“DON’T THINK OF IT AS DYING, said Death. JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.”
― Terry Pratchett, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
Thank you for everything you wrote. Each and every line was a gem, with another gem hidden inside.
"As long as people still think of people like me as "a dude in a dress" there is a lot work to do to fight transphobia and gain tolerance and acceptance."
This line in Rhonda's most recent blogpost broke my heart a little, and sparked an interesting conversation with her about the (perceived?) value of clothes, respect and identity.
So, guess what? Here's a pic of a "girl in trousers". Just because.
(Sorry for the quality: couldn't find my camera and had to use a phone. Also, I don't own a binder, so I used a very light binding)
A rare shot of some members of the Trout Cabal doing their secret handshake, while wearing red noses to bring the fun back to Debian (as per their shadow DPL platform).
During the meeting, the members of the cabal were able to update their manifesto as well as devise new brilliant ways to promote Debian around the world. Many thanks to MiniDebconf UK 2014 organizers for hosting this important meeting. Also, thanks Nattie for the pic :).
It's not about how it inits, it's all about how it ends. (Going out in style, you know?)
"I have seen a picture," Havzhiva went on.
The Chosen was impassive; he might or might not know the word. "Lines and colors made with earth on earth may hold knowledge in them. All knowledge is local, all truth is partial," Havzhiva said with an easy, colloquial dignity that he knew was an imitation of his mother, the Heir of the Sun, talking to foreign merchants. "No truth can make another truth untrue. All knowledge is a part of the whole knowledge. A true line, a true color. Once you have seen the larger patttern, you cannot go back to seeing the part as the whole.
I've just finished to read "Four Ways to Forgiveness" by U.K Le Guin.
It deeply resonated within me, it's still there doing its magic in my brain, lingering in the corners of my mind, tickling my view of reality, humming with the beauty of ideas you didn't knew were inside you till you've seen them written on paper.
And then, you know they were there all along, you just didn't know how to make them into words.
Le Guin knows how to do it, wonderfully.
I loved the whole book, but the last two stories were eye-openers.
Thanks Enrico for suggesting me this one, thanks dkg for having introduced me to Le Guin's books (with another fantastic book: The Left Hand of Darkness).
Yet another update from my internship at Mozilla, as part of the OPW.
An online triage workshop
One of the most interesting thing I've done during the last weeks has been to held an online
Bug Triage Workshop on the #testday channel at irc.mozilla.org.
That was a first time for me: I had been a moderator for a series of training sessions on IRC organized by Debian Women, but never a "speaker".
The experience turned out to be a good one: creating the material for the workshop had me basically summarize (not too much, I'm way too verbose!) all what I've learned in this past months about triaging in Mozilla, and speaking of it on IRC was a sort of challenge to my usual shyness.
And I was so very lucky that a participant was able to reproduce the bug I picked as example, thus confirming it! How cool is that? ;)
The workshop was about the very basics of triaging for Firefox, and we mostly focused on a simplified lifecycle of bugs, a guided tour of bugzilla (including the quicksearch and the advanced one, the list view, the individual bug view) and an explanation of the workflow of the triager. I still have my notes, and I plan to upload them to the wiki, sooner or later.
I'm pretty satisfied of the outcome: the only regret is that the promoting wasn't enough, so we have few participants.
Will try to promote it better next time! :)
Another thing that had me quite busy in the last weeks was to learn more about crashes and stability in general.
If you are unfortunate enough to experience a crash with Firefox, you're probably familiar with the Mozilla Crash Reporter dialog box asking you to submit the crash report.
But how does it works?
From the client-side, Mozilla uses Breakpad as set of libraries for crash reporting. The Mozilla specific implementation adds to that a crash-reporting UI, a server to collect and process crash reported data (and particularly to convert raw dumps into readable stack traces) and a web interface, Socorro to view and parse crash reports.
Curious about your crashes? The about:crashes page will show you a list of the submitted and unsubmitted crash reports. (And by the way, try to type about:about in the location bar, to find all the super-secret about pages!)
For the submitted ones clicking on the CrashID will take you to the crash report on crash-stats, the website where the reports are stored and analyzed. The individual crash report page on crash-stats is awesome: it shows you the reported bug numbers if any bug summaries match the crash signature, as well as many other information. If crash-stats does not show a bug number, you really should file one!
The CrashKill team works on these reports tracking the general stability of the various channels, triaging the top crashes, ensuring that the crash bugs have enough information and are reproducible and actionable by the devs.
The crash-stats site is a mine of information: take a look at the Top Crashes for Firefox 34.0a1.
If you click on a individual crash, you will see lots of details about it: just on the first tab ("Signature Summary") you can find a breakdown of the crashes by OS, by graphic vendors or chips or even by uptime range.
A very useful one is the number of crashes per install, so that you know how widespread is the crashing for that particular signature. You can also check the comments the users have submitted with the crash report, on the "Comments" tab.
One and Done tasks review
Last week I helped the awesome group of One and Done developers, doing some reviewing of the tasks pages.
One and Done is a brilliant idea to help people contribute to the QA Mozilla teams.
It's a website proposing the user a series of tasks of different difficulty and on different topics to contribute to Mozilla. Each task is self-contained and can last few minutes or be a bit more challenging. The team has worked hard on developing it and they have definitely done an awesome job! :)
I'm not a coding person, so I just know that they're using Django for it, but if you are interested in all the dirty details take a look at the project repository. My job has been only to check all the existent tasks and verify that the description and instruction are correct, that the task is properly tagged and so on. My impression is that this an awesome tool, well written and well thought with a lot of potential for helping people in their first steps into Mozilla. Something that other projects should definitely imitate (cough Debian cough).
Next week I'll be back on working on bugs. I kind of love bugs, I have to admit it. And not squashing them: not being a coder make me less of a violent person toward digital insects. Herding them is enough for me. I'm feeling extremely non-violent toward bugs.
I'll try to help Liz with the Test Plan for Firefox 34, on the triaging/verifying bugs part.
I'll also try to triage/reproduce some accessibility bugs (thanks Mario for the suggestion!).
[Warning: quite a bit of pics in this post]
[Edit: changed the post title, while I love the music, the actual lyrics of "Shake Rattle and Roll" made me facepalm. Ronnie Dawson's song is better :)]
Last weekend I've been in Senigallia for the 15th edition of Summer Jamboree.
It was my first time there, and it was epic. Really.
If you are into roots music and early rock'n'roll and/or into vintage 40s and 50s clothes, go there.
You won't regret it!
(You have time until August 10th, hurry up!)
If you follow my identi.ca account (whooo! shameless plug!), you may know that I love music in general and Blues, Jazz and Rockabilly in particular.
If you read my blog, you may know that I make clothes - particularly reproductions of 50s and retro clothes.
So, it's not much of a surprise that going to the Summer Jamboree has been a mindblowing experience to me.
What surprised me it's that I've felt the very same wonder of my first Debconf: the amazing feeling that you are not alone, there are other people like you out there, who love the same things you love, who are silly about the same little details (yes, I equally despise historically innacurate pin up shoes and non free software), who dance - metaphorically and not - at your same beat.
Same wonder I felt when I first read some authors - Orwell and David Foster Wallace, just to mention a couple - or when I first delved in anarchist thinkers.
By nature I'm not much of a social person, and I tend to live and love alone. But that sense of being part of something, to find like-minded people always blows me away.
I'm not much of a blog writer, so I won't probably be able to give you a good impression of the awesomness of it.
But hey, watch me trying.
The Vintage Market
I spent most of the morning travelling by train to reach Senigallia (and met the most beautiful French girl ever in the process, who sketched me in her notebook because, hey!, I was already in full Rockabilly gear).
The hotel was pretty close to the station, and to the part of the city where the festival was taking place, so I spent a couple of hours sleeping, then started the adventure.
The festival takes place mostly near the Rocca Roveresca, a beautiful fifteenth century castle, and on its gardens, but the all the other venues are in walking distance.
All around the Rocca there is a market with vintage clothes, records, shoes, retro jewelry.
A special mention for two fantastic dressmakers: Laura of Bloody Edith Atelier from Rome and Debora of The Black Pinafore from Sarzana. I bought just a piece from each of them, but I was able to do that only with a huge amount of self restraint.
Yes, I may have spent a bit drooling on the Gibson Cherry Red, and I tried (without amp, though) that beautiful orange Gretsch Electromatic.
And Greg Gregory of the Travel Ink Tattoo Studio from UK was there, with his shiny Airstream.
I also spent a while among the records in the Bear Family Records booth. They are a Germany based independent record label specialised in reissues of country and 50s rock'n'roll. Couldn't resist, and I bought a beautiful Sun Records' tshirt.
Just Rockin' and Rollin'. Aka: dance time
After that, it was time to dance. I missed the dance camp of the afternoon, but the DJ sets were fantastic, all 40s and 50s stuff, and I fell in love with Lindy Hop and Boogie Woogie, and well, obviously, Jive.
I could have spent hours watching the people dancing, and clumsily trying the most basic moves myself.
And the people, did I mention the people?
They were cosplaying the 40s and 50s so wonderfully I couldn't help but take some photos (and find a new fetish of mine: men in 40s clothes. Sexy as hell).
For instance, Angelo Di Liberto, artistic director of the festival with the beautiful burlesque artist Grace Hall.
Or the amazingly dressed German couple I met in via Carducci.
And this couple too, was pretty cool.
The Prettiest Smile award goes to these lovely ladies!
Who knows me, can tell that I don't love cars.
They stink, they are noisy, they are big.
But these ones where shiny and looked beautiful.
Also, the black Cadillac had the terrible effect on me of putting "Santa Claus is Back in Town" in my head (or, more precisely, Elvis tomcatting his way through the song, singing "Got no sleigh with reindeer / No sack on my back / You're gonna see me comin' in a big black Cadillac").
Sadly, I missed Stray Cat's Slim Jim Phantom but I was just in time for Ben E. King.
It was lovely: backed by the house band (The Good Fellas), he sang a lot of old Drifters hits, from On Broadway to Save the Last Dance for Me to - obviously - the great Stand By Me.
Then a bit of hillbilly country, with Shorty Tom and the Longshots, a French combo consisting of a double bass, a rhythm guitar and a steel guitar.
And, well, more dancing: the dj sets on the three stages went on until 3 am.
The next morning I took advantage of the early opening of Rocca Roveresca to visit it. The Rocca itself is beautiful and very well maintained, and hosts various exhibitions.
"Marilyn In White" shows the incredible photos taken by George Barris on the set of "The Seven Year Itch" as well as some taken in 1962. Beautiful, really, especially the series on the beach.
But the ones moving me were the pics from "Buddy Holly, The Day The Music Dies": a collection of photos taken by Bill Francis during the (sadly brief) career of Buddy Holly from the very beginnings to his death.
After that, it was time to come back to year 2014, but really I felt like I've walked for a while in another decade and planet. And the cool thing is that I could enjoy the great 40s and 50s music and dances (and clothes!) without the horrible stereotypes and cultural norms of the time period. A total win. :)
So, ehm, that's it. I'm a bit sad to be back, and to cheer myself up I'm
already planning to attend Wanda Jackson gig in Aarburg (CH) next month.
And take Lindy Hop and Boogie lessons, obviously.