Monday, 12 September 2011


My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Google+ Invitations

If anyone wants to Google+, but has no invitation:

Click on this link. I have 150 invitations left, so if you are fast enough, you will get one.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Science Made Simple

Whats quantum physics, genetic modification, superconducters? Do you know Schrödingers Cat and the many worlds theory?

This video explains those terms in very simple words:

If you are interested in details you can look at the wikipedia articles I've linked.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Why I like Google and hate Facebook

A few seconds ago I've read an article about Facebook blocking Open-Xchange (see Last week Facebook has blocked Googles Friends Exporter for Facebook (see article). They try everything to stop their users from migrating to Google+. Or to use any other Social Media Platform.

Now Google: They have the Data Liberation Front. They pay engineers to help people to move away from Google products. Isn't that crazy? Not at all, they know that their products are good. In my opinion all of their well known products (Gmail, Google Maps, Google search, Calendar, Docs, Picasa, YouTube) are the best ones which are available for free. And I guess they are better than the non-free ones, too.

Back to the topic: Facebook blocks users who use the API to enable other users to export their data.
Google has many APIs which could also be used by other companies to export data. But there is no need to do so, as Google already hired engineers to build the export-tools for you. If you like to export you Google Data, simply go to

Now to finish my post, here is another reason why Google will not go evil ;-)

By the way, the Data Liberation Front could be better, too. You might want to read René's post: Risks and criticisms of Google's Data Liberation Front

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Merging Packages from Debian to Ubuntu

In this article I'm going to describe how to do a merge using merge - o - matic (MoM), Ubuntu's semi automatic merging system. Most of the content was simply pasted from IRC, where Bhavani Shankar described it.

Thanks Bhavani Shankar aka coolbhavi!

Notice: When I've got some time, I'll edit/restructure this a bit.

Involved Concepts

On our first stage of development cycle we import packages from debian unstable (sid). In case of a LTS we import packages from debian testing.

There are two ways to import a package from debian. One is a sync and other is a merge. Sync is importing the debian package "as is" without any further changes, whereas merging is importing the debian package and intoducing/including all the Ubuntu changes.

We need to cross verify whether the Ubuntu changes are applicable for the present version and the Ubuntu changes have been superceeded by Debian in which case its a sync.

Getting started

Please enable universe and main repositories and pull in all the packages essential for Ubuntu development environment (as mentioned in the Ubuntu Packaging Guide which I'm pasting here for your kind reference):
$ sudo apt-get install bzr-builddeb ubuntu-dev-tools fakeroot build-essential gnupg pbuilder debhelper

(btw, this merging-page provides a overview of merging workflow and we are going to see a simple example of it now)

First of all we need to check what packages have need to be merged. Thats where MoM comes into picture

MoM is available here:

First of all we need to create a work directory, I use ~/development, you could use a directory of your own.

From now on we are calling this $WORK_DIR, so please create a working directory for your own.

Now store the path on the $WORK_DIR variable giving "export $WORK_DIR=/path/to/work/directory"
for convenience
which in my case will be "export WORK_DIR=~/development"
By MoM way we use a script called which is available in ubuntu-dev-tools but for convineince I'll download the script here
$ cd $WORK_DIR 
$ wget -c
$ chmod +x
So once its done we can start merging process
Since we are new contributors I ll take a simple example of a universe package merge which is ldaptor a pure python based LDAP client in short
btw the complete list of universe package merges is here:
Here we find a large list of packages, with their ubuntu, debian and base version also we see the last uploader, which is the last person who work on the package, and in some cases the uploader of the package (sponsor of the package)
so we are going to create an empty directory to work on it and get into it:
$ mkdir $WORK_DIR/ldaptor 
$ cd $WORK_DIR/ldaptor
now we need to download the debian and ubuntu packages to work on them, that's easily done with the script we download earlier:
Now I assume everyone has created a directory named ldaptor we ll execute script which on my system will be
india@ubuntu11:~/development/ldaptor$ ../ ldaptor

Most of the work have been already done by MoM, we only need to work on some fine tuning and the tasks which need human intervention

Ok, if everything is already downloaded we can see a file called REPORT, this is the first thing we need to look at

In this case there are no conflicts so indicating that its a pretty simple merge but quite interesting

Now we just need to look at the debian changelog and determine whether the ubuntu changes are still applicable or not

for that do
$ cd ldaptor-0.0.43+debian1-5ubuntu1/debian
in my system
india@ubuntu11:~/development/ldaptor$ cd ldaptor-0.0.43+debian1-5ubuntu1/debian/
Now once you are in the /debian directory

type in this command dch -e to edit the debian/changelog in your favourite editor (I use good old nano)

You'll find a lines like this at the start
ldaptor (0.0.43+debian1-5ubuntu1) oneiric; urgency=low

* Merge from debian unstable. Remaining changes:
with the debian package changelog and previous ubuntu package chanbgelog merged together

Now if you take a look at the previous ubuntu specific changelog you ll find this:
ldaptor (0.0.43+debian1-4ubuntu1) oneiric; urgency=low
* Merge from debian unstable. Remaining change:
- Remove empty POT files. Fixes FTBFS caused by pkgstriptranslations.

which is pretty interesting as the package fails to build on the official buildds of ubuntu due to a package which strips translations pertaining to the package and if the po or pot files are empty it causes a build failure
without this change the package would have been imported as is giving raise to a sync
so now we need to update the changelog for the latest ubuntu version of the package we are working on which on my system now will be
ldaptor (0.0.43+debian1-5ubuntu1) oneiric; urgency=low
* Merge from debian unstable. Remaining changes:
- Remove empty POT files. Fixes FTBFS caused by pkgstriptranslations.
Please take note of the spacings and the format of the changelog as it'll be machine parseable.
Now save the changes in your favourite editor and run the following command:
$ debuild -S
So that builds the .dsc file and generates the .changes file now you should test build the package .dsc file in a pbuilder or sbuild to check whether the package builds correctly not and generates the deb-file.
(Note: this step is very important for ensuring quality work and quick sponsoring )

After building the .dsc please test it in a pbuilder so issue the following command:
$ sudo pbuilder build ldaptor_0.0.43+debian1-5ubuntu1.dsc

Once the package builds correctly generate the debdiff between the current debian_version.dsc and current ubuntu_version.dsc and attach it to a bug opened as defined in the merging workflow in this link:

In my system I would do: (the > should be >)
india@ubuntu11:~/development/ldaptor$ debdiff ldaptor_0.0.43+debian1-5.dsc ldaptor_0.0.43+debian1-5ubuntu1.dsc > ldaptor.diff

and attach ldaptor.diff as a patch to the bug I created as per the merge workflow as a patch.

Last but not the least subscribe to the ubuntu-sponsors team on your merge request bug for feedback and uploading of your change.

Debian Package Change

We need to look at the importance of debian package change too while merging a package from debian.


Whats fake sync?
- fake sync arises due to mismatching of orig tarballs in debian and ubuntu so it cant be synced directly from debian in short terms

in which directory did you issue the pbuilder command? I'm getting ... is not a valid .dsc file name.
- Its in the ldaptor directory that we created.

How to apply that patch (.diff) to ubuntu package?
- we use the generated diff to apply to the debian package in case of a merge takdir


Friday, 8 July 2011

Flatten directory structure

find . -type f -exec mv '{}' . \;

The general syntax for find is the following:
Aufruf: find [-H] [-L] [-P] [-Olevel] [-D help|tree|search|stat|rates|opt|exec] [Pfad...] [Suchkriterium]

So what did I do? Step by step:
. means you search the current directory. You could also set it to /home/your/path
-type f means I want to find files. -type d would have been directories.
-exec mv '{}' . \; means I want to execute mv with two arguments. The first argument is the result of find, the second is the current directory. So I move everything that find finds to the current directory. You could also specify your path here.