Blog posts tagged "debian"

Oh my aching head

November 15th, 2005

Nothing quite like the hangover from one of Mako and Mika’s famous sushi and Debian parties.

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Baby’s First Rails App

March 11th, 2005

Broke down, saw the light, whatever you want to call it, but I finally whipped up my first Rails app last night.

When I first looked at Rails a few months ago, I liked what I saw but was frustrated by the extreme magicalness of the framework which baked a number of assumptions into your app I wasn’t willing to concede. Turns out Rails hit the sweet spot of being good enough, the sweet spot where people pile on and the framework has improved rapidly.

Rails 0.10.1 has the flexibility to let me build my app while still being a rapid development environment, has some decent non-toy apps (like Hieraki) to learn from, and is developing an impressive body of documentation. (made slightly less impressive by the tendency to get transient exceptions while browsing said documentation)

I love the new routing work, as much as I was (and am) skeptical of moving mod_rewrite functionality into Ruby. And fixtures are a dream to work with. If you’re trying to learn the framework try writing some tests, I kid you not, best, easiest, most fun way to start really fleshing out your functionality.

If you’ve been putting off playing with Rails, now wouldn’t be a bad time to start playing.

On Debian (Testing)

The only piece that wasn’t fun was getting it working on Debian. There is an unstable Rails package, but on testing you’ll need to go and collect each of the dozen+ dependencies.

The following code snippet was suggested, but I haven’t tried it:

apt-get install $(grep-available -n -s package -F source -X ruby1.8 | grep lib)

Errno::ENOENT (No such file or directory – /tmp/mysql.sock)

Had to update my database.yml to point to instead of localhost (thanks lattice)


Loading BlueCloth as a gem was failing quietly, and the only error I was seeing was

NameError: uninitialized constant BlueCloth

Finally copied bluecloth.rb to site_ruby and loaded it via require instead of require_gem, and found out that I had missed yet another key ruby package libstrscan-ruby

My First App

I’m not sure the world needs another online recipe repository, especially another crappy one, but I’ve never liked any of the ones I’ve played with, and as we’ve been having more dinner parties lately it was time to finally start jotting down some recipes. (and rabble, a recipe is not a todo list)

I’ve built it with tagging support (because I’m like that), and pingback support so that I can keep a cooking journal in WordPress and have the links automatically get added to the recipe.

I did not build a natural language parser ala Recipezaar, there is no print recipe card mode, and Eatdrinkfeelgood support is only a fond fantasy.

A link will follow once I’ve done the migration from WEBrick to lighthttpd/fcgi.

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Riseup Software Labs

December 7th, 2004

Lattice clued me into the fact that finally there is a website where you can download my 2 favorite new pieces of software, both developed by the elusive and enigmatic elijah (at) riseup. (I can personal attest that neither the rumor that elijah is a fictional persona shared by a group of activist, nor that he is actual an advanced AI program are true.)

  • Bamboo is a next-generation CMS, that incorporates wiki like ease of content creation, and linking with simple and flexible hierachy to help combat the wiki tendency to sprawl. No database required, easy to drop in dynamic pieces, pluggable authentication. Ideal for documentation, or fairly static websites. Would also be a good for artist portfolio sites. We’re using it with Activista, to manage templates and internationalization.
  • Backup Ninja is backup for Debian done right. Provides /etc/backup.d where packages can drop simple config files (or complex scripts) to request backup services. Easy to write custom handlers, and rdiff-backup (uses the rsync algorithm) is used to move backups to a secure location.
  • Currently only available as debs, but presumably source downloads will be added.

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Package Surgery

August 16th, 2004

I’ve started putting together Debian packages for our dev platform at work, and stumbled upon an obvious, and yet new to me technique for building quick and dirty .debs … package surgery. I’ve got a MySQL 4.1.3 package (an official package won’t be showing up anytime soon is the rumor) by the simple expedient of downloading the 4.1.3 source from, and copying over the debian directory from the official package. Similarly a PHP 5.0.1 package that is compatible with Apache2 (apache2-mpm-prefork) is available by downloading DotDeb’s php5 package, and tweaking its debian/rules file. (rumor has it an official one of these might show up soon-ish)

Both are still pretty rough around the edges (I’m having trouble with config files not being installed, and not being updated properly), but hopefully in the next few days they’ll be available to a few brave souls. (Though they already install pretty cleanly on an up-to-date sarge)

In the mean time, anyone know where I can find instructions on setting up an apt source?

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Massachusetts starts open source repository

March 20th, 2004

Massachusetts CIO Peter Quinn, as part of his stated goal to move all state and local IT systems to open source, has launched an open source code respository for the public sector to do shared development and best practices. The site has an impressive pedigree (via)

The repository will consist of a MySQL database, Z Object Publishing Environment application server, Apache Web server, OpenLDAP authentication service for storing membership data, and Debian Linux operating system running on an Intel-based rack-mounted server. The University of Rhode Island will serve as the repository’s home.

Quinn has come under attack for his support of open source, most notably from a group called Citizens Against Government Waste, a pro-Microsoft lobbying group (who can afford to use Convio).

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