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  • Andrew SB: Package Management with Fabric

    Recently, I’ve been using Fabric quite a bit. It is simple, Pythonic, and I’ve grown to enjoy using it for automating basic systems administration tasks when a full-fledged configuration management system is more than you need for the job.

    For the most part, Fabric keeps to the basics, e.g. executing remote shell commands and uploading files. There are quite a few sets of tools that have popped up to extend it, but unfortunately there no is “official” contrib library. Many of these project serve very specific use cases like deploying a Django application and duplicate certain functionality.

    One thing that I’ve become a bit frustrated with is copying around convenience functions into multiple Fabfiles. In particular, I end up cargo culting functions related to package management. So to finally rid myself of these, I’ve created fabric-package-management.

    The source is on GitHub, and you can install it from PyPI with:

    sudo pip install fabric-package-management

    The aim is to provide basic primitives for package management with Fabric. Its focus is intentionally narrow. The 0.1 release only offers support for Apt, but I hope to see it grow support for more distributions. It could potentially add an abstraction layer for cross distro support.

    Here’s a quick example of using it to update all your DigitalOcean servers:

    import os
    import digitalocean
    from fabric.api import task, prompt, env, settings
    from fabric.operations import reboot
    from fabric_package_management import apt
    USER = 'username'
    def get_hosts():
        token = os.getenv('DO_TOKEN')
        manager = digitalocean.Manager(token=token)
        droplets = manager.get_all_droplets()
        hosts = []
        for d in droplets:
        return hosts
    def run():
        hosts = get_hosts()
        for h in hosts:
            with settings(host_string=h, user=USER):
                if apt.reboot_required():
                    prompt("Reboot required. Initiate now?\nYes/No?",
                    if env.response.lower() == "yes":

    Hope you find this useful!

  • Bryan Quigley: The Mozilla We’ve Got

    This is a follow-up to The Mozilla I want from 2014 (same headings).  (I do post bugs and mailing lists links, but please don’t pile on them, that really doesn’t help)

    DRM – Mozilla being played?

    Nope, just non-Windows users being played so far [1]. I should have guessed with it being Adobe’s DRM that is being used that maybe Linux wouldn’t see the best support. It’s also depressing to me that Mozilla has given up on calling it what it is in some cases [2].


    Abandon the DoNoTrack header, provide actual options

    Mozilla has doubled down on DoNotTrack and our trying to get more companies to respect it with an add-on that blocks trackers if it’s not respected.  To be fair the EFF thinks this isn’t a lost cause either.. do they know something I don’t know here?  If anything it could be called DoNotMakeItAsObviousWeAreTrackingYou, that’s possible.

    They’ve added DuckDuckGo as a preinstalled search engine!  Woot!

    Push advertisers off of Flash (generally a good idea, but also will help with privacy – no flash cookies, etc) – Absolutely no progress on this[1] -The web is moving away from Flash and plugins but Mozilla is standing pretty still on pushing for it.  Guess Mobile and Chrome will get define this space.


    SSL 3.0 – When will it go away?

    That’s hilarious.  Really.   5 months or so after Mozilla removes the option to disable SSL 3.0 they have to make an add-on to disable it do to SSL 3.0 no longer being secure.

    Could we just decide now to disable TLS 1.0 in 2018 or something? Maybe start warning about it in a year or so.  We know it has weaker security than TLS 1.2, so why wait until we have to do it in a panic?

    Mobile – Firefox OS

    I bought a ZTE Open C and it’s a cheap phone and had issues.  I’ve since given up on it and bought a ZTE Maven (Android 5.1) which I’m enjoying.  To be fair they both cost me about the same, but the Maven is a much better phone.

    Mozilla hasn’t shipped a new version of Firefox OS since I bought the phone… Firefox 1.3 Released on 2014-03-17 is still the latest version (it’s 2015-08-01 today).  So much for the promised quarterly releases.  This isn’t even the harder “how long will you support this specific phone”, it’s just your schedule of releases.


    Mozilla Adding unwanted things?

    I really don’t mind Yahoo! Search (the new search widget rocks for using multiple search engines, imho), but adding Pocket just doesn’t make any sense to me.. oh well.

    Signing add-ons I actually like and fully support.  What I didn’t like in that discussion was the idea that we can wait to figure out something for the enterprises, because they will be on the ESR release.   I’d prefer we try to bring everyone to be happy on the main release instead of making enterprises feel they really need to be on the ESR.

    And Contributing!?

    I’ve actual gotten my first (very very simple) patch into Firefox since my last blog post.  I’m hoping to do a bit more specifically around gstreamer.

    Unfortunately, I’m feeling more like Chrome/Chromium provides a better and more secure out of the box experience for the average user today (Netflix, Flash updating, dropped NPAPI, much better video chat).   This is especially true on Linux.  It does help that Google has a specific platform (Chromebooks) that justifies investing heavily in it.

    There is a lot of exciting stuff in the works (GTK3, wayland, electrolysis) and I’m going to at least stay around to see how that pans out.

  • Mattia Migliorini: Yes, You Need a Website: Here’s Why

    There are very few businesses – successful ones anyway – that do not have a website. It is becoming more and more vital to have a website for your customers to visit. Fortunately, countless business owners, both large and small, are beginning to understand the importance of having a website that complements their physical business and/or provides visibility for their business.

    What a Website Will do for Your Business


    More and more potential customers use the web to research services and products they desire. If your business does not have a website, you lose credibility as a legitimate business. Not only that, you will lose business to your competitors that do have a website.

    If your business is operated from home, having a website is even more crucial because you do not have the benefits of a brick and mortar location to promote your business.

    Reach more people

    Having a website gives your customers 24/7 accessibility to your business. It gives people outside of your local area an opportunity to browse your products and services, even if your store or office is closed.

    Easier to Keep Your Customers Up-to-date

    It is exponentially easier to update your customers via your website than in print ads and flyers. Print material can quickly become outdated, whereas your website is updated with the latest news, promotions, or new services.

    Websites Save you Time and Money

    After the initial design fees, a professional looking website costs anywhere from $20 to $100 to maintain. Compare to the high cost and limited reach of a regular newspaper ad.

    Not only will you save money, having a website will save you time. Having a website allows customers to receive information on their own. This gives you time to focus on other aspects of your business, allowing you to grow your business. Growth means more money coming in.

    What You Need to get Your Website Up and Running

    Domain Name

    First, you need to purchase a domain name from a domain name registrar. The domain name is the internet address of your website. is the domain name for this particular site.

    Your domain name needs to be as simple and short as possible to make it more memorable for your current and potential customers.

    Web Hosting

    Many domain name registrars also offer web hosting. Essentially, web hosting is a service that keeps the details of your website on a server – usually a computer – and displays it to your customers when they enter your domain name into a browser. Some companies, such as HostGator web hosting, offer hosting services for as little as $3 to $4 a month for basic services.

    A Professional Design

    Chances are, you know more about your business than web design so you should leave your web design to a profession website designer. Sure, you could probably learn html (website design markup language) or use one of the many templates online but you probably do not have the time. Having your website created professionally will save you time and money. Basic – talking barebones here – can be hard for little cost but you run the risk of making your business look amateurish. For additional features – like eCommerce and social media integration – expect the cost to rise.

    Plain and simple, if you own a business, you need a website. Yes, there are costs involved, especially upfront, but the costs will far out-weighed by website’s benefits. Moreover, setting up and maintaining a website does not have to be complicated. Having a website for your business is no-brainer.

    The post Yes, You Need a Website: Here’s Why appeared first on deshack.

  • Dustin Kirkland: Packaging a Java application for Snappy Ubuntu is this easy...

  • Launchpad News: Launchpad news, July 2015

    Here’s a summary of what the Launchpad team got up to in July.


    • We fixed a regression in the wrapping layout of side-by-side diffs on (#1436483)
    • Various code pages now have meta tags to redirect “go get" to the appropriate Bazaar or Git URL, allowing the removal of special-casing from the “go" tool (#1465467)
    • Merge proposal diffs including mention of binary patches no longer crash the new-and-improved code review comment mail logic (#1471426), and we fixed some line-counting bugs in that logic as well (#1472045)
    • Links to the Git code browsing interface now use shorter URL forms

    We’ve also made a fair amount of progress on adding support for triggering webhooks from Launchpad (#342729), which will initially be hooked up for pushes to Git repositories.  The basic code model, webservice API, and job retry logic are all in place now, but we need to sort out a few more things including web UI and locking down the proxy configuration before we make it available for general use.  We’ll post a dedicated article about this once the feature becomes available.

    Mail notifications

    We posted recently about improved filtering options (#1474071).  In the process of doing so, we cleaned up several older problems with the mails we send:

    • Notifications for a bug’s initial message no longer include a References header, which confuses some versions of some mail clients (#320034)
    • Package upload notifications no longer attempt to transliterate non-ASCII characters in package maintainer names into ASCII equivalents; they now use RFC2047 encoding instead (#362957)
    • Notifications about duplicate bugs now include an X-Launchpad-Bug-Duplicate header (#363995)
    • Package build failure notifications now include a “You are receiving this email because …” rationale (#410893)

    Package build infrastructure

    • The sbuild upgrade last month introduced some regressions in our handling of package builds that need to wait for dependencies (e.g. #1468755), and it’s taken a few goes to get this right; this is somewhat improved now, and the next builder deployment will fix all the currently-known bugs in this area
    • In the same area, we’ve made some progress on adding minimal support for Debian’s new build profiles syntax, applying fixes to upload processing and dependency-wait analysis, although this should still be considered bleeding-edge and unlikely to work from end to end
    • We’ve been working on adding support for building snap packages (#1476405), but there’s still more to do here; we should be able to make this available to some alpha testers around mid-August


    • We’ve arranged to redirect translations for the overlay PPA used for current Ubuntu phone images to the ubuntu-rtm/15.04 series so that they can be translated effectively (#1463723); we’re still working on copying translations into place from before this fix
    • Projects and project groups no longer have separately-editable “display name” and “title” fields, which were very similar in purpose; they now just have display names (#1853, #4449)
    • Cancelled live file system builds are sorted to the end of the build history, rather than the start (#1424672)