Dan Scott dbs@identi.ca

Sudbury, Canada

Libraries. Databases. Coffee. Not necessarily in that order.

  • Postgres 9.6 released

    Christopher Allan Webber at 2016-09-29T20:09:10Z

    Another great looking release from a project with a solid history of solid releases.

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  • Conservancy's Executive Director Testifies in Favor of NYC Free and Open Source Software Acts

    Software Freedom Conservancy at 2016-02-25T07:03:17Z

    URL: https://sfconservancy.org/news/2016/feb/23/FOSSA-testimony/

    Conservancy's Executive Director Testifies in Favor of NYC Free and Open Source Software Acts

    Software Freedom Conservancy's Executive Director, Karen Sandler was invited to offer testimony earlier today to the New York City Council Committee on Contracts. Sandler testified in favor of the Free and Open Source Software Act and the Civic Commons Act, both proposed by Council Member Ben Kallos, which would increase the use of free and open source software by New York City departments and agencies. Sandler made the case for the superiority of free software, pointing out the advantages it would provide the city and society in general. “Companies effectively hold governments hostage with proprietary software,” Sandler explained. A full copy of the testimony is available.

    In the audience during Sandler's testimony were dozens of schoolchildren on a class trip, to whom she recommended SugarLabs, one of Conservancy's projects focused on kids. Sandler also took a moment to share her personal perspective on free software, explaining how she relies on proprietary software in her implanted medical device, which generated multiple questions from the Council Members. Sandler ended her participation in the Committee's hearing by providing an informal demonstration of GNU/Linux and in particular the GNOME desktop to the Council Members at their request. Karen concluded her testimony with “as a lifelong New Yorker, I love this city and know that shifting to free and open source software will better keep the city safe.”

    Free Software Foundation's Executive Director, John Sullivan, Open Source Initiative's board member, Paul Tagliamonte and Participatory Politics Foundation Executive Director, David Moore also provided testimony in support of the acts.

    Conservancy is proud to support municipalities adopting free and open source software!

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  • Bradley M. Kuhn at 2015-07-06T22:01:35Z

    retroactively is really disturbing.

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  • Outreachy Launches Round with 30 Participants

    Software Freedom Conservancy at 2015-05-29T14:17:31Z

    Outreachy Launches Round with 30 Participants

    Now Officially a Software Freedom Conservancy Member Project

    Outreachy, a diversity program launched by the GNOME Foundation under the name Outreach Program for Women, launched its current internship round under the umbrella of Software Freedom Conservancy. This week, 30 participants begin their internships with 15 free and open source software organizations, including longtime participating organizations the Linux kernel, Wikimedia, Mozilla and GNOME and newcomers to the program Ceph and GStreamer. In addition, three applicants who applied for both Outreachy and Google Summer of Code (GSoC) were accepted for GSoC with organizations participating in both programs; and one more applicant was accepted for the OpenDaylight Internship Program.

    This round of the program — the first under the Outreachy name — has a long list of sponsors. Intel has sponsored the program at the "Ceiling Smasher" level, the first time in the program's history to have a sponsor at the top level. Red Hat joins this round as an “Equalizer” sponsor, in addition to being a supporting partner of Outreachy.

    This round signifies the successful transition of Outreachy to Conservancy. As the program moved to Conservancy, Sarah Sharp who has been a key organizer of the Linux kernel's participation has been appointed to the top organizing committee for Outreachy. Sarah serves in this role together with Marina Zhurakhinskaya and Karen Sandler, Conservancy's Executive Director. The GNOME Foundation remains a partner of the program, providing technical infrastructure. GNOME also remains a participant in Outreachy.

    One of the metrics for Outreachy's success has been the extent to which many former participants have become involved in supporting Outreachy itself. This round, three Outreachy graduates became organization coordinators with three different organizations. Two of those graduates are also serving as Outreachy mentors. “With each subsequent round of Outreachy, we're seeing more graduates become speakers at important conferences, and find related employment,” said Karen Sandler. “We're excited to see Outreachy make a tangible impact in free and open software communities and provide real opportunities for our participants.”

    URL: http://sfconservancy.org/news/2015/may/28/outreachy-launch/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/conservancy/status/603943127838253056

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  • lnxwalt@microca.st at 2015-05-08T22:31:21Z

    Since coffeecode.ca is yours, can you obtain a cert for the subdomain and get them to set it up for you?

    I do agree that it is more complicated and difficult than it should be, which is likely the reason why wordpress.com and squarespace also don't offer this.

    Douglas Perkins, Dan Scott likes this.

  • data terra nemo

    Mike Linksvayer at 2015-05-05T05:52:25Z


    Berlin, Germany May 23 & 24, 2015


    “Terra nemo” is a Latin expression meaning “No man’s land”. Data Terra Nemo is a technical conference for discussing the ideas behind systems and protocols without centralized ownership and how they impact the landscape of the Internet.

    follow on twitter

    I don't recognize anyone/any entity, which could be a good thing: it's in the air.

    OTOH and at the same time they could be relatively unaware of what exists.

    https://medium.com/node-js-javascript/if-no-one-owns-the-internet-everyone-can-12833bb5d0c8  why-we-need-a-conference

    BTW what to make of so many people/entities using medium for a blog? What is the next genre that seemed relatively safe from mass centralization that will fall to some combination of good UX and notoriety? If you were a VC wanting to make that happen, what would you be investing in? I guess email is so huge there is still lots of loose flesh to claw at. The web generally too, but neither of those is specific enough to be actionable.

    Dan Scott likes this.

    This is really a weird view of the "distributed" term, as to me it's in the contrary the extreme of decentralisation, while they talk about it as "centralized" ... to me FB is not distributed it's centralized, and a real P2P network is distributed, while Pump.io f.ex. is decentralized as some pods are localy centralizing the connections of the local users...

    And yes, funny that this post is appearing on a centralized blog platform... :)

    olm-e at 2015-05-05T06:05:48Z

    Christopher Allan Webber, Mike Linksvayer likes this.

  • Let's be nice, all

    Christopher Allan Webber at 2014-12-15T20:08:39Z

    One way we're sure to not be able to make enough progress here is if we're shooting potshots at each other across the federation threaded divide. There's just not enough people here to fall in to infighting.

    Stay positive, let's work together, and think about how we can identify problems and build a better fediverse! That's something we all want.

    Digital Roffey, Dan Scott, Tobias Diekershoff, ostfriesenmärz and 14 others likes this.

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  • Mike Linksvayer at 2014-12-17T03:15:03Z

    @dbs thanks for the update/review/info! I think I'm going to have to try Known for myself.

    I'm interested in conversing with linked-data-oriented librarians. :)

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Dan Scott likes this.

  • "How I explained heartbleed to my therapist"

    Christopher Allan Webber at 2014-09-29T14:52:05Z

    A pretty chilling article.

    Three years ago, my husband, an open source architect and developer, killed himself. For years, everywhere, we had struggled together against depression, and worked together to try to make our world better. It was always difficult. He succumbed. I did not.

    Admitting I needed help wasn’t the hard part. Figuring out how to explain the problem is.


    “Yes. But it isn’t really free time. It’s all work. It’s all important. And I have to figure out how to balance the work I can make a living on with the work I can’t, because the work I can’t make a living on is more important.”

    This also captures why I'm not really comfortable with people making "haha heartbleed" "haha shellshock" jokes on microblogs (especially popular on Twitter, it seems). They feel about as low as shitty YouTube comments to me. The next time you're tempted to do that to make yourself look cool, maybe think about this article, then consider: at whose expense am I taking this cheap shot to make myself look cool?

    Dan Scott, Alberto Moshpirit, gdk, Forna and 7 others likes this.

    Olivier Mehani, SombreKnave, SombreKnave, SombreKnave and 5 others shared this.

    It's whistling past the graveyard, though. Comprehending how complex and fragile the massive interconnected machine that we call "the Internet" is is like H.P. Lovecraft-level insanity-causing. Realizing that for every Heartbleed and Shellshock there are 100 other Free and Open Source software bugs of equal importance can make you want to run from the whole thing.

    Thinking about the level of bugginess in non-free software that maybe only 1 or 2 people have ever looked at is an existential crisis waiting to happen.

    Joking about the mechanism of Shellshock or whatever helps us minimize it. "This is a simple problem and the people who made this mistake are way dumber than me," is what you're saying. Neither is true, but it helps us keep doing what we do without giving up entirely.

    Evan Prodromou at 2014-09-29T16:11:37Z

    Douglas Perkins, Scott Sweeny, Christopher Allan Webber, Charles Stanhope and 1 others likes this.

    Humour is a coping mechanism for many people. A security bug means different things to different people ranging from personal embarrassment to possibly mission critical life or death scenarios.

    No single person should have to deal with the burden of being responsible for a security bug which affects the entire internet.

    Good will triumph over evil.

    jrobertson at 2014-09-29T16:32:22Z

    Evan Prodromou, lnxwalt@microca.st, Christopher Allan Webber likes this.

    Damn, she is a frequent contributor to the hackerspace.be mailing-list, I didn't knew that drama ...

    Yes there is a great problem in the way Free Software is not funded, neither from these Giants neither from the states, although our entire "civilisation" now depends on that "thing" (internet==free-software) ... and the coders that maintain it are pressurised by the financial system.

    Free Software Developpers, you are heroes ...

    olm-e at 2014-09-29T18:30:27Z

  • LibrePlanet Ontario is a go!

    Blaise Alleyne at 2014-09-24T16:36:26Z

    I'm super excited for LibrePlanet Ontario. Met with Sergio and Rudolf on Monday night, and we've got a plan to get this thing moving!


    If you know any software freedom lovers in Ontario, they should join the mailing list! (The three of us are based in Toronto, but we're hoping to get other teams in other cities running eventually if there's enough interest.)

    Dan Scott, Mike Linksvayer, Christopher Allan Webber, Francesca Ciceri and 2 others likes this.

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    Sudbury checking in - and subscribed to the mailing list. Excellent news!

    Dan Scott at 2014-09-25T02:40:36Z

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  • Christopher Allan Webber at 2014-09-22T16:45:54Z

    Maybe gpg-agent and screen locking can help you only mistype a couple times per session? :)

    Dan Scott likes this.

  • Greg Grossmeier at 2014-09-07T01:19:20Z

    You know, maybe Bradley had it right when he started linking to an identi.ca thread for the comment section of his blog.

    Dan Scott, Elena ``of Valhalla'', jrobb, Douglas Perkins likes this.

  • So much logic!

    Greg Grossmeier at 2014-07-16T23:31:31Z

    Some days I just can't believe how much logic (IF THEN ELSE etc) is out there.

    That sounds kind of trite, but I was just watching the CPU graph on my work laptop that I'm re-setting up and noticed (for the nth time) that multi-core CPUs pass off long running CPU-bound tasks to other cores on some cadence. You can see the switch happen in gnome-system-monitor. Makes sense, you don't want a CPU to burn out one core while all others are just sitting there (I guess).

    <stoner voice>Our lives are controlled by billions of little logic if then statements, maaaan.</stoner voice>

    Dan Scott, Freemor likes this.

    Yep. You gotta keep those other cores in shape. Don't want them getting lazy.

    Charles Stanhope at 2014-07-16T23:37:08Z

    Douglas Perkins likes this.

    Today I was tripping out on how humans are in a lottery to be have access to a society and technology that allows for them to build mental constructs of reality that aren't based on superstition and counter-intuitive observations of their surroundings, in varying degrees.

    That's why I like computers. That's why I dislike religion.

    I'm conflicted about computer religions. I don't trust religous computers.

    maiki at 2014-07-17T03:51:46Z

    Owen Shepherd, netgeek likes this.

    Its' the kernel scheduler doing that, not the hardware itself. In that regard, the hardware is dumb as a post :-)

    Owen Shepherd at 2014-07-17T11:32:23Z

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  • Greg Grossmeier at 2014-06-15T18:03:58Z

    People's reaction to others' actions needs to bend back more towards help than hate.

    Dan Scott, Lars Wirzenius, Luke, Charles Stanhope likes this.

  • Christopher Allan Webber at 2014-06-10T20:18:59Z

    the question is: what's more work for you, chris? your time is quite valuable!

    Supporting sqlite has caused more headaches and slowdowns in MediaGoblin's design than anything else. Several months have gone into looking into building a half-our-own migration system, namely because sqlite is so bad at migrations that when we switched from Mongo->SQL, Sqlalchemy-Migrate was nearly dead and Alembic was the clear future of migration tooling in the sqlalchemy world, but we went with a hacked up sqlalchemy-migrate solution with a lot of custom code from me just so we could move forward. Later, Natalie Foust-Pilcher had to write some more custom solutions because certain kinds of migrations were actually not possible because sqlite would explode dramatically. As such, whether you're running postgres or sqlite, we have some hacky code that makes the migration system very slow and require O(n) time migrations where n is number of rows slow for each individual migration. Given our limited resources, supporting multiple clever paths is a bit too hard, so that sucks.

    This has also lead to migrations in MediaGoblin being much more precarious and something I fear a lot more than they'd have to be.

    This is the also most challenging thing holding up Python 3 support in MediaGoblin. The student who is handling the Python 3 port is having to handle moving us over and investigating how to handle sqlite stuff in Alembic. That wouldn't be a worry if we weren't dealing with it.

    ON THE OTHER HAND: sqlite has made writing unit tests a breeze, has made setting up test instances trivial, and many other things. I really love sqlite! If it weren't for the alter table thing, it'd be just stellar.

    My blogpost on the subject might have seemed a bit over the top. If you're responsible for dealing with the situation though, it isn't.

    Also, regarding the "I don't want to have 20 different databases on my machine running!" I hear ya, that's a really bad situation. My current feeling is actually now that it looks like postgres is going to probably solve 98% of the current "NOSQL" document database cases, maybe the free software network services world should just decide that postgres is the de-facto database. That'd solve a lot of things.

    Dan Scott, Jason Self, Andrew E likes this.

  • Richard Fontana at 2014-06-12T02:16:48Z

    Now if only pump.io would ditch its CLA. :-)

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  • Denver Gingerich at 2014-06-05T15:01:20Z

    At #PDF2014 listening to #Snowden. Fewer technologists here than I'm used to, which is a good thing. Learning how to build better tools.

    Dan Scott likes this.