I’ve improved a bit the org-teaching framework in order to prepare for the next edition of the CSC4101 classes.
I’ve now added a docker container which is in charge of performing the HTML or PDF exports of the slides (using org-reveal) or handbooks (using LaTeX).
Emacs and org-mode are still advised for editing contents, but having this container in the loop ensures that colleagues are able to preview the changes to the teaching material, and I’m no longer a bottleneck for generating the handouts. This also allows to export in a reproducible way, which doesn’t depend on my Emacs config tweaks.
I’ve also added Gitlab pages to the project’s CI so that the docs are updated live at https://olberger.gitlab.io/org-teaching/.
It’s probably not yet rady for use by anyone else, but I’d be glad to get feedback 😉
I’ve installed Debian buster (testing at the time of writing) on a new Dell Latitude 5580 laptop, and one annoyance I’ve found is that the laptop would almost always resume as soon as it was suspended.
AFAIU, it seems the culprit is the network card (Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation Ethernet Connection (4) I219-LM) which would be configured with Wake-On-Lan (wol) set to the “magic packet” mode (ethtool enp0s31f6 | grep Wake-on would return ‘g’). One hint is that grep enabled /proc/acpi/wakeup returns GLAN.
There are many ways to change that for the rest of the session with a command like ethtool -s enp0s31f6 wol d.
But I had a hard time figuring out if there was a preferred way to make this persistant among the many hits in so many tutorials and forum posts.
My best hit so far is to add the a file named /etc/systemd/network/50-eth0.link containing :
The driver can be found by checking udev settings as reported by udevadm info -a /sys/class/net/enp0s31f6
There are other ways to do that with systemd, but so far it seems to be working for me. Hth,
I’ve started using borg and borgmatic for backups of my machines. I won’t be using a fully automated backup via a crontab for a start. Instead, I’ve added a recurrent reminder system that will appear on my XFCE desktop to tell me it may be time to do backups.
I’m using yad (a zenity on steroids) to add notifications in the desktop via an anacron.
The notification icon, when clicked, will start a shell script that performs the backups, starting borgmatic.
Here are some bits of my setup :
Continue reading “Adding a reminder notification in XFCE systray that I should launch a backup script”
I’ve just uploaded a new memo A review of Virtual Labs virtualization solutions for MOOCs in the form of a page on my blog, before I eventually publish something more elaborated (and valuated by peer review).
The subtitle is “From Virtual Machines running locally or on IaaS, to containers on a PaaS, up to hypothetical ports of tools to WebAssembly for serverless execution in the Web browser”
Excerpt from the intro :
In this memo, we try to draw an overview of some benefits and concerns with existing approaches at using virtualization techniques for running Virtual Labs, as distributions of tools made available for distant learners.
We describe 3 main technical architectures: (1) running Virtual Machine images locally on a virtual machine manager, or (2) displaying the remote execution of similar virtual machines on a IaaS cloud, and (3) the potential of connecting to the remote execution of minimized containers on a remote PaaS cloud.
We then elaborate on some perspectives for locally running ports of applications to the WebAssembly virtual machine of the modern Web browsers.
I hope this will be of some interest for some.
Continue reading “A review of Virtual Labs virtualization solutions for MOOCs”
During the course of Web architecture and applications, our students had to deliver a Silex / Symfony Web app project which I’m grading.
I had initially hacked a Docker container to be able to test that the course’s lab examples and code bases provided would be compatible with PHP 5 even though the nominal environment provided in the lab rooms was PHP 7. As I’m running a recent Debian distro with PHP 7 as the default PHP installation, being able to run PHP 5 in a container is quite handy for me. Yes, PHP 5 is dead, but some students might still have remaining installs of old Ubuntus where PHP5 was the norm. As the course was based on Symfony and Silex and these would run as well on PHP 5 or 7 (provided we configured the right stuff in the composer.json), this was supposed to be perfect.
I’ve used such a container a lot for preparing the labs and it served me well. Most of the time I’ve used it to start the PHP command line interpreter from the current dir to start the embedded Web server with “php -S”, which is the standard way to run programs in dev/tests environment with Silex or Symfony (yes, Symfony requires something like “php -S localthost:8000 -t web/” maybe).
I’ve later discovered an additional benefit of using such a container, when comes the time to grad the work that our students have submitted, and I need to test their code. Of course, it ensures that I may run it even if they used PHP5 and I rely on PHP 7 on my machine. But it also assures that I’m only at risk of trashing stuff in the current directory if sh*t happens. Of course, no student would dare deliver malicious PHP code trying to mess with my files… but better safe than sorry. If the contents of the container is trashed, I’m rather on the safe side.
Of course one may give a grade only by reading the students’ code and not testing, but that would be bad taste. And yes, there are probably ways to escape the container safety net in PHP… but I sould maybe not tempt the smartest students of mine in continuing on this path 😉
If you feel like testing the container, I’ve uploaded the necessary bits to a public repo : https://gitlab.com/olberger/local-php5-sqlite-debian.