Crap Nullpointer Exceptions

This is the blog of John Dulaney, a hacker of Fedora, SCAdian, player of Music, blacksmith, sailor, and consumer of Bacon.

Category Archives: Music

Insomnia

So, I have not been sleeping well for the past couple of months.  In fact, two to three hours of sleep is the norm, and only one hour is not uncommon.  This is not a new phenomenon; I go through basically the same thing every summer.  As it happens, I am sitting here at 2 AM, writing this and listening to Neil Young.

So, I wind up being rather productive.

There is something substantially different about this year, though.  I am no longer living where I grew up, but rather in what was my Grandfather’s house prior to his passing.  So, this means no more sitting on a lifeguard stand at the beach and pondering Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Anyway, my big project of late is testing AutoQA.

What is AutoQA, you ask?  It is the software suite in development by Fedora’s Quality Assurance team that is designed to test Fedora.  You can read about it here: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/AutoQA

Any way, in order to test the test software, several things are needed.  Firstly is a mock-up of the Fedora build system (Koji and Bodhi), although the entire thing is not needed; just the back-ends that actually do the work.  I am using the actual back-ends and interfacing with them as necessary.  Secondly, one needs an instance of AutoQA running to be tested.  This is pointed to our mock-up of the build system as if it was the build system.  No new code needs to be integrated into AutoQA itself to handle this.  And third, test cases with predictable output are needed.

So, how does this mock-up work precisely?

1. Read test case from file (plain text) that describes location of packages to be run through the AutoQA process and the predicted output of AutoQA if those packages were put through the actual build system.  It should be noted that for some tests, almost the entirety of (default) Fedora may be required.  From here, it is not difficult to simulate the hooks that AutoQA uses, although different ones are required for different tests.  Some of them need to be updated after AutoQA is running, which triggers certain tests.

2. Start up an AutoQA instance and pass as options the test we want to test and point it to our packages in our mock build system.

3. Wait for output to be generated and then parse it.  Compare it to expected results.

So, none of this is really difficult.  The hard part is in creating test cases that thoroughly check AutoQA.  We need tests that will pass AutoQA tests, tests that fail them, tests that fail because of one dependency error, tests that test to see what happens if there is a failure in the build system.

Want to help?  We could use it with test creation, and Quality Assurance in general.  It’s a fairly easy way to contribute to a Good Thing (Okay, maybe not so easy with test creation, but testing software in general is not that difficult).  Go to https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/QA to get started.

John

P.S.  Since I wrote this this morning, I’ve checked my email.  Tim Flink has also been working on this project and has got some of the back end stuff I hadn’t done yet up on Git Hub:
https://github.com/tflink/mock_fedorainfra

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I am returned

So, I got back into town in time for poetry night, and, for once, I am not impressed. Glen was, as usual, good, and after him went this dude that was going up for the fist time, thusly deserving some slack.  Now, however, there is a ‘guest’ that is ‘rapping’, and I must admit that I am not at all enjoying it.  Normally, I’m not a huge rap fan, anyway (with several very notable exceptions).  This time, it’s some girl that isn’t even in time, much less putting out anything really original or even marginally inspired.

<Rant>If you don’t like/want systemd (and I think most distros will wind up with it eventually) then don’t use Fedora 15.  Don’t go shouting on the Devel list about how it shouldn’t be installed by default.</rant>

Now that my anoyances are out of the way, on to SELF.  I reckon I’ll break it down to what I liked:

  1. All the cloud stuff.  That will be useful for QAing F16, and that alone is enough for me to have gone.
  2. Networking.  I met up with a couple of KDE devs (one of whom also does embedded and alternative architectures, in which I also have interest) that has gotten me to install KDE.  There’s some cool stuff there since the last time I messed with it.  I’ll admit, it’s been a while.  That said, I still prefer Fluxbox in terms of workflow.
  3. The Genetics talk was supremely interesting.  I would very much like to learn more on the subject, and may at some point dabble in the code some.
  4. I missed Spot’s talk because I was networking, but that was cool (see 2 above; I also talked about real estate (random)).
  5. Helping folks understand how Fedora works was decidedly win.
  6. Speevan back was fracking awesome, except for the hangover.

There really wasn’t too much I disliked except the aforementioned hangover, but since that was self-inflicted, I can’t complain, can I?  I also managed to bomb my kernel on Friday morning, but it wasn’t difficult to fix (those that were there know what I did).

I tried to introduce Ryan Rix to grits, but he was supremely uninterested.  I consider that the fail of the weekend.

j_dulaney

New kernel, New instrument

So, what do flutes and the Linux kernel have in common?  Me.  Specifically, once I start a big compile (such as the kernel), I’ll practice playing whilst my computer is bogged down.  Since I am now learning the flute, and since I’ve just recompiled the new kernel (3.0-rc1) due to leaving out a driver during my first round, I was playing whilst my computer was compiling.

Anyway, on to the kernel.  It’s running nicely, I haven’t had any issues other than leaving out the FAT driver (as I found out when I tried to use my USB flash drive, oops).  Since I left out the vast majority of the drivers available, the kernel as I’m running it is very small and seems to be a bit faster than the generic F15 kernel.  Of course, I’m not sure how much I’ll wind up using it in practice since for testing purposes I have to use whatever kernel is in the testing repository.

In other news, looks like my friend Larry is going to have a shindig tomorrow, so I’m going to be playing (sadly, not mandolin since that’s in the shop).  I’ll also be recording, so look out for that.  Expect to hear a bunch of folk, blues, some country, etc.  I imagine it will be pretty heavy on the Old Crow Medicine Show.

On the flute, I can sort of bang out something that with some (quite a bit, actually) imagination can be recognized as Yankee Doodle.  I’ll probably bring it and see what I can do about jamming with it.  I’m not quite sure how much I’ll be able to play, since all the notes I know are in the key of G.  Ah, well, I’ll get there, eventually.