jm + upstart   3

Thoughts on Granby Park, the recent pop-up park off Parnell St
We mentioned above that pop-up spaces have become popular across Europe because they allow developers and city councils to harness urban creativity in order to drive up real estate prices without ceding control of a given site. Those who produce the space through hard work, collaboration and passion move on, making way for property development and speculation. The international research in this area is very clear on this point and it has been documented in places from Lower-East Side Manhattan to Berlin’s Kreuzberg. Most perversely, increased property prices make it even more difficult for creativity to flourish in a given area and end up driving out long-term working class communities, migrants and young people.

But what can we do? If every attempt we make to make our city a better place simply ends up being captured in the calculations of real estate players, surely the situation is hopeless? Is it better, then, to do nothing? We don’t think it is better to do nothing and, like Upstart, we still believe we can find a way together through experimentation and collaboration. However, this means questioning, reflecting on and publicly discussing the relationship between our efforts to make a city more after our hearts desire and the process of gentrification. As noted above, this is especially the case with pop-up spaces given their temporary nature. It is really necessary that we think about how to make sure our activities don’t contribute to gentrification in the long term, but instead benefit the city as a whole. We certainly don’t have the solutions, but if we sweep these awkward questions under the carpet we risk contributing to the very forces we want to challenge and alienating those who will perceive us as the ‘front-line’ of gentrification.
gentrification  pop-up  parks  dublin  ireland  cities  upstart  spaces  urban-planning 
september 2013 by jm
Peek and poke in the age of Linux
Neat demo of using ptrace to inject into a running process, just like the good old days ;)
Some time ago I ran into a production issue where the init process (upstart) stopped behaving properly. Specifically, instead of spawning new processes, it deadlocked in a transitional state. [...] What’s worse, upstart doesn’t allow forcing a state transition and trying to manually create and send DBus events didn’t help either. That meant the sane options we were left with were:
restart the host (not desirable at all in that scenario);
start the process manually and hope auto-respawn will not be needed.
Of course there are also some insane options. Why not cheat like in the old times and just PEEK and POKE the process in the right places? The solution used at the time involved a very ugly script driving gdb which probably summoned satan in some edge cases. But edge cases were not hit and majority of hosts recovered without issues.
debugging  memory  linux  upstart  peek  poke  ptrace  gdb  processes  hacks 
march 2013 by jm

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