Archive for December, 2009

About names and international affairs

Christian writes about the nightmare of using the proper name for people in an international context. I’ll add that even in the same country/culture, you can have a hard time, because of another factor: the generational context.

People don’t necessarily address other people from their generation the same way as they would address people from different generations. And these “rules” may also vary when people age. Even people from the same generation can have different ways to address people.

All in all, naming someone is complicated everywhere, though it is more complicated in international context.

I’ll also add that there are at least two persons involved in a conversation, and that while it is nice that the sender tries to make an effort to address a person the proper way, the recipient should also not take it bad when someone from far away uses the wrong name, and don’t make a fuss about it. That’s called tolerance.

To give an example that is not about names, but about such tolerance, President Obama recently made a visit to the Japanese Emperor, and bowed before him. If you are living in the US, you probably heard about that, because the media there made a fuss about the US president bowing. It so appears that by japanese standards, he indeed did bow too deeply. But the japanese didn’t care much. He’s not japanese, he doesn’t have the cultural background, and therefore can be wrong. At least he tried. What actually made news in Japan is the US news making a fuss about it.

2009-12-31 09:33:58+0900

p.d.o | No Comments »

Iceweasel bug triaging

I’ve spent a few hours going through all the unclassified important bugs assigned to iceweasel. This resulted in

  • 6 confirmed bugs,
  • 16 where the reporter is asked for something,
  • a few merged,
  • another few reassigned to other packages,
  • and around 50 bugs closed.

In the closed bugs, there were several kind of bugs:

  • the bug log shows that the bug eventually disappeared or was not a bug, but the bug was still opened,
  • the bug has been known to be fixed for a while,
  • the reporter is unreachable and the bug is unreproducible,
  • the bug has been spammed by several different and unrelated “me too”s, leading the bug to being a huge mess where you don’t know what was the problem to begin with (there were 2 such bugs, if I recall correctly), in which case I closed the bug, copying everybody and inviting to file individual bugs after confirming with newer versions.
  • not a bug at all.

It will feel good when it will be visible on the bug graph.

Still 500+ to go… sigh

Who wants to jump on the bandwagon ? ;)

2009-12-19 21:34:30+0900

firefox | 5 Comments »

VMware + + gnome-screensaver + strong password = FAIL

Guess what happens when you use software that can fuck up your keyboard mappings (VMware Remote Console), in combination with software that uses these mappings to be able to switch back to a text console ( and a screen saver that locks your screen (gnome-screensaver, but that would worl equally well with xlock or anything else similar) ? A recipe for FAIL.

It so happens that VMware Remote Console, and apparently other VMware products such as Player or Workstation not only are unable to do anything useful with special keys (try installing Debian without the arrows keys, for example), but they are also able to remap keys (such as ctrl, shift and caps lock) to nothing.

It also happens that uses its keyboard mappings when dealing with the ctrl+alt+Fn key combinations that allow to get back to a text console. Yes, that means you can’t switch to a text console after VMware fucked up your keyboard mappings.

On top of all that, add a X session locking program, that won’t allow you back until you type your password, and a password that, well, you just can’t type without shift of caps-lock, because it is somehow strong. The X session locking program won’t allow you to fix your keyboard mappings, you can’t switch to a text console either, and you can’t unlock for obvious reasons.

The only solution that didn’t involve a reboot or losing everything under the X session was to ssh in, change the password to one that can be typed without shift and unlock.

It is said on the interwebs that adding “xkeymap.nokeycodeMap = true” in the ~/.vmware/config file solves the issue. At least, it works for the arrows. I’ll see if it also prevents the special keys to be remapped.

2009-12-09 00:13:15+0900

miscellaneous, p.d.o | 5 Comments »

Removing a VMFS extent

Until vSphere 4, the only way to add space to an existing VMFS was to add an extent. This means creating a new partition, most of the time on a new LUN, and extend the VMFS there (vSphere 4 is now able to resize a partition on a grown LUN). This is somehow equivalent to adding a physical volume in a volume group under LVM. But contrary to LVM, once you added an extent to a VMFS, it is impossible to remove it.

Well, until now, it was.

I just pushed my lvm branch of vmfs-tools (get a git snapshot tarball), which includes a new tool named vmfs-lvm, allowing to just do that. For the moment, the tool is not cluster-safe, which means you’d better run it on an offline VMFS (i.e. make sure no server is using it). Data should not be at risk because the tool checks the removed extent doesn’t contain any data, but it also assumes the filesystem is in a consistent state beforehand.

The command line to remove an extent looks like the following:

# vmfs-lvm extent0 extent1 ... extentn remove

This will remove the last extent.

Update: There was a bug when setting some values at volume level. The git snapshot link above has been updated accordingly.

2009-12-02 16:40:55+0900

vmfs-tools | 12 Comments »