GUADEC 2017: sun, rain, Coverity, walks

GUADEC 2017 has ended in Manchester. It’s been great; thanks to the organisers and sponsors for a fun conference (this year’s highlight: a preponderance of Tiki bars).

We’ve had sun and heat, and we’ve had rain and more rain. Often within the same hour. On the final day of the conference, a group of us went out to Edale to do some walks to see the Peak District, a national park area near Manchester. This is an area I’ve visited many times before, so it was fun to be able to show it to GNOME people.

This year I gave a talk about the Coverity scans I’ve been running on various GNOME and freedesktop modules for the last year. The slides are online and the video will be up with the rest of the GUADEC videos. If you have a security-critical (or other) module which you’d like to be included in the scan set, let me know. Coverity’s good at finding bugs in complex control flows, but you do need to put some time into triaging its reports. I’m happy to provide guidance about using it.

I spent a fair amount of time during the unconference days reviewing Simon McVittie’s D-Bus work to add support for app-containers into the D-Bus specification and dbus-daemon. This is the first part of an effort to improve support for exposing unconfined D-Bus services to confined app-containers safely and efficiently. The rest of my time was spent working on exciting support for updating flatpak over the LAN for Endless OS. I’ll blog about this more in future.

Thanks to the GUADEC team for organising a great conference, the conference sponsors, and to my employer, Endless, for sponsoring me to go.

Another year, another GUADEC. Brno this year was good, and well organised. The intense heat was bearable by eating lots of ice cream (though there was no ice cream deathmatch — what happened to that?) and drinking lots of excellent Czech beer. A number of the usual faces were missing this year for various reasons, which was a great excuse to meet the new contributors and GNOME OPW/GSoC students! They were a big presence at this year’s conference, and it was interesting to see their project lightning talks. I’m looking forward to seeing all the work land in git.

For me, the best talks were Lennart’s talk on sandboxing GNOME applications, the panel discussion on Wayland, and Stef’s talk on security in GNOME (or why we should destroy all security question dialogues). My talk was a little shorter than expected, but a few people seem interested in the idea, which I’ve released as uhttpmock; my slides are available online.

Thanks to the GNOME Foundation for sponsoring my stay in the Taufer dorms. It was reasonable accommodation, and nice to have (almost) all the conferencees together in the same building and able to hack together in the lobby.

I’m now off to Honduras for over a month. See you on the other side!

Testing online services

I’m at GUADEC! The conference has been great so far: a nice location, good organisation, interesting talks, and Czech beer. Thank you to the GNOME Foundation for sponsoring me.

I’ll be giving a talk tomorrow (Saturday, 11:35, room E112) about testing online services. It’ll be a short presentation about some work I’ve started recently on mocking web services so that unit tests for client code can be run offline. This is an area with quite a lot of potential, and what I’ve done so far has only just scratched the surface, so if you’ve got ideas about this kind of thing, please come along and we can have a good discussion.

Update: Thanks to all who attended the talk and gave their input. My slides are available online (and the source files are in the same directory).

Many thanks to the local team for this year's GUADEC, which is definitely the best organised one I've been to. They were really hospitable, and had
sorted everything out, down to the last complementary apple.

I had some great evenings with friends at the Rialta and on the beach, and even got some hacking done (on automake macros, of all things). It was great
to see everyone again and, as always, meet new members of the GNOME community.

Thanks to the GNOME Foundation for sponsoring my accommodation at GUADEC. It was really nice to have so many of the conference attendees staying in
one place (with its own cheap bar), and to have the pre-registration party there.

Bendy Bus and libfolks slides

Slides for my presentations on Bendy Bus and libfolks are now available from the GUADEC website (and here). Thanks to people for coming along. If anyone wants to get involved in Bendy Bus, please take a look at its gitorious page. For libfolks, join us on #folks on irc.gnome.org!

I've arrived at GUADEC! I'll be giving two talks this time: one on Bendy Bus, at 16:15 today (Thursday) in Room 3.2; and one on libfolks at 18:15 tomorrow (Friday) in Room 3.0. Come along if you've got nothing better to do.

Hot on the heels of Daniel Siegel, I've recently submitted my bachelor's dissertation to my university about the development of Bendy Bus. It's a much less impressive piece of work (and not bound as nicely) than Daniel's, but I too will be giving a talk about my dissertation at GUADEC, titled “Bendy Bus: fuzzily impersonating D-Bus services”. Come along to it to learn how to use Bendy Bus to fuzz test D-Bus clients. I might even prepare some slides, or something.

In time for submission of my dissertation, I released version 0.1.0 (and then the inevitable 0.1.1 and 0.1.2 brown paper bag releases) of Bendy Bus. You can get the source on gitorious, and the 0.1.2 tarball on my website. The manual's also available online (as well as in the tarball). Have a play!

(I'll also be giving a talk about libfolks, “folks of the future: more contacts everwhere”; more details to follow later.)

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GUADEC's over (and has been so for a while) and was great. The talk videos are up, and still I haven't blogged about the conference. Naughty me.

The conference was great: it was good to meet up with friends (old and new) again, get a bit of hacking done and hear lots of discussion about the future of GNOME. My thanks to the GNOME Foundation and my summer employer, Collabora, for sponsoring my accommodation and travel. Thank you to the local team for organising a brilliant GUADEC in a nice city, and here's to a successful GCDS 2011 in Berlin!

In other news, I've finally got fed up with forgetting to add new files in my project to either the project-wide header file or the documentation index, so I wrote some make check rules which will check for my braindeadness:

This one goes in the Makefile.am in the directory which builds your public header (such as gtk/gtk.h), and assumes a list of all the headers you're going to install is in public_headers, and that your main header's path is in main_header.

check-local: check-headers
@any_missing=0; for header_file in $(public_headers); do \ if test "xheader_file>"$(main_header) >/dev/null; then \
echo "$(main_header) doesn't appear to include \"any_missing" This one goes in the Makefile.am in your gtk-doc directory (e.g. docs/reference), and only assumes the existence of DOC_MAIN_SGML_FILE, which needs to be defined for gtk-doc anyway. check-local: check-xml-includes check-xml-includes: @any_missing=0; find$(srcdir) -name "*.xml" | while read x; do \
xml_file="xml_file" != "x$(DOC_MAIN_SGML_FILE)"; then \ if ! grep "\"xml_file\""; \ any_missing=1; \ fi; \ fi; \ done; exit "$\$any_missing"

I've filed bgo#627920 about adding the second rule to gtk-doc itself. I'm not sure the first rule is general enough to be put anywhere common.