors, those keep you away from following up a resolution.
The solution was to find a new wiki engine, after some research I have selected MoinMoin. It was very easy to setup and run (it can run as a simple python app service). I just had some troubles customizing the ACLs to my needs.
I also took the change to do some wiki reorganization, it does look cleaner now.