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Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

Posts about ra-plugins (old posts, page 1)

ra-plugins 0.2.9 is coming closer

Ver­sion 0.2.9 of ra-­plu­g­in­s, my qmail-spp plug­in col­lec­tion is com­ing soon.

In­clud­ing lots and lots of new plu­g­in­s, a re­al build sys­tem, and even two patch­es by some­one else :-)

So, now is a good time to let me know if you are us­ing ra-­plu­g­in­s, if you have any prob­lems with it, and if you have any ideas for cool plug­ins. I can write them.

Ideas for SMTP plugins

The on­ly cur­rent soft­ware I wrote that some peo­ple ac­tu­al­ly use is called RA-­Plu­g­in­s. It's a se­ries of prog­gies you plug in your SMTP server's con­ver­sa­tion, and do di­verse things with it, like re­ject­ing mes­sages that fail cer­tain cri­te­ri­a, check­ing the sta­tus of the re­cip­i­en­t's ac­coun­t, what­ev­er.

In­ject­ing this stuff in the mid­dle of SMTP is good be­cause it means you will re­ject the mes­sages be­fore they get in­to your serv­er. But... I am run­ning out of ideas, so... have any you can spare? :-)

You can see the cur­rent plug­in list here and the on­ly ideas I have left are:

  • A plug­in that calls back to the sender's email serv­er and tries to email him, ala mil­ter-sender to catch forged sender­s.

  • A plug­in to au­­towhitelist in spa­­mas­sas­sin those ad­­dress­es to which you send mail.

  • A plug­in to keep an ac­­count of how many con­nec­­tions you hold to each IP, and lim­it them. (Not cur­ren­t­­ly pos­si­ble)

If you un­der­stand what I wrote, and have any ideas... feel free to post them as com­ments and/or email me with them!

CMake is nice. Or not?

I am play­ing with CMake. Specif­i­cal­ly, I am try­ing to re­place the sim­plis­tic hand­made ­Make­files for my RA-­Plu­g­ins projec­t.

The parts about de­tect­ing li­braries and con­di­tion­al­ly com­pil­ing plug­ins based on what you have were sur­pris­ing­ly easy!

Un­til I ran in­to ... man pages.

Here is a Make­file that would build all the man­pages for the plu­g­in­s:

MANPAGES=plugins-ra.8 authchecks.8 rcptchecks.8
man: \$(MANPAGES)
%.8: %.man.txt
      txt2man -t \${basename $< .man.txt} < $< > $@

As you can see... triv­ial. All I need to do in or­der to add a man page is add what­ev­er.8 to the list, and it will be cre­at­ed from what­ev­er.­man.tx­t.

But... how does one do that us­ing CMake?

I start­ed think­ing of us­ing a FILE (GLOB *.­man.tx­t) and then a FORE­ACH over that, and then... then what? Re­al­ly, I am stumped. I am a new­bie, though, and get­ting the big, dif­fi­cult stuff done is enough to switch. I should gen­er­ate these be­fore dis­tri­bu­tion any­way.

So, I wrote a wee Make­file.­man­pages and added this for CMAKE:

ADD_CUSTOM_TARGET ( manpages make -f Makefile.manpages )

But I am cu­ri­ous about find­ing the cmakeish way.

Why equation evolution and religion is wrong

Be it evo­lu­tion in gen­er­al, mi­cro-evo­lu­tion or macro-evo­lu­tion.

Let's start with Ger­vase's three points:

  • It's a ba­sic po­si­­tion that you hold about the na­­ture of re­al­i­­ty that's not prov­able - it's a faith po­si­­tion.

  • It's some­thing that you put your trust in, and live your life on the ba­­sis of.

  • It's some­thing you urge oth­­ers to be­lieve as the truth.

Per­haps the third ap­plies to evo­lu­tion, The oth­er two are garbage.

Let's start with the first one. There's this nifty con­cept called fal­si­fi­a­bil­i­ty (sor­ry about the spelling). Some­thing is fal­si­fi­able if it can be proven false.

Things that are un­fal­si­fi­able are not apt for ra­tio­nal dis­cus­sion, since the truth val­ue be­hind the propo­si­tion is un­know­able.

Here's an ex­am­ple of some­thing that's un­fal­si­fi­able: there is a supreme be­ing that com­mands the whole uni­verse, yet is not part of it, and can not be con­tact­ed.

Here's some­thing that's not: ran­dom mu­ta­tions get se­lect­ed by the en­vi­ron­ment to pros­per.

That is, be­cause it can be proven false. If there were no mu­ta­tion­s, it would be false. If ex­pos­ing difer­ent breeds to en­vi­ron­ments caus­es no dif­fer­en­tial in sur­vival rate, it is proven false.

Yes, this is the mi­cro-evo­lu­tion Ger­vase ac­cept­s. Macro-evo­lu­tion sim­ply ex­trap­o­lates from this gen­er­al­ly ac­cept­ed the­o­ry in­to a larg­er one. Is it the right one? Not sure.

There is no imag­in­able ex­per­i­ment that can prove the in­ex­is­tence of god. That's why god's ex­is­tence is a re­li­gious mat­ter, and not a sci­en­tif­ic one. The ex­is­tence of mi­croevo­lu­tion can be seen, and even ex­per­i­ment­ed (ask any guy that hap­pens to have a few hun­dred fruit flies in a bot­tle).

As for macroevo­lu­tion, well, as mpyne says, there is a thnk­able ex­per­i­men­t. And even if it is­n't tech­ni­cal­ly fea­si­ble, there can be a ra­tio­nal dis­cus­sion, re­gard­ing the re­com­bi­na­tion spped­s, and ra­di­a­tion lev­els pro­duc­ing mu­ta­tion­s, and vol­umes, and timescales.

So, dis­cussing it is a ra­tio­nal process.

As for the sec­ond point: I doubt any­one lives his life based on evo­lu­tion, al­though it can pro­vide some rea­son­able tips about how to ex­pect things to hap­pen, but that's most­ly rea­son­ing by anal­o­gy.

Now re­li­gion.. one of its pur­pos­es is usu­al­ly to de­scribe how you should live.

So, what Ger­vase is de­scrib­ing is re­li­gion. And by his def­i­ni­tion, evo­lu­tion ain't.

Evo­lu­tion the­o­ry may be wrong. That's ok. It hap­pens to al­most all the­o­ries in one way or an­oth­er, usu­al­ly they end re­placed by a slight­ly evolved new ver­sion.

But re­li­gion? Well, dude, that's just an­oth­er name for who the hell knows. If you ac­cept re­li­gion as a premise, you are in­to voodoo land.

Maybe the uni­verse on­ly ex­ists since 1987, and ev­ery­thing ear­li­er is a thought in god's mind. Who knows? Pre­summably on­ly him.

Maybe he's cranky and we all die and go to hell to­mor­row. He's many things but not rea­son­able, as ev­i­denced by his al­leged handy­work.

So, what's the point in ar­gu­ing a sub­ject where no ra­tio­nal dis­course is ap­propi­ate, a sub­ject which is the very ba­sis of ir­ra­tional dis­course?

I have no idea. That's why I'm an ag­nos­tic.