9 Apr 2001 jameson   » (Master)

Eventful 1.5 weeks lie behind us now. The most interesting part for me was the new bug tracking system- this was my first real-code encounter with Python.
One of the other interesting problems was how to deal with badly behaving single-user code. SCI games sometimes loop over the GetEvent() system call without explicitly waiting (they didn't have select() or anything like this). It's not unlike the "repeat until kepressed;" thing I used to do back in my Turbo Pascal days, and it sucks about as much. FreeSCI tries to trap it now by using the most obvious route- it keeps track of calls to functions which wait explicitly or retreive time values, and, if none of these was called after two subsequent GetEvent() calls, it executes a "penaly sleep" period. CPU usage in some sequences dropped from 1.25 to 0.22, so this appears to be a useful optimization.
Traffic in the IRC channel has increased significantly. It's fun, of course, but IRC can easily distract from doing real work (although this doesn't appear to be a problem for most developers yet).

This appears to be pretty much the most convenient language I've used so far. From what I've heard, its integration into C appears to be pretty good, too, making it a good choice for scripting languages. Of course, it still has a few things I personally consider problems:

  • Indentation rules. Changing control structures sometimes becomes a battle between me and EMACS' tabbing rules. Also, they doesn't help with automatically generated code (this may not be what Python was designed in mind with for, though).
  • list comprehensions and static lambda expression evaluation are missing. I know, they're in Python 2.1, but that doesn't help much until the licensing issues have been resolved (alternatively, those could be counted as the problem).
I still have to check out some of the other functional languages around to be able to judge it more appropriately. However, I agree with most of the other opinions regarding it that this should make an excellent teaching language, and, thanks to its extensive libraries and C integration, a good language for general purpose programming and prototyping, too.

Rumors about Samsung ditching API are about- don't know what to make of that yet... OTOH, Samsung has information about the upcoming UP1500 board on their page, whereas I can't find anything about it on API's page...
Anyway, if we disregard politics for a second and examine the specs, this looks like just the board everybody and their 400W power supply have been waiting for: Compared with the UP1000, memory bandwith was doubled everywhere (more than doubled in some places, IIRC), including AGP, and it comes with SRM rather than AlphaBIOS by default. Seems to require an EV68, though, so I'm left to drool...
But back to programming: For some reason, Compaq's ccc appears to have problems if people pass more than 6 parameters into inline assembly blocks. This breaks the current alpha blending code, of course... Any ideas?

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