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Linda - A Debian package checker written in Python

Proposal details:


(I am the author of Linda, and therefore, the best person to speak about her.)

Linda is, simply put a Debian package checker written in Python. It has a modular architecture, fully supports localisation using gettext, and is (in my eyes) fairly easy to extend.

* The humble beginnings

The reason I started writing Linda was the culimination of several events:
1) At the time, Lintian was unmaintained and, I felt, unmaintainable.
2) I wanted to learn Python.
3) I have an utterly unhealthy interest in Debian Policy

* Development history of Linda.

* In-depth features of Linda 0.3:

Firstly, I'll start with the features that were introduced with Linda 0.3.

- A test suite

I *know* a test suite is a good idea, and I have lost count of the number of stupid bugs this has stopped me putting into a released version of Linda.
The other side of the coin is that if I can't think of a situation, I can't test for it, which has happened a few times.

- Actual localisation of the error messages.

Tried running LANG=de_DE linda <pkg> ? German is the most complete translation of warning and error messages that Linda has. Admitedly, there are a few issues with getting translators to work their magic on just over 500 strings.

* What can you do to help?

In order of how much I will praise you and your skills in the changelog:

Translations! Nothing makes my day like recieving an e-mail that teaches Linda a new language, or corrects her language skills.

Write patches! I have *never* recieved a patch for Linda that changes something non-trivial, and I would *love* to recieve such a patch via a bug report.

Test, and test and test some more. Another thing that makes my day is getting a well thought out bug report that points out where in the code a bug is hiding, and what I can do to reproduce said bug, and most importantly, *what package you pointed her at*, and which version.

Compliment me or thank me on IRC. You have no idea how much of an ego boost it is to hear about how people use Linda, a tool that I wasn't even sure that I was going to upload or tell people about gives me.


- How to write a test for Linda, in real-time.

- Mention the lack of documentation, and how people can help.

* What is up and coming?

At the moment, I have no hard and fast ideas for Linda 0.4.0.

About the only idea I am mulling over at the moment is using a lexer for parsing RFC822-style files, but that remains a pipe dream.

The other idea is profiling the hell out of Linda, and rewriting parts in C, since I would like to learn how to write Python modules in C.

[ This abstract is nowhere near complete. I will attempt to expand this out to a 45 minute talk, but this will have to do for the moment.]


Presentation type:

Talk (45 min)









  • Steve Kowalik


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