Category Archives: libssh2

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.

My Nordic Free Software Awards 2009 nominees

Hey, it's really about time to nominate your favourite Free Software persons and projects from the nordic region for the 2009 awards before the time runs out.

This year, I decided to nominate the following "nordic" heroes:

Simon Josefsson

For his excellent work in GnuTLS, libssh2 and a bunch of other projects.

Henrik Nordström

For his work in the Squid project, and his efforts within IETF and its HTTP related struggles and more.

Björn Stenberg

As the primary founder of the Rockbox project. He started somehting special back in 2001 that now is a huge, thriving and succesful Free Software project.

As you might spot, I favor "doers". I don't believe in the concept of "nordic projects" when it comes to free or open software - the entire concept of open and free should mean that projects cross borders and regions.

In fact, it feels so out of the ordinary to think about open source people in a geographical context I find it hard to come up with a lot of names. It would be cool if ohloh had some ways to list people and projects based on where people live.

Then again, if a person from a nordic country moves somewhere else, is he or she still a nordic person? Does it depend on where the person lived during the actual act? Is Linus Torvalds a nordic person since he was born, lived many years and started his big project in Finland?

(yeah I already blogged about this subject but hey, it can't hurt can it?)

50 hours offline

Several sites in the haxx.se domain and other stuff related to me and my fellows were completely offline for almost 50 hours between August 24th 19:00 UTC and August 26th 20:30 UTC.

The sites affected included the main web sites for the following projects: curl, c-ares, trio, libssh2 and Rockbox. It also affected mailing lists and CVS repositories etc for some of those.

The reason for the outage has been explained by the ISP (Black Internet) to be because of some kind of sabotage. Their explanation given so far (first in Swedish):

Strax efter kl 20 i måndags drabbades Black Internet och Black Internets kunder av ett mycket allvarligt sabotage. Sabotaget gjordes mot flera av våra core-switchar, våra knutpunkter. Detta resulterade i ett mer eller mindre totalt avbrott för oss och våra kunder. Vi har polisanmält händelsen och har ett bra samarbete med dem.

Translated to English (by me) it becomes:

Soon after 8pm on Monday, Black Internet and its customers were struck by a very serious act of sabotage. The sabotage was made against several of our core switches. This resulted in a more or less total disruption of service for us and our customers. We have reported the incident to the police and we have a good cooperation with them.

Do note that you could keep track of this situation by following me on twitter.

It's good to be back. Let's hope it'll take ages until we go away like that again!

Update: according to my sources, someone erased/cleared Black Internet's core routers and then they learned that they had no working backups so they had to restore everything by hand.

Slacka-fun!

A bunch of the local OpenBSD fans here in Stockholm run this one-day event every year, called Slackathon. I missed it last year, but in 2007 I was there (and I did a little talk about open source management) and this year I was eager to participate again.

This year, the event was scheduled to take place immediately after a bunch of core OpenBSD developers had had their "hackathon f2k9" in Stockholm, so they could now boast with a series of very well known and very knowledgeable OpenBSD kernel hackers. As I am really not more than a distant observer of the OpenBSD project this of course put the lights on a lot of dusty corners I had no previous idea about. I'm not really a stranger to kernels and kernel hacking in general, and I must confess I had a great time and the team who spoke of various very detailed kernel topics are charismatic and put on a great show.

So I learned about the terrors of the VFS layer and hacking it (and how they're working on making all the involved caches dynamically sized). I learned how to do active-active syncing  of pf-based firewalls (basically using two independent firewalls in front of something), or at least how the guys made it work fairly well. Or how the pf firewall was optimized to double its forwarding performance. And I got to hear a few wise words from Theo de Raadt and learn not only about their 6 month release schedules but also their plans and ideas around solving problems with livelocking and more. Not to mention the talk about managing physical memory, or the work to get OpenBSD ported to sparc64s with hardware-based virtualization support.

Taken all the hardcore kernel talks into account, I think my own talk on libssh2 (just before dinner) felt like a very light snack to chew and possibly a tiny bit out of the general topic... Anyway, I gave a quick overview of the project, how it started, why it was started, what it is and a bit how it works etc.

The slides from my slackathon talk. I expect to re-use a fair bunch of that, with some improvements and additions, in my libssh2 talk at FSCONS later this year.

Looking forward to Slackathon 2010!

Pictures from Slackathon 2009 by Vladimir Bogodist.

Me in front of the projector screen doing libssh2 talk

I host www.libssh2.org

Sara Golemon, the founder and former maintainer of libssh2, pointed over the main site www.libssh2.org to my server the other day and now my previously unofficial libssh2 web site suddenly turned out to be the only and official one.

The plan is now to get the web contents push into a separate git repo to allow all libssh2'ers to modify it.

I'm also open and interested in feedback and ideas on how to improve the web site in whatever kind of way you think. Consider the current site mostly a placeholder for the info we have. How can we make it better?

libssh2