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Go

02.04.2010 by bsiegert@

Today was a fine day, which I spent at the excellent Zoo de Mulhouse. Alas, most of the plants there are still in “winter mode”.

Recently, i mentioned in a thread on reddit that Limbo (under Inferno) is “my favorite obscure programming language”. Someone else replied that “it is now called Go”. This led me to take a look at the Go programming language made by Google. Sure enough, there are big names behind it: Rob Pike and Ken Thompson, of Unix (and Plan9) fame, and also Russ Cox, one of the most prolific Plan 9 fans.

When you compile Go, the first thing that is built is a lib9, which contains Plan 9 code, such as the rune routines for UTF-8. The Go compiler is derived from kencc. For the 386 architecture (the one I tested), you get 8g (Go), 8c (C), 8l (linker) and 8a (assembler). For the record, there is also a Go compiler using gcc, which is able to call C code.

Leaving obvious syntax differences aside, Go indeed resembles Limbo quite closely. There is no first-class list data type however, and there exists a curious difference between arrays and slices. Slices are some sort of pointer to (part of) an array. Arrays are passed by-value to functions while slices are passed by reference, it seems. There is also an associative array type that maps one data type of your choice to another, for example a string to an int. Other Limbo niceties, such as easy string manipulations, are also present.

The first thing I tried was porting a scientific program I had written in Limbo before. The math module looks almost like its counterpart in Inferno but is missing the gemm() function (generic matrix multiplication) from BLAS3. Thus, I ported it from the Inferno sources, where gemm() is written in C. (By the way, that code looks like it has been ported from Fortran 77.) Porting from C just involves removing a few parentheses (in if and for clauses) and semicolons (just about everywhere).

I have not explored it much further yet. But it does look very interesting for system programming and similar things. The only thing missing now is a MirPort ...

CLT 2010

07.03.2010 by tg@

Quite surprisingly, I’ll attend the Chemnitzer Linuxtage 2010 in Eastern Germany. This is a happenstance, I managed to get fast transportation (via my boss) and accomodation (in a hotel). I will try to help staffing the booth of Debian this time (so I cannot be called Traitor any longer). Schedule, due to the spontaneousness of this, no, though. I may not even be there on Sunday, dunno…

No RCBD (or night) though, some real life and a new release (with fix of an FTBFS-on-hurd-i386 bug) though:
RMD160 (/MirOS/dist/mir/makefs/makefs-20100306.tar.gz) = f65bd8ef5cf3306a9112587dd4915b6255e479fe
This version pulls in NetBSD® changes (Acorn Archimedes support, for one), but I’ve also coded support for boot-info-table (J�rg compatible), as well as setting the PVD dates (used by GNU GRUB 2 for “UUID”s).

On MirBSD, cdio(1) can now be used to burn (TAO) and blank (quick) CD-RW media (I backported some OpenBSD changes) too.

RCBD #2

04.03.2010 by tg@
Tags: debian

My ex-AM now sort-of mentor Zack asked for help of an Autoconf/Libtool guru with an RC bug... well, The MirPorts Framework taught benz and me, under consumption of a bottle of wine, how to deal with that stuff. So I've fixed #559822 (CVE-2009-3736, another of them...) and NMU'd.

Sort of a PITA, considering gettextize runs interactively, and there's a lot of files to remove in debian/rules:clean for a double-build to not add nonsensical files to the .diff.gz; but I did it in the end.

On ranting...

04.03.2010 by tg@
Tags: debian

Yes, my rant was more against the things I encountered during keysigning, not keysigning itself. However, I still feel X.509 doesn't have these problems, and nothing I can think of will persuade me to think PGP/MIME better than Inline PGP. (Especially when the recipient's key contains a notation that he wants the latter, but not the former.)

Jonathan does have some good points about the (PGP) Web of Trust.

Again, that wlog entry of mine was a rant; I had let the topic stew over night, trying to get the anger out, but on the next day it just wanted to get out of me, I merely wanted a good old rant. I think I'll not include Planet Debian next time I do rant, though (it's not the place to do so).

The Command-Line Interface for the KDE Wallet, Version 2.02, has been released and dput into Debian unstable. (The lenny-backports version will follow.) It took me quite a while to reproduce, then track down, the bug; having unrelated problems at the same time didn’t help either…

Update: This wlog entry uses aggressive tone because I somehow needed to vent frustration from using some of the tools. I should probably provide some constructive critics, too... but this is a rant. Be warned.

Keysigning is useless. I boot up a suitable live GNU/Linux system, install signing-party, take the trouble that is to set up caff, transfer my secret key from the secure box, sign. I think caff providing the keys in a different order than they're given on the command line sucks and just run caff once per key. I did even start Postwreck. But no, people just don't accept any mail from "EHLO grml" systems, and I still cannot control my reverse DNS despite having a static IPv4 address (and IPv6, which looks to be unused). People also pretend I'm on dial-up. Great!

I will no longer participate in any (mass) PGP keysigning but will continue to do so on a per-person basis. Probably sign but one uid, either apply common sense and upload it to t̲h̲e̲ keyserver, or mail the entire signed key to one address.

By the way, how crazy is it that I need to use the deprecated $CONFIG{'mailer-send'} to pass an envelope-from to the mailer? It also suffers from the same delusion as e.g. nmudiff, namely that my Debian box is a fully set up workstation able to send out eMail and configured correctly. At least, it, unlike a number of others, does not assume I use mud (Mutt). grml…

Oh, and caff does a protocol violation (by always sending out GnuPG/MIME and not offering the standardised Inline OpenPGP), I think people just don't care about such. (There is a notation people can use to signal they want PGP/MIME, Inline PGP – which is called "partitioned" – or both (and which order of priority) but, alas, despite Inline PGP being the only one useful for the MUAs without integratin, and being more widely spread than that PGP/MIME crap, the followers of the latter do some (FSF-style?) kind of vendor lockin by not speaking anything else.

Anyway. I'm all for X.509 except there seems to be no sane CA (Startcom is... trouble, even with Opera; CAcert.org is dying). I'll just buy a certificate (not from Verisign though) for www, and roll my own again (I can do it, I have experience with that actually).

On an unrelated side note, still waiting for an OpenSSL patch for that recent TLS extension...

ObRant: password policies, be they required characters or any kind of length restrictions, suck. People I will eventually end up with less secure passwords on such systems, because even if some of mine may appear to be derived from some kind of dictionary (what language that is I'd be interested in, though...) they aren't, and I have my schemes. You got to have them with a gazillion of passwords used. And I probably will forget them more often (and sending them via eMail is also not a solution).

Unrelated notice: mksh R39c with bug fixes coming RSN.

(Updated 24.02. because I was, rightfully, told the language, and the title, were too strong. I also would like to excuse for going so low as to write an ad-hominem attack, which I've since redacted.

After FOSDEM 2010

08.02.2010 by bsiegert@
Tags: event

FOSDEM was a great success. Once more, thanks to Daniel Seuffert, Marius Nünnerich and the others from the AllBSD project. We distributed 400 CDs with the latest snapshots, of which about 350 were distributed on Saturday alone. There was a stronger demand for French flyers compared to the last years; I think that more locals (i.e. Belgians) attended the conference. Many of these people were only there on one of the two days.

Kudos also to the people from the Debian booth (especially Axel “XTaran” Beckert) for lending us a screen for the showcase computer. Due to communication problems, the others had not brought a spare screen as usual, and I could not bring one on the plane.

I held my talk about Build Systems with autoconf, automake and libtool on Sunday at noon, with a very interested public who posed some very concrete question. I conclude that there is a real need for this kind of “HOWTO”. I will write a bit more on the subject of autotools, in the meantime the slides are available at SlideShare, where you can view the presentation online (Flash required) or download a PDF.

Oh, and contrary to “popular” belief, the food at the Pakistani (!) restaurant on Saturday was excellent :).

the day after FOSDEM

08.02.2010 by tg@
Tags: event

Bauch wieder OK, dafür nen recht wehtuënden Frosch im Hals, Hammerkopfschmerzen, Rückenschmerzen und bißchen Gliederschmerzen. Grml. Ich mach' im Moment erst mal nix.

FOSDEM 2010, day #2

07.02.2010 by tg@
Tags: event

Ich glaube, das Essen gestern (war eh’ scheiße, heh… anyway, der Couscous-Laden hatte zu, und Benny und gecko2@ und Anhäne haben mich zum Inder geschleppt) ist schuld, daß es mitr im Moment scheiße (heh…) geht. Mist.

Ich freue mich schon auf das Essen gleich, hoffe, daß es frischen Minztee in großen Mengen geben wird. Und daß ich die Reise nach Hause unbeschadet überstehen werde. Immerhin haben wir gut, aber zu wenig ☺ wie immer… geschlafen.

XTaran hält gerade seinen Vortrag. Dem Benz seiner war gut.

FOSDEM 2010, day #0

05.02.2010 by tg@

Yesterday, I arrived in Bruxelles, coming from the Issy/Paris FusionForge meeting which will be described more later by Roland on Plänet Forge. Please tell Ohlol if you use it, for more visibility.

There is a new inter-forge mailing list as well, see the info page. People from Coclico and the various *forges may want to subscribe there (forge developers, not so much users (hosters) or end-users (hosted project developers/users) though).

At FOSDEM, Benny and I (and maybe gecko2) will be running the MirBSD booth, so no Debian staffing for me, sorry. But I will be there. Also please do ask me about mksh – the MirBSD Korn Shell etc.

There are flyers in German (not updated), English and French too! (One of the *forge guys did install mksh(1) after reading it, in fact.)

Don't you people dare miss the two talks: from Benny about how to package with autotools and libtool correctly and from XTaran explaining Debian GNU/kFreeBSD. Benny's also famous for his talk about Painless Perl Ports with cpan2port; XTaran's famous for a whole bunch of other things.

I still have some catching up (wlog entries, keysigning, webpages, etc.) to do, please bear with me. I don't really have a proper work environment with me.

There's a chance I will not be attending the Beer Event in the Delirium Tremens café (last year's still remembered). Benny will certainly be there, though.

Could someone please order nice weather? I still need to eat some lunch and find a supermarket to shop for the weekend!

Hello, Debian!

31.01.2010 by tg@
Tags: debian

I got an eMail tonight. I guess this means I can say hello officially now. (Everything else is details, waiting and fixing some bugs and technicalities, or so.) Thanks to everyone involved, I learned a lot already. Oh, and I had a look into madduck's book (the old sarge edition, which I got for free recently) and found a nice graphic explaining what non-native English speakers (I even had Latin first, and 3 programming languages!) don't, from the Debian constitution.

Congratulations XTaran for making it as well, even visible on the website already!

Please don't file an "Please package mksh R39b" bug again, I am aware there's a new version ;-) as I'm upstream too. I'm just short of time at the moment, and I'd like to put out high-quality packages. Besides, the webpage needs fixing first (while the checksums and the changelog for the release are there, no proper announcement is yet, and I'd like, for this version, to add a "upgrading caveats" section, since due to bugfixes and better standards compliance some scripts need to be updated; some of the pdksh behaviour favoured Bourne over POSIX even!

new snapshot (netinstall) uploaded

30.01.2010 by tg@
Tags: snapshot

The 2010-01-30 snapshot was uploaded to /MirOS/current/ with i386 (actually had to restart due to cid 1004B6372DA2A612787, then manually incorporate cid 1004B6448D51D101C96 and re-do the floppy, and then, cid 1004B64C58E652566A6+1004B64C5FC627C5254 and especially 1004B64D0994DA8A990 are still not honoured), sparc (built 2010-01-25 though), MirOS bsd4grml and MirOS bsd4me (with another number of commits). If I had more time, I'd probably rebuild them both. As things are, I consider pimping all four of {i386,sparc}/{,x}etc10.ngz before making the FOSDEM Live-ISO. Maybe even put the re-built boot.fd into base10.ngz and re-do all of the ramdisk kernels, floppies and CDs. Ugh.

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