Thursday, 27 May 2010

Upgrading to Fedora 13

Well, this didn't go as smoothly as the live USB versions, mostly due to preupgrade.

I don't have a "standard" install, you might say. This is on a laptop that's not mine and Fedora is not the primary OS. So it's very space-constrained. I don't even have the recommended 200MB (now the recommendation is a whopping 500MB) space for /boot. Personally, I think that's a ridiculous amount of room to hold a kernel and initrd (even if they are generic), but that's the default install size.

So the problem is that preupgrade downloads everything to /boot, but I don't have enough room for it. The other problem is that preupgrade didn't bother to tell me either. There are some bug reports for it already, but I'm pretty sure it worked for F11->F12, so it's an annoying regression.

Fortunately, that preupgrade page has instructions for setting up the correct grub command line. I had enough room for the kernel and initrd, but not the install image. I'm not sure if it's because the downloader failed to notice it ran out of space, but the installer wouldn't auto-download the install image. I had to set a URL source, find a mirror, and point it to <mirror>/releases/13/Fedora/i386/os/.

So I've got the installer image set up and everything's good to go, right? Well, no. In the end, my space-constrained root didn't have enough room to upgrade. Oh well, might as well see how nice a full install looks. I still remember what I had installed well enough to tweak it after.

How did that go? It was pretty nice and simple, actually. The only problem I ran into was that it didn't figure out my boot loader configuration. I don't know why that is, but replacing it seemed to have worked. The only hiccup was I didn't remember which partition should have been Windows. It would have been nice if it had shown partition labels.

Anyway, after dropping stuff I didn't need (who needs all graphics drivers on a laptop?), and installing all the stuff I could remember (like devel packages), I ended up with 1.2G free. I even have OpenOffice installed this time. I don't know how I managed to go from ~100M to 1.2G, but that's definitely a great improvement.

Upgrading Linux images...

So there's been quite a few new releases of distributions recently. Last month, there's been Ubuntu 10.04 and Linux Mint 9. This month it's Fedora 13.

Anyway, I just updated my live boot drive with all of those and everything works pretty well.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Coming soon, to a Pidgin near you...

Direct connections for MSN! What do I mean? Just take a look at the screenshot below.

What's that? You don't see it? Just take a look at how fast it's going. Yes, that's right; it's not a pitiful 10KiB/s, but about an order of magnitude faster.

It all started with this little patch on trac. But it required a lot of work to get it going. I must have made at least 60 commits just fixing things and getting it to cooperate with aMSN and the official client. I think it should be good now, but you can always disable it in the Account options. It even makes buddy icon and custom emoticon loading faster.

Anyway, I promised I would say something about 2.7.1, and here you go. Direct connections will be in 2.7.1. In fact, I'm just about to push all the revisions.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Branchifying Revisions in Monotone

Have you ever started committing things in Monotone and then realized "This should probably go in a separate branch"? It's somewhat difficult to fix that. You can add a new branch cert, but the old one won't go away.

I wrote a little script based on a mailing list message I saw. It removes the old branch cert, and adds the new one, moving forward along revisions. It even changes merges with "the rest" into propagate messages instead. There are limitations, though. It only works with linear history (but if you've been working alone, that shouldn't be a problem) and it requires mtn 0.45 (since it uses the binary cert format.) Of course, it goes without saying that if you've shared any of your changes with someone else, then this is pointless (or you'd have to change everyone's database.)

It's pretty short. Make sure those SQL statements don't break up when you copy it.


set -e


while [ -n "$curr" ]; do
    echo "Changing revision $curr"

    mtn --db=$DB db execute \
      "DELETE FROM revision_certs WHERE hex(revision_id) = upper('$curr') AND name = 'branch';"
    mtn --db=$DB -k$KEY cert $curr branch $NEW_BRANCH

    parents=`mtn --db=$DB automate parents $curr`
    if [ `echo "$parents" | wc -l` -eq 2 ]; then
        # Fix a merge
        echo "Fixing merge for $curr"
        mtn --db=$DB db execute \
          "DELETE FROM revision_certs WHERE hex(revision_id) = upper('$curr') AND name = 'changelog';"
        other=`echo "$parents" | sed -e "/$prev/d"`
        mtn --db=$DB -k$KEY cert $curr changelog \
"propagate from branch '$OLD_BRANCH' (head $other)
            to branch '$NEW_BRANCH' (head $prev)"

    curr=`mtn --db=$DB automate children $curr`

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Pidgin 2.7.0 Released!

So it seems like I only post about minor releases (as opposed to micro), but I promise that I'll definitely say something about 2.7.1.

Anyway, Pidgin 2.7.0 should be released pretty soon now. You may or may not know that the release versions are dictated by API/ABI requirements. A minor release means we've added API. I wouldn't say there are tons of new user-visible features in this release, but definitely some developer-related things.

Most importantly, we dropped support for old GTK+ and GLib, requiring 2.10.0 and 2.12.0 respectively. Visibly, that means we can't support Windows 98 anymore, but I think we can say that's an acceptable loss by now. For development purposes, though, that means a ton of code that can be removed. It means a lot less code that needs to be maintained. We also were able to upgrade some things like from EggTrayIcon to GtkStatusIcon, which is better at integrating into the notification area.

Don't worry; it wasn't all development changes. We've also got integrated Mood setting. This interfaces to ICQ and XMPP, so I don't know too much about it. More in my area, MSN gained support for file transfer previews, which show up in the request window and the conversation.

There are quite a few other changes that I don't really even know about, so you might want to check the ChangeLog.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Mentoring a student for GSoC

So last week the accepted proposals for GSoC were announced. Pidgin was given 4 slots.

First up, we have Ivan Komarov working on improving ICQ. I don't really use ICQ, so I can't say much, but if you do, hopefully there'll be a lot of great things coming out of it that will be useful to you. Next up is Adam Fowler working on a better chat log viewer. People really seem to complain about what we have now and at the very least, it's kind of slow once you have a lot of logs, so there should be room for some good improvements there. And then we have Gilles Bedel working on detachable libpurple sessions. I'm not sure how often I'd use it, but every once in a while, I feel like checking in on Pidgin from the laptop and it's a very painful process through SSH and D-Bus. This project should make that sort of thing much simpler. Finally, we have Jorge VillaseƱor Salinas working on refactoring MSN.

So that last one is the one I'm mentoring. Personally, I've been wanting to re-write bits and pieces of the MSN prpl for a while now, but I've never had the time to get around to it. Jorge's already done some great work getting custom smiley support working for Pidgin 2.5.0. I'm sure he'll have no problem re-working the MSN prpl. I'm looking forward to getting a more structured and (hopefully) well-designed prpl which should make development a lot easier and quicker.