That Ol’ Globus

I’m not talking here about the second half of Golan-Globus productions (who brought you notable gems like Ninja 3: The Domination and Cobra, of course). I’m talking about the Grid Computing framework. So I’m taking a class at Boston University this summer about Grid Computing, and the prof. is going to have us work with the Globus toolkit. Now, since you can install the entire toolkit on linux (but only the java client on winders), I thought I’d try and ebuild it. Turns out, some people already have. Tried, that is.

OMG WTF. I mean seriously. How do you, as a package maintainer, deal with this. I’m talking about the upstream developers — how do they deal with this convoluted build system? Why package all the perl module dependencies with the actual package itself? People have heard of CPAN (gentoo users have it easy), you know. And poor Hanni (on the bug) — this is their first ebuild. My first ebuild was for yahoo messenger, and as simple as that was, matthewbk had to help me with it. So, shout out to Hanni for bravery. A big thumbs down to the globus upstream for an excruciating package (not the contents, just the way to install/configure the contents).

Someone on the bug suggested breaking the ebuilds up into separate components. I would urge the globus people themselves to release it as a suite of components and have mercy on distro maintainers who want to package the thing. The bug request has been in our bugzilla for two years now. Mainly because it’s a b*tch to package.

Update: I just found this article about someone’s exploration into grid computing. Good read.

Discovering Autotools

So between Henrik, Daniel and mainly Diego, I’ve learnt so much about the autotools this last week, that I’ve actually come to like them quite a bit.

At work, we had a messy build system for the longest time. I un-messed it slightly by adding Makefile wrappers around it. But lately, the combination build system has been getting more out of hand. So I put together a protoype of an autotooled build system, and it’s working fantastically. I especially like make dist to create the internal releases.

Before I found Diego to bother him endlessly in irc, I was working of both, the autotut and (of course) the autobook. The autobook seems little out of date. I got furthest with autotut, and then with Diego, it was just like magic. So now we have a fully functional prototype of the new build system in place, and I’m looking to deploy it in a few weeks. I like the added benefit of sanity checking, especially.

At the very least, I have a sincere appreciation of the autotools now 🙂

Edit: I always appreciated them, but in the past it was more of an “at least it’s not Imake” type of appreciation.

Vegetarian Cambridge

Ha, no Indian food update today (see Saturday’s update for that). Yesterday, Josh, Renat, Annd (Renat’s wife), and Aimee (my wife) got together for brunch/lunch at Veggie Planet in Harvard Square. What a fantastic place to eat. I mean really, the food is absolutely delish. Renat and my wife had the Brunch for Henry pizza. Anna and I each had the Homefry Tofu Scramble, and Josh had the Omelet of the Day. One word: yummy. I’ve never seen squash on a pizza, but I had a bite of it, and wow.

I can’t say enough good things about the place. If you’re in, at or near Harvard Square, go there, you won’t regret it.

On a related note, the Lumpaus are both vegetarian. My wife and I have had a mainly vegan diet for the past two weeks. We did go and have some barbecue on Friday (coz we were in the mood for Dosas, but the only nearby place is Masalaa and that pissed me off royally, so we detoured). I’ll tell you this: it felt weird eating meat. Really weird. After only two weeks. Yeah, we’ve had sushi in those two weeks: we try to get that at least once a week. But having a bbq’d chicken is just strange now. We’ll see how long this lasts, but we’re both really enjoying the vegetarian thing. Oh yeah, I’m mixing them because we did have some feta cheese on a homemade greek pizza (using dough from the fridged section at Trader Joe’s. And she has milk milk. I personally have soy milk and soy yoghurts and all that. It’s fun so far, and soooooo yummy. And I’m losing the weight. Soon I won’t be a round (hopefully). But I’ll talk about Billy Blanks in a future posting.

Update: Renat is married, folks. And his last name is with a u.

Foundation Paperwork Reviewed

So our counsel got back to us with their review of our application. We do have some changes and clarifications to make to the document (I need to find a PDF editor thingy, because the original form is a PDF). So far, Donnie and Lars have given some feedback. By the way, this all happened yesterday, but I did not want to crowd everyone’s feed readers with 4 of me. You can only take so much!

Anyway, I’m hoping to get all the trustees’ feedback by next Tuesday, so that I can make the amendments necessary to the documents and send it back to counsel.

Bugzilla, My DevBox and me

So, this is now the 18th month that I’m still without my old devbox from los angeles. I really need to fix this soon. Because I can’t stand mutt’s interface (I prefer evo), I tend not to read -core, -dev or bugzilla email. I know that’s bad, but those are all too high traffic for me to handle with mutt. Now mutt-fans, don’t flame me, it’s a personal choice thing. Anyway, if you think I might be associated with a bug (and even if I’m in the cc), please send me a personal email or ping me on IRC. That way I’m assured of seeing it.

The Kerberi

As some of you might have seen, I did finally do some updates to mit-krb5 and heimdal this weekend. The bugs assigned to kerberos team had been languishing for a couple of months, much to the dismay of quite a few users. At the moment the kerberos team consists of ryan and myself basically. Emanuele works on krb4 stuff mainly, and I have no idea where aliz has disappeared to. Between my short time for developing these days, and ryan’s divided attention to vim and others, kerberos is suffering. So if someone wants to step to the plate and help us out, we’d be appreciative.

Boston Indian Food update

For those of you following along to this mini-series, we went to Udupi Bhavan in Lowell, MA (about 30 minutes from where we live). The sign outside just says Indian Grill so it’s easy to miss if you don’t know what you’re looking for (we didn’t, but we were too hungry to argue about it). The summary: it’s North Indian, but not an EveryOther ™. Oh yes, Punjabi food and even some non-veg (which we didn’t try), but not your stereotypical menu at all. Black channa, tinda (squash), paneer curry, two kinds of raita, tw kinds of rice, and a naan (brought hot and steaming to your table) were among the dishes we preferred there.

So while it did not satiate the dosa craving, it definitely was off the beaten path, out of stereotype, and it’s not actually called Udupi Bhavan (whose name had me expecting South Indian).

I’ll put it at #3 (after Punjabi Dhaba), only for the distance. Oh yeah, price of the buffet? $7.50. Cha-ching!

The Foundation Holding Pattern and news from the Tower

I’ve been meaning to write this update now for a couple of days. So, the specialist at our counsel’s legal firm who deals with corporate law is now looking at our 501(c)6 paperwork. He has now all the paperwork together (including the Foundation’s articles of incorporation) to make sure it all meshes. As I say, this happened two days ago, so we’re back in the holding pattern, but we’re definitely still flying 🙂

Boston Indian Food Revisited

So, we have completely abandoned Masalaa Boston. We’ve not gone back since that first horrifying day, though I did call them this weekend to confirm what the status was. They have, apparently, reintroduced the three different dosas. The price remains decidedly unfriendly at 11.50 or so.

Now the good news. We found out about two different places. We decided to try the farther one first” Chennai Woodlands. And man, oh, man, does that place rock the house. First off, it’s not in Boston. It’s not even near Boston. It’s in a town called Ashland, which is apparently that side of Framingham, which is halfway to Worcester (hey spanky). It’s in a run down looking strip mall, with a very unassuming store front. And when you step inside the door: the aroma!

This was worth every millisecond of the 45 minute drive down there. They are exclusively vegetarian, and they have a fantastic variety that even puts the old Masalaa to shame. The idlis, the dosas, the channa, the veg curry. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmy. So yes, 4 thumbs up (2 each from Aimee and me) for them. If you’re in the neighbourhood, go there. If you’re not in the neighbourhood, then go to the neighbourhood and see the previous sentence.

It’s too far to make it a weekly jaunt, but we’re going to try this place up in Lowell next week. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Foundation Paperwork in Limbo Still

Just a quick update to let you know that our application is still being reviewed by the legal team. I’m hoping to hear from them soon, so that we can begin our next steps. I wish I had more to say on the subject, but nothing’s really happened lately.