Week 4: Strawberries and APT

Last week was full of distractions: On one hand I was required to do some work on our bachelor lab which is placed under the Code Recommenders umbrella. This includes mostly discussions and writing documentation which is quite boring and sometimes even frustrating as the requirements change every once in a while -- not the best conditions if you should work according to the Unified Process… Some topic different track was the four hours presentation training. I learned a bit, especially that I seem to have a "melodic voice" which is a pleasure to listen to - at least this is what my coach said. I personally can't confirm that as I do not listen to me, so I recommend to meet me in person to validate or disprove it. 🙂

On the other hand the World Cup sucks up some time. Most games are quite boring unfortunately - especially if a "odds-on favorite" (at least before the World Cup) is one of the playing teams, but every time I can't watch a game I see later that it was a good game… PAR:SVK for example looked like a good game in the replay. BRA against CIV yesterday on the other hand had glory moments but was all in all pretty lame. Especially "glory" was it to use a double-"hand of god" and lying to the referee. If the players would invest more of their time into playing good instead of giving the referee headaches… but I am dreaming.

Good that I had also a few more other distractions like the Strawberry Festival in my home town, my little cousin (who becomes my daughter at the festival for 5 years now - one of the more popular urban myths…), that my other cousin is now the vinaceous queen of your town and in general all the small and medium events happening now and then around strawberries, -bowle and wine…

So you might wonder if I have done ANYTHING and I can say: Yes, but the changes are for now invisible and groundwork for Week 5. In my branch for example is apt-get already half-ported to the CacheSets. Interesting is now how to handle cases like e.g. virtual packages in a way that the Sets can be used in apt-get as well as apt-cache… Another thing which fall into my mind today morning in the train is as simple as: Should the responses to the queries in apt-cache not be in the same order as the request? The answer is yes, so I will need CacheLists also. Hopefully this can be done as easy as I currently think. 🙂

And finally the pro forma MultiArch content: Setting Candidate as well as Reinstall in the DepCache now accounts for Pseudo packages (that is bigger and more important than it sounds). 🙂 Slightly related is Adobes flash drop for linux-amd64. Hopefully the MultiArch future will protect us a bit more. I am personally not affected as I have gnash now for a while up and running and it works for all what I need (basically nothing), but this move made me think of how much many people depend on closed source software, how badly especially flash is maintained by upstream, how easy it is for a company to ignore the needs of a "niche" like linux-amd64 and what will happen if they decide tomorrow to drop also linux-i386 with the promise to publish a new version "in the future". Remember, even "Duke Nukem Forever" is/was promised to release "in the future". "It's done then it's done" is fine as long as you have no customers or a previous version which is still supported, but this move is more like debian would announce shortly after squeeze release: "Sorry fellows, we came to the conclusion that squeeze on amd64 has a few bugs we don't want to fix and instead want work on squeeze+1. We have therefore removed squeeze-amd64 from our mirrors. We encourage you to wait for squeeze+1 which will be released 'in the future'. Stay tuned."

I hope this will ever happen. Free Software for the win.