La Salle Debain

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Open Source @ Consolidated Braincells Inc.

About La Salle Debain

This is a weblog I'm keeping about my work on Debian and any other useful Debian related info I come across. It is not meant to compete with other news sources like Debian Weekly News or Debian Planet. Mostly it is just a way for me to classify and remember all the random bits of information that I have floating around me. I thought maybe by using a blog it could be of some use to others too. Btw. "I" refers to Jaldhar H. Vyas, Debian developer for over 5 years. If you want to know more about me, my home page is here.

The name? Debain is a very common misspelling of Debian and la salle de bains means bathroom in French.

If you have a comment to make on something you read here, feel free to write to me at

You can get an rss 0.91 feed of any page in the blog by appending ?flav=rss to the end of the URL.

Tue, 27 Jul 2004

Personality Test

Well everyone is doing it. Here are my results.

You are an SRDF--Sober Rational Destructive Follower. This makes you a font of knowledge. You are cool, analytical, intelligent and completely unfunny. Sometimes you slice through conversation with a cutting observation that causes silence and sidelong glances. You make a strong and lasting impression on everyone you meet, the quality of which depends more on their personality than yours.

You may feel persecuted, as you can become a target for fun. Still, you are focused enough on your work and secure enough in your abilities not to worry overly.

You are productive and invaluable to those you work for. You are loyal, steadfast, and conscientious. Your grooming is impeccable. You are in good shape.

You are kind of a tool, but you get things done. You are probably a week away from snapping.

posted at: 12:17 | #

Talk at Southern Connecticut Open Source User Group

I'm in Connecticut again for the second half of the perl class I'm teaching for Innovation Software Group. Last night I also gave a talk to the Southern Connecticut Open Source User Group SCOSUG. By now I've developed a standard song and dance mainly demoing the new installer. The audience (which I'm told was larger than usual for this type of event) were really impressed. If we can integrate something like Red Hat's kickstart into the installer, it will be unbeatable. There were also the usual questions about when sarge was going to be released. So I was happy to be able to show the message from the release team stating that we are aiming for mid-september.

posted at: 12:14 | #

Fri, 16 Jul 2004

Not Just More Information, We Need Consolidation Of Information

So I came home from Connecticut and opened up debian-devel for the first time in four days to find a General Resolution had been proposed to get the amd64 port into the archive and a huge flamewar has resulted. The amd64 porters feel they are being blocked by ftpmaster intransigence and lack of communication. Other people are sickened that Debian, which has always prided itself on doing the right thing not necessarily the popular thing, is now using voting as a means of coercion and the ftpmasters are unfairly being hassled. Who is is the real victim?

I'll tell you who the victim is, it's ME! Why am I forced to have to sift through large piles of crap, just to keep abreast of what's going ? Just kill the threads you aren't interested in I hear some people say. The problem is threads drift. Occasionally, there is some useful and important bit of information amongst the drivel. (Again, remember ajs' social contract bombshell? Delivered during a massive and unrelated tread on debian-vote.) I am subscribed to 18 mailing lists and hang out on IRC a couple of times a week and I still don't know exactly what the deal is with things like the amd64 port. This is a major development one should know about don't you think? If I could devote my life to the project as some people seem to be able to it wouldn't be a problem but I can't do that. God, family, rent, Debian has to take a back seat to all of these nowadays. I don't like this situation. Working on Debian has been both pleasurable and brought me material benefits but something will soon have to give. Of course I could just follow the lead of atleast 50% of the developers (according to recent voting patterns) and just live on the little island of my own packages not paying any attention to what goes on within the project. But doesn't such a view make a mockery of our ideals of openness and collaboration?

Manoj says we should have a little sympathy and respect for the people behind the titles. This is sage advice and I agree. But how about if those people showed a little sympathy for us? I'm sure writing status reports is a boring waste of time but think of how much time is wasted by other people when they aren't written. For a great example of something I wan't to see more of, read Roger Leighs' report about the LSM Free Software Printing Summit. (The only criticism is that it should have been posted to debian-devel-announce.) Frankly if people in key positions can't do something like that once a month, they are a hindrance and should step aside or be replaced. Debian is not a little club anymore. The amount of communication which was adequate in those days is not adequate anymore.

posted at: 00:04 | #

Tue, 13 Jul 2004

Perl Training in Connecticut

I'm in North Haven Ct, teaching an introductary class in perl for Innovation Software Group who you may remember as the fine people who helped us out so much at Linuxworld. It's an all day class. Yesterday was the first day, it continues till wednesday, then we break for a week and do another Monday-Wednesday session.

The students are mostly professionals from nearby Yale university so they're very bright and motivated people. We're having fun.

posted at: 06:41 | #

Fri, 02 Jul 2004

Sarge GR Voting

Today is the last day of voting on the General Resoluctions concerning Sarge. Here are my choices:

-=-=-=-=-=- Don't Delete Anything Between These Lines =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
[ 2 ] Choice 1: Postpone changes until September 2004  [needs 3:1]
[ 1 ] Choice 2: Postpone changes until Sarge releases  [needs 3:1]
[ 6 ] Choice 3: Add apology to Social Contract         [needs 3:1]
[ 3 ] Choice 4: Revert to old wording of SC            [needs 3:1]
[ 5 ] Choice 5: "Transition Guide" foundation document [needs 3:1]
[ 4 ] Choice 6: Reaffirm the current SC                [needs 1:1]
[ 7 ] Choice 7: Further discussion
-=-=-=-=-=- Don't Delete Anything Between These Lines =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

The reason is that we have get Sarge out right now. Sorry the rotting corpse of woody is beginning to smell. Once that is out of the way, people can do all the legal noodling about they want. I prefered choice 2 over choice 1 because in the event of something going wrong a vague date is more flexible than an exact one.

My next preference was choice 4. Even though the changes were strictly editorial in my opinion, the release manager doesn't agree. And only chose to mention it at the local planning department on Alpha Centauri ^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W in the middle of an obscure thread on debian-vote. So if it's going to hold up sarge, let's get rid of it.

My next preference is choice 6 which is to let the editorial changes stand. I would want to force the release manager to change his mind or step aside in that case because as you may have gathered by now, sarge must be released right now and it is way too late to do drastic surgery on it.

A transition guide is just extra bureaucracy and an apology is just plain weaselish. So no love for choices 5 and 3. And last of all choice 7, further discussion because the last thing we need is even more gum-flapping on this topic.

posted at: 16:28 | #

It's A Boy

We found out that our new baby is going to be a boy. I'd like to stick with the *dhar tradition but a nice Shaiva name like Pinakin, or Tryambaka would be ok too.

posted at: 16:25 | #