Spring Cleaning (by alaric)
I've spent more time building infrastructure than using it, I suspect. I love building infrastructure, so I've often built it because I can; however, with everything that's happened in the past six years, I've ended up struggling to maintain the infrastructure I already had. So I've had to change tack and become much more pragmatic about my infrastructure astronautics, such as getting rid of my limited company and migrating from a tightly-bound cluster to a single box for my hosting platform.
This has given me some time to tidy up and simplify the infrastructure I want to keep.
So this weekend, I got around to rebuilding the Kitten Technologies web site. This is where I publish my open-source creations; they were all version-controlled in Subversion, and I had a PHP site with some static pages, then a dynamically generated project browser that would pull out files called
README.txt from the SVN repositories to build a description page, offered up tarballs of all released versions for downloading, and linked to an SVN web interface for browsing the repo. I wanted to get around to implementing ticket tracking at some point so folks could submit tickets.
However, for a while I've ached to migrate to Fossil for version control, mainly because it has integral ticket tracking and a wiki for each project, along with integral repository browsing; it provides a fully-featured project Web site, and it's a distributed VCS to boot, which is also useful. However, I wanted it to still all look like a nice integrated site for all my projects. So what I've done is to write a Fossil skin stylesheet that has my new look in it, then to build the wrapper site using the same CSS (eg, by using Fossil's names for div classes and overall page structure), based on Hyde; the CSS is actually generated from an scss master file that Hyde processes to generate the CSS as part of the static site, which the Fossil repos just refer to. My deployment script rolls the skin out to all of my repositories whenever it's updated, so they are all kept magically in sync. It still has a few rough edges (I want to improve the navigation with a consistent site-wide nav bar above the Fossil menu bar, that has the current project highlighted; this will be slightly more complex as I'll need to make the script modify the skin for each project to highlight the correct one) and I am still incapable of making non-ugly CSS, but it means that Kitten Technologies is now live on Fossil. I've a lot of projects still to migrate, but after I've done the "fiddly" ones that need some level of manual tweaking, I hope to produce a script to automate handling all the rest.
Secondly, I've been tidying up the home fileserver. It was down for some time for various reasons, which means that I've ended up with a new archive of photos, music, and PDFs forming on my laptop. I pulled our music collection out of the backups onto my laptop, too, which meant that I then had a diverging fork of that (as there was some new music on the file server since the last backup, which I later retrieved from the disks), so the re-unification of all those tens of gigabytes of files has been fiddly. But, it's now largely done, which is great; and there's now precisely one master copy of everything, and the home wiki is back up to date and pruned of outdated TODO items from several years ago.
However, this has increased my desire to implement Ugarit's archival mode. Rather than manually curating directory structures to organise my stuff (and the pain of merging changes to them), I'd love to just be able to pour files into a Ugarit library and tag them with metadata (maybe some time after the original import, if I'm in a hurry at the time), then create virtual filesystem views on that which reflect things like "All my music, organised by artist/album/title" or "All my photos, organised by who is in them, year, then event title". Combine that with the proposed Ugarit replication backend, and it will even manage replicas on my laptop as well as the home fileserver, all kept seamlessly in sync; having a home fileserver was easy when I worked from home on a desktop machine so I could just permanently mount the filesystem from the server, but it's a bit trickier with a modern laptop-based lifestyle.
Also, as the archive is already backed up into Ugarit, migrating it into a Ugarit "library" will be fast and efficient - Ugarit will automatically recognise that it already has the content of the files, and just need to upload the metadata!
I think with that and my workshop sorted out, I'm done with spring cleaning - my urgent tasks are now sorting out paperwork for my Cub pack, fixing an offline external disk on my fileserver, getting Ethernet to the workshop so I can do useful computer work in there (and move the home fileserver out of poking range of the baby, who loves to turn it off), resurrecting my salmonella install, hacking Ugarit, ring casting, and getting the foundry working so I can cast bronze, and wearable computer work! Not to mention endless minor DIY things in the house - we've got pictures to put up, dents in the plasterboard walls to fill, a flu to install for the fire, walls to repaint, ...
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