domenica 9 luglio 2017

POSSE è passato anche da Bologna

POSSE ovvero Professors' Open Source Software Experience è una sorta di linea guida per aiutare i professori universitari e, di riflesso, gli studenti ad avvicinarsi al mondo dell'Open Source. L'idea è abbastanza semplice: i professori devono arrivare ad insegnare agli studenti come collaborare in un progetto HFOSS (Humanitarian Free Open Source Software - software che abbia impatto sociale) attraverso l'apprendimento loro stessi degli strumenti e delle metodologie alla base della cultura Open Source.
POSSE si fonda su tre livelli, chiamati stage:
  1. in questa fase preliminare si prende conoscenza con gli strumenti e le licenze, nonché si inizia a valutare obbiettivi semplici e raggiungibili sui quali far lavorare gli studenti;
  2. in questa fase face-to-face si lavora tutti assieme in un workshop di due giorni per mostrare i risultati della fase 1, le esperienze, nonché valutare ed inserire obbiettivi di maggior impatto pratico per la fase successiva;
  3. in questa fase l'applicazione ad un progetto Open Source dovrebbe trovare risvolto pratico e dare soddisfazione a studenti e docenti che, nel frattempo, sono diventati membri effettivi della comunità Open Source.

Pur non avendo mai partecipato ad uno schedule POSSE mi immagino che gli stage possano essere così schematizzati:
  1. apprendimento di strumenti quali canali IRC, mailing list, revisione del codice, test;
  2. condivisione di esperienze e modalità di insegnamento degli strumenti di cui alla fase precedente, nonché loro applicazione pratica nei corsi di laurea;
  3. sviluppo di una o piu' patch per un progetto prescelto.

Francamente ritengo che i tempi per gli stage siano abbastanza lunghi, si parla ad esempio di 6 mesi per il solo stage 1!
Tuttavia occorre ricordare che si parla di didattica accademica, e quindi occorre anche avere il tempo di introdurre gli strumenti nel corso di laurea, e questo potrebbe spiegare la necessità di un simile periodo temporale.

Ma perché questa digressione su POSSE?

A Luglio si è svolto lo stage 2 dell'anno 2017 presso l'Università di Bologna, ma ahimé i partecipanti erano tutti stranieri e non leggo nessun nome italiano delle università limitrofe. Questa è secondo me una pessima notizia che dimostra ancora una volta l'arretratezza culturale alla quale sono sottoposti gli studenti delle università della mia zona.

Mi auguro che molti altri docenti e ricercatori italiani possano unirsi all'idea POSSE o a simili iniziative e possano mettere a frutto una maggiore esperienza nel mondo Open Source e nelle community ad esso collegate.

sabato 8 luglio 2017

Vivere in org-mode

Un interessante articolo sull'utilizzo di org-mode per tenere organizzate le proprie attività, e seguire la filosofia GTD (Get Things Done).
Personalmente, da affezzionato utente Emacs, uso già org-mode per molte delle mie attività, ma l'approccio conciso e ben illustrato di questo articolo potrebbe aiutare altri utenti ad avvcinarsi meglio ad Org e a utilizzarne appieno le infinite possibilità.

venerdì 7 luglio 2017

pgloader e gli URL (compresi quelli di MySQL!)

Un interessante articolo sull'ultima versione disponibile di pgloader.
Noto con piacere che lo script permette di collegarsi autonomamente ad un database differente, es. MySQL, e migrarne il contenuto verso un database PostgreSQL. Ancora meglio, pgloader è in grado di riconoscere e interpretare gli URL che gli vengono forniti scaricando file tramite altri protocolli, come HTTP, per poi leggerli e dump-arli verso una istanza PostgreSQL.

Eclipse Oxygen

Dal mese scorso è disponibile Eclipse Oxygen, la nuova versione del popolare IDE tuttofare.
Questa versione ha diverse migliorie sia alla parte di sviluppo Java che alla parte di gestione git. Una cosa che noto è che sempre di piu' gli sviluppatori pongono l'attenzione verso scorciatoie da tastiera per aiutare e velocizzare l'interazione con l'ambiente, come ad esempio CTRL-e per ciclare fra i tab degli editor o ALT-c per entrare nello staging git.

mercoledì 5 luglio 2017

Do not buy via Royal Trendy

I decided to buy to my wife a couple of shoes with Foo Fighters printed on the sides, and of course this revealed to be a great mistake!
Usually I buy from good sites, and usually I check before buying, but this time I did trust who presented me the site, which is a kind of error I did not do being a very un-trusty man. And as a result, this story tells me to be even less trusty about what I don't know well.



1 tl:dr

The short story is: I did not get the shoes I purchased, neither I got back the money and I did not get any kind of decent answer about what is going on. Consider that I placed the order about one hundred days ago, which is a very decent period of time to produce any kind of good.
On my email sent on the beginning of june I clearly stated I was going to put all the whole stuff on the net if I did not get any answer. I waited for another month, which is a very decent period of time to put together a couple of sentence and reply back, but nothing hit my inbox, so here I'm writing down all the whole "conversation" I did not have with folks at Royal Trendy.


I waited for an order update (or better an order shipping) for around 100 days (yes, it is a very high number).
I wrote 14 emails in the above period of time, and got 3 replies, that is only 21% of my emails did catch the attention of the support center, and this is not what I would label a "good support".


I URGE YOU TO DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM ROYAL TRENDY SINCE CHANCES ARE YOU WILL LOOSE YOUR MONEY!
It happened to me and to a lot of other people.

2 The order and the first problem

Just after placing the order I did not get any message about order confirmation. It was quite strange, since money was already taken from my credit card. I contacted the support staff, that told me I mispelled my email address, which sounds really strange since I'm used to write it down (as it is one of my job tools), as well as my browser has it already stored, but hey, I'm just an human being and errors could happen.

2.1 8 days and no news

After 8 days since the order date I wrote the following to get some news about my order.


Luca Ferrari  Mon, Mar 20, 2017 
To: support@
Dear Royal Trendy,
I kindly ask for an update about order #4979 shipping to Modena, Italy.
According to the status page
the order has been accepted but not yet shipped. Please consider the
order has been filled on March the 12, 2017.

Regards,
Luca

and the reply was quite generic, but I accepted the estimated times and waited longer.



Royal Trendy <myroyaltrendy@> Mon, Mar 20, 2017 
To: Luca Ferrari

Hello Luca,

After an order has been placed, it is promptly sent to our factory 
where we will print and ship your item(s) within 7-10 business days. 
Below are expected delivery times based on your location.

Please note: Due to the popularity of certain items in our catalog, 
shipping times may take longer than the estimates below.

When your order ships you can request your tracking number 
via email: support@

US Shipping Time Estimates

Shoes: 2-3 Weeks
Other Products: 2-3 Weeks

International Shipping Time Estimates

Shoes: 2-4 Weeks
Other Products: 2-4 Weeks

If your items have not arrived within 60 days of the date of original purchase, contact customer service.

https://www.royaltrendy.com/pages/faqs

Best Regards,
Royal Trendy

2.2 6 weeks and no news

So, six weeks passed and I asked for any news.


Luca Ferrari  Sun, Apr 23, 2017 
To: Royal Trendy <myroyaltrendy@>
Dear Royal Trendy customer support,
I'm coming back to ask you for information about my order #4979 that
is still listed as "getting ready". Please note I've placed my order
on March 12nd, I believe I've waited enough time for it to be shipped
to the final destination.
Please provide me a feedback.

Regards,
Luca

No news at all, so I asked it again after 6 weeks and 4 days.



Luca Ferrari  Thu, Apr 27, 2017 
To: Royal Trendy <myroyaltrendy@>, support@
Dear Royal Trendy,
sorry to bother again, but I would like to have a feedback about my
order #4979 placed on March 12, and still in the phase of "getting
ready".
Could you please provide me an estimated delivery date and/or an
update about the order?

Thanks,
Luca


Hurray! I got an answer telling me the order was on the production line, so I just have to wait a little more and all will be fine!


Royal Trendy <myroyaltrendy@> Fri, Apr 28, 2017 
To: Luca Ferrari
Hello Luca,

Thank you for contacting us. We sincerely apologize 
for the late update. Our fulfillment team had some 
issues which caused the delay of shipping the items 
according to our estimated days given. However, 
they are now actively working on this so we can 
ship the order the soonest as we can. 
Upon checking your order is now in the production 
and currently being process. Once done and ready 
to shipped we will send you a tracking details.

We appreciate your patience.

Best Regards,

Royal Trendy

2.3 8 weeks and no update

Waiting a little more I found myself after almost 8 weeks, so I wrote again asking for any news.


Luca Ferrari  Wed, May 10, 2017 
To: Royal Trendy <myroyaltrendy@>, support@

Dear Royal Trendy staff,
sorry to bother you again, but another couple of weeks passed and
apparently no order update was issued: the order page still reports
"We've accepted your order, and we're getting it ready. Come back to
this page for updates on your order status. ".
we are currently 8 weeks after the initial order, could you please
provide me any useful feedback, since the timing is twice what you
declare on your scheduling policy?

Thanks,
Luca

Again no asnwer, so I have to write again after another 5 days. Please note a pattern here: Royal Trendy started to not reply on the first contac.



Luca Ferrari  Mon, May 15, 2017 
To: Royal Trendy <myroyaltrendy@>, support@

Dear Royal Trendy staff,
I'm still waiting for an answer about the great delay in this order
#4979, that according to the today status page is still in the status
"accepted" and not even delivered. Please consider I've placed the
order on March 12, 2017, so we are at 9 weeks without a delivery,
while you clearly specified 4 weeks for international shipping.

According to your reply on April 28, the items should be now ready for
be shipped.

Could you please provide any information or, in the case you believe
you are not able to product/deliver the item, the refund policy?

Regards,
Luca

2.4 Entering Susan…

So, after the second email at around 9 weeks since the order, I got the following reply that was meant to assure me that, despite a lot of troubles, there was a person named Susan taking care of my order, as well as others.



Royal Trendy <myroyaltrendy@> Mon, May 15, 2017 
To: Luca Ferrari
Hello Luca,

Thank for contacting us. I'm sorry that you have yet to receive your order.

First, I want to personally apologise to you. 
We're a bit behind schedule at the moment as 
one of the owners' brother recently passed away.

This is a family business. It hit us hard. 
So, with everything going on our production 
has went down due to the number of staff 
taking time off to grieve and deal with everything 
that has surrounded his passing.

We're still producing shoes, of course, but we've been short staffed, 
so we are a bit behind schedule. It's been a difficult time.

I'm going to ask Susan at the factory to look into this for you.

We're fully staffed. In fact, Susan just brought on 7 new people 
to help us speed up the back orders.

I've never seen socks & shoes fly at the door so fast. 
Turn around time is amazing for back orders.

Orders are usually process and shipped with 7-10 
business days of purchase.

After that you will receive a shipment notice email.

The email will include your tracking number.

There is overwhelming popularity of some of our items. 
Some shipping times may take longer than the estimates below,
 plus as I mentioned we are a bit behind schedule 
due to the death in the family.

You can also check the status of your tracking number here:
https://www.royaltrendy.com/pages/order-lookup

Your package will be delivered to you by your local postal carrier.

Once you have your tracking number you may enter it here: 
http://www.17track.net/en

This will let you check the status of your delivery.

After receiving your tracking number - 
it can take 6-8 business day before the tracking 
appears in your country about your shipment.

You can look here to see more about our 
shipping policy and delivery times:

https://www.royaltrendy.com/pages/faqs

We appreciate your patience and please do let us 
know if you have any additional questions.

Best Regards,

Royal Trendy


Unluckily Susan was not able to provide any kind of news I kindly asked more and more times…

2.5 No more news at all

Since the introduction of Susan, Royal Trendy simply did not replied to any other message.


Luca Ferrari  Tue, May 16, 2017 
To: Royal Trendy <myroyaltrendy@>, support@

On Mon, May 15, 2017 at 11:23 PM, Royal Trendy <myroyaltrendy@> wrote:
> I'm going to ask Susan at the factory to look into this for you.
>
> We're fully staffed. In fact, Susan just brought on 7 new people to help us
> speed up the back orders.


While we are waiting for Susan to provide me an answer about WHEN my
order will be shipped, and assuming that nothing could turn a 4 weeks
delivery into a 10 weeks not-ready order, could you please also
provide me information about the refund policy? Of course, as you can
imagine, I can wait for another couple of weeks to get my order
shipped, but not any longer.

Thanks,
Luca

Luca Ferrari  Fri, May 19, 2017 
To: Royal Trendy <myroyaltrendy@>, support@

Dear staff,
I'm still waiting for some good news from Susan or anyone else about
my order #4979 placed on March 12, 2017 (10+ weeks).
Please provide either some _concrete_ information or the refund policy.
In the meantime I've received your request for a feedback about the
product, which sounds a little awkward since I've not the produce yet
and I really would not like to start a bad feedback campaing.

Regards,
Luca

Luca Ferrari  Tue, May 23, 2017 
To: Royal Trendy <myroyaltrendy@>, support@

Hello,
I think I deserve some news from Susan or someone else about my
questions regarding order #4979 which is aging three months right now.

Luca

Luca Ferrari  Wed, May 24, 2017 
To: Royal Trendy <myroyaltrendy@>, support@

Dear staff,
another week passed and other three emails without a reply.
So what does Susan say about order #4979 and its delivery timetable?
In the case Susan does think the order cannot be product any more,
just advice and refund money back. I believe this could be a quite
good way to solve the problem and keep going with other orders. On the
other hand, if you believe the order is on its way, advice about the
delivery timetable and that's fine too.
But please, don't ignore your clients and reply.

Luca

Luca Ferrari  Mon, May 29, 2017 
To: Royal Trendy <myroyaltrendy@>, support@

Dear staff,
could you please advice about the status of the order #4979 placed 3+
months ago? The last piece of information you gave me, about 14 days
ago, was that Susan was personally checking the order to deliver it as
soon as possible.
Another couple of weeks gone by, I deserve the right to know the
status of my order.

Luca

Luca Ferrari  Wed, May 31, 2017 
To: Royal Trendy <myroyaltrendy@>, support@

Folks,
we are now at the end of may, and still I don't get any advice about
my order. Can you please reply me with some information about the
delivery sdtatus or, in the case you are no more able to product it,
the refund policy?
Not replying will make me think you have no interest in fixing the situation.

Luca

Luca Ferrari  Tue, Jun 6, 2017 
To: Royal Trendy <myroyaltrendy@>, support@

Dear all,
this is the fifth email I send you without any reply.
I pretend to get an advice about my order, #4979, placed on March the
12 2017. Your e-commerce still reports the order as "accepted".
As you can imagine, I've no any patience to wait for my order, so I
propose to either prove me you shipped it or refund my money.
On the other hand, I will consider taking actions including put on the
public all this email thread.
Threfore, if you really aim to solve the problem, contact me (even on
the phone, you have my number).

Regards,
Luca





Luca Ferrari  Mon, Jun 26, 2017 
To: support@
Dear Royal Trendy,
I kindly ask for an update about order #4979 shipping to Modena, Italy.
According to the status page
the order has been accepted but not yet shipped. Please consider the
order has been filled on March the 12, 2017.

Regards,
Luca

2.6 Situation as of today

Today I still got no answer, I still got no shoes, still got no update and my money is, quite frankly, lost.


Luca Ferrari  Mon, Jul 3, 2017 
To: support@

Folks,
any news? We are now at _one hundred days_ since the order has been placed.

Luca 
 



Interestingly, trying to track my order from the main site results in No order found error, which I suspect is a quite true answer according to the whole situation.
I've tried to contact the owners via Facebook and the contact module on their main site but no reply appeared.

As laready stated: let me know what happened and I will post an update.

martedì 4 luglio 2017

1000

Cara Carmensita,
sono 1000 giorni, o meglio, sono 1000 mattine che mi alzo con quel senso di vuoto, a tratti piu' forte.
In questi 1000 giorni non posso dire che mi ci sono abituato, sarebbe irrispettoso, semplicemente mi sono convinto che quella sensazione c'è e ci sarà, e così ho mio mal grado dovuto accettare la cosa.
Come fanno tutti.


Mille giorni sono tanti o sono pochi?
Onestamente non saprei, certo è curioso, quasi macchinoso, che questo numero ricorra proprio in questa data per me molto felice. Dopotutto è insito in come noi misuriamo il tempo, circolarmente, riuscire a far ricadere ogni data su  n'altra, ma se proprio lo vuoi sapere al momento non trovo altri legami così evidenti.

martedì 27 giugno 2017

PgAdmin III è ancora vivo!

PgAdmin è sempre stato il tool di riferimento per l'amministrazione di un cluster PostgreSQL mediante interfaccia grafica.
Onestamente non ho mai usato molto tale applicativo, se non quando ero alle prime armi e faticavo a districarmi sulla linea comando di psql,
ma questo non significa che il tool non sia valido, anzi è uno dei piu' completi che abbia mai visto.


La versione forse piu' nota di PgAdmin è la 3, e infatti spesso si trova il nome PgAdminIII. L'interfaccia grafica era spartana ma funzionale, le wxWidgets facevano il loro scopo e rendevano l'applicazione portabile, ma l'eleganza ne soffriva abbastanza.
L'anno scorso è stata rilasciata la versione stabile di PgAdmin 4, completamente riscritto in Python e basato su interfaccia web.
Ciò ha rappresentato una discontinuità nel mantenimento della versione 3, basata su altra tecnologia.


Mi ha fatto piacere scoprire che esiste un fork di PgAdminIII mirato a mantenere il codice attivo e funzionante per ancora qualche versione di PostgreSQL. In effetti, mea culpa, ammetto che l'installazione di PgAdmin 4 non mi risulta mai molto semplice, sicuramente per la mia mancanza di conoscenza Python (nemmeno la wheel sembra funzionare sul mio povero computer!).


Lunga vita a PgAdmin (III o IV)!