Older blog entries for josef (starting at number 50)

Counting down the hours till it starts, while the latest KDE is still compiling on my iBook. Since we plan to build a compilation cluster so we can be more productive during the weekend, some sort of cross-compiler setup is needed, which isn't even prepared because I had no time at all. Counting down the minutes...

I will use the time to fixup some bugs in own applications, mostly because a month after that I'll give a presentation at LinuxTag Chemnitz. Scary I'm the only one who speaks about games. I should start a 2nd open source identity in areas like security or MS Windows compatibility, that would raise the chance for speeches :)

United Soap opera of America
What will the next term be US war minister Rumsbums uses to describe us? Did anyone tell him already that in Europe we still eat each other and haven't invented the wheel yet? Someone send him a letter so he knows for sure, together with a map so he can find that strange Yurop thing.

I hate being political but all the nasty war planning that is going on disturbs the feeling of hacking.

Another soap opera
Starring a little programmer who still has a cold...

Hammered web servers
While there are lots of load-balancing tools around, most of them concentrate on clustering at the TCP level. This distributes the load between machines, but leaves one unsolved problem: The network throughput bottleneck.
During the weekend, my DSL line got hammered to death, so it's certainly not suitable anymore to host free projects on the web server at home once they become popular. Load balancing on the application protocol level can help here though: Every page or file to be downloaded can be replaced by a script (say, PHP) which sends back HTTP redirection headers containing distributed locations of the resource. One could then be placed on the SF download servers, another one on some download mirror site.
Apache's mod_backhand would fit (it understands HTTP pipelines) but the authors claim it cannot solve the bottleneck problem. My idea is however that it could work nevertheless if external resources (extra-cluster, not intra-cluster) are used.
On a side note, I have now a self-written Debian package autobuilder in place for i386, hurd-i386, arm and ppc. Except for the hurd they even run in parallel, but in the far future hurd will run on L4 and thus can be fired up in user-space. Now, all I need is these pills which awake sleeping package sponsors.
Got external VGA to work (yeah!). Now the only minor annoyance left is that there's no 3D acceleration yet, I'll have to recompile the DRM for the Radeon chip. Thoughts about a customized iBook-Knoppix were floating through my head, but I don't have the time right now, exams will start soon.

When the current stack of privacy/security-related patches has been applied, we've more features than we planned to have for the next release. Some others are missing though, probably waiting some more weeks makes sense, but it shouldn't take too long. We got exactly 3 votes in the game tome poll so far, which is discouraging but on the other hand shows that there's lots of work still to be done. Hell, 3 years in the makings and still infantile. But then again there's no alternative to get ideas from (like the desktop environments got from CDE, Windows and others, or Linux got from Unix), so it's acceptable.

Nas ne dogonyat
Of course not.

KDE hacking
Danimo invited tokoe and me to celebrate a hacking weekend in Chemnitz, where we'll also staff the KDE booth during the 5th Linuxtag in some weeks. We'll most certainly share our booth with that other desktop environment project. Well, currently we're sitting here, listening to good ol' music, and writing not so ol' code.

Installed 3.0pre8 into my UML at work, and the installation of mailman brought the machine down to its knees. UML users prefer SCSI disks. It's really convenient that if a partition gets filled up, a new one can be created with dd, mounted, synchronized, unmounted, and then replaces the old one. Yet I think the advantages of both a database's write-ahead-log and UML's cow devices could be merged so that fast-growing partitions can be shrinked with some new kind of moo tool. This would allow for point-in-time recovery, but the performance would probably go down. But this is what optimization freaks, like, er, me, really like. There's still room for advanced algorithms, and even today's algos are only halfway implemented. I recently tried to google for MPM networks, the number of results is discouraging.

First Debian packages built. Now all I'm waiting for is that KDE 3.1 enters unstable.

While others waste their time with watching TV, I was curious to find out how and why search machines direct people to my homepage. Not only did PHPSysInfo reveal the model of my CD burner (which was the search term for 2 people in the first days of January alone), but also pages related to the flood, or games ("stupid americans", when looked up on Yahoo, guides to my XBill mockup ;). Lots of people also look for KDE build documentation. I'm guilty here, haven't been updating that stuff for months.

There are quite a lot of spiders (googlebot, mercator, ...), and none of them gets caught by the WPoison script (or equivalents). Time to remove the perl toys again.

Added several hundred lines of C++ server code today, albeit most of them are taken from the client and converted from Qt to STL. So, the server does now play the game, it just doesn't tell the client about it yet. Version 0.0.2 was scheduled for about now, but it's harder to get it right than I thought initially.

...will start again soon. Bleh. I really need to use the remaining days for practical learning, not just reading books. Nevertheless, I should have had this thought 2 years ago...

Got a cold, slept around 30 hours, couldn't eat or drink anything, woke up and called the firemen because several gardens behind our house were burning. This was truly a Weekend In Hell. Under such circumstances, reading a classic ("Distributed Operating Systems") can be considered heaven already.

In other news, some proprietary online games were found to be not secure at 19C3. Ha :)

TCPA My anti-TCPA sweatshirt arrived today. The first anti-something piece of clothes, just to make a difference. Next one will be a pro-something again.

Le mur One of those situations when one cannot continue to hack on a project: one has a plan and knows all the details already, just not the big picture. Like a wall in one's head. A game development wall, this would then be the one to be blasted by a bomb put somewhere by some player.

I am thinking about using two loosely linked network threads, one for synchronous data (important events), the other one for asynchronous data packets for player movements and the like. Well, better hack than talk about it...

bagder: Did you have a look at getaddrinfo() and getaddrinfo_a()? The good ol' gethostbyname seems to be deprecated, yet it's used all over, including by me. Habits...

coding Some smaller bits today, nothing to release.

Had some fun using WindowMaker as a presentation app. Why is WindowMaker better than MS Powerpoint? Because it runs perfectly on crappy old laptops. Remove the clip and icons, and setup the background image selection menu so that it auto-hides into some corner. That's all.

qt Probably fixed a bug in Qt 3.1 (awaiting response), now pixmap arrays with one pixmap only work correctly.

kamikaze This is my current target. What would be nice to have is a daemon which scans my /src partition every some hours and collects statistics about which files were changed. Then, by the end of the week, it would write a little HTML file with the top 5 projects or so.

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