c-ares 1.7.0

The first c-ares release so far in 2009 took place today when we shipped c-ares 1.7.0 and uploaded it to the web site.

News this time include:

  • Added ares_library_init() and ares_library_cleanup()
  • Added ares_parse_srv_reply(), ares_parse_txt_reply() and ares_free_data()
  • in6_addr is not used in ares.h anymore, but a private ares_in6_addr is
    instead declared and used
  • ares_gethostbyname() now supports ‘AF_UNSPEC’ as a family for resolving
    either AF_INET6 or AF_INET
  • a build-time configured ares_socklen_t is now used instead of socklen_t
  • new –enable-curldebug configure option
  • ARES_ECANCELLED is now sent as reason for ares_cancel()
  • new –enable-symbol-hiding configure option
  • new Makefile.msvc for any MSVC compiler or MS Visual Studio version
  • addrttl and addr6ttl structs renamed to ares_addrttl and ares_addr6ttl
  • naming convention for libraries built with MSVC, see README.msvc

The set of bugfixes done include these:

  • ares_parse_*_reply() functions now return ARES_EBADRESP instead of
    ARES_EBADNAME if the name in the response failed to decode
  • only expose/export symbols starting with ‘ares_’
  • fix \Device\TCP handle leaks triggered by buggy iphlpapi.dll
  • init without internet gone no longer fails
  • out of bounds memory overwrite triggered with malformed /etc/hosts file
  • function prototypes in man pages out of sync with ares.h

As usual, c-ares would be nothing without the fierce and skillful help provided by a team of volunteer hackers. We always need more help and assitance, join the c-ares mailing list and join in the fun!

c-ares

Adapting to being behind

For many years I’ve always kept up to speed with my commitments in my primary open source projects. I’ve managed to set aside enough time to close the bug reports as fast as they have poured in. This, while still having time to work on new features every now and then.

During this last year (or so) however, I’ve come to realize that I no longer can claim to be in that fortunate position and I now find myself seeing the pile of open bugs get bigger and bigger over time. I get more bug reports than I manage to close.

There are of course explanations for this. In both ends of the mix actually. I’ve got slightly less time due my recent decision to go working for Haxx full-time, and how I’ve decided to focus slightly more on paid work which thus leads to me having less time for the unpaid work I’m doing.

Also, I’ve seen activity raise in the curl project, in the libssh2 project and in the c-ares project. All of these projects have the same problem of various degrees: a lack of participating developers working on fixing bugs. Especially bugs reported by someone else.

Since this situation is still fairly new to me, I need to learn on how to adapt to it. How to deal with a stream of issues that is overwhelming and I must select what particular things I care about and what to “let through”. This of course isn’t ideal for the projects but I can’t do much more than proceed to the best of my ability, to try to make people aware of that this is happening and try to get more people involved to help out!

Don’t get fooled by my focus on “time” above. Sometimes I even plainly lack the energy necessary to pull through. It depends a lot on the tone or impression I get from the report or reporter how I feel, but when a reporter is rude or just too “demanding” (like constantly violating the mailing list etiquette or just leaving out details even when asked) I can’t but help to feel that at times working as a developer during my full-day paid hours can make it a bit hard to then work a couple of hours more in the late evening debugging further.

The upside, let’s try to see it as a positive thing, is that now I can actually “punish” those that clearly don’t deserve to get helped since I now focus on the nice people, the good reports, the ones which seem to be written by clever people with an actual interest to see their problems addressed. Those who don’t do their part I’ll just happily ignore until they shape up.

I will deliberately just let issues “slip through” and not get my attention and require that if they are important enough people will either report it again, someone else will step up and help fix them or perhaps someone will even consider paying for the fix.

I won it! You guys are the best.

I am happy and very proud to mention that I was just this evening awarded the Nordic Free Software Award 2009 and I share the award with my good friend and hacker extraordinaire Simon Josefsson.

Thank you jury. Thank you mates all over who by your positive feedback makes it a joy to work in the open source and free software community. Thank you to all you fellow hackers and contributors who work hard and tirelessly and therefore enable me to do what I want to do and do these things I today got awarded for.

Getting recognition from actual fellow peers within my own community is just the best.

And you know what? I will continue to work hard and I will continue to do open source and free software intensively and with my strengthened beliefs of what I think is right.

Thank you.

The Swedish BankID curse and Debian

Lots of bank, tax and insurance related stuff in Sweden these days switch to using BankID for secure logins on web sites.

That system used to be a java-thing so as long as your browser supported running java applets, you’d be fine. Even us strange guys who prefer Linux. While I’m not a huge fan of java, this seemed to be a rather fine example of where using a java-applet was actually a pretty good idea to achieve functionality on a wide variety of platforms without too much work.

They ditched the java applet a while ago and switched to a browser plugin and native application instead, which then suddenly made them forced to write platform-specific code to achieve the same magic. And not too surprisingly, the Linux version was poorly made and is not supported and is left with a really complicated way to install it which no doubt will prevent every Linux-newbie out there from using BankID on Linux. Annoying and rude if you ask me.

Now, my bank (Skandiabanken) is about to switch to use BankID completely for their regular logins and I thought it was about time for me to start the fight with this under Linux and see what I will learn.

The install.sh script is written for Ubuntu (very poorly) and doesn’t work. Shame on you Nexus for that crap. I poked it and with some manual hands-on I could install the stuff properly. I can now head over to the official BankID site and it verifies that my installation works fine. Somehow it does however not allow me to “sign” anything because of some failure and here’s the “fun” part:

The only help and contact there is about BankID says “contact your bank” for support. My bank says they have no support and just drops the ball there.

I’m willing to offer my fixed version of the install script that will work better on more distros. I’m willing to work a bit on my own to fix this for Linux uses such as myself. But how the hack can I even fix the problems when nobody can answer any questions or provide any details on this system?

My Debian Black-out – the price of bleeding edge

Ok, I admit it. I run Debian Unstable so I know I deserve to get hit really bad at times when things turn really ugly. It is called unstable for a reason.

The other day I decided it was about time I did a dist-upgrade. When I did that, I got a remark that I better restart my gnome session as otherwise apps would crash. So I logged out and… I couldn’t login again. In fact, neither my keyboard nor mouse (both on USB) worked anymore! I sighed, and rebooted (for the first time in many months) only to find out that 1) it didn’t fix the problem, both input devices were still non-functional and perhaps even more important 2) the wifi network didn’t work either so I couldn’t login to it from one of my other computers either!

Related to this story is the fact that I’ve been running an older kernel, 2.6.26, since that was the last version that built my madwifi drivers correctly and kernels after that I was supposed to use ath5k for my Atheros card, but I’ve not been very successful with ath5k and thus remained using the latest kernel I had a fine madwifi for.

I rebooted again and tried a more recent kernel (2.6.30). Yeah, then the keyboard and mouse worked again, but the ath5k didn’t get the wifi up properly. I think I basically was just lacking the proper tools to check the wifi network and set the desired ssid etc, but without network that’s a bit of a pain. Also, when I logged in on my normal gnome setup, it mentioned a panel something being broken and logged me out again! 🙁

Grrr. Of course I could switch to my backup – my laptop – but it was still highly annoying to end up being locked out from your computer.

Today I bought myself 20 meter cat5e cable and made my desktop wired so I can reach the network with the existing setup, I dist-upgraded again (now at kernel 2.6.31) and when I tried to login it just worked. Phew. Back in business. I think I’ll leave myself with the cable connected now that I’ve done the job on that already.

The lesson? Eeeh… when things break, fix them!

15K commits and counting

Almost two years ago I blogged about me reaching 10K commits as counted by ohloh.net.

Just a few days ago their counter counting my commits surpassed 15K and right now it says: 15005 commits and 46 kudos – ranked #69 of 273705. I think more of my projects have found its way there since then rather than me actually having committed 5000 times since then!

On sourceforge I’m now member of 19 projects (most of them are stalled). The latest addition is pycurl, which I’m basically a member of in order to try to help getting more people involved.

(The image is dynamically generated so when you read the old blog post it looks a little funny since it says the current numbers now…)

Nordic Free Software Award nominee 2009

I’m proud and happy to mention that I’ve been nominated for the “Nordic Free Software Award” 2009. I’ve been nominated before, in 2007 and 2008, but it still feels very good.

Dear Daniel Stenberg

The Nordic Free Software Award jury is delighted to inform you that you have been nominated for the 2009 Nordic Free Software Award. The Nordic Free Software Award is given out every years at FSCONS to honor an individual or team who have made a significant contribution to Free Software.

Congratulations and warm wishes on behalf of the Nordic Free Software Award jury

The list of nominees is now published and contains a fair bunch of giants in our field against which I am just an ant in comparison. The list of nominees:

  • Qt development team
  • Simon Josefsson
  • Daniel Stenberg
  • Henrik Nordström
  • Björn Stenberg
  • Andreas Nilsson
  • Varnish
  • Ask Bjørn Hansen
  • Knut Yrvin
  • Jari “Rakshasa” Sundell