alpha 2

For those not following #docs on IRC and/or the gnome-web-list mailing list, here is another status update on the work done by various people on

Things changed:

  • gnome-doc-utils documents look more like the design by Frederic Peters (created from an image)
  • libgo now creates index.html.$LANG files for all the gnome-doc-utils documents.
  • Uses the new gnome-doc-utils HTML output instead of XHTML (you cannot serve XHTML as HTML.. unless you make it pretend to be HTML, but IMO then you should just use HTML anyway)
  • Changed a bunch of Python code to remove UNIXisms (and introduced a few bugs..)

Things that are broken:

  • Some modules have hacks in their files, making it impossible for libgo to find the documentation
  • Sometimes libgo can’t find the figures (often for gnome-doc-utils)
  • gtk-doc often have missing xml files
  • gtk-doc are not indexed (for now just browse
  • Feature: separate user and developer documentation.
  • Instead of calling it everywhere, perhaps ‘GNOME Library’
  • Feature: instead of one big unreadable logfile, have some kind of structured output design

We just had a first meeting in #docs about library.g.o. Frederic Peters announced a very nice library.g.o design on his library.g.o testsite. Screenshot:

This doesn’t build yet. For this we need a new gnome-doc-utils. The first test version of that is ready. Now the libgo software needs to be enhanced to make use of the new gnome-doc-utils possibilities (toc in the sidebar). A screenshot of what the new gnome-doc-utils can do:

I’ve updated the server with the gnome-doc-utils out of SVN. This means library.g.o is broken until someone updates the XSLT in the libgo software.

Lately I’ve been fixing a few things that annoyed me in mango (system used for handling the GNOME LDAP accounts):

  • HTML pages didn’t use UTF-8 everywhere.
  • Couldn’t add more than one SSH key. The other ones where silently deleted. This means those tickets could only be handled by a sysadmin, and not any accounts@ person. Plus that sysadmin had to know how to do LDAP via the commandline.
  • Sending a standard mail from Mango to someone with a dot in the name gave an error message
  • Emails weren’t in UTF-8
  • Login box wasn’t automatically focussed
  • Some of the standard email templates weren’t in mango

Above are mostly small fixes. The most annoying thing is that we can’t create UTF-8 accounts. I think this is because the openldap scheme by default doesn’t allow UTF-8 in the gecos field. However, I am not sure if I can just change that and not have it break the existing LDAP entries. Further, it shouldn’t break when e.g. a security rpm for openldap is installed.

Mango revamp (Summer of Code project)
Baris Cicek is working on enhancing mango (the system used to handle the GNOME LDAP accounts). The idea is to make the account requesting much faster and more transparent. The current ideas are listed on (feel free to read and add comments — only at the end though!). The current method basically sucks. Ideally I’d like accounts@ to consist of only checking the new user and click either a ‘create account’ / ‘reject’ button. Before that the maintainer already approved everything (securely); the email address was verified to be correct, etc. There are some difficulties with designing the system, a few of them are:

  • No list of maintainers for the different modules. There are MAINTAINERS files, which is often used as a free text field. Moreover, the email addresses often do not match. Further, I rather have LDAP have an official list than have mango rely on whatever system we use for the source code (SVN). But on the other hand, I guess maintainers would like a MAINTAINERS file more than some webinterface (guessing).
  • No good way to authenticate. Sending an email with a token is not secure enough. A password is worse, when that is lost the whole SSH publickeys breaks down. I’m thinking of either handing out those client certificates or GPG. But those have problems as well. Not everyone (wants to) understand(s) GPG.

Other stuff

  • Did a lot of work on reducing the outstanding tickets in RT3 (mostly accounts, also some sysadmin stuff). I am worried about the number of tickets in the stalled state (waiting for a reply from someone other than sysadmin/accounts); I guess a lot of our answers go straight into the spam folder. Currently there are about 40 tickets are in that state (it was 20-25 before I started on the tickets). Can’t wait for the new mango possibilities.
  • Tried installing Zope and Plone. Gave up quickly. Seeing a security advisory on the Zope as well as the Plone site was also not encouraging. I’d rather have a rpm by Dag Wieers. alpha 1

Goran Rakić started development on as his Google Summer of Code 2006 project. For this he created a libgo script available in GNOME SVN in the library-web module.

It took a while to get it up and running, but the output of that script can now be seen at:

Help wanted
As you can see from the site, a lot is missing. As the last commit to library-web is over 7 months ago, I’m searching for anyone with Python, gtk-doc and gnome-doc-utils experience (or willing to learn) to help out. I’d appreciate people with an SVN account. Having volunteers with gnomeweb access would rock!

Note: I did not develop any of this code (or know much about it). As far as I know it was all made by Goran. Some of the documentation I found:

Action plan:
Please subscribe to gnome-web-list and be sure to read the archives (discussion took place over many, many months). I’d appreciate people who can work without much guidance, because I am pretty busy and do not know much about it.

Above is not an attack or anything on Goran. I know he is busy and the existing code is very much appreciated. Just trying to get some people involved.

DSBL is not bad

Quoting from

  • single-stage relays tested by trusted testers
  • the outputs of multihop relays, tested by trusted testers
  • everything else, including tests done by anonymous testers; people could potentially sign up their own ISP’s mail server to this list

After that it says the following:

Note that the multihop and unconfirmed lists are very aggressive and have the potential for a high level of false positives.

GNOME uses among others. Gmail is only listed by unconfirmed and multihop.

Dropping old Bug-Buddy reports

There is a proposal on desktop-devel-list to drop bug-buddy reports from either <=GNOME 2.14 or <=GNOME 2.16. I fully agree with <=GNOME 2.14 (receives max 5 bugreports/day). However, not sure about <=GNOME 2.16.

Based on server stats over the last week, we:

  • Created 23 GNOME <=2.14 bug-buddy reports. Update: To clarify, the <=2.14 bug-buddy programs updated themselves 9603 times (it does that when you start it and it wasn’t updated for at least 1 day, plus the server config changed). Obviously that method of reporting bugs is so broken that killing it wouldn’t have a big impact.
  • Received 5513 XML-RPC GNOME 2.15 + 2.16 bug-buddy reports. I assume 60% are auto-rejected (received!=created).
  • Received 475 XML-RPC bug-buddy report for other GNOME versions (sometimes the bug-buddy version couldn’t be determined).
  • Created 2405 bugreports in total (over the last 7 days instead of last week).

Seeing above stats, unless I get a good objections from many developers GNOME <=2.14 bug-buddy reports will be dropped (with an explanation message). Before dropping 2.15+2.16, I’d like some (developer) feedback on d-d-l. Please read the entire thread, then add your comments.

There is just one server left to upgrade – menubar. I’m delaying this after GNOME 2.18.1, plus I want to create a test installation first.

Upgrades continue

Servers that have been upgraded to RHEL5:

  • label
    Contains LDAP (GNOME usernames), (it was down twice yesterday)

  • button
    Contains MySQL (reason for Bugzilla downtime yesterday), mango (GNOME account creation/update thingy)

  • window
    Hosts loads of websites,, functions as It will be an ‘upgrade and see what breaks’.

  • box
    Hosts Bugzilla. In preparation I’ll move Bugzilla to window after it is upgraded RHEL5 (either today or tomorrow).

  • container
    Used for NFS. Upgraded while keeping most of the servers up (Bugzilla and some websites depend on NFS, but managed to work around that)

Servers to do and the current plan:

  • menubar – after more testing
    Known as I do not want to upgrade it before having me/jdub do a test config on another server.

Benefits of RHEL5:

  • Our server configuration is documented
  • slapcat is very fast
  • Mango repository is now on (not publicly visible)
  • Account creation+foundation mails now use UTF-8
  • Learned how to change PHP4 DOM calls to PHP5
  • /usr/bin/php-cgi works so much better via CGI than /usr/bin/php
  • Stealing external interfaces is possible
  • Learned that the apparently unsupported RHEL upgrade option works
  • Learned that some sysadmins are crazy in their easy task consideration (ldap?!?)

It is very nice to work with lots of sysadmins on this.

Update: window and box have been branded RHEL5.