Fixing hardware

Thanks to the nice Debian Swiss Knives initiative!

Fixing software

Besides trying to maintain the whole X stack as usual, and preparing the funky wayland, mesa, and weston trio for experimental, I got myself into other areas.

Debugging gzip

Jakub Wilk noticed a while ago that some multiarchified packages couldn’t be co-installed due to gzipped files being different between architectures. That was reported as #647522 against the gzip package.

While some developers consider the lack of determinism (as in: it’s not in the gzip specification, and the current implementation generates different packages anyway!) as a dead-end for the multiarch experiment, it didn’t look like undebuggable or unfixable. And indeed, as confirmed by a quick analysis: a lack of clean-up when several files are processed at once can lead to different results, depending on the order in which files are specified on the command line; the patch for that is trivial, and was later made smaller and the need for it was explained.

Working in the Release Team

I reviewed/approved a few packages for squeeze, but also took care of handling or finishing a few transitions (as seen in my hints file), among which the funny iceweasel9/libmozjs ones; release tools are nice, but one gets to learn lots of stuff at once (which isn’t a negative aspect). I hacked a tiny “collision detector” so that packages involved in several transitions can be easily spotted. Given the huge number of ongoing transitions we had lately, that didn’t look overkill.

Squashing bugs

It had been a very long time since my last working on totally random RC bugs. The Bug Squashing Party organized at IRILL was a very nice opportunity to get back to totally crazy bugs in unknown packages, but also to meet with other Debian contributors; sponsoring maintainers with good patches on their first try was nice, but walking other contributors through their first patches sent to the BTS or through their first NMUs was nice too.

Waving good bye to yada

Back in the Mérida QA meeting I attended in 2007, there were already jokes about how bad yada was, and how it should die in a fire etc. When I started looking at the RC bug list, I quickly switched to scrolling it backwards, and I wondered how much work was left. The details can be seen in #660548, and the result is: yada is gone! sanity++;

Both long descriptions and translations for packages in some suites disappeared after the switch to Description-md5. Thanks to a quick and reduced setup (mostly: en+de for squeeze+sid+experimental), I managed to find my way through Perl and DB files to propose patches for #657557. I’m still waiting for a confirmation, but in case it works fine, we could even get a fix for DDTP/DDTSS.