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wirebird (8007)


Author of Wirebird (also known by its current version, Gamehawk), which is intended to provide separate interfaces to the same community via mailing list and webforum (among others), chiefly because culture clash is fun to watch. Someday I should submit something to CPAN.

Journal of wirebird (8007)

Friday February 20, 2009
12:02 AM

Dear stupid, stupid DNS administrators

Do not put non-FQDN entries, or entries valid only on your internal network, in your public NS records. If you can't figure out how to serve differently for internal and external requests, go get a real sysadmin.

If you insist on bogus entries, at least don't make your SOA record invalid.

If you do that, at least set your time-to-live to something absurdly short, because as long as BIND9 (at least) caches it, it's going to assume that your start-of-authority is, well, authoritative. Duh.

If you don't, then when a customer complains that your website is not reliably reachable, do not try to insist that the problem is at their end, and that you teach classes in DNS therefore you know what you're talking about. This makes you one of those "Those who can't do, teach" people.

Also, "it works fine from here" is not a valid answer when you're inside the network where the web server is.

Thursday July 03, 2008
11:02 PM

It's all's fault I'm looking for a job.

Saturday June 14, 2008
06:15 PM

Shouting the website back up

"The CEO cannot shout or fire the website back up. The CFO cannot account, control, or audit the website back up and the Chief Council cannot sue it back to life." (and so on.)

I dunno if I agree entirely with this. Back when I worked at the airline, we moved our headquarters from out by the airport to downtown - a bit of a nightmare, since airlines have some really esoteric communications setups (Telex and other oddities), which had been in place so long nobody in the airline *or* the local telco had a clue about them.

And the equipment was so old you couldn't find spares (no, I'm not at all sure what would have happened if something ever failed), so we just had to hope the new lines were connected properly, with no way to test them until the actual move.

Naturally, most weren't.

This involved a lot of calling up of the local telco and trying to get them to move in a timely fashion - we needed "repairs" in hours, not days, since we were paying another airline's dispatch department a hefty fee to cover our outage, and the FAA would get testy if it was more than a brief period. One of the most effective methods to escalate our tickets, and one we used sparingly, was to get our owner/CEO on the phone. He was really good at shouting, "We have to get these things connected! WE HAVE PLANES IN THE AIR!" (He opted not to explain the distinction between air traffic control and dispatch.)

So, y'know: There are times the CEO *can* shout your website back up. Or at least your Telex.

Thursday May 29, 2008
11:13 AM

Someday I should fix cpan

No, not CPAN, cpan... the shell. And just the installation on my server.

See, the server runs Debian, so to keep from stepping on package-managed libraries, we have /opt/perl/lib as an override.

However, for some reason, the cpan shell doesn't find /opt/perl/lib. That is, it quite cheerfully *puts* stuff there, but it won't *use* stuff from there. So when installing, just as a for-instance, Moose, it pops up and complains that I don't have Test::More. Okay, you can install it, I say, and it does.

And then it asks again. No, you can't install it, I say. And it does again anyway, probably because it finally notices that my CPAN::MyConfig says to do so without asking. That's an open bug in Module::Install, which I could live with except it proceeds to install Test::More oh, about a dozen times, sometimes asking, sometimes not.

And then I cuss, because the Moose install itself "fails" for lack of these dependencies, and now I have to do a force install, which is gonna reinstall Test::More and fail to find it ANOTHER dozen times. Yeesh, it's gonna wear a groove in the hard drive there.

Running it with 'perl -I/opt/perl/lib -MCPA..." doesn't help, which isn't too surprising since it's already in PERL5LIB and isn't picking it up from there.

I'm thinking the Perl programs probably wouldn't find Moose &c on their own either, but they all have explicit "use lib"s in there because they're run from users who may not have the appropriate environment set up. So it's probably not actually cpan-shell-specific.

But huh... explicitly editing /usr/bin/cpan to put in the same "use lib" doesn't help. What the heck is it using to (fail to) locate those prereq's? Because makepl_arg is good, and mbuildpl_arg is good.

Is making me crazy.

[Edit: The solution came up via the comments. Turns out that PERL5LIB wasn't being passed, it only looked like it was. "sudo env PERL5LIB=$PERL5LIB cpan" brings it over. Yay! There are also some good and interesting ideas on administering Perl under Debian in there.]

Monday May 12, 2008
10:04 PM

So much for YAPC.

I was waffling, what with the price of gas, and with the husband not going (especially if the husband's employer paid like last year, which makes my total expenses pretty much, um, lemme add it up: the conference registration fee)... and then the TiBook's keyboard decided numbers were unnecessary. (And actually, they almost are. But the symbols above the numbers... I can't get by without those.)

Add that to its intrasigence when it comes to connecting to networks, and... bah. That was the tipping point.

Le sigh. I kinda liked the Moose track.

Wednesday April 23, 2008
03:07 PM

Ignernt git

Finally getting the hang of this git commit thing.

I can't really be sure yet until I check something back out, though.

(Don't laugh: twenty years in the computer business and I have *never* worked with any kind of version control software. No, not even at the bank.)

Sunday February 24, 2008
01:31 PM

What's a six-letter word for "maiden name"?

Parental controls on the Wii have a secret question in case you forget the PIN. "What is your mother's maiden name?" is one of them.

Okay, that's an easy one to remember. Only... both Carl's and my mother's maiden names are five letters, and it insists on a six-letter minimum.

We could, I suppose, double an "i".

Monday February 11, 2008
11:03 PM

Comment spam... wow.

I had a couple of Wirebird posts come through from the web form for approval lacking any body text, so for debugging purposes I had it start dumping all the form variables on POSTs. Alllllll of the POSTs. Before validation (where most fail) or spamfiltering (where the rest fail) or approval (where email spam, but never comment, sometimes makes it). Now, understand that as a mailing-list admin I've seen more email spam than any human ought to, so nothing should surprise me. (Well, except for getting spam that's actually targeted at women. That's still so rare as to surprise me.)

It's only been logging for an hour or two, but... holy wow. Comment spam has a *much* different skew than email spam.

All I can say is I had *no* idea there was a market for such amazingly... *specific* types of porn.

Saturday February 09, 2008
10:25 PM

ifdown -a

I really need to get the laptop set up the rest of the way, since it doesn't have an air modem or anything, and Wichita is not well set up when it comes to wireless (at least in the places I tend to hang out lately: medical waiting rooms, mostly).

This means learning git (to the dismay of my sysadmin/husband, who prefers... um... two other packages I can't remember, though he admits git is probably better than TWiki, which I've threatened to use), filling in some of my massive blind spots in Unix (to much reduce the dismay of my sysadmin/husband, who is perpetually going "You don't know how to use FOO?" forgetting that my Unix knowledge is sometimes deep but very, very narrow), and updating Postgres, exim, Apache, and Perl and whatever else I happen to think of.

Then I just need to get a USB-enabled M-type keyboard, and I can use the laptop exclusively....

Sunday February 03, 2008
03:57 PM


So I'm greatly delaying the next release of Wirebird.Gamehawk by making it all Mooseified. It's great fun, though it seems to be impacting performance. Might just be the configuration of the test database, though, so I'm not sweating it yet.

But one thing is puzzling me.

package Wirebird::RESTful;
use Moose;
has 'response' => {is => 'rw', isa => 'HashRef'};

And then:

package Wirebird::RESTful::Forum;
extends 'Wirebird::RESTful';

So far, so good... not much different from the BankAccount balance in the Moose Cookbook, right? Wirebird::RESTful::Forum can play with $self->response all happy and fine.

Except when a sub in the base class, Wirebird::RESTful, tries to mess with $self->response, I get:

Can't locate object method "response" via package "Wirebird::RESTful::Forum".

Mysterious. And probably just another senior moment, but this time I'm not taking any decongestants, so I'll have to find another excuse: my moose is clearly Satan.