shipper 1.7 is released

I’ve released shipper 1.7. The main new feature in this release id that it now knows how to play nice with repository collections managed by gitolite and browseable through gitweb, like this one.

What’s new is that shipper (described in detail here shortly before I shipped the 1.0 version) now treats a gitolite/gitweb colection as just another publishing channel. When you call shipper to announce an update on a project in the collection, it updates the ‘description’ and ‘README.html’ files in the repository from the project control file, thus ensuring that the gitweb view of the collection always displays up-to-date metadata.

This is yet more fallout from the impending Gitorious shutdown. I don’t know if my refugee projects from Gitorious will be hosted on thyrsus.com indefinitely; I’m considering several alternatives. But while they’re there I might as well figure out how to make updates as easy as possible so nobody else has to solve this problem and everyone’s productivity can go up.

Actually, I’m a little surprised that I have received neither bug reports nor feature requests on shipper since issuing the beta in 2013. This hints that either the software is perfect (highly unlikely) or nobody else has the problem it solves – that is, having to ship releases of software so frequently that one must either automate the process details or go mad.

Is that really true? Am I the only hacker with this problem? Or is there something I’m missing here? An enquiring mind wants to know.

47 thoughts on “shipper 1.7 is released

  1. Maybe other hackers have their own automated shipping methods that they prefer to yours? *buntu projects, for example, often have automata built around dpkg-buildtools and friends that ships debs and announcements to Launchpad, the appropriate mailing lists, etc.

  2. I think a lot of that gruntwork got subsumed by ecosystem-specific package managers: shipping a python package (pip), a ruby gem, a nodejs package… the tool does most of it, and most of those projects don’t have (or require) much other infrastructure.

  3. There a reason you didn’t include a link to shipper? Call me lazy, but I usually expect to see a link to a project page or release notes when seeing announcements like this. Search engines can be fickle beasts, wasting precious time requiring one to you tune the keywords for things that ought to be easier to find…

  4. How are you so active in this age? Don’t you ever want to settle down? :) I am 28 and I don’t think I have half the energy and productivity you have.

    • >How are you so active in this age? Don’t you ever want to settle down? :) I am 28 and I don’t think I have half the energy and productivity you have.

      Well, you’re not quite half my age, either. All you have to do is increase your productivity by 1/28th a year… :-)

  5. According to its resource page, Shipper “can deliver releases in correct form to SourceForge, Berlios, and Savannah”. But BerliOS is no more; you might want to remove the code related to it, as there’s no point in maintaining such code.

    >Well, you’re not quite half my age, either.

    Incidentally, would you mind if someone not-quite-half-your-age called you “Eric”? :$ (Don’t feel obliged. If you decline, I’ll understand.)

    • >But BerliOS is no more

      It’s still there. Have you actually checked recently?

      >Incidentally, would you mind if someone not-quite-half-your-age called you “Eric”?

      Right, you’re not American nor a native speaker of English. You actually need this explained.

      No, I wouldn’t mind. Be aware that most Americans (and to a slightly lesser degree most English speakers other than in India, where usage runs towards greater formality) would think that an odd question to ask. American culture doesn’t require anywhere near the degree of formal address between younger and older people that most Spanish-speaking cultures do. It wouldn’t be my personal style to insist on such formality, anyway.

      About the only hard-and-fast rule we have is that pre-teen children are not normally allowed to first-name adults. For teenagers below the age of legal majority, the rules are situational and fluid. In the U.S., legal adults are normally expected to use first names face to face after having become personally acquainted (this is less universal in Great Britain and elewhere). But you normally continue to use the person’s full name or last name for reference when talking to others unless you are implying fairly close personal acquaintance to the person.

      Because you’re a reqular here, you count as an acquaintance of mine for purposes of these usage rules (a first-time or very sporadic visitor might not). Thus, nobody will consider it impolite or disrespectful if you use my first name.

      If you want to address me in a way that is intended to emphasize respect, use “ESR” rather than “Mr. Raymond”; that is expected because you are part of the hacker culture and “ESR” expresses that. Any English-speaking hacker would do this automatically. This is an instance of a general rule that nicknames and in-group titles of respect should by used among peers in lieu of full name when applicable; using full name is a distancing maneuver.

      indeed, if you addressed me is “Mr. Raymond” it would imply that you were positioning yourself outside my peer group or vice-versa.

  6. >>But BerliOS is no more
    >It’s still there. Have you actually checked recently?

    The front page is still there, but the content seems to be all gone. You can find the details at the Wikipedia article.
    Alternatively, visit the Fetchmail site and you’ll see this: “NEWS: NOW HOSTED BY SOURCEFORGE.NET AFTER BERLIOS SHUTDOWN”.
    I’m not mocking you. I know you ceded Fetchmail to new mantainers long ago. I suppose that was for the better: you can now focus on other projects, such as Reposurgeon or Shipper. :-) (Or that mysterious project of yours that involves the very fabric of time… you mad scientist! XD)

    >you are part of the hacker culture

    You honor me immensely. So one is considered part of the hacker culture just by sharing its worldview or some personality quirk(s)? But that appears to contradict your principles that “attitude is no substitute for competence” and that one ought to “shut up and show them the code”. TBH, I couldn’t write a line of code to save my life.
    I don’t mean to sound whiny; I just don’t want you to overestimate me, lest you end up disillusioned.

    • >The front page is still there, but the content seems to be all gone.

      Ah. Thanks for the update – I was easily fooled on this because Berlios threatened to shut down in 2008-2009 (which is why GPSD moved) but did not actually do so.

      >You honor me immensely. So one is considered part of the hacker culture just by sharing its worldview or some personality quirk(s)? But that appears to contradict your principles that “attitude is no substitute for competence” and that one ought to “shut up and show them the code”. TBH, I couldn’t write a line of code to save my life.

      I chose my phrasing carefully. “Part of the hacker culture” != “hacker”

      You have not, so far as I know, qualified as a hacker. You have shown behavioral evidence of being part of the surrounding culture. Most people in that culture are aspirants to the status of hacker, but you don’t have to be an aspirant to find RFC1149 “A Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers” is pretty damned funny and get some of its in-jokes. (That’s the closest I’ve come to a litmus test for hacker-culture affiliation.)

      BTW, you are even more certainly of the hacker culture if a debate over whether duct tape can be replaced with electrical tape without violating 1149 conformance conducted in (pseudo-)serious terms reduces you to helpless, side-clutching howls of laughter.

  7. > I think a lot of that gruntwork got subsumed by ecosystem-specific package managers

    This matches my (admittedly limited) experience. Most newer languages seem to have settled on a de facto centralized package index. PyPI, RubyGems, Clojars…

    Come to think of it, the only language (that I care to use) that doesn’t seem to have something like this is C.

  8. Didn’t know that gitorious was shutting down as I hadn’t been active with my projects lately. Must think about switching over to gitweb or similar self-hosted solution.

  9. >You have not, so far as I know, qualified as a hacker.

    You can say that without the apposition. ;-)

    Sorry, I just read the RFC and didn’t laugh at all. Perhaps if I were acquainted with serious RFCs, I would have been amused by the way this April Fools RFC parodies them (assuming it does, which I reckon is a safe assumption). And I must confess I know virtually nothing about how the Internet works; I never finished reading your “Unix and Internet Fundamentals HOWTO”.
    Let’s face it: I’m not fit for the Promised Land of hackerdom. I’m probably not even capable of becoming a programmer. But you believed in me, and I’ll always be grateful for that.
    Still, I’d like to know–if only for fun–what was the alleged “behavioral evidence of [my] being part of the surrounding culture”. After all, one must always ask: “What are the facts?”. ;-)

    • >Still, I’d like to know–if only for fun–what was the alleged “behavioral evidence of [my] being part of the surrounding culture”. After all, one must always ask: “What are the facts?”. ;-)

      Your use of language. The things you represent yourself as being interested in and respecting.

      Given the medium, what else could I have, really?

  10. I’m still trying to figure out how someone could not find RFC1149 funny… it utterly boggles the mind.

  11. >Your use of language.

    Thanks; I do strive to use it correctly. Unfortunately, my English is somewhat flawed. Without going further: in my previous comment, in the very passage you just quoted, I misplaced the “was”.
    Still, I’m confident I’ll get better at it. Writing at this blog serves as practice. ;-)

    >The things you represent yourself as being interested in and respecting.

    I dunno. Are classic rock, the Marx Brothers, and/or Shar Pei related to the hackerly mindset in some way?

    >Given the medium, what else could I have, really?

    Well, I believe you’re rather perceptive. And since you mention divination in “Dancing with the Gods”, I suspect you’re familiar with cold reading. I’m not sure it works over the Internet, though! XD

  12. @esr:
    >If you want to address me in a way that is intended to emphasize respect, use “ESR” rather than “Mr. Raymond”; that is expected because you are part of the hacker culture and “ESR” expresses that. Any English-speaking hacker would do this automatically. This is an instance of a general rule that nicknames and in-group titles of respect should by used among peers in lieu of full name when applicable; using full name is a distancing maneuver.

    This is perhaps true among hackers and hackeroids in your age group, but the motivations for referring to you as “esr” would be different for someone my or Jorge’s age. Even if I weren’t a hackeroid, you weren’t a hacker, and I held you in no respect at all, I would refer to you as “esr”, because I have been net-acculturated since my mid-teens, and thus I have a kneejerk instinct that says “screen name is the proper form of address online”.

    I do tend to mix “Eric” in as well here, because it is the proper meatspace form of address, and I have seen regulars here using meatspace names.

    • >Even if I weren’t a hackeroid, you weren’t a hacker, and I held you in no respect at all, I would refer to you as “esr”, because I have been net-acculturated since my mid-teens, and thus I have a kneejerk instinct that says “screen name is the proper form of address online.

      Interesting. Do you automatically consider “esr” and “ESR” the same reference? I don’t.

  13. >Interesting. Do you automatically consider “esr” and “ESR” the same reference? I >don’t.

    I personally lament the day upon which the notion of case was first concieved. I’ too lazy to keep track thereof. {plus then the space cadet keyboard would only need 2 shift keys. ;-) }

  14. @esr:
    >Interesting. Do you automatically consider “esr” and “ESR” the same reference? I don’t.

    Yes and no. I tend to preserve case in screennames, but I was unaware of any difference in hacker culture. Given that I have noticed hacker initials as a screenname to generally be lowercase, and the fact that initials in meatspace are uppercase, I assumed that you were smashing case. Then again, assuming that such a venerable hacker would behave in any way like MS-DOS was probably rude.

    • >Given that I have noticed hacker initials as a screenname to generally be lowercase, and the fact that initials in meatspace are uppercase, I assumed that you were smashing case.

      I was not. My screen name is “esr”, “ESR” is more like a title of address. Admittedly, the spoken forms are hard to distinguish :-)

  15. Is the lowercase thing somehow related to UNIX?

    BTW, my mentioning the Marx Brothers had an ulterior motive: I’d like to know if their style of humor appeals to hackers. (In any case, I like it. ^_^) What’s your take on this?

  16. From The Jargon File entry hacker humor

    5. A fondness for apparently mindless humor with subversive currents of intelligence in it — for example, old Warner Brothers and Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons, the Marx brothers, the early B-52s, and Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Humor that combines this trait with elements of high camp and slapstick is especially favored.

  17. Multiple types of service can be provided with a prioritized pecking order. An additional property is builtin worm detection and eradication.

    How can anyone miss that?

    BTW: Electrical tape fails to guarantee best-effort delivery, if a more adhesive tape is available. Dropped packets become more likely.

  18. I’d like to follow up with my experience of titles in the US.

    Titles seem only to be required if they are useful. The main cases people run into are school teachers (referred to as Mr./Ms/Mrs.) and medical doctors.

    I’m not certain the desired rational for school teachers – probably to inculcate respect to facilitate instruction.

    Doctors are interesting. In a medical setting, knowing who has legal authority to issue prescriptions and orders is very important, so introducing people as “Dr. so and so” actually matters.

    As an aside, in my volunteer work as an EMT I’ve occasionally had to transport people from nursing homes to the hospital. This is not usually a problem. The one case where I was apprehensive was where the patient had outside of his door, his title of Doctor on the name plate. I assume that people who require their title posted on their residence door are full of themselves and going to be a pain.

    The only thing worse are people with PhDs who insist on being called “Doctor” in public.

  19. Some people (like me) do not give a crap on BSD software so we don’t feel compelled to contribute to it in any way: if you choose proprietary-friendly license I personally think that you expect contributions from some companies relying heavily on closed-source code. Hence I have little to none incentive contributing to their business for free. You made your choice, I’ve made mine.

  20. @ ESR

    Wait a minute. I failed the RFC1149 test, but there appears to be an alternate test. In “How to Become a Hacker”, you wrote:

    I think a good way to find out if you have what it takes is to pick up a copy of Raymond Smullyan’s book What Is The Name Of This Book?. Smullyan’s playful logical conundrums are very much in the hacker spirit. Being able to solve them is a good sign; enjoying solving them is an even better one.

    Could that be my last ray of hope?

    BTW, entering “catb.org” in my browser used to bring up a directory listing of the site’s contents, but now it shows the resource page for Wumpus. That’s weird.

    • >Could that be my last ray of hope?

      Quite possibly. :-)

      >BTW, entering “catb.org” in my browser used to bring up a directory listing of the site’s contents, but now it shows the resource page for Wumpus. That’s weird.

      My finger error while updating my site last night. Fixed now.

  21. >Quite possibly. :-)

    Man… you keep reassuring me, in a display of seemingly infinite compassion and patience. You’re right: I shouldn’t give up my dream so easily. In the words of Lenny Kravitz, “it ain’t over ’til it’s over”. So thank you… Eric. ;-)

    >My finger error while updating my site last night. Fixed now.

    I still get the odd behavior. :-(

  22. >Try a shift-refresh. You might be re-fetching your local cache

    Oops! My bad. In fact, I now see you’ve replaced the directory view with a layout that’s consistent with the rest of the site. :D

    And since I previously mentioned the hacker how-to and just mentioned web design: why did you remove the link to HTML Dog from the section on learning HTML? I’m not dismayed, just curious. Was it because they’ve switched to teaching HTML5?

    • >why did you remove the link to HTML Dog from the section on learning HTML

      I don’t remember, but the a priori most likely reason is that I thought I found a better tutorial.

  23. “The only thing worse are people with PhD’s who insist on being called ‘Doctor’ in public.”

    I found this jarring during my graduate school years, but in reverse. I’m a small-town girl who is very conservative in some ways (took my husband’s last name when marrying, etc.), and I thought it natural to address my professors as “Dr. “. Some of them, particularly my independent project advisor, were very uncomfortable with this and kept telling me “Call me !” It took me a while to retrain myself because it just felt wrong.

    Insisting on “Dr. ” in a casual setting does seem rude, but in a professional environment such as the classroom or the professor’s office, it seems overly informal.

  24. Reposting to fix the false-HTML problem:

    “The only thing worse are people with PhD’s who insist on being called ‘Doctor’ in public.”

    I found this jarring during my graduate school years, but in reverse. I’m a small-town girl who is very conservative in some ways (took my husband’s last name when marrying, etc.), and I thought it natural to address my professors as “Dr. Lastname”. Some of them, particularly my independent project adviser, were very uncomfortable with this and kept telling me “Call me Firstname!” It took me a while to retrain myself because it just felt wrong.

    Insisting on “Dr. ” in a casual setting does seem rude, but in a professional environment such as the classroom or the professor’s office, it seems overly informal.

  25. > “Dr. Lastname” … “Call me Firstname!”

    IIRC my mom’s students eventually compromised with “Dr. [Firstname]”. :)

  26. @ esr

    >I don’t remember, but the a priori most likely reason is that I thought I found a better tutorial.

    Some time ago, I worked through HTML Dog’s beginner-level HTML and CSS tutorials; but, IIRC, I failed to grasp the intermediate-level lesson on span and div and was discouraged. I don’t hold that against them, mind you; I love their canine logo (a Boxer?), and my failure was probably my fault anyway. (Still think I may be “in the 120-125 [IQ] range”? You were too optimistic, methinks. But I’m thankful, of course. ;-))
    When and if I create a website of my own, I’ll probably copy code from catb.org (assuming you don’t mind) and use it as a foundation. Does that count as cheating? :-P
    BTW, I didn’t know the shift-refresh trick until you told me. My thanking you is getting old, but it bears repeating: thanks.

    @ Cathy

    >It took me a while to retrain myself because it just felt wrong.

    Likewise, it felt wrong for me to call our host “Eric”, so I opted for “ESR”. Over time, however, it felt increasingly odd: “ESR” sounds like a robot’s name! XD
    So I was facing a dilemma until I finally decided to ask him for his permission to use his first name. Given his good nature, I trusted he wouldn’t be offended by the request. And he wasn’t. ^_^
    That said, I was unaccountably rude in my very first A&D comment–didn’t even say “hello”. Maybe I wanted it to sound casual; whatever the reason, I regret it–especially since, in yet another testament to his good nature, our host kindly answered my question without calling me on my rudeness.

  27. @Jorge:
    >That said, I was unaccountably rude in my very first A&D comment–didn’t even say “hello”. Maybe I wanted it to sound casual; whatever the reason, I regret it–especially since, in yet another testament to his good nature, our host kindly answered my question without calling me on my rudeness.

    Probably because he didn’t notice it. English speaking Internet culture tends to accept such things. If anyone else had posted between you and him, it would have been good etiquette to insert something along the lines of “@esr:” in front the quote to make clear who you were quoting, but it would not have been rude to omit it. As it was, there was no problem with that post at all that I can see.

    • >Probably because he didn’t notice it.

      Jorge, I have never experienced anything you wrote as “rude”. If anything you seem a little too derential to me. It’s a cultural difference, not your fault.

  28. @ Jon Brase and ESR

    Thank you both. :-)

    @ just ESR

    >If anything you seem a little too derential to me.

    Assuming you meant “deferential”: OK, I’ll try to relax and maybe even make fun of you from time to time. But always tactfully and in a spirit of camaraderie, of course. ;-)

    >It’s a cultural difference, not your fault.

    I’m not sure what you mean here. I can think of two possible meanings:

    1. It’s not my fault that I’m too deferential.
    2. It’s not my fault that I burst in without even saying “hello”, with characteristic Argentinean prepotency. =P

    I bet you meant #1, but I wouldn’t be offended by #2 at all. Frankly, I’m not proud of my country. Well, there’s Borges and Gardel–but that’s pretty much it. Furthermore, unlike most Argies, I harbor great admiration for both America and Britain. And I couldn’t care less about soccer, a British invention most Argies are fanatically attached to. See the hypocrisy? But I digress.

  29. @Jorge Dujan
    I am actually slightly annoyed at blog comments that begin with a greeting like “hello”. But that might just be my German desire for efficiency :)

  30. Packaging and releasing software is a problem I have. Releasing software via SourceForge, Berlios, or Savannah isn’t a problem I have. Releasing software via Github is a problem I have.

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