Alexander Polakov has suggested that nvi (what you get when you type vi) should be replaced with traditional vi, since that would deliver UTF-8 support, and nvi appears to no longer be updated. Other than one objection on split screens, I daresay everyone who needs more features treats the system vi as a fallback and has moved to a new editor. (or that)
Jan Lentfer has created an update for ncurses in DragonFly, but wants further testing. Give it a try if you use a curses-based application.
The freeze for pkgsrc-2009Q4 starts December 16th, which means the tentative date for the branch release is right at the start of the new year.
The package for libtool has been updated in pkgsrc, which touches almost every package. If you follow pkgsrc-current, that may mean a lot of packages get dragged in for upgrades.
In somewhat less eventful news, postgres 8.4 and python 2.6 are now the default versions of Postgres and Python in pkgsrc.
If you’re running DragonFly 2.5, Matthew Dillon has changed thread and process structures, meaning that a full rebuild of kernel and modules is necessary on the next system update.
I’m pretty sure I’ve linked to this before, but: Oliver Fromme has a graphical bootloader (see example) which can work on DragonFly. I’d love to see this on DragonFly.
Coincidentally, this article makes an argument for graphic improvements for BSD systems in general that I agree with.
Matthew Dillon has moved the Big Giant Lock off of a whole bunch of syscalls. This should make a noticeable difference in a multiprocessing context, though I don’t have measured results to point at. (hint, hint…)
I have a wrapper script I use for bulk builds of pkgsrc that I think others would find usable. If you are interested in building some/all of pkgsrc to generate binary packages using pbulk, may I recommend “simplepbulk“? I’d like to see if anyone uses it on non-DragonFly systems.
Several people really want a USB update, even offering a bounty. Alexander Polakov has volunteered himself for it – a large but worthwhile task. It’ll be the USB4BSD code, as Alex Hornung recommends.
The 2010Q1 issue (Is that their numbering now? I’m not sure.) of BSD Magazine is out. (via) Subscribe or pick it up in a local store. Back issues are still available online, too.
Open source is good for clashes, and the latest is a vote by GNOME on whether to continue as a GNU project. (via) The triggering event appears to be a request from Richard Stallman for GNOME to not mention software that isn’t open source.
The long-term problem with something like that is that closed source software doesn’t go away if you ignore it. If people want to talk about the closed-source software they are using instead of open-source material, then you have to make the open-source software worth talking about. Programs don’t improve by beardo fiat. Plus, it only makes a difference as long as the producers are the consumers of the same software. (via)
Thanks to Michael Neumann, it’s now possible to remove a drive from a Hammer volume. It’s experimental, so all the standard warnings apply.
This can’t be done on a root volume, for hopefully obvious reasons.
Proposed changes in pkgsrc:
- JDK 1.4 and perhaps JDK 1.5 will be removed.
- Kerberos 4 also will be removed.
- There’s not too many packages without DESTDIR support left; please help if you can. (DESTDIR support means being able to install packages as non-root, to other directories.)
- Testers are needed to test the Perl upgrade to 5.10.1, and SpamAssassin 3.3.0beta1.
Please follow each thread; they’re still in progress, so some of those removals may get canceled, or testing completed by the time this is read.
I’ve been building this entry up for a while, so some of these entries are newer than others.
- From the howling void: OpenSolaris or FreeBSD. I’ll admit I haven’t tried OpenSolaris, but I’m also biased to BSD.
- cpdup, originally-on-DragonFly software, has had an update.
- This description of the Content Pyramid talks about web content and links, but it could be stretched to open source software. There’s always been an implicit value to being at the top of the pyramid – hence the prestige not always fairly attached to “the commit bit”.
- Old computer facts (storage sizes) presented in handy infographic form? Sign me up!
- vitunes, a curses-based playlist manager. OpenBSD-specific, but may work on DragonFly. I like the look. (via)
- Video4Linux support is being worked on for FreeBSD, as apparently the headers are available without having to accept the GPL. This makes it potentially available to all the BSDs, which is nice.
- FreeNAS is moving to Linux, which is a mistake bummer. Except iXsystems stepped in and now FreeNAS is continuing as a FreeBSD-based item. A story that seemed bad but came out well, thanks to iXsystems. (Quick, buy their hardware!)
- “If you know of surviving software on 1/2″ tape, paper tape, cards, DECtape, etc. from users groups or computer manufacturers, please contact us. Equipment is available to recover these bits, and in some cases can be brought on-site.” (via)
- 3 BSD-themed holiday gifts.
Did you know you a Hammer volume can span multiple disks? And that you can add extra disks later on? There’s no RAID-like features – it’s just a straight multiple-disk volume, but it works. The Hammer command to do it is now “hammer volume-add“
Some of the ikiwiki configuration files on dragonflybsd.org were accidentally overwritten during a software upgrade. Normally this would mean some work to locate and replace them from backups, but since it was a Hammer volume, a quick look in /var/hammer/usr/… found them for me.
I want to point out what Hammer does, here. Restoring from backup isn’t new – it is in fact probably one of the most basic and necessary of system administration duties. However, Hammer makes it so easy that the incremental work of using it falls to almost nothing. There’s no extra preparation or syntax to learn for retrieval, which is wonderful. Hammer’s easy fix has helped me out several times now, saving me time that, while probably still successful with any other backup system, would have been taken up just restoring things back to normal.
BSDTalk 181 has a 16 minute conversation with Dan Langille, mostly about the upcoming BSDCan and PGCon.
There’s more people showing up for DragonFly at the 26th Chaos Communication Congress, in Berlin December 27th-30th. I’ve posted about it before , but it’s worth mentioning as the end of the year draws close. Speak up if you can join in.
A number of recent changes will be important to you if you develop on DragonFly:
- Sascha Wildner has added a indent(1) profile that matches what is usually done in DragonFly.
- Also, there’s a dragonfly.el for emacs users.
- Now new, but worth mentioning again: there is an excellent development(7) man page.
- Alex Hornung has ported and modified FreeBSD’s minidumps, so crash dumps can now be kept smaller than your total physical memory size.