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Developers’ Weblog

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I’m currently working on two very important subsystems to MirBSD: the entropy subsystem arc4random(3), arandom(4), arc4random(9); the cvs(GNU) implementation. That’s why it’s extremely encouraged to not update to -rHEAD right now.

The entropy subsystem receives completely – except arc4random_uniform(3) – rewritten arcfour and arc4random* code (userspace already done) including quite a speedup, and a new structure of the kernel pools and how they interact (also for speedup, but better hashing as well).

Our GNU CVS implementation has received a number of patches from Debian’s, and not only did I synchronise the port with base again, but also created I an (unofficial) “WTF” *.deb package from it, since Debian’s has, as we discovered years ago, some broken (but hey, ISO compliant!) date format.

I’d suggest let me finish doing, unbreaking ;-) and testing it.

tl;dr: EvolvisForge 4.8.3+25 with Permalinks and unique IDs for Task and Tracker items, automatic links for RFC conformant hrefs and [#123] style texts in comments and commits, better Task manipulation, improved Mediawiki integration and SOAP functionality, automatic mailing lists and greylisting, better debugging and less PHP and XHTML errors has been released.

And again, with a plethora of bugfixes, improvements and new features, EvolvisForge 4.8.3+evolvis25 was released and deployed. Read on for more details!

The probably most amazing things have been done in the Tasks and Tracker areas again. You can now write “[#123]” in a Task or Tracker comment, and it will automatically be converted into a link to the respective task/tracker item IFF the latter was created today or later (to be exact, while EvolvisForge 4.8.3+evolvis25 or later was installed); this stipulation is valid for all such references. When you write “[#123]” in an SVN commit message, the same applies in both directions – links to the task/tracker item from SCM → ViewVC (web-based Subversion browser) and links to the changeset from the task/tracker item as Related Commit (similar to how Related Tasks work). Similar to the t_follow.php based Permalinks for Tasks, Trackers now also have permalinks that are displayed. In both Tasks and Tracker, the ID column in the subproject browse view links to them for easy grabbing. The browse views also have configurable paging for logged-in users now, the setting of which is stored as a global preference.

In task/tracker item comments (as well as the initial comment, named “detailed description”), hyperlinks are made “clickable” automatically as well, using RFC-compliant matching (i.e. http://foo/möp is not a valid link – to be exact, it’ll link to http://foo/m – but http://foo/m%C3%B6p is).

It is now possible to change the “percent complete” column of Tasks in a bulk update. The Copy+Closed functionality now works almost correctly (a minor detail for better tarent-Activity usability will be changed later). The comments are now displayed in chronological order, instead of antichronological, for better human readability.

The state and percent complete of linked tasks are shown in the detail view of a Tracker item (bug, feature request, …), and related tasks can be unlinked there as well, instead of just in the tasks’ detail view.

The search now ignores double quotes and searches for the combination of all words by default.

The MediaWiki plugin sees Interwiki capability: the Interwiki table is global (per-forge) instead of per-wiki and filled with all præficēs automatically, using the Project’s unix name. It can also be edited with the new Special:Interwiki MediaWiki extension. The mw-wrapper.php script works correctly again, and nightly XML dumps of every Wiki are available, for example for backups. It is now possible to use both English (File:foo.jpg, #REDIRECT, Special:Weird) and German (Datei:foo.jpg, #WEITERLEITUNG, Spezial:Seltsam) syntax in the Wikis. Pages like Login/Logout, Create Account and Lost Password, that have no value in the MediaWiki plugin, redirect to the Forge’s equivalent functionality.

The SOAP WSDL now compiles cleanly and sees a few bugfixes as well as a new API “addUploadedFile” which works with the File Release System and manual (SFTP) uploads, to facilitate automatic deployment, e.g. from a Hudson running Maven.

The Document Manager has received some fixes and the ability to use manual (SFTP) upload like the FRS.

All projects will have a -commits and a -discuss mailing list; all members with SCM commit access will be added to the former, all proect members no matter what to the latter automatically upon joining the project (you can, of course, unsubscribe). Postings to the -commits list bear the -discuss list as followup. The Postfix MTA will be configured to use Postgrey for greylisting to reduce spam income.

There’s now a suggestion list for project tags. In most places where a history was kept (project, task, tracker), not only the old but also the new value are stored and shown now, and the sort order has been reversed to chronological as well.

EvolvisForge will now work better with Python 2.6 and PHP 5.3 on Debian unstable, although Debian Lenny (with backports) is still the only supported platform; *.deb files are available on request, we’ll allow others to install EvolvisForge and related software by and for themselves now (although most of the functionality is supposed to be achievable by using FusionForge, our upstream Open Source project). (In fact, in between writing this Release Announcement for the Evolvis Project and formatting it for the Blog, Roland Mas has begun merging improvements into FusionForge trunk. Nevertheless, contact evolvistodo {klammeraffe} tarent {punkt} de if you want to set up an EvolvisForge instance yourself. Remember that Evolvis is more than just the Forge, it’s also Wikis (now included in the Forge though), Blogs, Planet, Continuous Integration (soon to be integrated in the Forge), Domisol, and more.)

Some minor things have been fixed too, for example, there was a tremendous effort to fix all PHP warnings found and make all pages XHTML 1.0/Transitional compliant (if one isn’t, it can now be considered a bug), which led to the redesign of some pages, such as the Task “Select Columns” facility and the project Admin page. Wrong output, texts and translations in some places have been fixed. Developers of EvolvisForge now have better help in debugging: the “pink pop-up” can display calls to db_query{,_params} and backtraces when PHP warnings/errors occur. The licence information of a project will not be shown, as it currently cannot be set (we’re working on that). Several theme issues have been corrected, and to Mozilla™ Firefox® users (and users of other Gecko-based browsers), fields’ elements will now appear white-on-black by default with black-on-white (instead of white-on-blue) for selected items, due to a bug in that browser series. And, of course, the bugfixes from our upstream, FusionForge, have been merged when applicable as well.

The complete changelog and our MediaWiki Plugin demonstration page are still available for your convenience.

We wish you a pleasant experience using the new, improved EvolvisForge, as well as the rest of our Evolvis platform! -- The Evolvis team

PS: Sorry for the very long posting, but I’ve already tried to go down on detail and only mention the important things, mostly from a user’s PoV, and condensed… it’s just a lot happened and some co-workers are really excited about those features yet.

mksh, encodings, MirBSD, BitTorrent, WinCE

28.08.2010 by tg@
Tags: android debian geocache hardware mksh news release snapshot

mksh was merged into Android (both AOSP and Google’s internal master tree) in the night 24/25th August, and is expected to be the one shell to rule them all, for Gingerbread.

mksh(1) now also has a cat builtin, for here documents mostly. It calls the cat(1) command if it receives any options. The shell is nevertheless smaller than yesterday because of improved string pooling.

There’s another reason to use the MirOS OPTU-16 encoding instead of PEP 383, on which I already wrote: try passing a wide-char filename to a function such as MessageBoxW, or create a filename on a system using wide chars, such as FAT’s LFN or ISO 9660’s Joliet, or one that only allows Unicode (canonically decomposed – ü → ü – out of all things) like HFS+. OPTU-8 at least maps to somewhat reserved codepoints (would, of course, be better to get an official 128 codepoint block, but the chance’s small of getting that in the BMP). Still.

Oh well, the torrents. I’ve remade them all, using one DHT seed node and OpenBitTorrent as tracker and put them on a very rudimentary BT page that will be completely redone soonish. Please re-download them. I currently do not believe will return.

Finally, I fell victim to a selling-out and may have just bought a Windows Mobile 6 based phone (Glofiish X650) and an SDHC card and an extra battery with double capacity. Well, at least it’s said to run CacheWolf well. I still would like to have something like Interix, Cygwin, UWIN, coLinux, or maybe some qemu-for-WinCE variant that runs Android, Maemo, Debian/armhf (or armel or arm) at near-native speed (and is usable – the device sadly doesn’t have a hardware keyboard, but it comes with SiRFstar Ⅲ GPSr). It only has 64 MiB RAM, like the Zaurus SL-C3200 and the jesusPhone, though. ☹ Any chance to get MirWorldDomination onto that device as well?

Tomorrow, eight years ago, is the date we now use as birthing point for MirOS. The thing is, we did not really want to create a BSD of our own, fork, or whatnot. We were mostly happy OpenBSD users (really happy before the first eMail exchange with its developers, where Theo de Raadt did indeed stand out but was not the only one – just the one with the authority to deny us), improved it locally and submitted patches and ports. We were flamed for that or, worse, ignored. I begun putting up my “OpenBSD patchkit” on my homepage (back then, at Tripod) and still tried to feed things to upstream and OpenBSD. Then, at some point, Theo de Raadt made it clear he did not want me and the patch kit had grown (from one 4M file into several of them), so I ended up doing a “cvs -d /cvs init” and went from there. Benny’s story is similar – he laughed at me while trying to get ports added to OpenBSD, then discovered his ports were added to the MirPorts Framework and getting commit access there was easier than getting some random developer to commit something of his to OpenBSD. (This trend ended there though… every single person I approached since has become OpenBSD ports committer – I wonder whether they used my invitation letter to blackmail Theo?) It’s often thought that there was a clash of opinions between Theo and me. I think while we might disagree in certain aspects or priorities things should have, in the end we both wanted the same thing, I just was promised to never become a member of the OpenBSD project, so it’s really just “them” being uncooperative. (They (Henning and others) did burn the T-Shirt I gave Theo as a gift some day for making OpenBSD what it was. I won’t comment on that, again, now.)

FrOSCon was a blast. I had two booths of my own – MirBSD and FreeWRT – as well as shares of Debian and Grml. Well, MirBSD was run by Benny and gecko2 because I just didn’t have any time for it, despite XTaran’s help with the FreeWRT booth. All I did was the initial setup of both booths, while at the same time answering about three questions regarding FreeWRT in parallel. Wow. What a little small, open hardware can do to you. XTaran and I had fun and we’ll do FreeWRT booths again; I managed to flash my two FON2100 devices (“La Fonera” – the FON2200 can use the same image, says nbd of OpenWrt) and will fix the port’s remaining few bugs I found; XTaran will try to push the WL-500gPv2 development. The social part was nice as well, although I think the greek restaurant in the city will not be visited by me again. Anyway, if you didn’t attend FrOSCon, your own fault…

Since the BitTorrent tracker used by MirOS is down, here’s the link to the [updated 2010-08-28] [deleted 2014-05013] current (FrOSCon 2010 Edition) snapshot’s torrent, Triforce as usual. We’ll probably rewrite torrent files for all our ISOs and publish them on the MirBSD website. I’m currently considering OpenBitTorrent plus one or two DHT seed nodes with no statistics. Maybe with webseed. (Need to update the libtorrent/rtorrent MirPorts first, though…) Other options would be different trackers or running one of our own. I will announce the outcome as news entry, once done.

On the plus side, the review process of mksh(1) in Android continues, and I fixed the realpath builtin to behave even more POSIX-ish.

I’m currently putting the finishing touches on a new MirBSD snapshot for i386, targetting FrOSCon. Due to German patent 69429378 (EP0618540) I had to update the sparc kernel (GENERIC and RAMDISK) as well though. For now, mount_msdos(8) LFN support is disabled entirely, but a code rewrite to support LFNs in FAT in a non-infringing way (although for a file with LFN, no SFN will be generated any more then) is planned already (just not done before FrOSCon). This situation, in general, sucks.

The HTML manpages have also been updated, and the PDF manpage for mksh is now PDF 1.4 – something closely resembling, if not, PDF/A actually.

The snapshot will, as usual, end up on the mirrors, i.e.

FrOSCon 2010 and other sundries

06.08.2010 by tg@
Tags: debian event grml

The FrOSCon 5 - 21./22. August 2010 booth plans have finalised, I am rather content:

	┌──┐              I ❦ STANDPLAN FROSCON 2010
	│  │
	│  │                 C = Collectd
	│C │   Grml

This is especially good, as XTaran will be shared among (at least) Debian, Grml, FreeWRT; same for me plus of course MirBSD; kimnotyze is FreeWRT but may help with MirBSD; benz and gecko2 probably are MirBSD but gecko2 could help with FreeWRT, tokkee was interested in FreeWRT too… anyway.

Some days, you just love software.

	Aug  6 13:55:01 blau firesomething-bin: stack overflow
	    in function VFY_EndWithSignature
	Aug  6 13:55:01 blau /bsd: signal 6 received by
	    (firesomething-bi:1146) UID(2999) EUID(2999),
	    parent (sh:9059) UID(2999) EUID(2999)

Thus, let me reïterate it for all of you:

Well, now that the Debian Release Managers have sent their freezing bits around… *shudder*… Squeeze is frozen. Well, at least everything I have my hands in has migrated. I’m still… not persuaded. I also can’t decide which looks worse (KDE 4 or Win 7), tending towards KDE 4…

Why does all the horrid software (Solaris, Java™, OpenSSO, MySQL, etc.) tend to end up at Oracle at the moment? Let me quote from some Debian mailing list:
>>What happened to the Unix philosophy?
>Modern Solaris engineers
Is that similar to high-speed horse carriages?

My RPM repository has been pimped a bit – I ported some stuff from my DEB repository and updated them in both (rdate(8) and ntpd(8), specifically). Still ought to work more on them, but currently MirBSD base is most important, although I’m dying for mksh associative and multi-dimensional arrays, as well as more sh(1) conformance assorted bug fixes.

Well, there’s a life besides the computer. I’ve taken today off, wanting to hack on MirBSD’s most urgent problems (but probably end up doing that tomorrow), slept long, and will meet with cnuke@ and gecko2@ for Greek style dinner. The latter will almost certainly end up with a long-time work contract at the same place where I run a lot of things already, so congratulations. In the meanwhile, bsiegert@ has almost become a Doctor of Chemistry, and my brother’s finished his Maths and Economics diploma.

Also, I’ve put up the logo of the company where my new dedicated server is hosted; they reduce the monthly fee in exchange for this, so humour me and pay them a visit. They’re IPv6 pioneers, actually. (The server is now installed but not completely set up yet, and I have yet to begin moving services; it’ll be better than the VM eurynome is, but the clock could use the new timekeeping subsystem in the kernel as well as socket send (ÆrieBSD) and receive timestamps as it’s off by 0-1000 ms.)

Speaking of kernel stuff, yesterday I considered moving wscons(4) to UTF-8 again (since everything is CESU-8, we need to take raw octets into account also). I’ve seen OpenBSD begun importing Citrus… *shudder* Anyway, that’s my part, but I’d like volunteers for backporting things like the timekeeping stuff (and possibly more hardware support), and writing a pivot_root like thing (explained on some mailing list already) so we can use ramdisc root to do loopback root.

FrOSCon 5 - 21./22. August 2010 is approaching rapidly. I’m a bit envious at some of the tracks (I mean, really, geocaching (ok, I did the surrounging caches over the last years but still), learning python by means of game programming, etc. really sounds interesting – and I know people who could benefit from a non-kids version of that as well) but this year’s FrOSCon is nothing for me to curse about either: I managed to get both a booth for The MirOS Project (MirBSD, mksh and other subprojects) as well as one for Waldemar’s FreeWRT (although wbx@ – if he comes – won’t join there since he forked his own fork since its conception). Booth staff are, currently: tg@ and bsiegert@ (Developer), gecko2@ (Staff) for MirOS, tg@ and “XTaran” abe@ (Developer), kimnotyze (Hacker) for FreeWRT. (XTaran will probably be helping Debian/Grml too.) This year, it’ll be my job (after 2 years of aptituz) to keep the Altbier-Fraktion watered, I’m thinking one crate of Schlösser Alt and one crate of Hannen Alt?

Have a look at the Program and don’t tell me you won’t come! It will rock! (Except there won’t be Formorer’s Chilli, but that’s no reason, there’s enough other stuff in manageable distance.)

Besides interesting booths and talks, FrOSCon is still looking for helpers who will not only get free entrance but also catering during operation.

Well, I suppose I should be happy that mksh is actually used…

  • [tg] Correct shf buffer I/O routines to avoid a memory corruption bug discovered by Waldemar Brodkorb and other bad effects
  • [tg] Fix NULL pointer dereference during iteration loop when checking for alias recursion; discovered by Michal Hlavinka

That’s OpenADK (Waldemar’s fork of FreeWRT, which is Waldemar’s fork of OpenWrt), and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, respectively. Popcon in Debian and its derivates is also pleasant.

I could use some help bugfixing this though:

	(sleep 3; exit 12) &
	sleep 6
	# background process is done by now
	wait $bgprocpid
	# POSIX mandates that, since $! was asked
	# for, wait is to reply its errorlevel

Somehow, JF_KNOWN is never set – and I can’t debug this with gdb(1).

(There’s also a dashism in some *buntu start scripts that does pretty much the same except it uses “wait %1” there. In fact it doesn’t even seem to use $! – no idea whether we can support that at all in a POSIX shell – which dash clearly isn’t… – without keeping track of background processes forever.)

I’ve got some interesting results using r1.1 of an example test programme (r1.2 got cleaned up and more output) on various systems, regarding ASLR. The 1.1 revision tests everything mksh R40+ will use (except there will probably no larger than page sized allocations) for its LCG PRNG. On OpenBSD (MirBSD, ÆrieBSD) malloc(3) uses in fact mmap(2), which is randomised. (Though -pie doesn’t yet work as it’s supposed to.) Some OSes are better than others… but look for yourself. (Read on to continue, not part of the RSS for size reasons. This wlog entry may be updated – with bumped date – unperiodically.)


tg@blau:~ $ mgcc -static x.c
x.c:0: note: someone does not honour COPTS correctly, passed 0 times
x.c: In function `foo':
x.c:27: warning: function returns address of local variable
tg@blau:~ $ ./a.out
0xa9332000 0xaba65000 0xa0ae7000 0xcfbed990 0xcfbed994
tg@blau:~ $ ./a.out
0xa91b4000 0xa02b1000 0xa1602000 0xcfbf8680 0xcfbf8684
tg@blau:~ $ ./a.out
0x9f731000 0x9cb2a000 0xa94ca000 0xcfbf5840 0xcfbf5844
tg@blau:~ $ ./a.out
0x9c2af000 0xa6a0b000 0xa4ce1000 0xcfbefac0 0xcfbefac4
tg@blau:~ $ ./a.out
0xa3b61000 0xa96de000 0xa96df000 0xcfbedcc0 0xcfbedcc4

Debian Ätsch/i386

tg@frozenfish:~ $ gcc -static x.c
x.c: In function ‘foo’:
x.c:27: warning: function returns address of local variable
x.c: In function ‘bar’:
x.c:33: warning: function returns address of local variable
tg@frozenfish:~ $ ./a.out
0x80b2a20 0x80b2a30 0xb7745008 0xbf985ce0 0xbf985cd4
tg@frozenfish:~ $ ./a.out
0x80b2a20 0x80b2a30 0xb7726008 0xbfb911b0 0xbfb911a4
tg@frozenfish:~ $ ./a.out
0x80b2a20 0x80b2a30 0xb7784008 0xbf83d040 0xbf83d034
tg@frozenfish:~ $ ./a.out
0x80b2a20 0x80b2a30 0xb77e8008 0xbfc0f840 0xbfc0f834

tg@frozenfish:~ $ sid
I: [sid chroot] Running command: “mksh -l”
tg@frozenfish:~ $ gcc -static x.c
x.c: In function ‘foo’:
x.c:27: warning: function returns address of local variable
x.c: In function ‘bar’:
x.c:33: warning: function returns address of local variable
tg@frozenfish:~ $ ./a.out
0x80c86a8 0x80c86b8 0xb77c3008 0xbfaa1900 0xbfaa18f4
tg@frozenfish:~ $ ./a.out
0x80c86a8 0x80c86b8 0xb77d2008 0xbfcc0260 0xbfcc0254
tg@frozenfish:~ $ ./a.out
0x80c86a8 0x80c86b8 0xb77c1008 0xbfbe2120 0xbfbe2114

uname: Linux frozenfish 2.6.18-6-686 #1 SMP Fri Feb 19 23:40:03 UTC 2010 i686 GNU/Linux

Solaris 8/sparc64

tg@stinky:~ $ gcc -static x.c
x.c: In function `foo':
x.c:27: warning: function returns address of local variable
tg@stinky:~ $ ./a.out
595f0 59bf0 59d00 ffbefbb4 ffbefb5c
tg@stinky:~ $ ./a.out
595f0 59bf0 59d00 ffbefbb4 ffbefb5c
tg@stinky:~ $ ./a.out
595f0 59bf0 59d00 ffbefbb4 ffbefb5c
tg@stinky:~ $ gcc x.c
x.c: In function `foo':
x.c:27: warning: function returns address of local variable
tg@stinky:~ $ ./a.out
20950 20f50 21060 ffbefb3c ffbefae4
tg@stinky:~ $ ./a.out
20950 20f50 21060 ffbefb3c ffbefae4


mirabilos@stargazer:~ $ gcc -static x.c
x.c: In function 'foo':
x.c:27: warning: function returns address of local variable
x.c: In function 'bar':
x.c:33: warning: function returns address of local variable
mirabilos@stargazer:~ $ ./a.out
0x800603080 0x800605040 0x800700000 0x7fffffffe62c 0x7fffffffe62c
mirabilos@stargazer:~ $ ./a.out
0x800603080 0x800605040 0x800700000 0x7fffffffe63c 0x7fffffffe63c
mirabilos@stargazer:~ $ ./a.out
0x800603080 0x800605040 0x800700000 0x7fffffffe62c 0x7fffffffe62c

uname: MidnightBSD 0.3-CURRENT MidnightBSD 0.3-CURRENT #1: Thu May 27 22:13:45 EDT 2010 amd64

Debian sid/mipsel

(QEMU, thanks to Aurélien! Debian unstable from approx. Jan 2010)

root@debian-mipsel:~ # gcc-4.4 -static x.c
x.c: In function 'foo':
x.c:27: warning: function returns address of local variable
x.c: In function 'bar':
x.c:33: warning: function returns address of local variable
root@debian-mipsel:~ # ./a.out
0x4aa740 0x4aa750 0x2aaa8008 0x7fa417e8 0x7fa417d8
root@debian-mipsel:~ # ./a.out
0x4aa740 0x4aa750 0x2aaa8008 0x7fc67708 0x7fc676f8
root@debian-mipsel:~ # ./a.out
0x4aa740 0x4aa750 0x2aaa8008 0x7fb68238 0x7fb68228
root@debian-mipsel:~ # ./a.out
0x4aa740 0x4aa750 0x2aaa8008 0x7fc586c8 0x7fc586b8

uname: Linux debian-mipsel 2.6.32-trunk-4kc-malta #1 Mon Jan 11 03:45:08 UTC 2010 mips GNU/Linux

Gentoo GNU/Linux on amd64

gcc-4.4.4, glibc-2.11.2-r0, 2.6.35-rc4 x86_64

0x20cc010 0x20cc030 0x7fef0c497010 0x7fff32148fec 0x7fff32148fec
 0xa35010  0xa35030 0x7f575d0e4010 0x7fff0dd7220c 0x7fff0dd7220c
0x1f90010 0x1f90030 0x7f8657107010 0x7fff6116813c 0x7fff6116813c
 0x9dd010  0x9dd030 0x7f1eab0a6010 0x7fff3dcc638c 0x7fff3dcc638c


Not everyone does ASLR… but there’s enough variety (and with eglibc’s AT_RANDOM even proper entropy) inside for our purposes. On OpenBSD and MirBSD, we’ll still use KERN_ARND as it’s extremely cheap entropy (code paths checked on both) but not for every call of $RANDOM. On things like Debian/m68k mksh(1) ought to have gained a possibly noticeable speed-up.

Back home

11.07.2010 by tg@
Tags: bug debian event geocache mksh news release snapshot

Bordeaux was very nice (and towards the end much cooler… it’s actually hotter here at more than 50½° north – too warm to think, or do anything) but the LSM/RMLL was very french. They’ll be in Straßburg and Lüttich the next two years so we can probably be expected to attend. I don’t think I can eat duck (which, in south-west france, is a vegetable) or like all that classic french multi-course food so much, but I had enough Couscous Merguez and Thé à la menthe fraîche… and similar good stuff. Many people spoke English and actually asked me whether I do (probably they couldn’t bear me trying to spea^W^W^Wbutchering the language of the Grande Nation) and in general were a friendly bunch. I did see some people with machine guns in the city on the last day, though. No idea what/why… didn’t dare asking ☻

Just another reason to boycott flying: Mario Lang (one of the speakers) was apparently held on the airport and treated as a terrorist due to his Braille line… they thought it was a bomb or somesuch thing.

Read on for more…

Travelling with the Thalys and TGV was nice (but I loathe the Métro parisienne… they should build a ring train like the Berlin S-Bahn and just put another stop before Paris Nord and Montparnasse for people who just want to switch trains to take the ring train to the other line). And I want air conditioned trams in Germany too!

I met Uriel (invited him for some food and talked lengthy with him and some 9grid guy), XTaran (who was rather busy organising things), and a number of other people. Did some PGP keysigning as well. There’s now an experimental MirOS presence at Launchpad, not sure what exactly we’re going to do with it but, as Canonical does not care (as Jonathan said in his talk – great slides, by the way, really impressive), there’s no harm in having it. Some Perl guy from America (USA… just to make sure ☺) wanted a photograph of me with a sign “I love CVS” just so people back at home would believe him he’s met such a person *grins* of course I plugged in a little advertising but cvs(GNU) is honestly good. The forge hacking session was a little under-visited (but still a success in terms of getting more communication and maybe collaboration underways, especially thinking of common interfaces, DC, semantic web, OSLC-CM) and since the room was (in contrast to my hotel room and the trams!) not air conditioned we didn’t get much hacking done. The Debian booth was about 40% of one FOSDEM style table wide… and subsequently crowded. There were more people (of course, I was trying to get mksh into Haikuports, Mandriva, and other things; talked about KDE 3.5.11 (Trinity), Qt 3 vs Qt 4, and kwalletcli, and in general to a not-so-usual bunch of suspects – like I said, LSM/RMLL really is pretty french-only).

It is too hot, but I still committed src/etc/rc,v version 1.110 which you want to upgrade your /etc/rc to before upgrading mksh(1) in MirBSD. (All in the name of better performance on platforms such as Debian/m68k and not raiding Linux’ inferior RNG… but it does simplify things.)

I could probably write more but at the moment just want to lie down and die until it gets cooler… even the rain didn’t help. My feet hurt (Montparnasse-Bienvenue didn’t help) too.

The current version of mksh had use of arc4random(3) removed, including “set -o arc4random”, to speed it up (on some architectures, a lot) – this will break some existing scripts (such as /etc/rc *cough* on MirBSD…). Hence I decided to publish the next version of mksh(1) as R40 based upon current development, and defer plans for associative arrays (and multidimensional arrays) for mksh R41. There’s also already the change to arguments, so this suits me quite fine.

(Read: if running MirBSD, don’t upgrade mksh at the moment.) There will be a new MirBSD snapshot once this is fixed, maybe a few more changes to the shell for better POSuX compliance, and the recently mentioned patent on LFNs (long filename) in FAT will be taken into account with a patch to msdosfs.

I’ll travel to LSM/RMLL 2010, the Libre Software Meeting (Rencontres Mondiales du Logiciel Libre) tomorrow until the weekend, to hack some on FusionForge (this is worktime for me), visit XTaran, Uriel, and maybe a couple of other “usual people”.

Thundersday, between 10:00 UTC and 12:00 UTC, eurynome will be shut down by gecko2@ due to power supply maintenance on the host system data centre.

We have a new mirror in the Americas, thanks a lot to Mike 'Fuzzy' Partin! Benny will mention it on the webpages once it’s working.


Tags: work

No, it’s not just half the answer. I think we’re much farther down the way than that ☺ while there are still improvements planned, under development, and to come, we’ve gone a long ways from 4.5 based Evolvis platform releases.

I have just upgraded all tarent-internal instances of Evolvis, as well as the public forge, to a new version of the FusionForge based EvolvisForge as well as MediaWiki and its extensions.

There are several new extensions, almost all of them enabled by default. You can see a tech demo of these at (which will automatically show you an English- or German language version depending on your web browser’s preferences). The extensions are:

  • Math
  • Cite
  • Collection
  • CreateBox
  • Footnote
  • GraphViz
  • ImageMap
  • InputBox
  • LanguageSelector
  • NewestPages
  • News
  • PageCSS
  • ParserFunctions
  • Polyglot
  • RSS_Reader
  • SpecialCite
  • SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi

The MediaWiki extensions are “driven” (configured) by the forge semi-automatically, for example RSS_Reader uses a per-project (forge group) cache directory instead of disabling the cache (which needed to be done for the Debian package, since the default installation does not have the luxury of a directory writable for the Apache user). The configuration closely matches the “old-style” (JH) Wiki integration that has been done for Evolvis 4.5 previously.

Further changes include a fair number of bugfixes to the code, theme, wiki, extensions (fed upstream), and XHTML compliance. We know there are still enough bugs to keep us busy for a while, but you might notice some improvements; others are hidden but shorten the Apache error_log noticeably ☺

To further summarise from the developer/package management system changelog the (non-bugfix) changes from the last version include:

  • reduced space requirements by using the xz compressor instead of gzip for nightly Subversion backups
  • give forge (group/project and site) admins more permissions in the Wiki by default
  • Konqueror users have clickable sftp:// links in the places where SFTP/manual file upload can be used
  • displaying filenames of uploaded files, including rules for them, has been improved
  • there are now two automatic mailing lists (for newly created groups/projects): unixname-commits (where every member with commit rights will be added automatically) and unixname-discuss (where every member will be added automatically); of course there’s still the option to unsubscribe or, for non-members, to subscribe (a new Mailman integration is being worked on)
  • Mailman list administrator passwords can now be (re-)set from the forge (by group/project or site admins); be careful to tell your co-admins the new password though…
  • new values for PM (Tasks) status fields
  • the ability to copy a task to another subproject
  • customisable display for the Tasks area

Notable bugfixes:

  • the SCM URLs now always use the correct hostname
  • help window pop-ups are working again
  • Evolvis can now almost fully be used with PHP 5.3 on Debian unstable (although we are still formally targetting Debian Lenny (with select backports and custom packages) specifically)
  • font sizes (in the forge and the wiki) are finally consistent
  • slight performance improvements

The time tracking area in Tasks has been disabled, since there is a company-internal tool doing the same, with an Evolvis integration being developed.

We hope you enjoy the latest installment of the Evolvis platform!

-- Thorsten Glaser, for the tarent Evolvis task forge, FusionForge and Mediawiki

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