Timings of the various backends for onak

Doing a very quick test of the speed, purely on the addition of keys in onak, we get the following results:

with keyd and fs backend on 100 keys:

$ time onak -b add < ~brettp/gpg-keys/splitfile-0.pgp

real    0m0.351s
user    0m0.004s
sys     0m0.007s

same data with the db4 backend

$ time onak -b add < ~brettp/gpg-keys/splitfile-0.pgp

real    0m0.106s
user    0m0.008s
sys     0m0.008s

and finally with the file backend

$ time onak -b add < ~brettp/gpg-keys/splitfile-0.pgp

real    0m0.031s
user    0m0.004s
sys     0m0.003s

Posted: 2005-04-12 21:54 in Tech | permalink


interestingly, the simpler fs backend for onak appears to take a significantly longer amount of time to process a large import of keys that the db4 backend, tommorow I'll throw them each a slightly smaller set of keys (like 100, instead of 100,000), and get timings out of each of the backends for adding keys.

Still, I'm quite happy with the backends just working, and it being incredibly easy to change the backend I'm using (OK, so I don't do any data migration between the backends, but that would be reasonably difficult to do anyways, some of the backends don't implement iterate_keys, which is a shame).

I'm thinking about adding a mysql backend to complement the pg backend, patching up the fs backend to support iterate keys, and possibly implementing a caching backend that in turn loads one of the other backends as a keystore. I'm really quite enjoying working on this piece of software, it's certainly a lot less mundane than the day job :)

Posted: 2005-04-11 23:14 in Tech | permalink

onak dynamic backends...

After talking to Kinnison this morning, and finding out about typedef and using it for function pointers, I cleaned up the code that I'd been working on to do with dynamic backends in onak, it's certainly much cleaner to read now.

I finished tidying the code this afternoon to fit more with Noodles' coding style, and am quite happy with the code now.

Details on how to grab my version are available from along with links to the project.

Posted: 2005-04-11 18:26 in Tech | permalink

Ubuntu Hoary XMMS-Scrobbler Packages

At a request from quinophex I have build some ubuntu hoary packages for xmms-scrobbler. If you're a hoary user, and you would like to use these packages, they are available from my archive at:

deb hoary scrobbler

Sources available at:

deb-src hoary scrobbler

I'll try to keep these in line with the debian packages as much as possible, but as I don't personally run hoary, there might be some delay between the two.

Hope that people find this handy.

Posted: 2005-04-11 11:25 in Tech | permalink

onak hacking

For the last godknowshowlong I've been looking at adding 'dynamic backend' support to the onak keyserver, I've just finished cleaning it up and it seems to be working nicely. There's probably some more work to do on it yet, as I think that it fails in naughty ways when it can't load the backend, which is a pain, but should be fixable.

Details on how to get my changes are available from my onak development page.

Posted: 2005-04-10 14:15 in Tech | permalink


In other, better news, I got a patch accepted in to the bazaar project, fair enough, it was only cosmetics, changing the output of the various help commands to fit with what actually works in baz instead of tla, and fixing the bits that said tla that should say baz, but hey, it worked, and it got accepted. Go me!

Posted: 2005-03-07 14:38 in Tech | permalink

Well, ALUG has been slated *again*, and still by the same ignorant person

Tarquin, in his infinite wisdom, has once again published things about ALUG that are completely biased, and only related on his findings in the group, for the full blog entry see his blog, it's about 2 thirds of the way down that page.

ALUG, as many of it's members will tell you, is not an unfriendly group, except to those that repeatedly act in a nasty and malicious manner to the group. Tarquin is well known to many people, including several that I know outside of ALUG, and they all basically have the same view of him, he's an arrogant muppet who deliberately sets out to alienate people. Before he left ALUG the first time, he actually told two guys that they were homophobic, never mind the fact that the guys in question where (and still are) going out. He has an abbrasive attitude and often posts things under pseudonyms to try to fool the general reader. I have found him to often upset entire groups of people that he is involved with, and I know some of the RUNG members have left because of him.

Many of the ALUG regulars have met many times, and we get on very well, we had a fantastic christmas meal organised by Kirsten Naylor and Adam Bower, and I'm sure none of the people that did attend felt threatened by any of us by the end of the night.

We hold monthly social meetings in the City Gate in Norwich, where we have actually gained another 2 members recently (waves at Peter and Luke).

We are not unfriendly to new people. We like new people! We like to spread our knowledge with our peers. We do not like people spreading FUD like Tarquin does.

This post is my view only, of course, and should not be associated with the entire group, but I am very upset by the continues abuse that Tarquin gives to the group. The first time he left us he posted inflammatory material about the group to the GGLUG list.

So, in short, don't let Tarquin's jaded view of ALUG influence you, he has just repeatedly upset most of the core of the ALUG membership repeatedly, and scared off some new members in the past.

If you've got down to here, you must be utterly bored. Go find a sysadmin and give them a hug ;)

Posted: 2005-03-06 22:36 in Tech | permalink


Right, there's a new package for xmms-scrobbler, I've thrown the URL at Steve McIntyre, so when he gets a chance to review it and upload it, we'll just be waiting for it to get throught NEW again (still from the move between contrib and main). If you're impatient, or the previous version is not working for you, then you can add the following to the end of your /etc/apt/sources.list file and get the new version from there.

deb unstable scrobbler

Hopefully this fixes lots of the bugs from the last version :)

Posted: 2005-02-09 21:14 in Tech | permalink

New XMMS-Scrobbler upstream

Well, there's a shiny new version of the xmms-scrobbler as source from upstream, I should have the package for it built and ready for upload in the next couple of days (hopefully tonight). There's lots of bugs filed against the current version, I think that the new version fixes several of these, including the ID3v2 bug that I fixed but hasn't made it in to unstable yet.

Keep your eyes open, we should get there RSN.

Posted: 2005-02-09 15:41 in Tech | permalink


Or, how to break a Netgear router in one easy step... this evening I 'accidently' installed a broken firmware image on to my poor little Netgear DG834G... it killed it, in a previously (to me) unseen state. Panicing slightly, I booted in to XP, threw a network lead between me and the router, and fired the recovery tool at it. No joy... pondered for a bit, tried again... still nothing... pondered some more, held reset button, took out power, put power back in, yay! flashy lights! that looks pretty... fire up tool again, nothing. Keep wondering what it's got against my network interface... try the tool on the wireless interface, I get a stage closer, it doesn't whinge about the network card, weird. I then realise that I'd removed the wireless interface from the bridge a few days ago in XP... hrm... removed the bridge entirely, fired up the recovery tool, pointed it at the correct interface, prayed, and was amazed as it found the device. Watched it upload the firmware, and then verify it. Watched it reboot itself and waited for the lights to come on. YAY! It all came back nicely (except that I still haven't fixed the minor bug in my firmware that doesn't seem to get dnsmasq up correctly).

Anyways - all back up and running now, I'll break it again in the not too distant, to fix the dnsmasq foo :)

Posted: 2004-11-29 21:51 in Tech | permalink

xmms-scrobbler and the joy it brings :)

I've started using Audio Scrobbler to keep track of what I listen to when I'm playing music, it appears to be a reasonably good system, if slow at times. The extra features, like listening to streams of other peoples personal tastes is proving quite good, meaning that I can listen to stuff that I might like before I buy it, and widening my experience of music.

Also, I've packaged the xmms-scrobbler plugin and have that in contrib in debian unstable, which is quite nice. It's the first package that I've got sponsored, many thanks go out to Steve McIntyre for sponsoring me.

It's been an interesting day, all in all, debugging various things, not least someone using the package and it not submitting (turned out they were using, in effect, an internet radio station, which audio scrobbler plugins do not submit data about, it's part of the protocol specification).

Posted: 2004-11-18 19:11 in Tech | permalink

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