So far, Apport package hooks were limited to collecting data from the local system. However, a lot of debugging recipes and standard bug triage ping pong involves asking the reporter further questions which need reponses from a human. This can range from a very simple information message box “Now, please plug in the camera which is not detected” until a complex decision tree based on the symptoms the user sees. ... Read More

hal-sectomy continues
3 June 2009

The migration away from hal continues. Yesterday I uploaded new udev-extras and hal packages which move the handling of local device access from hal to /lib/udev/rules.d/70-acl.rules. Note that this temporarily breaks device access to old cameras which don’t speak the standard PTP protocol yet (and aren’t mass-storage). Most devices should work fine, though, please let me know if something fails (ubuntu-bug udev-extras). I started a discussion with upstream about how to migrate the libgphoto bits away from hal to udev rules. ... Read More
This morning I added a test script to the Apport bug patterns. This finally allows you to reliably test a new bug pattern before you actually commit/push it. You can invoke it with either a .crash file, or a Launchpad bug number: `This morning I added a test script to the Apport bug patterns. This finally allows you to reliably test a new bug pattern before you actually commit/push it. You can invoke it with either a . ... Read More
I recently started working on packaging pieces of the new DeviceKit world, which is gradually replacing hal. In particular, DeviceKit-disks and DeviceKit-power are in Karmic now, and gnome-disk-utility and a patches gvfs are in the ubuntu-desktop PPA. A few days ago I wondered what the replacement of hal-setup-keymap would be. This is the bit that makes your laptop’s magic Fn keys work, such as “brightness up”, “next song”, “WWW browser”. I became quite acquainted with this component in the last six months and committed a fair share of fixes to hal-info for those. ... Read More
Some days ago, the first public beta of PostgreSQL 8.4 was announced. I uploaded a CVS snapshot to Debian experimental two weeks ago, but it didn’t make it out of NEW yet. Packaging the actual 8.4 bits was actually pretty easy, just took me half a day to adapt the 8.3 packaging and eventually figuring out how to build the entire documentation from SGML sources with Debian/Ubuntu’s broken docbook-utils. I spent much more work work on supporting 8. ... Read More
Today I was sitting in the plane from Dresden to San Francisco, and worked on my DKMS demo for the Linux Foundation summit. DKMS is a command line tool for managing device driver packages. I wondered how to present this. The commands and features I wanted to show are quite complex, and typing all of them during the presentation is too cumbersome. Besides, I’m just a lousy typer when someone else is watching. ... Read More
Yes! I just broke the “200 bugs” mark on the “bugs fixed in Jaunty” list. /me goes to fix more…

Wanna touch DeviceKit?
11 March 2009

Still remember the “hal is dead, long live DeviceKit” buzz? It’s time to finally lay our hands on it. DeviceKit and DeviceKit-power themselves are available for a while in Jaunty’s universe, but installing them by themselves is pretty boring, of course. Last Saturday I packaged the new gnome-power-manager 2.25.x which is now devkit-ified and doesn’t use hal any more. It is now available in the ubuntu-desktop PPA. Please try it, break it, and complain over there 🙂 ... Read More
I was really looking forward to today. Today, the Sony PRS-505 eBook reader finally gets sold in Germany. Now, I already have mine since January, but the more exciting fact is that also announced selling their ebooks in the open epub format standard. When I bought my first eBook at in January, I unfortunately only discovered after the buy that you can only read it with the Mobipocket reader. ... Read More
The next Ubuntu release (9.04, “Jaunty Jackalope”) will see the first set of changes introduced by Canonical’s Desktop Experience Team: The much-discussed notify-osd notification system, and the indicator applet. While we have worked, and will continue to work with upstreams to get those into official GNOME, this will take a while; those are design/usability experiments, and their full impact and consequences are still to be determined by a large user base, and GNOME rightfully applies their own scrutiny on new things to adopt. ... Read More