Upstream/Generic Info Gatering Tool [Was: Pastebin command line util]

Mahangu Weerasinghe mahangu at
Fri Nov 3 03:34:28 GMT 2006

Hi Martin,
I'm one of the developers, and thought I'd try and answer a few of
your questions. :-)

> There are some issues with using a pastebin script, espescially if it
> would be a "default" script to be used by helpers, mainly being the fact
> that because ubuntu is supported for up to 10 years, the server-side
> pastebin scripts would need to stay constant during that time, or the
> client-side scripts would need to go through an SRU each time that the
> script was updated in one way or another.

This is a very valid concern for any distro. Since the maintenance of
a server side pastebin is tricky, and URLs, servers, protocols
(perhaps XMLRPC over HTTP POST someday) might change someday, the best
way for any distro to keep its users updated would be to change the
client side pastebin code. Of course, writing/updating these modules
is easy peasy thanks to our modular framework. Have a look at -

> However, looking at the Upstream wiki page, it provides in my humble
> opinion, an excellent concept.

Thank you, it's great to hear things like this. :-) If there is any
way you'd like to help out, we're always idling in #upstream, so let
us know. ;-)

> Lets give an example use case.
> In IRC...
> >> user has joined #ubuntu
> <user> Hi there! I seem to be having problems with my Video card, my
> monitor is stuck at a very low resolution
> <helper> Hi there user, welcome to #ubuntu, this is a common problem,
> and we need a little more information to help you out
> <helper> There's a nice application in ubuntu that will give us all the
> information about your system that we need, all you have to do is run
> gigt --vid from a console, and paste the URL you recieve back here
> <user> thankyou, the URL is
> <helper> thankyou, give me a moment while I go and have a look at your
> system info

An excellent example, very similar to our Usage cases.

> However, here we again have the issue of stability. However, if we were
> to custom code the server (or the scripts on the server hosted by
> apache) then we would have complete control over "backwards
> compatibilty" meaning that we'd be able to allow it to work concurrently
> with all versions of ubuntu.

I think I've addressed this issue above. New updates to Upstream can
just pull in the new server details.

> I'd like comments etc on this, and whether you think it is viable and
> useful to be something we can have in ubuntu.

Indeed guys, that would be lovely at this point. We just rolled our
first Alpha, 0.1.0, out the door, and are looking for comments. Our
kind packager, Fujtisu, has made Edgy .debs, so feel free to install,
break and report.

As stated in the release notes, this is an Alpha version, and was put
out to show the _basic functionality_ of Upstream. There are still
quite a few bugs, but (we hope) no show stoppers. Anyway, feel free to
prove us wrong. :-)

IRC - #upstream on Freenode
Mailing List - upstream-devel at
Web -

We're just starting the 0.2 line, so if anyone is interested in
helping out, you're more than welcome. Thanks again for your interest
in Upstream, it's a real encouragement.

Best Regards,

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