Lenovo Battery Recall

So it seems that Lenovo has decided to join in on this battery recall fad. It turns out that the main battery in my X60s is one of the explosive Sony variety (the extended life battery isn’t though). I rang them up to organise the replacement, which will be arriving in 5 weeks.

Even though he hasn’t asked for it yet, I sent the details to Richard Hughes. It looks like the battery model numbers are exposed through HAL, so gnome-power-manager should be able to detect the bad batteries.

If you have an affected Thinkpad, check your batteries.

Impossible Triangle Sculpture

Saw this interesting sculpture while cycling through East Perth:

Of course, it can only be appreciated when standing in a particular location (Here is what it looks like from another angle). I wonder how many people pass it and don’t realise what it is or how you are meant to look at it?

Update: the sculpture can be seen on Google Maps in the centre of the round about. You can clearly see the arms of the triangle going off in different directions.

Microsummaries in Firefox 2

One of the new features in Firefox 2 is Microsummaries, which essentially allows dynamic bookmark titles. This is useful when bookmarking volatile pages, since the title can reflect the current state of the document rather than the state when the bookmark was created.

The system works by registering XSLT transformations that generate a simple text string from the page content. The registrations are either done via a <link> element, or matched via regular expressions. The system is designed to target users (who can register their own microsummary generators), website owners (who can suggest a generator through a <link> tag) and 3rd parties (who can provide generators for other sites to users).

For Launchpad, I’d fall into the second category. It would be nice to provide microsummary generators for bug pages, so you’d get an indication of the status of the bug, plus an up to date bug title. Now while all this information is available in the page content, we can provide it in a much more efficient manner (if we know the user is only interested in generating a microsummary, why send them the 100 comments on the bug every time the bookmark title is to be updated?).

Being able to specify a transformation for the bookmarked URL that would be used instead for generating the summary would be one way of solving this. This would reduce the bandwidth requirements and processing time on our end. Another way would be for Firefox to include something in its request that would allow a site to know that the page was being retrieved for microsummary generation so it could ommit information.

Overall it looks like a useful feature, but I do wonder if it will suffer from the “RSS effect” and cause lots of needless traffic to web sites until people work out how to achieve the same effects in a less resource intensive fashion.

–create-prefix not needed with bazaar.launchpad.net

When outlining the use of team branches on Launchpad previously, I used the --create-prefix option when pushing the branch to sftp://bazaar.launchpad.net. This was to make sure the initial push would succeed, even if the /~username/product directory the branch would be created in didn’t exist.

To simplify things for users, we made a change to the SFTP server in the latest release, so that --create-prefix is no longer necessary. This does not affect the allowed branch directories though: the structure is used to associate the branches with products, and decide who can write to the branches.

Another change included in the rollout is the ability to rename branches and reassign them to different owners through the web interface. So for instance, you can give ownership of a personal branch to a team your project grows to multiple developers. This should be used sparingly, since it will change the published branch URLs which can confuse people using your branch.

Ubuntu Bugzilla Migration Comment Cleanup

Earlier in the year, we migrated the bugs from bugzilla.ubuntu.com over to Launchpad. This process involved changes to the bug numbers, since the Launchpad is used for more than just Ubuntu and already had a number of bugs reported in the system.

People often refer to other bugs in comments, which both Bugzilla and Launchpad conveniently turn into links. The changed bug numbers meant that the bug references in the comments ended up pointing to the wrong bugs. The bug import was done one bug at a time, so if bug A referred to bug B but bug B hadn’t been imported by the time we were importing bug A, then we wouldn’t know what bug number it should be referring to.

The solution we used was to just insert a link to the bug watch URL (e.g. https://launchpad.net/malone/bugtrackers/ubuntu-bugzilla/$BUGID), which allowed people to find the referenced bug, but was a bit ugly.

Today we ran a fixup script to remove these bug watch URLs from comments and rewrite the old Bugzilla bug numbers to the current Launchpad bug numbers. This cleans up the old imported bugs a bit so they fit in better with the bugs entered directly into Launchpad.

Gnome-gpg 0.5.0 Released

Over the weekend, I released gnome-gpg 0.5.0. The main features in this release is support for running without gnome-keyring-daemon (of course, you can’t save the passphrase in this mode), and to use the same keyring item name for the passphrase as Seahorse. The release can be downloaded here:


I also switched over from Arch to Bazaar. The conversion was fairly painless using bzr baz-import-branch, and means that I have both my revisions and Colins revisions in a single tree. The branch can be pulled from:

bzr branch http://www.gnome.org/~jamesh/bzr/gnome-gpg/devel gnome-gpg

All of the converted revisions authored by me have been signed with my PGP key. As signatures can’t get moved over in the conversion process, none of Colin’s revisions are signed. Note that the signatures in Bazaar are for particular tree states rather than changes between two tree states, so it doesn’t affect the trust of the current revisions.

While I was at it, I also converted the other branches I had in my www.gnome.org Arch archive over to bzr. The only other branch that people might find useful is the http-resource code, which I’ve updated to compile with the latest libsoup.