Older blog entries for josef (starting at number 40)

mysql Getting paid to hack on MySQL is not the worst job. Going to lunch with management until they agree to opensource the changes is even better.
kde I had automatically been unsubscribed from KDE mailinglists (not the first one - uhm). Not noticing it first (has been a busy week), I wondered about whether all people would be busy with packaging 3.1 :)
french movies Watched 2 of them recently, both were very well done. Looking forward to see Hollywood burn down.
knoppix Due to a hard disk crash, Knoppigurator will still take a while to be usable. Yet I remain confident.

Comtec was quite nice. Among all the visitors and help-I-installed-Linux-8.0-doesn't-work-help people there were some skilled people, some from university, some from outside the country. At the KDE booth (cross-cheers to the LWCE guys ;) we demonstrated KDE 3.1pre and Opie.

Tuesday, I tried to fulfil my vcomputing duties, and got Hurd running on KBochs, and User-Mode-Linux too, both accessible with a single click on an icon. Linux on L4 didn't work though and I gave up when one of the people involved in L4 development told me that CVS is going to improve soon.

Wednesday we visited the Microsoft booth but they were not so pleased to have us standing around them with our penguin-branded geek shirts. We had an estimated 10x their guests, so this wasn't bad at all :)

Thursday, we booted Knoppix on a PC at another booth which output bb, xaos & friends onto a huge screen so nobody could miss it. I couldn't get at my PC this day because some of the business people had kids with them who discovered openracer and gltron...

I'm impressed by the number of students who show interest for Free Software. They're much more now than back when I started. I'm answering about two problems per day (or at least pretend to do so ;) and it won't stop. A rather long discussion about TCPA seems to improve the user ratio even more, and we do now have dual boot in another lab room in university.

Debian BTS/PTS
Now that the email notification system works again, one funny thing is still in there: If someone, as happened in my case, moves an unofficial package into the archives via NMU (to take it over), the old maintainer name persists, and RC bugs appear on his bill even if he doesn't have an account to fix them. Therefore, "Maintainer for x is y" should be rewritten as "Maintainer for x is or was or could probably have been y".

Finally, {x,y,z}modem seems to work. Quite a few bugs were hammered out of the code today, and the quality should suffice for presenting it to the folks in question. Never before did I work in a half-a-dozen-people-for-two-weeks project, and it's quite different from game development, or from PC development in general.

With my main interest being operating systems, it's going to be a nice time looking closer at L4 and friends. Guess I'll startup KDE on Hurd before this year will be over.

I'm thinking about server-side i18n. After looking at several methods, some problems remain. For one, there are configuration files. On the desktop side, i18n is realized for them using language tags, like description[en] = foobar, description[fr] = unmot. This is not very effective, especially for plural and other specialties. Freeciv's approach of using pseudo-gettext notation like description = _(foobar) is quite attractive here, even more so since I wrote a Freeciv configuration file parser, including support for nested structures, some months ago :)

Also, glibc 2.3 supports thread-aware locales, which is nice but we cannot depend on it yet (might even take a year before we can). This involves switching $LANG for each action, which is certainly not nice for the overall performance.

The following weekend is dedicated to Opie though, we'll see next week.

Zaurus: Started to do Zaurus hacking. Some variety in programming is always good. Of course, I already played all the games on "it", via qvfb. Need to get a real one though.

Oh, jfleck, have a look at:
This should be quite interesting.

If time is any indicator for project productivity:

July: 63 commits
August: 104 commits
September: 532 commits so far

Hm :)
Statistically, most commits happen just before a release (all the usual cleanups) and after it (importing long-awaited stuff and integrating it nicely).
Therefore, CVS commit peaks indicate releases.
Therefore, a release should be due...

When I went home today from work in the dark, someone knocked me down without reason and ran away. He didn't even try to steal anything, I don't know why he did that. My reaction was probably wrong too: Instead of following him while phoning the police, I went home. Violence is evil.

Then seeing the news, it's unbelievable that the USA, in their infinite wisdom, promote war and violence instead of peace and politics. Free speech? Tell them you don't support their crusade against the middle east countries (which ones will be affected is still not fully clear), and they're punishing your economy.

Wonderful. Thank god I know may Americans are opposed to their government. The media however never tells about that, and this is what decreases the reputation of the US worldwide. I guess the same is true for the opposite direction, although I have no insight here.

Packages are in (or in the process). I was surprised to see it but then again I cannot complain. It's like a dejà-vu when one reads "open source theory material", laughs about its simple structures, and then everything happens exactly as described there. World domination is next I guess...

So we ended up having a 2-party system here, and if the worse one of the two evils makes it, software patents will make inroads very soon.

Spent some hours trying to update our project's design document from protocol version 3 to 7, representing a two-year period. I never really worked with SGML (although docbook/xml is in use here already), therefore it won't be finished soon. It's incredible that while the protocol has changed from binary opcodes to XML messages, and quite a lot of features have been added, the basic operations are still the same. Logging in, switching rooms, chatting and playing games.

This document also achieved to put on-the-fly configuration changes at the top of the priority list for the next release. Send the server a SIGHUP and it'll reload everything. However, contrary to Apache, we have persistent connections in place and therefore would need clever update algorithms: Running games must be stopped for disabled rooms, and players should be thrown back into the Lounge.

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