I feel guilty and sad now because once upon a time I had resolved to fix some of these bugs but never actually got around to fixing them. I had studied the source code and had read several papers on bytecode verification, especially some of the excellent ones by Alessandro Coglio, but never implemented any of the techniques. Not good.
Terry was just another bloke who was trying to make his program work with GCJ when he hit this issue. Unlike most other blokes however, he has decided to do something about it. Cool!
Sabbaticals might be quite common in the west, but here in India they are very rare. Even when people want to take sabbaticals, many a time they are discouraged. I hope more people take off on sabbaticals like VikGup has done so that employers and family realise that it is OK, and actually quite healthy, to take a sabbatical.
Have fun VikGup!
PS: Is Mohan back?
Almost eleven years have passed since then and I still have not come around to actually learning these languages and the programming styles associated with them. Lisp at least keeps appearing on my radar every now and then. The urge to learn it becomes particularly strong when I read about the ravings of the early oldskool hackers in Steven Levy's "Hackers" or one of Paul Graham's articles on Lisp or SICP. Tromey's recent blog entries have once again aroused my interest in Lisp.
Instead of continuing to procrastinate, I want to start learning Lisp now. I think I would start by reading "Practical Common Lisp". I also hope to be able to understand the origins of Lisp by reading John McCarthy's original paper on Lisp. I hope to be able to overcome my revulsion for seeing so many parantheses in even the most trivial of programs.
Unfortunately, I see either a rampant abuse of Design Patterns ("Let's see how many design patterns we can fit into our design for this project") or a refusal to accept that they can have any merit besides being useful in impressing your PHB. Whether by diktat or by choice, if you are trying to come up with an object-oriented design for a project, it helps tremendously to know how other people have solved some of the specific problems in a way that allows the design to remain flexible while solving the immediate constraints. The flexibilities are precisely what come in handy in the face of ever-changing requirements. A secondary benefit is being able to use a common vocabulary to describe parts of your design to others, who can then immediately grasp what you are trying to do.
Here is a nice weblog entry (try to ignore the awfully distracting background image) by James Gosling talking about the problems in "correctly" implementing sin() and other trigonometric functions in Java.
Yumpee had pointed me to some nice papers by some of his fellow Googlers a while ago. They make for some great reading. Try to at least read the papers on Google FS, MapReduce and Sawzall (in that order).
Some day, I hope to be able to decipher what Graydon says about programming languages.
After a bit of poking around, I found out that GCC pre-defines "__i686" if "-march=pentium3" is used (see $GCC_SRC_DIR/gcc/config/i386/i386.h) and this was causing the problem with glibc (see $GLIBC_SRC_DIR/sysdeps/i386/elf/setjmp.S). So I had to explicitly use "-march=i386" with GCC to be able to compile glibc. However, "make check" still fails. I will now build and install a vanilla GCC 3.4.4 and see if that is able to properly build glibc.
Daniel Berlin has set up an automated patch queue for GCC patches. All you have to do now is to include a line like:
:ADDPATCH java:in your patch message and it would be added to the patch queue for the area "java". Cool!
Nvu, the new incarnation of Mozilla Composer and a standalone program like Firefox and Thunderbird, has reached version 1.0. I took it for a spin and was able to easily create a few nice-looking HTML documents. Apparently it also supports CSS, XHTML, etc. but I don't know much about them yet to find out how good it is at supporting them.
After having ignored all this while the RSS and other feed aggregation capabilities of Mozilla Thunderbird, I now find this feature absolutely indispensible and liberating. Now I can waste even more of my time reading weblogs and sites that I otherwise would not have bothered to visit with such regularity.
Barry Andrews became yet another person to let out a primal cry of joy and pride after he successfully built GCJ 4.0.1 for Win32 by following my document. Based on his suggestions, I have refactored the document a bit and have highlighted some of the more important points.
New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.
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