I liked it a lot. There are already many comments on Internet (thanks Russ for making me discover these novels), so I will not go into details. And it is hard to summarise without spoiling. In brief:
The first tome, Ancillary Justice, makes us visit various worlds and cultures, and give us an impression of what it feels to be a demigod. The main culture does not make a difference between the two sexes, and the grammar of its language does not have genders. This gives an original taste to the story, for instance when the hero speaks a foreign language, he has difficulties to correctly address people without risking to frown them. Unfortunately the English language itself does not use gender very much, so the literary effect is a bit weakened. Perhaps the French translation (which I have not read) could be more interesting in that respect?
The second tome, Ancillary Sword, shows us how one can communicate things in a surveillance society without privacy, by subtle variations on how to serve tea. Gallons of tea are drunk in this tome, of which the main interest is the relation between the characters and heir conversations.
In the third tome, Ancillary Mercy, asks the question of what makes us human. Among the most interesting characters, there is a kind of synthetic human, who acts as ambassador for an alien race. At first, he indeed behaves completely alien, but in the end, he is not very different from a newborn who would happen by miracle to know how to speak: in the beginning the World makes no sense, but step by step and by experimenting, he deduces how it works. This is how this character ends up understanding that what is called "war" is a complex phenomenon where one of the consequences is a shortage of fish sauce.
I was a bit surprised that no book lead us at the heart of the Radch empire, but I just see on Wikipedia that one more novel is in preparation... One can speculate that central Radch resembles to a future dystopian West, in which surveillance of everybody is total and constant, but where people think they are happy, and peace and well-being inside are kept possible thanks to military operations outside, mostly performed by killer robots controlled by artificial intelligences. A not so distant future ?
It is a matter of course that there does not seem to by any Free software in the Radch empire. That reminds me that I did not contribute much to Debian while I was reading...
Many people worked on finishing DEP 5. I think that the blog of Lars does not show enough how collective the effort was.
Looking in the specification's text, one finds:
The following alphabetical list is incomplete; please suggest missing people: Russ Allbery, Ben Finney, Sam Hocevar, Steve Langasek, Charles Plessy, Noah Slater, Jonas Smedegaard, Lars Wirzenius.
The Policy's changelog mentions:
* Include the new (optional) copyright format that was drafted as DEP-5. This is not yet a final version; that's expected to come in the 188.8.131.52 release. Thanks to all the DEP-5 contributors and to Lars Wirzenius and Charles Plessy for the integration into the Policy package. (Closes: #609160) -- Russ Allbery <email@example.com> Wed, 06 Apr 2011 22:48:55 -0700
debian-policy (184.108.40.206) unstable; urgency=low [ Russ Allbery ] * Update the copyright format document to the version of DEP-5 from the DEP web site and apply additional changes from subsequent discussion in debian-devel and debian-project. Revise for clarity, to add more examples, and to update the GFDL license versions. Thanks, Steve Langasek, Charles Plessy, Justin B Rye, and Jonathan Nieder. (Closes: #658209, #648387)
On my side, I am very grateful to Bill Alombert for having committed the document in the Git repository, which ended the debates.
For a few years I did not attempt any serious task on the Amazon cloud. It
took me a bit of time to get back my automatisms and adapt myself to the
changes. In particular, the cheapest instances,
t2.nano, are only
accessible via virtual private clouds (VPC), and it was a bit difficult for
me to find how to create a simple one. Perhaps this is because all AWS
accounts created after March 18, 2013, automatically have a default VPC, and
everybody else who needed their own simple VPC have created it a long time
ago already. In the end, this was not complicated at all. This is probably
why I could not find a tutorial.
In brief, one needs first to create a VPC. If it is just for spawning an
instance from time to time, the IP range does not matter much. Default VPCs
172.31.0.0/16, so let's do the same.
CIDR_BLOCK=172.31.0.0/16 aws ec2 create-vpc --cidr-block $CIDR_BLOCK
In the command's output, there is the VPC's identifier, that I paste by hand
in a variable called
VPC. The same pattern will be repeated for each
command creating something. One can also find the VPC's identifier with the
aws ec2 describe-vpcs.
Then, create a subnet. Again, no need for complications, in our simple case
one can give the full IP range. I cut and paste the returned identifier in
SUBNET. In order that the instances receive a public IP
address like in default VPCs and like in the usual behaviour of the VPC-less
Cloud, one needs to set the attribute
aws ec2 create-subnet --vpc-id $VPC --cidr-block $CIDR_BLOCK SUBNET=subnet-XXXXXXXX aws ec2 modify-subnet-attribute --subnet-id $SUBNET --map-public-ip-on-launch
Then, create a gateway (paste the identifier in
GATEWAY) and attach it to
aws ec2 create-internet-gateway GATEWAY=igw-XXXXXXXX aws ec2 attach-internet-gateway --internet-gateway-id $GATEWAY --vpc-id $VPC
A routing table was created automatically, and one can find its identifier
via the command
describe-route-tables. Then, create a default route to
aws ec2 describe-route-tables ROUTETABLE=rtb-XXXXXXXX aws ec2 create-route --route-table-id $ROUTETABLE --destination-cidr-block 0.0.0.0/0 --gateway-id $GATEWAY
Of course, if one does not open the traffic, no instance can be contacted from outside... Here I open port 22 for SSH.
aws ec2 describe-security-groups SECURITY_GROUP=sg-XXXXXXXX aws ec2 authorize-security-group-ingress --group-id $SECURITY_GROUP --protocol tcp --port 22 --cidr 0.0.0.0/0
Next, I will try again the Debian Installer in the Cloud.
After a long journey that lasted almost three years, the use of FreeDesktop entries is now documented in our Policy.
An as a bonus, this new version 3.9.8 of the Policy also reminds that new media types should be registered to the IANA.
Thanks to everybody who made this possible.
Step by step, one slips towards the bottom:
- One should be blunt with those who are wrong.
- One is blunt when one is right.
- When one thinks to be right, one is blunt.
- One is wrong and blunt.
Let's note anyway that one can slip to the bottom without being vulgar or insulting. In any large project like Debian, one can find people who know how to be very oppressive, while keeping a very “correct” communication style. Debian is a broad project, and it is easy to avoid them, unless one tries make contributions that can be related to keywords like “committee”, “code”, “policy”, “delegation”, etc. In that case, it is better to retrieve the good old thick skin from the cupboard where we stored it after our code of conduct was adopted...
Debian published Jessie last month. Big congratulations to the release team and all the contributors; quality is again at the rendez-vous!
This time, I could not contribute much, being busy with parental activities (hello my son, if you read me), apart from making sure that my packages are ready for the D Day. This work was made easy by the automated removals of buggy packages set up by the release team. Many thanks for that development.
I hope to use Jessie for a long time without the need of upgrading to Testing. At the moment, it provides everything I need, including the input of Japanese characters together with the possibility to switch between Japanese (or American) and multilingual Canadian keyboard layouts, which was not easy to do anymore in Wheezy.
Many thanks again.
mime-support is installed by default on Debian
systems. It has two roles: first to provide the file
associates media types (formerly called MIME types) to suffixes of file
names, and second to provide the
mailcap system that associates
media types with programs. I adopted this package at the
end of the development cycle of Wheezy.
Changes since Wheezy.
The version distributed in Jessie brings a few additions in
/etc/mime.types. Among them,
which as their name suggest describe two file formats designed by Debian. I
registered these types to the
which is more open to the addition of new types since the
The biggest change is the automatic extraction of the associations between
programs and media types that are declared in the menu files in FreeDesktop
Before, it was the maintainer of the Debian package who had to extract this
information and translate it in mailcap format by hand. The automation is
A big thank you to Kevin Ryde who gave me a precious help for the
developments and corrections to the
run-mailcap program, and to all the
Your help is always welcome!
In December, Debian has been contacted by Timothy D. Morgan, who found that
an attacker could get
run-mailcap to execute commands by inserting them in
This first security update for me went well, thanks to the help and
instructions of Salvatore Bonaccorso from the Security team. The problem is
solved in Wheezy, Jessie and Sid, as well as in Squeeze through its
long term support.
One of the consequences of this security update is that
systematically use the absolute path to the files to open. For harmless
files, this is a bit ugly. This will perhaps be improved after Jessie is
/etc/mime.types is kept up to date by hand; this is slow and
inefficient. The package
shared-mime-info contains similar
information, that could be used to autogenerate this file, but that would
require to parse a XML source that is quite complex. For the moment, I am
considering to import Fedora's
mailcap package, where
/etc/mime.types is very well kept up to date. I have not yet
decided how to do it, but maybe just by moving that file from one package to
the other. In that case, we would have the
mime-support package that
mailcap support, and the package whose source is Fedora's
mailcap package who would provide
/etc/mime.types. Perhaps it will be
better to use clearer names, such as
mailcap-support for the first and
media-types for the second?
Separating the two main functionalities of
mime-support would have an
interesting consequence: the possibility of not installing the support for
the mailcap system, or to make it optional, and instead to use the
FreeDesktop sytem (
xdg-open), from the package
Something to keep in mind...
apt install nodejs-legacy if you want
npm install to work.
I recently realised that one can browse the archives of debian-private via SSH. I find this a good compromise between subscription and ignorance. Here is for instance the command for November.
ssh -t master.debian.org mutt -f /home/debian/archive/debian-private/debian-private.201411