Older blog entries for zhaoway (starting at number 161)

28 Jul 2003 (updated 18 Dec 2003 at 09:36 UTC) »

Started using ConTeXt and METAPOST to make beautiful PDF files. The sky is really blue according to the sample PDF files. But the immediate road ahead is muddy. :)

Other interests now including the Postfix mail daemon, the Gambit software which is a Game Theory tool, and various ML compilers and Scheme compilers, and C compilers. I'm into the compilers' world. :)

Chicken Scheme compiler's source code is not very nice in style. Some stupid #{compile ...} monster in the head of every Scheme source file which is not pretty. But I think Chicken is still a wonderful Scheme compiler for me to learn. :)

Also I'm planning to look deeper into ACL2 and HOL. Learn some formal methods of developing software would be good.

System programming must be really hard. I spent the whole night looking into the source code of /bin/login trying to do a small hack and got only the feeling that I'm not able. Heheh.

The small hack I wanted to do is that, I read an article from Scientific American about John H. Conway, that says Conway designed a small program that everytime he logged in, the program asked him what the date is for a random day. Basically what the cal program does, you do the same in your brain for a small quiz and a warm-up.

I think I have to do the C hacking, because a script can't do that. In inittab, I can call my hacked login program using getty -n -l /usr/local/quiz-login and save the getty for a login prompt, etc.

But I feel I can't finish the program in one night. Also during the course, I find maybe there could be some trick playing with the PAM module, maybe there is a solution with a PAM module. But I don't know.

If you know better, please email me: zhaoway@public1.ptt.js.cn I still want to finish it. But I don't like touching the login code again.

The reason is that, for my only a small hack, I have to take over too much on my hands. Security, UNIX convention, etc. if I decide to come up with my own version of login.

My new article in IBM developerWorks/China, it's in Chinese, Introduction to internals of GCC frontend. This is only the first part of it. :)

Have to read about Postfix and Spamassasin now... I was unhappy with a Evolution quirk this afternoon. Ruined my email experience this afternoon. Hehehe. On the other hand my progress in the GCC land is rather slow...

I have my own WikiWiki entry now, see ZhaoWay. :)

/me was pretty much surprised and confused by the GTY(()) thingy in the GCC source tree. It sounds like a very strange invention.

I wrote a new article for IBM developerWorks/China, Introducing Tiny C Compiler for C scripting. This is part one in a series. I'm preparing the second article right now. The TCC I'm talking about is Fabrice Bellard's Tiny CC. A lot of people call their toy C compiler Tiny C or something similar. This one is unique in that it enables scripting in C, which is great.

SARS comes nearer everyday.

These days I spent a great lot of time on local university's BBS board. Less time here. But chatting in one's native tongue is a great lot more fun. :)

My very own free software project is making progress, but I've yet to write solid code for it. Haha. The progress made is that I've more insights into the field of programming languages now than before. I've yet to make more progress of course. Life is short.

I received a present of a glass Klein bottle which is so nice! I enjoyed it with my girl friend last friday. This is good! And a big THANK YOU to the Bottle Maker!

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