MJR: Debian

photo I'm a debian developer and try to help in a wider way than just using it or keeping the the few packages I maintain. That means I try to mentor other maintainers and improve democratic control. You may also want to read about things that happened last year.

Debian Project Leader Turnouts

Posted by mjr 2008-04-11 (permalink)

After starting to write a comment on Buxy rêve tout haut: DPL election: low participation speculating about whether the slow turnout in the DPL voting is caused by the lack of contraversial candidates or the stupid retiming that will make DPL elections clash with Easter holidays more often, I did a quick grep of the past votes.

2008: no contraversial candidates, Easter during voting, turnout high 30s%?

2007: contraversial(s), Easter after voting, turnout 47%

2006: contraversial(s), Easter after voting, turnout 43%

2005: contraversial(s), Easter during voting, turnout 52%

2004: contraversial(s), Easter during voting, turnout 53%

2003: contraversial(s), Easter after voting, turnout 59%

2002: contraversial(s), Easter during voting, turnout 51%

2001: contraversial(s), Easter after voting, turnout unsure (between 33% and 90%!)

2000: dunno about contraversials, Easter after voting, turnout 62%

1999: dunno about contraversials, Easter after voting, turnout 59%

Not sure what to make of that. What did I miss?

Comments are moderated (damn spammers) but almost anything sensible gets approved (albeit eventually). If you give a web address, I'll link it. I won't publish your email address unless you ask me to, but I'll email you a link when the comment is posted, or the reason why it's not posted.

Debian Project Leader IRC Debate

Posted by mjr 2008-03-26 (permalink)

As last year, I'll be trying to help with the Debian Project Leader IRC Debate tonight (2008-03-26 20:30Z until 23:30Z). This annual election is probably the biggest influence most developers have on the direction of the project, so please choose wisely. :-)

Unlike last year (IMO), it's a more interesting field of candidates who are all strong in different ways. I feel even the weakest candidate is stronger than in previous elections.

Anyway, I shan't write more until after the debate. If you can't make the debate, recordings will be posted promptly, among the rest of the debate that's on debian-vote. This old dog is probably going to use a new IRC client for the debate, to make it easier to watch everything and copy-paste audience questions, so I hope I control it properly!

anon commented:

"Wait... I see Hertzog and McIntyre on both lists... This must mean they are stronger than themselves, and Brockschmidt is more interesting than sum(Verhelst, Mahinovs, Franco, Hocevar, Towns, Richter)."

Yes, Hertzog and McIntyre have more interesting platforms than last year, but I don't see how one can draw the above conclusion about Brockschmidt.

Random recent threads from planet debian

Posted by mjr 2008-03-22 (permalink)

tomás zerolo commented:

"Ob Emacsclient:

Yes, it can: eval. That makes it fun, I suppose ;-)

Try the following. With an emacs (which is running a server) up, do

emacsclient --eval '(insert "foo")'

and foo is written at the cursor position in the current Emacs buffer. Or, for more spectacular results, try --eval '(occur "sub")' when in a Perl buffer ;-)"

and Rémi Vanicat wrote:

"Yes, emacsclient can run emacs lisp: in my example, I ran emacsclient -e "(raise-frame)"

to evaluate the fonction raise-frame in my running emacs. Any other lisp code can be run." My emacsclient can't - guess I need to upgrade my emacs...

James asked:

"Err, isn't God Save the Queen the national anthem of the UK?"

That's the anthem of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It's not the anthem of England. Other parts of the UK have their own anthems (Wales has Land of My Fathers, for example) but England doesn't yet. So, we either play an unofficial anthem (like at cricket) or play the horrible UK one (like at football).

Removing messages from a qmail queue is not a FAQ

Posted by mjr 2008-03-03 (permalink)

I had a call last week from one of our customers that a self-managed server had been attacked and email wasn't running smoothly on it any more. The exploited web app (old version of mambo IIRC) had been repaired and there didn't appear to be a shell-gaining exploit, so what was wrong?

Looking at the mail queue gave a clue. I couldn't see anything at first. Nothing. No output. Eventually, qmail-qstat returned and reported over 50,000 emails in the queue, which is pretty high for that webserver. Poking around the mailserver found lots of examples of a few types of spam. I stopped outgoing mail so I could clean up.

I don't use qmail much. It hasn't been free software for long and the default upstream packaging (which was being used on that server) isn't very friendly IMO. So, I had no idea how to remove messages from a qmail queue, like exim -Mrm or postsuper -d. I looked at the qmail man pages and the qmail binaries. Nothing. I looked at the qmail FAQ. Nothing. I asked a LUG IRC channel. Something, but no answer.

With some web searches, I found mailRemove.py - why is this not in qmail and not even a FAQ? No clear contact details on the FAQ, either.

Damien Merenne commented:

"I also have to manage qmail on some servers and I find http://qmhandle.sourceforge.net/ very usefull."

Thanks for the pointer! There's a debian ITP for qmhandle.

This is copyright 2008 MJ Ray. See fuller notice on front page.