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Updated: 30 min 27 sec ago

Jonathan McDowell: Software in the Public Interest contributing members: Check your activity status!

Wed, 13/04/2016 - 13:04

That’s a longer title than I’d like, but I want to try and catch the attention of anyone who might have missed more directed notifications about this. If you’re not an SPI contributing member there’s probably nothing to see here…

Although I decided not to stand for re-election at the Software in the Public Interest (SPI) board elections last July, I haven’t stopped my involvement with the organisation. In particular I’ve spent some time working on an overhaul of the members website and rolling it out. One of the things this has enabled is implementation of 2009-11-04.jmd.1: Contributing membership expiry, by tracking activity in elections and providing an easy way for a member to indicate they consider themselves active even if they haven’t voted.

The plan is that this will run at some point after the completion of every board election. A first pass of cleanups was completed nearly a month ago, contacting all contributing members who’d never been seen to vote and asking them to update their status if they were still active. A second round, of people who didn’t vote in the last board election (in 2014), is currently under way. Affected members will have been emailed directly and there was a mail to spi-announce, but I’m aware people often overlook these things or filter mail off somewhere that doesn’t get read often.

If you are an SPI Contributing member who considers themselves an active member I strongly recommend you login to the SPI Members Website and check the “Last active” date displayed is after 2014-07-14 (i.e. post the start of the last board election). If it’s not, click on the “Update” link beside the date. The updated date will be shown once you’ve done so.

Why does pruning inactive members matter? The 2015 X.Org election results provide at least one indication of why ensuring you have an engaged membership is important - they failed to make a by-laws change that a vast majority of votes were in favour of, due to failing to make quorum. (If you’re an member, go vote!)

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Chris Lamb: Parsing Jenkins log output to determine job status

Mon, 11/04/2016 - 18:28

I recently made the same mistake a number of times when adding new hosts to my Ansible configuration and decided to ensure it couldn't happen again. The specifics of this particular issue were that whilst I had added the hostname to inventory file, I had neglected to add the host to the relevant group in my playbook:

oldhost newhost [mygroup] oldhost # missing newhost here

ansible-playbook would output no hosts matched but crucially return with an successful exit code. My continuous integration system (Jenkins) would infer that the task was successful and not notify me that anything was wrong:

$ ansible-playbook deploy-mygroup.yml --limit-hosts=newhost <snip> PLAY [deploy] ************************************************* skipping: no hosts matched PLAY RECAP **************************************************** [ERROR]: No plays were matched by any host. $ echo $? 0

This seemed to violate a few principles to me (at the very least due of the "loud" use of ERROR without the corresponding return code) so I filed a pull request against Ansible that added an optional --error-if-no-plays-matched switch:

$ ansible-playbook [..] --error-if-no-plays-matched <snip> [ERROR]: No plays were matched by any host. $ echo $? 1

In the end, upstream decided to pass on it as it could be implemented via a plugin system and desiring an immediate and potentially more-general solution I briefly looked into parsing the ansible-playbook output before moving onto parsing the Jenkins log itself.

This turned out to be straightforward; using the Text-Finder plugin, I configured my Jenkins job to simply error if the log contained the string skipping: no hosts matched:

I am using the Job DSL plugin so that my configuration is backed onto revision control (highly recommended) so I actually used its textFinder publisher rather than the interface above:

publishers { textFinder(/^skipping: no hosts matched$/, '', true, false, false) }

This results in the job "correctly" failing and alerting me:

+ ansible-playbook deploy-mygroup.yml --limit-hosts=newhost <snip> PLAY [deploy] ************************************************* skipping: no hosts matched PLAY RECAP **************************************************** [ERROR]: No plays were matched by any host. Checking console output /var/lib/jenkins/jobs/deploy-mygroup/builds/126/log: skipping: no hosts matched Build step 'Jenkins Text Finder' changed build result to FAILURE Finished: FAILURE
Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Steve Engledow (stilvoid): Disco

Fri, 08/04/2016 - 17:09

Things I discovered this week:

  • I really, really don't like sesame oil.

    I spent all day yesterday complaining that there was a smell of burnt plastic in the house. Today I shared a sandwich with my wife and it tasted like burnt plastic smells. Turns out this was the sesame oil she just bought and loves. Yuck.

  • I've become quite unfit over the past 3 months.

    Since starting my new job, I haven't had the daily cycle ride into the office (I work from home or get the train to wherever I need to be) and it's really beginning to show. I decided to go for a bike ride on my lunch break today. 30 minutes and a handful of miles later, I was a sweaty, panting mass.

  • Making smoothies using only fruit is a bad idea.

    Since buying a smoothie maker (a blender, a blender, a blender) I've been trying various strategies depending on how guilty I'm feeling. Today I decided to try a smoothie with just three ingredients: grapes (lots of them), a pear, and a dash of cranberry juice. It was, without a doubt, the sweetest thing I have ever tasted. I ended up necking some and then watering it down.

  • I should have bought a new monitor ages ago.

    I've been using a TV that I bought years ago as my main monitor for ages and recently decided I wanted something a bit better (the monitor only went up to 1680x1050) so I bought a monitor. What an improvement!

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Wayne Stallwood (DrJeep): Simple USB2 Host Switch

Sat, 02/04/2016 - 20:38
Initially created for the BigBox 3D printer to allow use of both the Internal Raspberry Pi running Octoprint and the rear mounted USB port for diagnostic access. The Rumba has only one USB port and can only be attached to one of these at a time.

However this circuit will work in any other scenario where you want to be able to switch between USB Hosts.

Plug a Host PC or other host device into port X1 and the device you want to control into Port X3, everything should work as normal.

Plug an additional powered Host PC or other host device into Port X2 and and the host plugged into Port X1 should be disconnected in preference to this device which should now be connected to the device plugged into port X3.

Please note, in many cases, particularly with devices that are bus powered like memory sticks, the device will not function if there is no powered host PC plugged into port X1

Categories: LUG Community Blogs