git-annex devblog (Joey devblog)
day 623 started timeouts

Working this week on a long missing capability of git-annex: The ability to time out, and perhaps retry, a transfer that has gotten stuck.

It's a lot harder than it sounds, because to get it right with no resource leaks, every process and child thread that git-annex runs has to be stopped by a timeout too, which the current code base was not designed for at all. gory details here

So far I have most processes being stopped, and that took 2 solid days. This may take a while to finish. I do think though, that once the basic operation of stopping a transfer is available, there will be other uses besides timeouts.

One I can think of already is, if a remote is being very slow, it might make sense to stop a transfer from it and switch to using a different remote. Another is that there could be a hotkey to skip the current transfer, moving on to the next file.

Anna (Anna and Mark: Waldeneffect)
Lessons learned from jumpstarting a weird spring
Sugar snap pea

Current events aside, this has been a crazy spring. It was so warm in March that I started doubting it would ever frost again. Despite that aerial warmth, the soil was colder than average (perhaps due to winter cloudiness?), with predictable impacts on available nutrients. Then, of course, we ended up having a couple of late, hard freezes.

Want to see what happened when I planted things way too early during that weird spring? Read on!

Baby carrot

The carrots loved it! They sprouted well after being planted on March 12, grew happily, and are now providing us with the first baby carrots.

Peas also did pretty well...the ones that came up. I ended up having to sprout a lot of peas inside and set them out to fill in the gaps though. I probably would have been better off waiting until mid to late April after all.

Insect protection

Broccoli was even less pleased. Cold soil meant these heavy feeders weren't getting the nutrients they craved, so leaves started turning purple. I topdressed with worm castings to solve that problem then covered them up with Mark's awesome caterpillar tunnels.

The final product is early, smallish heads on the prettiest plants I've ever grown. Since there are no cabbage worms nibbling, we'll get to keep the plants around long enough to eat lots of side shoots. Overall --- success!

Squash flower

Warm-weather crops, of course, hated my crazy early plantings. In case you're curious, baby squash plants melt into piles of goo when the lows dip to 34. The only early cucurbits that survived my early plantings were a few cucumbers set out at the end of April and covered with two layers of row-cover fabric during a late frost.

As you can see in the photo above, even the squash plants set out right after the frost-free date didn't thrive due to cold soil. Another plant of the same variety transplanted into the garden two weeks later than this one has already overcome the older squash in size (although it hasn't yet bloomed).

Moral of the story: let the poor cucurbits wait!

Blackberry flower

The one warm-weather crop that did okay with my jumping the gun was bush beans. These nitrogen-fixers don't mind low soil nutrients, and they only lost a little bit of leaf when covered with two layers of row cover during the last freeze. So if you really, really want to plant summer crops too early, start with beans!

(No, the photo above isn't a bean. But it's now Blackberry Winter --- the conclusion of this crazy spring in which it's forecast to drop to 42 on the first day of June, so the picture seemed apropos.)

git-annex devblog (Joey devblog)
day 622 behavior changes

Landed two behavior changes in the past two days, which I wanted to mention here.

First, special remotes configured with autoenable=yes will be auto-enabed by the automatic git-annex initialization that it does in a clone of a git-annex repo. Before, git annex init had to be run to "auto-enable" them. Probably few people will notice this, unless a special remote somehow takes too long to enable. May later have to add a timeout.

Second, a command like git annex get foo will complain if the specified file or directory is not known to git. Lots of users have gotten confused by why such a command would silently return without doing anything.

Commands like git annex get dir will not complain about files in the directory that are not under git's control, unless none of them are. (Same behavior as eg git commit dir.) Mostly this change affects using wildcards, or just being confused about a file not being checked into git.

Due to the potential to break some workflows, new behavior will only be enabled for now annex.skipunknown is set to false. I plan to make that the default in early 2022. (About a year delay seemed right generally but I added some time due to the pandemic.) So if you prefer the original behavior, you can just set annex.skipunknown true.

At least for now, git-annex will still skip over files that are checked into git but are not annexed files. May make sense to change that too, we'll see if users get confused by that like by the other skipping behavior.

rstidyman (Richard)
Beliefs about making beliefs

beliefs of peak
beliefsI’m fixated, which is different maybe from obsessing. The topic? Beliefs. I’m amazed that highly intelligent people, some of the best in their field, believe things that seem to me to be objectively absurd. But then my belief about reality is only a belief based on the information I choose to expose myself to.

To my ultra conservative friends with whom I have not yet alienated, When I try to bring up information that contradicts their opinion, instead of being curious, they discount it, usually calling it fake news. But when questioned about their sources, the “believe” that Fox and OAN are valid. I shake my head and wonder what it is like to be in their head, not that I want to go there for very long.

Other than current events, belief is critical to our perceptions. Where one person sees problems, barriers, and futility, others see challenge, opportunity, risk but potential reward. And then one can take it too far, of blind optimism, rose colored glasses. Who among us has bought lottery tickets. We know the likelihood of losing our hard earned cash is practically inevitable but we rationalize and hope.

Dr. Martin Seligman, the granddaddy of positive psychology says of the five elements of well-being, purpose and meaning is the most important. It worked for Viktor Frankl. Do you find that people that have some belief that they are born, live, and some say incarnated into human form, a spiritual being having a physical experience, have a greater sense of well-being? Are more prone to look for opportunities, accepting of what is and seek the silver lining? Seligman says they do. I know I do.

Remembering how I felt when I was agnostic, as a young adult. I rejected Catholicism at age 14, found religion again at 17, then rejected that in my early 20’s. (Trying to force myself to believe something that wasn’t more verifiable provided a cognitive dissonance that squelched any “peace that passes understanding.” I made a decision to do my own exploration, read, listen and learn, and ultimately found enough out there for me to believe in a higher power, that there is a reason things are the way they are, and that you life, my life, all of life has purpose. Don’t ask me to get too specific though.

As a result, you, we, become what we think about. Our beliefs are just thoughts that we keep thinking. Right or wrong, accurate or not, verifiable or not, to the point where we don’t need to be able to defend our beliefs. They suit our purpose. Joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart.

I’m running out of steam here. My question and I WOULD LOVE SOME FEEDBACK. What are your thoughts on beliefs? Or better yet, what are your beliefs about beliefs? Have you consciously cultivated your beliefs or default to what you grew up with? Do you challenge your beliefs by exploring other ideas, visiting and participating with folks with alternative ideas? If too personal, text me.

Maybe we should have a zoom meeting on the topic.

git-annex devblog (Joey devblog)
day 621 back to normal-ish

git-annex development has been more or less back to normal for the past several weeks, including getting on top of most of the recent backlog.

Today I'm finishing up a project that has taken half the week. The internal remote interface uses Bool extensively, and avoided throwing exceptions, and so it was not uncommon for access to a remote to fail and no reason be given. There have been a number of bugs about one thing or anther over the years, which have been fixed on an ad hoc basis without addressing the underlying problem. Now it's all been changed to throw exceptions, so the failure reason will always be displayed. Some tens of thousands of lines of diffs later, it's almost done.

Today's work was sponsored by Graham Spencer on Patreon.


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