Lazy Reading

This all came together at the last second.

Getting started on a Summer of Code project

If you were thinking of working on a disk scheduler for DragonFly, this is your lucky day!  Brills Peng asked for some overall guidance on how to start on a Summer of Code project.  I threw out some general tips, Alex Hornung talked up resources on kernel programming, and Venkatesh Srinivas described exactly what you’d need to write a disk scheduler.  There’s about 50% of a whole proposal, prewritten.

Summer of Code 2011: We’re in!

We made it into Google Summer of Code for a 4th year!  (yay!)

If you want to mentor, apply here:

(You will need to create a login if you don’t have one.)  I’m assuming the applicants are going to be people I know with a direct history with DragonFly; otherwise be prepared to give a good history.  Signing up to mentor does not mean you must mentor if there aren’t any projects that interest you; it does mean you need to review applications and provide feedback for students March 28th – April 8th.

If you want to be a student with DragonFly:

Check the projects page for ideas:

… or come up with your own.

Get your application together by March 28th.  Start talking about it on the mailing list or IRC or however as soon as you can; there’s a direct relationship between the amount of preparation we see beforehand and people getting accepted.

Here’s the timeline:

Copied from my email to users@/kernel@, cause it has everything you need.



Hammer/Samba shadow copy support started

Samuel Greear has been working on a module to translate Hammer snapshots into Windows-style shadow copies, so a Hammer volume’s snapshots would be accessible when shared to a Windows machine, or anything that understood shadow copies, so Samba.

He’s put up his work so far; it’s not finished, but he has schoolwork to get to and wants to make it available for anyone who wants to run with it.  (say, for Summer of Code…)  Apparently the macros in the shadow_copy2 or onefs modules are similar to what a Hammer module would need…

Lazy Reading

Nice big pile of links this week.  Enjoy the reading, especially if you’re still recovering from St. Patrick’s Day festivities.  (does that happen outside of the U.S.?)

GIF now unungif’d

The GIF format, or rather the LZW format it uses, is no longer patent-encumbered.   (GIF patent worries led to the creation of the PNG format, if I’m not mistaken)  Matthias Drochner has changed pkgsrc to use giflib instead of libungif.

According to Wikipedia, the patent expired more than 5 years ago, so this isn’t really news other than some packages need to be rebuilt.  Still, memories of the general Internet Outrage from a decade ago are interesting compared to the events of today.

More microbenchmarks

Venkatesh Srinivas performed the ‘scalability’ benchmarks, which have been mentioned here before.  He performed it on different hardware and only with DragonFly, so it’s not really for comparison but rather for analysis.  However: graphs!

Matthew Dillon added some system tunables to match these microbenchmarks, and then changed the values.  The benchmarks looked better, but according to him you wouldn’t want to run a system normally with those values.

pkgsrc current and 2.9, plus shallow pulls

There’s two recent changes for pkgsrc and DragonFly:

BSDCan 2011 announced

Dan Langille has announced the BSDCan 2011 schedule/list of events in several places.  There’s some fun stuff in there, like discussion of Sendmail from the guy who (originally) wrote it.  There’s a talk about Roff (it’s that old?)from Kristaps Dzonsons, whose mdocml also happens to just have been committed by Sascha Wilder to DragonFly’s contrib.

NYCBSDCon 2010 was crazy fun.  I hope I can make it to BSDCan…

Lazy Reading
  • The Cognitive Style of Unix (via) – I find this argument absolutely correct based on all my computer experience.
  • Hacker News is apparently getting more of a general news bent, rather than the actual hacker news it started with.  (via)  That seems to be an easy trend for many tech sites that start out focused on a topic (Let’s cover this area of interest!) and eventually diffuse (Let’s cover all our reader’s areas of interest!).  It may be because that seems to bring greater subscriber numbers?  Slashdot would be a good example of this generalization.
  • Note to self: Try to not do that with the Digest.
  • This page has a lot more good places to visit, but I’ll just link directly cause I don’t have any more commentary to associate with it.
  • Did you know there’s open source software for managing conferences?  Not conference calls, but full-on have-speakers-with-papers-and-attendees-with-a-schedule conferences?  It’s called Pentabarf, and it’s used for BSDCan, among other things.  I find the name funny, and it has funny origins.
  • Well, if I’m going to have a Discordian link, I should have a BSD-related Subgenius link.  By the way: I can perform weddings.  You know, just in case that comes up.
  • You know you’re important when the IETF needs to come up with a plan to deal with your retirement.  (viaThis is why it’s neat.  Go, look, because this is one of those parts of the Internet that will not exist this way again, ever.
  • This article at The Register about how open source isn’t making it very far in app stores is more aggressive than exploratory, as Register articles usually are, but there are some good points: phone app stores are able to charge money because of the ease of the delivery system, which apparently trumps ‘free’.   It’s also more purpose-built; pkgsrc I bet would work on an Android phone, but there’s not many applications you could interact with, easily.