Weboob, the Asshole Detector

We often get complaints around Weboob‘s name, and the various application names.

There’s no denying they’re childish. What they are not, however, is sexist.

There is “boob” in the main name, and “boob” is a friendly name referring to (mostly female) breasts. We would, for example, avoid using “tits” or “cunt”, because they are often demeaning1. Though it is a happy accident (our earlier ideas like “woob” and “webob” were taken), we certainly like playing with that.

The idea is the same with application names; it’s all about friendly jokes (like wetboobs the weather tool, which manages to be related to weather and boobs).

If you’re offended, just ask yourself “how is it sexist?”.

As it appears, Weboob is a formidable tool to detect people that are part of the “be offended first, think later” crowd. Interestingly, the crusaders2 are to date all male, and often assert that women can’t like jokes about breasts or sex in general3. How fucked up is that?

They will always make a scene4 on how they’re never going to use Weboob because of names. Guys, here’s the thing: we don’t need you and we certainly don’t want you. I for one am glad we created an Asshole Detector, albeit by accident.

  1. We however are mostly not native English speakers. Mistakes can happen. []
  2. This is not an euphemism. They act like they are fighting for a good cause, but it’s only pretend. []
  3. And who the hell are they to talk in place of others? That is actual sexism. []
  4. So that it is abundantly clear, this is purely about making a scene; I do not care about their opinions or how many penises they may have. All our contributors do not and do not have to like the branding. []
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Introducing xunitparser

I tend to think good software does not need much publicity; if it’s indexed people will find it, test it and adopt it. I am more than often proved wrong — however it seems like the less time people spend on quality, the more time they spend on publicity (or more exactly, building hype). At least I don’t think I should publicize software that I don’t consider ready for general use.

Anyway, I released xunitparser quietly a few months ago, and what happened was exactly what I usually dream of: many people started using it, sending me requests or bug reports. The weird thing is that it’s not a project I care about yet; actually I haven’t started using it myself! My goal is to analyze Weboob’s buildbot reports, and the first step was parsing the xUnit files. Since Python already has a test framework, I just use the same classes and seed them with the results.

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Security of remote servers

Here is another example of bad randomness practices that lead to pretty serious issues (something like $15000 stolen).

The interesting part, besides the bad programming practice of writing your own random function, is that the vulnerability is outside of the server. In a way, it’s similar to the “physical access” vulnerability. And even if your hoster does not have a “rescue boot” system, datacenters are not invulnerable to theft (it actually happened more than once). This is why you should use encrypted partitions for your important data, even on remote servers.

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