Comments have been broken

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Rick kindly pointed out that comments on my blog were broken. Totally my fault--I've been working on PyBlosxom on and off and a couple of weeks ago I updated my blog to use the latest version of PyBlosxom in git master and didn't grab the latest comments plugin.

Comments were getting into the moderator queue (I moderate all comments), but when the comments plugin went to send me a notification email, it'd die.

They're working again.

PyOhio 2010 videos posted to Python Miro Community

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Last night, I spent a few hours going through all the videos from PyOhio 2010, added metadata from the PyOhio site, added notes about video issues, and approved all of the videos except one which I'm talking with Carl about.

It looks like PyOhio 2010 was a really great conference: the talks are really great, you can feel the energy in the rooms from the people who attended, the questions are interesting, and the videos from the conference are fantastic. Also, I'm a huge +1 on using the headset mics--they absolutely make a difference in being able to hear the presenter throughout the video.

Here are three sessions I watched all the way through:

  • Teach Me Python Bugfixing - http://python.mirocommunity.org/video/1794/pyohio-2010-teach-me-python-bu
    This session walks new people through how to contribute to Python core. It's worth watching for new contributors. I also think this is useful for illustrating the barriers to entry and required workflow knowledge for new contributors.
  • PyPy and Unladen-Swallow: Making your Python Fast - http://python.mirocommunity.org/video/1804/pyohio-2010-pypy-and-unladen-s
    Alex did a test-run of this talk at ChiPy. I studied programming languages and compilers in grad school and find these talks really interesting. I liked the analysis of "slow" in respects to the language and the cpython implementation--it's towards the beginning.
  • Wrangling the bits, standardizing how apps get built - http://python.mirocommunity.org/video/1789/pyohio-2010-wrangling-the-bits
    This covers things in virtualenv I didn't know where there. It also talks about modern-package-template which I didn't know existed and fabric which I haven't played with before. Rick also mentions searching Google Code for "after_install" and "fabfile" for virtualenv and fabric usage examples. He says there's a wealth of code snippets in there. I watched the session and immediately started adjusting my scripts. This session had mic problems and the session starts at 7:20. I'm working with Carl to get the first 7:20 clipped.

Sessions from PyOhio 2010 are in the PyOhio 2010 category. Take some time today to browse the sessions and watch the ones that interest you.

Also, I'm sitting on videos for two other conferences: DjangoConf EU and Kiwi PyCon. I'm hoping to get to them in the next couple of weeks. I did PyOhio 2010 videos last night because Carl needed someone to spot-check them to make sure the uploads were good.

Dev call 8/11/2010 minutes

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Miro 3.5 status (roadmap)

  • working on fixing up video conversion issues
  • working on fixing libcurl related issues

Miro Community 1.1 status (roadmap)

  • working on it

Janet:

  • worked on regression testing for Miro 3.5 on Windows
  • worked on Miro 3.5 bug fix verification
  • worked on Universal Subtitles testing

Ben:

  • worked on Miro 3.5 bugs focusing on downloader-related bugs

Will:

  • fixed Windows build box
  • fixed libtorrent issue on Windows
  • synced translations with Launchpad
  • fixed Miro 3.5 bugs and did some bug triage
  • helped thrillERboy land his first FLOSS patch

Paul:

  • worked on Miro Community issues and development

Order of business

  • Priority is being put on finishing development work on Miro 3.5. Any help with this would be huge. There are a series of bugs on the roadmap that need to be fixed. If you want to help out but don't know where to start, see http://getmiro.com/userguide/contributing.html
  • If you can't contribute work, please consider contributing funding by donating. Your money goes directly to ongoing development of Miro and related projects.

Bugzilla stats for Miro:

  • 14 bugs/feature-requests created
  • 2 bugs marked DUPLICATE
  • 10 bugs marked FIXED

Working on bugs: hurdles to bug squashing

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There are two big hurdles to get through when starting on a bug before I'm in a position where I can fix it. I think the bulk of the time spent on most bugs is in getting through these two hurdles. If we could somehow reduce the amount of time and energy I spend on getting through the two hurdles, we can increase the speed that I can fix bugs.

Copyright 2008 Flickr user foxtongue

The first hurdle: what is the problem?

I think most people confuse the question "what is the problem" with "what's causing the problem". These are two distinct questions. The first one can only be answered by whoever reported the problem and this hurdle is a communication hurdle. I spend a lot of time trying to coach people into explaining the problem they have in a way that's coherent and complete.

It's not uncommon to get bug reports along the lines of "something's wrong and Miro doesn't work". I'm psyched someone has taken the time to report the issue, but there isn't enough detail here for me to do anything. In order for me to do something with this bug, I spend time walking the reporter through giving me enough details such that I have a good idea as to what the problem is. Because this requires communicating back and forth, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks to transpire.

Because it takes so long and requires me to ask 20 questions, I'm pretty sure most bug reporters find this phase very frustrating. Some question and answer volleys are really frustrating for me, too. I want to help--I just don't know what the problem is.

Assuming we get past that hurdle, then the second hurdle comes into play....

The second hurdle: what is the cause of the problem?

This hurdle is sometimes difficult because I can't reproduce the problem. I may not have the right context (e.g. "Problem XYZ happens to all people in Ecuador") or the right equipment (e.g. "Problem XYZ happens to people using Windows XP SP2 with video card Foo"). I'll read through code and work with the reporter to try to figure out the cause. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't it's really frustrating.

Most bugs aren't like that, though. I'm able to either reproduce the context and equipment or I'm able to use a reasonable facsimile. Then figuring out the cause is entirely on my shoulders and I can work through it like I do most things: code spelunking, research, Google searches, talking with co-workers, talking with upstream developers, ....

How can you help?

The following helps a lot:

  • use an email address that you respond to
  • be as specific as you can in your bug report description
  • attach your Miro log file
  • be patient with me when I ask my 20 questions to figure out what the problem is
  • be prompt with responses--the longer it takes to turn around a question and answer, the longer it takes to get the bug fixed
  • thank people who help get your bug fixed: other people who comment on the bug providing additional details, people who worked on the bug, people who tested the bug fix--it takes a community to build an application

Guess what....

This isn't specific to me or Miro! This is true of all FLOSS applications that you use: we're all working hard to build the best applications ever. Doing the above helps everyone.

Dev call 8/4/2010 minutes

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Miro 3.5 status (roadmap)

  • working on fixing up video conversion issues
  • working on fixing libcurl related issues

Miro Community 1.1 status (roadmap)

  • working on it
  • finishing up implementing playlist features

Janet:

  • having problems with downloading using Windows build
  • worked on Universal Subtitles test setup and testing

Ben:

  • worked on bug 14037. created a test case that fails with gtk 2.20 and submitted the bug 625972 upstream
  • working on creating an OSX build environment

Will:

  • worked on Windows build environment issues
  • downgraded us to gtk 2.16 which doesn't have client-side windows
  • cleaned up and rebuilt the Windows build box to use the new environment
  • started working on better community organization
  • fixed http://planet.getmiro.com/
  • upgraded the Miro User Manual to 3.0.3

Luc:

  • working on video conversion problems in bug 13821
  • worked on other complex video conversion problems

Paul:

  • worked on playlists for MC 1.1
  • worked on the Windows installer

Order of business

  • The Windows build environment work is now done and we're using Python 2.6.5 and VC++ 9.0 (yay!).
  • Priority is being put on finishing off this release. Any help with this would be huge. There are a series of bugs on the roadmap that need to be fixed. If you want to help out but don't know where to start, see http://getmiro.com/userguide/contributing.html
  • If you can't contribute work, please consider contributing funding by donating. Your money goes directly to ongoing development of Miro and related projects.

Bugzilla stats for Miro:

  • 10 bugs/feature-requests created
  • 2 bugs marked FIXED
  • 5 bugs marked WONTFIX
  • 1 bugs marked WORKSFORME
  • 5 bugs marked DUPLICATE
  • 4 bugs marked INCOMPLETE

Dev call 7/28/2010 minutes

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Miro 3.5 status (roadmap)

  • renamed from Miro 3.1 to 3.5
  • working on rebuilding the Windows build environment
  • working on fixing up video conversion issues
  • working on fixing libcurl related issues

Miro Community 1.1 status (roadmap)

  • working on it
  • implementing playlist features

Nick:

  • Launched complete alpha version of the site with full workflow.

Paul:

  • Worked on playlist feature for Miro Community.
  • Worked on Twitter and Facebook logins.

Luc:

  • Worked on Miro 3.1 bugs.
  • Now hitting bugs that are hard to fix and take a long time.

Will:

  • Fixed YouTube bug and pushed out 3.0.3.
  • Fixed a bunch of Miro 3.1 bugs.
  • Landed mostly working Windows build environment changes.

Janet:

  • Spent most of her time on Universal Subtitles.
  • Pushed out Miro 3.0.3.

Ben:

  • Hi! I'm back!

Order of business

  • We decided to rename Miro 3.1 to 3.5 on account of large changes.
  • The following release is being renamed to 3.6 for now.
  • Priority is being put on finishing off this release. Any help with this would be huge. There are a series of bugs on the roadmap that need to be fixed. If you want to help out but don't know where to start, see http://getmiro.com/userguide/contributing.html

Bugzilla stats for Miro:

  • 10 bugs/feature-requests created
  • 3 bugs marked DUPLICATE
  • 8 bugs marked FIXED
  • 2 bugs marked INVALID

Python Miro Community status: 07-21-2010

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This is the July status report for Python Miro Community. This site indexes videos from around the Internet related to Python. In particular, we focus on indexing conference session video and videos from our more prolific Python user groups.

In the last month, we've finished approving all the PyCon 2010 videos. They're all in the PyCon 2010 conference category.

I spent a few hours adding metadata to and approving videos from PyCon AU 2010. There are some really great ones--definitely worth looking at. They're all in the PyCon AU 2010 conference category.

PCF released a new version of Miro Community with some bug fixes and a widget that allows you to embed videos on other sites. I haven't played with that yet, but it sounds useful.

I'm still working on recategorizing things per Carl's suggestions from last month.

That's it for this status report. Any thoughts, questions or concerns--let me know.

Dev call 7/21/2010 minutes

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Miro 3.1 status (roadmap)

  • working on rebuilding the Windows build environment
  • working on fixing up video conversion issues
  • working on fixing libcurl related issues

Miro Community 1.1 status (roadmap)

  • working on it

Paul:

  • point release of Miro Community with video widget and fixes for Internet Explorer

Will:

  • continued to work on the windows build environment changes
  • fixed some minor bugs

Luc:

  • worked on fixing small 3.1 issues
  • waiting on git repository fixes to check them in

Janet:

  • worked on testing things
  • having problems with litmus test system after server died last week

Ben:

  • boogie boarding

bugzilla:

  • 3 bugs/feature-requests created
  • 3 bugs marked FIXED
  • 1 bugs marked WONTFIX
  • 1 bugs marked WORKSFORME
  • 5 bugs marked INCOMPLETE

anniversary (3)

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I've been working at PCF for three years now. I think that officially makes me an old-timer. I can start sentences with, "I remember the day when..."

I mentioned that to Paul, who also just hit his three year anniversary, and he suggested the sentence, "I remember the day when ... we had an office."

I was thinking along the lines of, "I remember the day when to implement a ui change, you had to do it three times and on Windows, you had to do it in Python and then again in JavaScript."

Copyright 2006 flickr user jonwatson

Ferry Beach: 07/16/2010 - social media workshop day 5 and 6

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We were running out of time to cover all the material, so I made the decision to survey the material, mention resources, and hope the participants would pick up enough that they could continue their learning on their own.

After looking at the evaluations, three things are clear:

  1. the workshop covered a ton of stuff and everyone got something out of it
  2. this is a tough workshop if the spectrum of experience ranges from beginner to experienced--it's probably better to have all the participants be beginners or all of them be experienced
  3. there's a lot of material missing regarding structuring policies that cover privacy, data availability, confidentiality, child safety, and other things like that--it's not enough to cover tools and how they can be useful, it's imperative to cover the policy context in which they can be reponsibly used

One thing that surprised me is that no one is really that interested in blogging. Blogging is such a rich form of communication and the interconnectedness of blogs creates a network of knowledge and experience--I must not have effectively communicated that.

Anyhow, the workshop is over. I'm glad I did it--I had a great time and it was a learning experience for me as well. Feel free to email me for a link to the workshop materials.