What if there’s good closed source software?

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)

Pkgsrc things to do

Proposed changes in pkgsrc:

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.

Messylaneous for 2009/12/10

I’ve been building this entry up for a while, so some of these entries are newer than others.

Hammer saves my bacon

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.

More development tools

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.