Thursday, 2 August 2012

Status update - D-I improve network config


Here's a short status update:
  • Wrote a patch for netcfg related part in #682737 [1], to make writing configs for the wireless interface in /etc/network/interfaces optional. Added a new question with a medium priority for this which defaults to "false". It's in a separate branch [2].
  • Planning to write a patch to add an option to make netcfg write configs for Network Manager and if NM is installed copy them to base system so that it manages the wireless interface and has an auto connection to the network used during installation.
  • We decided to drop the white spaces changes and only add some more small fixes for magic values, here [3].
  • Added some more logging (basically for every step) and did some more testing on the static config on  a WEP wireless network, here [4].  


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Status update, post DebConf


I've just returned from DebConf (well, about two days ago) and I'm still readjusting to being home after the great time I had in Nicaragua. Thanks a lot to all of you!

So, how things are for now (short version :D):

- everything I've done so far is now merged in the master branch, here's [0] the commit merging the show_essids branch, now #637128 [1] is closed.

- reproduced #607766 [3], as expected a the question regarding whether DHCP should be used is shown only for lower than medium debconf priority, so it wouldn't appear in a normal installation, and configuring a WEP network without DHCP fails. It does work just fine with WPA somehow.

- still not very sure what happens with #343269 [3], the bug reports are a little bit tangled and I didn't yet look very closely into it.


Thursday, 28 June 2012

Status update


First of all: I'm going to DebConf :D and I really want to say a big "Thank you!" to every one who made this possible.

So, here's what I've done recently:

I spent some time putting everything in order for the departure to Nicaragua, things like finding a plane ticket through a route that does not require a Visa, making a new Passport, now all is in order.

I've integrated the changes for listing available ESSIDs, in order to close #637128 [0] into a separate branch , which can be found here [1].

The plan is to have only one new template which lists the available networks and which has a option for entering the ESSID manualy. In order to do so, a simple scan is performed on the wireless interface, and the configuration for a particular network resulted after the scan is kept if that one is chosen. The enter manually situation is treated exactly as it was before.

Furthermore, last week (or the week before) I've done some coding style fixes again in a separate branch [2], nothing very fancy, just trimming trailing white spaces and changing some tabs to spaces, where spaces were mostly used. I've also noticed some inconsistencies, regarding white spaces between functions names and the parenthesis. However I think I'm overreacting a little, those matters are not really that relevant, but when I'll have some free time I'll get to this as well.

Next in line: Issues

Testing is still giving me some troubles, the show essids part is not yet fully tested, so I couldn't say for sure if everything works as planned.

Apart from the classical: write the image to an USB and reboot method, I'm using Virtual Box for testing. I've managed to create a passthrough for the wireless interface, but now I have troubles with some firmware. Hopefully I'll solve this as soon as possible since it would really make my life easier.

Future plans:

I've realized that I've underestimated a little what the project implies and the amount of information that is new to me. I feel that I have learned a lot and that there is still a lot to learn and I'm very happy that it is so. I've now started documenting regarding IPv6, beginning with this [3]. We haven't decided yet what the next task will be exactly.


Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Birthday present


Yesterday was my birthday, I am 21 years old now :D

Here's what my friends got me as a gift:

One alternative explanation that I have received for this, apart from working on unstable, is that... women are generally unstable :P

Wednesday, 13 June 2012



Here comes my short post on the blog for this week :D

Thinks are going better now, in the last days, I have done some testing and I do believe that now I should not have anymore problems with debconf and that I am on the right way. What I have tried was to scan the wireless interface and list all the available networks names. After that I have tried to do this while using debconf to display the messages. Everything worked just fine for this part, but it took me a while to figure out how to scan the interface. Now I think I've got it.

I have done separate tests for cdebconf and scanning and after that merged them into a third test, containing the scanning part with some basic, very simple templates just to get an idea of how it should/could look in the end. It's not in its final version yet, but I think it will work.

I have pushed all my attempts into some personal repository on github, but do not expect much, those are just some tests. You can find it here [1].


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Almost there

Exams period has almost come to an end, only one more to go, tomorrow morning. Thinks were quite busy during this period and my time was fairly limited. Multitasking did not go as well as I had expected, will consider this in the future.

I've spent the last days reading documentation, code and tutorials, which were very helpful, but I did not manage to do much. The Go Back button (#636211) is now done but there are still some fixes that need to be done on the link timeout (#610752). That one took me soooo long, and it's not like there was much to do, I don't know exactly what the problem was :).

One sad way to describe the way thinks worked during this period is by using a quote: "progress coming slowly, if it comes at all". That's from Lord of the Rings, but it's a bit modified (s/progress/change). Ok, that's overreacting. I do feel that I have made some progress, it's not necessarily visible (as in patches, features) but I feel much more confident about what I am doing.

Short post, now back to study. Programming Paradigms (last exam), here I come :))

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Initial commit


I'm Sorina and this summer I will be working on Debian Installer network setup during Google Summer of Code. I am a second year bachelor's student at Politehnica University of Bucharest, I am studying Computer Science. I very much enjoy what I am doing even if sometimes I feel that the amount of stuff I want/have to learn/do/work on is infinite and I don't really know where to start.

I am at the beginning of the project, I believe now I am accustomed to the way things work and I am waiting forward to finishing the exam period so that I could really start working.

The hardest part for me in what I've done so far is testing what I am doing. It took me a while to figure out at least a part of how the installer functions and to solve the problems that occurred while building. Luckily, there is documentation and internet and even more important, I had help and support from my mentors.

So far I have only written two patches for netcfg, for bugs #610752 and #636211. For the first one I had a version for a while now, but I was unable to test it (unfortunately, it's likely that you will hear this a lot in the future). The idea was to make the link detection timeout preseedable and for this I have added two new templates, asking the user to provide a value for that matter.

The second one involved a missing "Go Back" button. This seemed to be the result of not letting debconf know that the program is capable of handling the user pressing a back button. That could be solved using deb_capb.

As I said before, testing was my main problem. Eventually, I built the image, wrote it to an USB and rebooted my laptop. This served its purpose, since I had access to anything I needed such as the wireless interface and physical access to the network cable. Running it through a virtual machine did not help much in this case, because I was unable to provide those.

Another thing I considered to be hard was blog posting, but now that I have just finished my first post it seems that I overreacted.

That's all for now, have a nice day!