Older blog entries for nikodemus (starting at number 60)

New crowdfunding goal: MADEIRA

My crowdfunding campaign has been a roaring success: all goalposts I initially set have been reached in 3 days out of 22!

So, time for a new goal.

If the campaign reaches $12k, in addition to the SBCL specific work I will also implement Madeira, a new portability layer for Common Lisp implementations, focusing on threading and parts not covered by CFFI or USOCKET.

The current plan is for Madeira to support:

  • Basic things like access to command-line arguments, environment, EXIT, etc.
  • Bordeaux-Threads -like functionality, but better defined, with sharper edges.
  • CAS. Remains to be seen how general I can make the support, though.
  • Running external programs. (Probably somewhere between TRIVIAL-SHELL and SBCL's RUN-PROGRAM in functionality.)

Another way to describe Madeira would be to say that it should cover most everythingtaht I keep having to #+sbcl when writing portable code.

Gentle hacker, spread the word: it's not just SBCL users who stand to benefit now.

Thanks You again, Everyone.

Syndicated 2011-08-13 09:27:18 from Nikodemus Siivola

Flabbergasted

I'm having my morning cup of black, and just had a look at the SBCL crowdfunding campaign I put up yesterday.

The initial funding goal was reached in less than a day! I'm awed and humbled.

This means crowdfunding looks like a very viable model for funding future SBCL development, though of course the real question is how repeatable this is. I'm sure I'm at least to a degree cashing in on work I've already done as opposed to what the campaign pitch actually says, but the future will tell...

In the meanwhile, please keep spreading the word! The campaign is now at the point where locking improvements and adding timeouts to all blocking functions in the threading API have been funded.

If it reaches $6000, it means getting read/write locks and semaphore notification objects as well.

Syndicated 2011-08-11 06:24:30 from Nikodemus Siivola

SBCL Crowdfunding

My first attempt at crowdfunding SBCL development is live!

Crowdfunding SBCL threading improvements at IndieGoGo.com. Go and take a look.

Syndicated 2011-08-10 14:03:48 from Nikodemus Siivola

Donations by Popular Request

Several people have told me I need a donations button on my website, so I went ahead and added one.

That crowdfunding thing? Expect it to go live next week.

My current plan is to run a fundraiser for assorted threading improvements first, and a second one for external format work after that.

The primary goal of the threading work is to make mutexes, semaphores, and condition variables interrupt safe on non-Linux POSIX platforms (primarily Darwin and Solaris/x86[-64]). Secondary goals are timeouts on all blocking synchronization constructs, adding read/write-locks, semaphore notification objects, and finally a general cleanup/refactoring of the threading API.

The external-format project's goal is adding support for newline conversions and BOM marks, and also making external format conversions a good deal faster. Possible secondary goals are adding support for Unicode-aware case-conversions and similar, plus adding a general vector output and input streams similar to string output and input streams provided by ANSI CL.

Syndicated 2011-08-06 12:52:17 from Nikodemus Siivola

SBCL Merchandice

I have opened a cafepress shop with some Lisp and SBCL branded merchandice -- currently mugs and T-shirts, including zbir's infamous save-lisp-and-die -design.

I've been intending to do something like this for ages now, but never got around to it before. Everything has a markup of around 50%, and the proceeds go towards funding SBCL development.

The crowdfunding thing is still on. More on that soon.

Syndicated 2011-08-03 18:43:16 from Nikodemus Siivola

Crowdfunding SBCL

I'm planning a couple of crowdfunding campaigns on indiegogo.com to raise money for SBCL work.

One campaign will be about external-format improvements, and the other about improving threading on non-Linux POSIX platforms.

Trying to cauge interest a bit, so here's a small questionnaire: SBCL Crowdfunding Questionnaire

Syndicated 2011-08-02 15:58:38 from Nikodemus Siivola

Amazon ebook Surcharges

What's up with the $2 surcharge on ebooks Amazon applies when shopping from Finland? (Or most non-US countries for that matter.)

My understanding is that this is used to bankroll the Whispernet, which is completely, ridiculously disproportionate.

Since buying my Kindle late last year, I've bought some 60 ebooks from Amazon -- paying $120 is surcharges. That's more than enough to pay for a year of unlimited mobile broadband in Finland.

So yeah, I'm feeling pretty butthurt here.

For more on this, see: Amazon Hold Back The Growth Of E-Books Around The World. (TL;DR: $0.99 ebook becomes a $3.44 ebook -- and none of the price difference goes to the author or the publisher.)

Since it's highly unlikely that Amazon will do anything about this unless there's a good deal of publicity about this, please consider sharing this.

Syndicated 2011-07-14 13:49:05 from Nikodemus Siivola

Will Somone Think of The Namespaces?

There is a single namespace for packages in Common Lisp.

There is also a single ASDF system namespace.

Please, make sure you use the same prefixes in both!

To pick a random bad example: system name cl-unification, package name unify. Do not do this.

Just pick one, please. It's getting crowded.

Syndicated 2011-06-14 10:37:14 from Nikodemus Siivola

Slime-Indentation and Names Styles

Slime's slime-indentation contrib now also provides support for named indentation styles. Add a line like this to source files to specify a style:

;; -*- common-lisp-style: modern -*-

Predefined styles are: basic, classic, modern, and sbcl. See C-h v common-lisp-style for more details.

You can also define your own styles:

;;; in .emacs, after slime-setup.
(define-common-lisp-style "personal"
   "My own eccentric style."
   (:variables
     (lisp-lambda-list-keyword-alignment t)
     (lisp-lambda-list-keyword-parameter-alignment nil)
     (lisp-loop-indent-forms-like-keywords t))
   (:indentation
     (if (4 2 2))))

See C-h f define-common-lisp-style for details.

If you define a style for use in the source-files of an open source project, please consider submitting it for inclusion.

Ps. in case you're wondering, you can gain access to all these goodies and more by adding slime-indentation to your slime-setup call:

;; Maybe slime-indentation will be part of slime-fancy at some
;; point, but it isn't yet.
(slime-setup '(slime-fancy slime-indentation))

Syndicated 2011-06-09 16:08:35 from Nikodemus Siivola

Endless Loops and Interactive Development

Tip of the day. Don't write:

(defun foo-loop (foo) (loop ...loop body...))

Instead, write:

(defun foo1 (foo) ...loop body...)
(defun foo-loop (foo) (loop (foo1 foo)))

It's a small thing, but it makes it much easier to debug the loop while it's running. If you need to instrument it, you can just add whatever code you need to FOO1 and recompile it.

If you open code almost anything inside the body of an endless loop, it becomes much harder to intercede -- and interactive development is all about intercession with running code.

Syndicated 2011-06-08 17:56:02 from Nikodemus Siivola

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