I failed

February 6, 2008

After getting feedback from osso-gpsd maintainer and some more testing, I think that I was probably seeing a placebo effect with the gpsd leap-year fix — the patch does fix the leap-year bug but I  believe the fix time improvements were statistical anomalies and placebo. Bruises the ego to admit I was fooled, but that does fit the evidence best.

Not only that but in my attempt to be a responsible (non-maintainer) packager I’ve also done a mistake: I made my testing package version 1.0-25-jku0 to show that it’s not the original 1.0-25 version. This installs just fine, but later on upgrading will fail because osso-software-version depends on the exact version 1.0-25 :(

I strongly suggest everyone who installed my testing package to install version 1.0-25 from the same place (I don’t think it’s actually available from anywhere official). Like the version number implies, this is the non-patched version so your GPS time will be a day off until March. Really sorry for the trouble folks and thanks to Owen Williams for notifying me about the problem.


11 Responses to “I failed”

  1. symbianguru Says:

    Petteri Alinikula, VP, Nokia Research Center, said in a podcast, “failure is vital to innovation and the discovery and growth of new technology.” Surely you learned something from the experience that you would not have known if you hadn’t failed. Congrats for failing, and keep up the great work.

  2. Walther Says:

    Haha, I was wondering why my fix time didn’t improve after installing your gpsd. But no worries, I will install the previous version when Februari is over :)

  3. Derek W Says:

    It works better for me than the previously installed version, so I am keeping it. I also use gps-clock, so I will wait until March to try the old version again.

  4. jku Says:

    Derek W, Walther,

    That’s fine. Just remember that this is the reason if you can’t update something.

  5. Michael Wiktowy Says:

    I let apt-get -f install remove osso-software-version to solve its troubles. Not entirely sure what the consequences of that are but so far things are working fine. Worst comes to worst, I just reflash.

  6. H-Kachal Says:

    I did suspect that you were looking at hot vs. cold gps start up when you said on first attempt after modification it still took 15 minutes. So thanks for letting everyone know that this does not work. Lesson learnt; next time more thorough testing before posting! I think these tablets just have an old, slow gps chip in them and that is the root cause of this problem. Well done for having the guts to tell us the fix doesn’t work.

  7. yabbas Says:

    “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

    Your heart was in the right place, and the leap year bug needed fixing anyway despite it not affecting lock-on times! :)

  8. jku Says:

    H-Kachal said:
    > I did suspect that you were looking at hot vs. cold gps
    > start up when you said on first attempt after
    > modification it still took 15 minutes.

    I think you’re mistaken, I have not said that.

    Actually, I still think that in my testing the difference was very noticeable, but one person just cannot test enough to get a statistically significant result (Not this time of year in Finland).

    Also, I object to your requirement for “more testing before posting”. I posted my impressions in my blog and asked other people to try so we could verify them — that was the testing! In fact, in my original post I specifically said “The evidence is just anecdotal, and this could be just a fluke”.

    I would do this exact same thing again if I was in that situation, except I’d tell people beforehand that the package prevents upgrades and should be removed after testing.

  9. Tom Says:

    You did a great job, don’t worry :-)
    -You searched and analyzed
    -You produced and documented a solution
    -You retracted the solution once it became clear that it wouldn’t help that much
    -The fact remains that there is a bug in the Nokia code and that osso-software-version doesn’t behave as it should.

    Results: Lots of things learned for everybody.

    Thanks again!
    -Tom, mClock

  10. Zuber Says:

    I still think it was running faster for me. Perhaps I imagined it, but I don’t think so.

    I’ve reverted to standard now for updates, so it will be interesting to see if I think it is slower now…

    Many thanks for your efforts by the way.


  11. H-Kachal Says:

    OK JKU, all your comments above, sound good to me.

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