Posts for April 2008

2008-04-04: kadmin-remctl 2.0

Not dead. Just very busy organizing my life, getting back to effectively managing my time, cutting down on distractions, and letting myself work on one thing at a time. All of that has meant that I've been hardly reading, but getting other things done. This too shall pass, but hopefully onto a small number of new things rather than back to trying to do everything at once.

Anyway, I released a new version of kadmin-remctl, last week actually, incorporating additional code that we needed for our guest accounts project. In the process, I significantly restructured the configuration and improved the capabilities for syncing with Active Directory. All of the three supported environments (MIT Kerberos, Active Directory, and AFS kaserver) are now optional.

And wow is this code ever ugly. I did some restructuring of that as well, so it's easier to follow at least, but this is crying out to have a modular structure with a set of Kerberos environment providers that you can selectively stack. And all the running of programs via Expect is just gross.

Oh well, time is limited, and time for making things pretty rather than just functional is very limited. Hopefully I'll get a chance to come back and do this right at some point.

You can get the latest version from the kadmin-remctl distribution page.

2008-04-04: remctl 2.12

remctl was next on the list of packages that needed a build system overhaul to pick up my new Autoconf macros and my new LICENSE file scheme, and with this release I switched C comment formatting styles and made that global change as well. So a lot of code was touched here.

I also finally incorporated the Windows port by Matthew Loar. I doubtless broke it in the process, but since I need to do another release shortly to include the PHP and Python bindings, hopefully people will point out how I broke it and how to fix it before that release.

There are a pile of other fixes as well. Another internal project exposed the fact that remctl always sort of cheated about GSS-API identities and forced them to be a Kerberos principal, which kind of works but which disables all domain_realm mapping and host canonicalization in the GSS-API library. This version now uses proper GSS-API host-based service names if you don't tell it what principal to use. The server also marks all file descriptors close-on-exec properly (and even cleans up after the Kerberos libraries), and various other minor things got fixed.

You can get the latest version from the remctl distribution page.

2008-04-10: kstart 3.11

It had been exactly one year since my last release of kstart. I hadn't realized it had been that long, although I knew I had various user-submitted patches that I hadn't incorporated for quite some time.

kstart was one of the first (maybe the first) package that I converted to Automake and started pushing towards my new package style, so the style has evolved a great deal since then. I brought it fully up to date, including the coding style, and added the beginnings of a test suite. I also redid how the AFS system call layer works, pulling code from pam-afs-session and putting a portability layer around it that also should work on AIX and IRIX.

This version should fix the RHEL 5 problems we'd run into, and hopefully should make kstart much easier to maintain going forward.

You can get the latest version from the kstart distribution page.

2008-04-11: Hugo book haul

It's that time of year again. I read one of the Hugo nominees already — Charles Stross's Halting State — so four more to go. And, of course, I had to pick up a bunch of other books at the same time.

M.M. Buckner -- War Surf (sff)
Michael Chabon -- The Yiddish Policemen's Union (sff)
Helen Cresswell -- Bagthorpes Besieged (children's)
M. John Harrison -- Nova Swing (sff)
Carolyne Larrington (trans.) -- The Poetic Edda (classic)
Barry N. Malzberg -- Breakfast in the Ruins (non-fiction)
Robert Sawyer -- Rollback (sff)
John Scalzi -- The Ghost Brigades (sff)
John Scalzi -- The Last Colony (sff)
Snorri Sturluson -- The Prose Edda (classic)
Nassim Nicholas Taleb -- Fooled by Randomness (non-fiction)
John C. Wright -- Fugitives of Chaos (sff)

I haven't been reading that much lately for one reason and another, but I'm hoping to change that in the near future.

2008-04-16: Pod::Thread 0.10

This is the first release since 2002. I ran into another bug while generating new INN documentation, figured out how to fix it, decided to finally fix the bug with table of contents generation at the same time, and released a new version. I also moved the repository to Subversion (since I'm not quite ready to move everything to Git) and built a Debian package, which is now in my local repository.

So far this vacation I've not been doing much on-line except working with pictures, but I'm starting to feel the itch to do some organization and get some things done. I've been doing very well at ignoring work, though, and plan on continuing that.

You can get the latest version of Pod::Thread from my web tools distribution page.

2008-04-23: New journal

Previously, my journal was managed by Movable Type. Originally, Six Apart seemed like a cool company, but I should have known better than to trust anything that wasn't open source. They started screwing with the license, it was never packaged properly, and then of course it became far too painful to upgrade.

I've been wanting to fix this for some time, and have occasionally poked at other blog software. Serendipity looked like a winner for a while, but then I spent two days fighting with it and while I got it to mostly look like what I want, that was demoralizing. I hate spending large quantities of time fighting with someone else's software to get it to do what I want, particularly when I then have to write plugins and additions to get what feels to me like basic functionality. It would be one thing if I had time and inclination to get involved as a developer, but usually what Web 2.0 software developers want to pursue and what I care about are almost entirely at odds.

During my recent vacation, I finally realized that I just wanted something that used all the infrastructure I already have. I have a macro language that I like for generating web pages, I have a page design that I like; the journal one isn't bad, but it doesn't match. I don't care about nearly all of the features of blog software. I could use something that's much better-designed (and free software) like ikiwiki, but I don't particularly like wikis either. (That's another story that I should write up sometime.)

I really just wanted something that works like my book reviews work and lets me maintain the whole thing in spin. So I just gave up and wrote it. It probably took me more time than it would take to beat some piece of blog software into submission, but now it's done, I know how it works, it knows what I want to do, and I don't have to fight with it again with every upgrade.

So this is my first post with my new journal software, with an RSS feed generated by my own code. There will probably be bugs for a while to iron out, but it will also make it far easier for me to maintain multiple RSS feeds with different topics, post reviews to my journal even more automatically, and add automatic posting for other things.

The main loss is comments. With this system, my entire web site can be static, which I love. But that means no comment scripts. Since almost no one was commenting on my journal anyway (as opposed to mailing me or discussing posts elsewhere), I think I'm okay with that. Eventually I may mirror my journal somewhere else where there are comments.

All of the old posts have been converted over, including old comments. Old reviews with no comments have become redirects to the permanent review pages.

Let me know if you see anything weird.

2008-04-24: kstart 3.12

Well, I figured that all the build system changes in the previous release would have broken something. There's nothing like trying to build the software on Solaris 8 to uncover all the edge-case build problems. There were lots of problems with flag settings, ordering of libraries to avoid AFS com_err, and krb5-config processing. I also implemented a suggestion (for a different project) to verify the results of krb5-config and fixed some command-line parsing bugs when providing a command and not using -- first.

I can't release a version without making some functionality improvement. For this version, I implemented Mike Horansky's excellent idea to have krenew copy the ticket cache file when run with a command. That keeps the ticket cache for the command isolated from the user's ticket cache, so it's not deleted when the user logs out.

You can get the latest version from the kstart distribution page.

2008-04-24: wallet 0.9

I had to do one more release of kasetkey (the program included in the wallet distribution for talking to AFS kaservers) so that we can move our kadmin remctl interface prior to turning off the AFS kaservers. Since I was doing a release anyway, I also implemented support for wallet store to take data from a file or standard input, fixed a few test suite and build issues, and added support for builddir != srcdir builds.

You can get the latest version from the wallet distribution page.

2008-04-25: kadmin-remctl 2.1

This is the release that goes with the wallet 0.9 release. It now uses kasetkey for all AFS kaserver synchronization, including enable, disable, and examine. Also included in this release is a bug fix for using the allowed principal regex for examine and build system fixes and updates first released with other projects.

You can get the latest version from the kadmin-remctl distribution page.

Last modified and spun 2017-03-25