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zrusilla (7713)

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Journal of zrusilla (7713)

Friday August 08, 2008
01:13 PM

Got Smolder up and running

Smolder is a web-based app, written by Michael Peters of Plus Three, to aggregate (I keep wanting to say aggravate) smoke tests and display results and trends at a glance. Smolder takes the tedium out of reading TAP by highlighting failure in a colorful way. It also provides trend graphs, RSS feeds and emails. TAP isn't hidden from you, though; you can download it.

I am using Smolder to get the freebies--aggregation, pretty pictures, RSS and email--as part of a project to pull together a litter of tests into a coherent set of suites suitable for smoke testing. There are more sophisticated uses of Smolder than mine. Michael gave a talk on using Smolder with Buildbot at YAPC::NA 2008 to more fully automate your builds and tests. Invent your own fun integration to achieve your goals.

Installation notes

Smolder is a self-contained app, installing everything it needs, including an Apache server and CPAN dependencies, in its own directory.

I had to do a bit of fiddling to get it up and running on MacOSX and Ubuntu Hardy Heron, but the installer, based on Krang, is well-organized, easily subclassable and Perl-hacker friendly, so you can easily enshrine your fixes for your platform in code and send them back to Michael.

My major Debian-related issue was the lack of a Smolder installer complained it found no libperl and exited. You can either run
$ apt-get install libperl-dev
or just make a symlink from to by hand. Either works.

useradd also failed because on my platform -M should be -m. Must remember to submit patch.

Also be sure libgd is compiled with TrueType support or your graphing will fail.

On MacOS X, I had to submit a patch for Leopard to create user and group since as of Leopard Apple abandoned NetInfo (nicl) for Directory Services (dscl). Also on Leopard, I'm having a most curious problem with libgd. Leopard seems to HATE it. It hisses into the log:
The process has forked and you cannot use this CoreFoundation functionality safely. You MUST exec().
Anyone else seen this message before?

Where to find it

Here, on Sourceforge.

Thursday July 31, 2008
01:35 PM

Strap down those servers!

$work's sysadmins confirmed that our cage servers were strapped down shortly before the LA quake. Whew! Now if only sysadmins had the power to predict quakes..