I've recently started staging upgrades from Squeeze to Wheezy. One unpleasant surprise was that the mutt-patched package available to Debian doesn't contain the "sidebar-new-only" patch.
This means I need to maintain it myself again, which I'd rather avoid. Over time I've been slowly moving to standard Debian systems, trying to not carry too many local perversions around.
Unfortunately if you've kept all your mail since 1994 you have many mailboxes. having mutt-patched available at all, with the sidebar patch, is a great timesaver. But I don't want to see mailboxes I'm never going to touch; just mailboxes with new mail in them.
Also I find the idea of having to explicitly define mailboxes a pain. Just run inotify on ~/Maildir and discover the damn things yourself. Please computer, compute!
If you divide up "mail client" into distinct steps it doesn't seem so hard:
Obviously there is more to it than that. Sending mail? exec( sendmail ). Filtering mail? procmail/sieve/etc. Editing mail? exec(vim).
Anyway I've thought this before, and working with quilt and some ropy patches has always seemed like the way to go. Maybe it still is, but I can dream.
(PS. Sup + Notmuch both crash on my archives. I do not wish to examine them further. Still some interesting ideas. It should be possible to say "maildirs are tags; view "~/Maildir/.livejournal.2003" and ~/Maildir/.livejournal.2007 at the same time. Why just a single directory in the "index-view? So 1994.)
Disjointed posts R Us.
Obquote: "How hard could it be?" -- Patrick.
I have a theory (I know, I am full of them). Like most of you, as I have gotten older I have also tried to improve as a person. I am not just talking about being better at what I do with my career and hobbies, but I want to be a genuinely good person across the board; a good husband, father, son, friend, colleague, and dude who you bump your shopping cart into when buying milk. My theory is that people fundamentally improve by (a) making mistakes and (b) understanding and learning from those mistakes to not only prevent making the mistake again, but to also uncover the cause and effect of why the mistake was made, thus improving your life.
Now, the (probably illogical) logical continuation of my theory is that to make improvements (a) you need to make more mistakes (which opens up the opportunity for learning), and (b) you need to develop CSI-like capabilities in assessing those mistakes and their root causes. Continuing the theme, if we can figure out ways to identify ways of triggering making more mistakes in a way that doesn’t get you arrested and we can identify ways to help us understand why we screw up the way we do, we should have a golden ticket for rocking our lives. Incidentally, this theory was boiled in my head while driving out to pick up Thai food on Saturday night, so this is no Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity in terms of completeness.
While I am rather thin on the ground in terms of what is the next logical part of my theory, I suspect that the way in which we invite more none-life-threatening mistakes is to break out of our molds and take more risks; if we never take chances, we lower the opportunity for risk and mistakes, but also lower the opportunity for learning. Likewise, for the latter understanding our mistakes part I suspect the key is not figuring out ways to prevent the mistake (“I got angry and shouted at my dog today so I will try to keep my cool”) but more about understanding the cause of the mistake (“I am stressed from work and bringing that stress home and taking it out on people and animals”). Much as I love dogs, the goal here is not to stop shouting at the dog but to repair the root cause. So I ask you, dear friends, does my theory wash with you, and if so, how can we increase the number of mistakes and the quality of our self-assessment of those mistakes?
Brian is Red Hat’s CTO, and hence my boss’s boss’s boss (or something like that). This is a pretty good (and honest) talk about Red Hat’s plans for OpenStack.
Edit: By the way, the thumbnail (the one I see at any rate) is not Brian.
How did it go?
tl;dr: It’s not a bad phone, it’s not a bad platform. In many ways it’s nicer to use than Android. I won’t be buying one, as there’s no incentive to replace my iPhone 4S.
The details: the hardware was fine, and even had a few bonus points: it was distinctive, it was fun, the display was outstanding and the battery life was impressive. The software was fine, and about what you’d expect from a relatively new platform that’s rapidly improving. I found it more pleasant to use than my Samsung SIII, which is a usability horror story.
The apps that were available were pretty good; now I’ve no longer got the phone I’m missing the London bus app, the live tiles, and the twitter client.
Windows Phone seemed genuinely innovative. It was let down by some of the Windows legacy (reboots), but it wasn’t as bad as I thought.
At the end of my time with the phone, Nokia asked me to complete a survey. I’ve added some of the comments here, and expanded on them a little.
What did you like about the device?
The physical rounded shape and device yellow colour.
The amazing screen (size and colour).
The mapping software.
The innovative UI.
The “friendly” interface (“Let’s get started / goodbye”) – the UI felt a lot less “formal” than iOS.
The smooth animation.
All-in-one design (no need to insert battery or SD cards) – although everyone scorned Apple for this, I think it’s a big advantage. Messing around with batteries and SD cards is tedious.
What didn’t you like about the device?
Always turns on when charging.
Some buggy software.
What did you use most / were most surprised about / was unique to Nokia
Most used email, maps, apps such as Foursquare, live weather tiles.
Most surprised by low-light performance of camera (magic!)
Surprised by the amount of storage – fit music and photos on without making a dent in spare capacity.
Battery life was reasonable – it took several hours of continuous use to drain it.
Will you be purchasing the device now that you have trialled it?
Unfortunately Nokia didn’t give me the option to expand on that response, so here’s my explanation: I have an iPhone 4S, and it’s good enough. The 920 doesn’t offer anything more over my current phone to make me think I need to switch right now.
It’s worth noting that I would never have considered another Nokia Symbian phone. I’ve been bitten too many times by terrible Symbian experiences, and I swore the Nokia N95 would be the last phone I ever bought from them. With the release of the N9, that would have changed – if Nokia hadn’t killed the platform.
Before this trial, I had dismissed WP8. However, if I had to replace my 4S with another device, I would now consider Nokia’s Windows Phone devices amongst the options. Wireless charging would be a big part of the decision – I loved that feature on the Palm Pre. I’m not sure if live tiles are enough of a killer feature to get me to switch; it depends on what comes next in iOS, I guess.
Based on the Firefox OS phone, it seems the device would have to be less than €200 unlocked in order for me to consider it as a spur of the moment purchase.
As part of the DebConf13 fundraising efforts, Brandorr Group is funding a matching initiative for DebConf13, which will be in place for 4 more days (through April 30th).
You can donate here!
Please consider donating $100, or even $5 or any amount in between, as we can use all the help we can get to reach our fundraising target. The rules are simple:
This generous offer will only stay in place through the end of April 30th.
Please act quickly, and help spread the world!
Ubuntu 13.04, the Raring Ringtail, was released today. Go and download it for Desktop, Server, Cloud, and for our Chinese friends, download Ubuntu Kylin. You can find all the details of what is new in Ubuntu 13.04 on www.ubuntu.com.
Ubuntu 13.04 is a fantastic release, and I just want to offer thanks to the many people around the world in our community who helped make it happen. Folks such as developers, app/charm authors, designers, testers, triagers, translators, sys-admins, support providers, governors, docs writers, advocates, and more, all contributed their brick in the wall to delivering Ubuntu 13.04 across Desktop, Server, and Cloud, and continuing to bring freedom and elegance in technology to more people. But this is only part of the story, as behind the scenes, but in full public view, we are continuing to evolve Ubuntu towards our convergence goals. This will be a common theme as we march forward to Ubuntu 13.10, the Saucy Salamander.
I know many of us are tired after a hectic release schedule, so take some time to enjoy the release, get together with other Ubuntu friends, and celebrate Ubuntu 13.04! I will certainly be blowing the froth off a few cold ones tonight.
Ubuntu is on an exciting journey, a journey of convergence. Our goal is to build a convergent Operating System that brings a uniformity of technology and experience across phones, tablets, desktops, and televisions, and smoothing the lines between those devices in terms of interoperability and access to content. It is a bold vision, but Ubuntu has a strong reputation both in terms of our heritage in the desktop, server, and cloud, and with our passionate and capable community. I just wanted to provide some updates on work that is going on in delivering this vision.
There has been significant work going on in building Ubuntu Touch (the overall name for this convergent platform). The team have marked October in their calendars as the goal to have most of the primary components in the Ubuntu Touch code-base complete so we can deliver a fully converged system in Ubuntu 14.04. The Unity team have been working to centralize the different form factors into Unity Next, which you can play with now (weekly updates on progress coming soon here), the Mir team are making good progress in getting Mir ready for deployment on handsets with a technical preview on the desktop in 13.10 (see the weekly updates), and the Ubuntu SDK team are working towards delivering a beta in the next few months. We have also been working with our community to build the 11 core apps (of which three them are already shipping in the Ubuntu Touch daily development image), the Ubuntu Touch code-base has been ported by our community to and working on 40 handsets, with 25 handsets in progress, and across 19 different brands (of which the 4800+ posts in the XDA Ubuntu Touch forum has helped drive this work), and our app developer community has already grown to 1650 members on Google+ with a huge variety of apps in development, many of which we are pulling together in a PPA. We have also been working to automate the app submission process with a series of AppArmour sand-boxing improvements and tooling changes, we have an eight part tutorial series for writing an app from scratch, and have multiple training events and an Ubuntu App Showdown contest planned. On the business side we have seen tremendous interest from handset manufacturers and carriers, and the business team are in a marathon set of meetings across the world moving the discussions forward.
There is a lot to do, but we have an awesome team and community committed to the opportunity that lays before us. If we stay focused, stay on the ball, and take an organized and pro-active approach to problem solving, we could bring real technological change to the world with Ubuntu delivered via the very devices that form the fabric of most people’s lives. Let’s do it.
Useful stuff about dealing with partitions etc. on these new-fangled 4096-byte-sectored hard disks:
Neil McGovern, on behalf of the Debian Release Team, announced the target date of the weekend of 4th/5th May for the release of Debian 7.0 "Wheezy".
Now it's time to organize some Wheezy release parties to celebrate the event and show all your Debian love!
I have an interesting idea I wanted to share that I am calling Three Point Blogging, and I am keen to get your input on this. Feel free to use that daintily prepared comment box, rummaging around at the bottom of this post, to share your feedback and ideas.
Blogging has lost some of its luster to me somewhat. I don’t enjoy nor have the time to read large swathes of text, and I don’t have the time to produce large swathes of text either. I suspect others feel this way too, hence the promulgation of tl;dr summarizing these wordy manifests. It is common theory too that most people take three points away from a presentation or article, and as such these textual overlords are somewhat overloading readers, who are often dipping into your blog in-between emails or meetings.
As such, I am inviting you folks to join me in a little experiment I am calling Three Point Blogging. Inspired by Twitter, and with a focus on content as opposed to word count, TPB blog entries should make three core points, spread across three paragraphs. This keeps entries short and sweet, focused on the core points, and more digestible. What’s more, this might encourage a little more playful word-smithing that is often lost when constructing the Berlin Wall of text. Now, this won’t apply to all posts, but I think it could apply to the majority of them, so I am giving it a shot. Anyone else interested in trying?
There are some items which are just not possible to order online any more, assuming you want something of minimal quality. These include:
That’s not counting the stuff where it’s still just about possible to get non-fake stuff, but it’s a crapshoot, eg. computer memory, hard disks, batteries, flash memory.
Mike the electrician is here wiring up the garden office to the mains (I’m doing the networking). The armoured cable (black) and the two cat7 network cables (yellow) will be buried in this trench:
They go in through the wall. This will later be hidden with metal conduit. That wall is 12 inches thick, and close behind it is the gas main so he had to be very careful where he was drilling.
Finally the armoured cable finishes next to the consumer unit (to the right — not shown). Look at the lovely 1950s-era mains supply:
In my first writeup on Firefox OS and geeksphone I wrote:
It depends very much on Mozilla’s and Telefonica’s ability to execute
I should have added something about their partners’ ability to execute. I tried to buy a geeksphone this morning. It was not a happy experience.
The first problem is the page that lists the phones is built dynamically, and the site is hitting the maximum allowable database connections. The result is this error:
You might argue that this is just the result of high traffic, and it could happen to any busy site. But this is a basic error, and a nasty error message. This sort of detail should never be exposed to the user. If the site is too busy, put up a “sorry, we’re too busy” page. It’s deeply embarrassing for the architects of the mobile web to fall down on the basics of web-based e-commerce. You wouldn’t want your phone’s dialler to give a 404 or 500 error, so why let your shop do it?
When you do get the page to load, you’ll notice those great headline prices – €91 and €149 – have now become €110.11 and €180.29:
This is because the phones were advertised exclusive of taxes the first time around, which was just silly and confusing. Set pricing expectations and then manage them, don’t jump around all over the place. There’s no consistency.
Next, when you finally get a page to load, the “Add to cart” button doesn’t often work. More database errors:
If you do get the phone into your shopping cart, during the checkout process, you’re asked to agree to some terms and conditions of sale. (With some pretty peculiar wording that suggests a hasty translation: I agree to the Terms of Service and will adhere to them unconditionally.)
But good luck if you want to read those terms, as you’ll either get another database connection error…
… or you’ll get a copy of the Terms and Conditions, but in Spanish:
And then it’s on to the payment processing screen…
And finally, if you’re lucky, you’ll get the order confirmation page. Nothing wrong with that? Nothing apart from “ourcustomer support”. Details!
Apparently the problems weren’t too bad, since the Keon is now out of stock. That suggests a number of people were successful, despite the database problems.
I’ve no idea how many Firefox OS devices were available. My order number suggests more than 300 devices have been sold, but I don’t know if that’s Keon and Peak, or just Peak.
I really do wish Mozilla, Telefonica, and Geeksphone well in launching a new device and building the open mobile web ecosystem. But I also wish they’d pay attention to execution. If you want to win at the Game of Phones, you need to get the small things right and have a relentless attention to detail.
Recently Microsoft Open Technologies celebrated their one year anniversary. I just wanted to offer my congratulations on this important milestone.
Now, it could be tempting for some of you to become a little snitty about Microsoft wanting to engage more openly with people, but I believe that this project (as well as the OuterCurve Foundation; a different but similarly themed entity) should be celebrated. These are important steps in Microsoft evolving into a more open future, and folks such as Gianugo Rabellino from Microsoft Open Technologies and Paula Hunter and Stephen Walli from the OuterCurve Foundation are doing wonderful work in treading these careful steps forward. All three of these folks have been tremendously supportive of Open Source, community (including sponsoring the Community Leadership Summit multiple times), and demonstrate a real commitment to delivering those values in a historically proprietary culture. I can imagine that this is not particularly easy work, and I commend them for their commitment, and Microsoft for their evolution as a company.
Open Source has had a profound impact on the world, and for a company with such a philosophically different history to commit staff and resources to exploring a more open future, well, I think this is a fantastic step forward for Microsoft, Open Source, and wider interoperability.
The Microsoft Open Technologies team will be celebrating on Thursday in Silicon Valley with their anniversary party. Be sure to head over there; unfortunately I am unable to join due to another commitment.
Congratulations, Microsoft Open Technologies!
Henry Ford, a great inspirational figure in the history of technological development once said that “when everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it”. Ford faced great technological challenges in building the Model T; a car that he wanted the average citizen to be able to afford back in the early 1900s. He committed his life to challenging the norm and bringing technology that touched the lives of real people.
While challenged with the status quo and at times by ignorance and entitlement, he merely saw “obstacles as those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal”. Ford’s commitment to making technology available to all resulted in more than 15 million Model Ts being sold between 1908 and 1927.