Older blog entries for Zaitcev (starting at number 164)

7 Mar 2003 (updated 7 Mar 2003 at 23:32 UTC) »
Welcome, Riel

Rik van Riel posted his first message to internal lists today, and is getting settled at his new place, which is to say, in the same team with me (centered around Boston). I am pretty sure he'll like it here. This is very cool. We attract all the very best people, and I hope that some of their smarts rubs off on me.


I got my target kernel compiled, but it is unable to deactivate the comparator timer, and loops, doing about 660,000 timer interrupts per second. Mystery.

[Update: No sooner I post the entry, Martin S. (the arch maintainer) posts a fix]

Yesteday, I stepped off the terminal for an evening stroll, and was greeted by the following message upon return:

RPIMGR046T User ID ETPRPTN access has been revoked.

Since my patches and trees were on destroyed minidisks, two days of work were wasted. Oh well. Examination of mail archives revealed that I was warned with a single word: "TSSIA" (actually, the angel of death misspelled it as "TSISA"). OK, YA TLA.

Today, I exercised taking a certain point actoss, in particular to mharris, with very little success. The nature of the point is not important, but for the record it dealt with a balance between source compability, binary compatibility, and pace of development for a project. Apparently, my wording made Mike to latch on the essay framing instead of the point iself, repeatedly. I need to take a writing class. Or start drinking beer and discuss development in bars.

I just realized that I spent a whole week (with weekend) trying to get IBM BladeCenter to work with obsolete kernels. Feeling a little numb now.


For 2.5, you must send patches to a designated subsistem leutenant instead of Linus. In your case that would be Perex@suse.cz (Jaroslav Kyzela), unless you want to support the OSS part. That one is tougher, because nobody cares about it. Since it's a god forsaken subsystem, I do not remember who takes care of that. You might want to try a generic patch aggregator, such as DJ or Trivial (if the patch is trivial).

I still remember good old times when you could send a patch to Linus and expect it to get in, but it is a matter of folk legend now.

== From the desk of a fellow ymfpci maintainer.

One point about the Sun Java memo which I do not see discussed is how a project never generates fixed releases, but incorporates fixes into new releases instead, together with scores of new bugs. Apparently, certain dynamics made this effect devastating for JRE on Solaris/sparc. This does not mean other projects in general and free software in particular are immune to it. My personal expirience suggests that GNOME suffers from this a great deal. Getting bugs wontfixed is the norm, probably because the monkey people have no resources to triage bugs, fix, QA and ship them (my last bug treated this way was 57453, though I recall it happening before).

For the Linux kernel, the whole problem is addressed with the dual-track odd/even releases, and with an economic model which allows vendors to support old kernels. The mechanism is imperfect still. For instance, Red Hat had to switch ancient 2.4.7 and old 2.4.9 based distros to 2.4.18 stream with an update, because it was not possible to retrofit fixes into those codebases, given the resources. I think what former Javasoft does may be likened to Red Hat shipping kernel 2.5.34, because it was "current" at the moment of the release. The scary part is that it's not impossible. My memory is getting fuzzy, but I think Red Hat shipped something like 2.1.59 once upon a time. I guess we improved a bit since then... I am sure Sun can improve, too, if only they wanted.

Indeed, Advogato looks like crap on Mozilla with Xft, which comes with Red Hat beta Phoebe. I borrowed advice from jooon with great many thanks. Only I did not want to bother with any Java fonts with dubious licenses, so I added the following to my ~/.font.conf:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
    <!-- From http://www.advogato.org/person/jooon/diary.html?start=18 -->
        <match target="pattern">
                <test qual="any" name="family">
                <edit name="family" mode="assign" binding="strong">
                        <string>Luxi Sans</string>

Good news: s390

My s390 runs 2.4.21-pre3 with RH patches, which is nice. I'll get s390x going and send rmap updates to Riel.

Bad news: USB

IBM report that my fix for the initial USB caps lock does not work for them. This is entirely unexpected. The bug was obvious, and the fix was obvious, I tested the result, and Vojtech approved it. Userland is not involved. Something is very fishy here...

What a day. Some time ago, I had to port tg3 to an upcoming product, and since the locking was different, management decided that it would be more reliable to ship it as alternative driver, rather than the primary. Just to be safe, you know. So, guess what, nobody ever tested the alternative, until yesterday, when it turned out that it did not work at all. By a succession of miracles, I made it working in a day, but it was disappointing, because it was completely preventable. Every time such an alert happens, I lose momentum. Hmm... What was I doing on Wednesday? Was it s390? Can't remember now. :0

My diary rating continues to climb for no reason, and it's about time to do somehting about it. To that end, here's my views on the war with Islamists.

The war is a perfect example of denial of reality when it is too hurting. Leftists simply deny that they all will die prematurely if Islamists are not stopped, because most of leftists are good people. They cannot comprehend the scale of murderous villany which engulfed the Middle East. It is unreal to them, they do not believe that no matter how much we appease, help the poor, donate hospitals and schools, etc., it is all in vain. I think Raph is one of those good natured and tragically misguided souls, and it's sad.

In other news, I am confronted with a port of rmap to s390. It may not be a big deal, but only if PMD entries form full pages on the platform (crossing fingers).

Val's re-emergence to linux-kernel is off to a bad start, pushing agenda with which we are all too familiar. Honestly, I expected better.

Sparc saw a thremendous progress over the weekend. I did not do much, only changed 3 or 4 lines in sunzilog.c, but this removed old the chokes from my wheels. It was a little tough to debug kernels without a console output. I used JavaStation (PCI based) to keep with Linus' pace, but recent (~ 2.5.49) breakage in NFS client made it problematic. And all SMP boxes are SBus based, anyhow.

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