Month: August 2012
I’ve uploaded DragonFly 3.0.3 disk images, both ISO and IMG. They should start appearing on a mirror site near you in the next 24 hours. This took a while after the tagging, I know, but I wanted to make sure every one of them booted. I didn’t on a previous release, and regretted it.
Francois Tigeot benchmarked several different operating systems using Postgres 9.2b3, including DragonFly, and published the results. I have a local copy of the PDF since the attachment didn’t really survive the archiving. Follow the thread for discussion. The Linux results look abnormally high, so it is possible that something different is happening on that platform…
There’s certainly no theme to this week’s links. I even manage to avoid my usual git and vim links, strangely.
- Ethernet’s Future: How Fast Is Fast Enough? The article doesn’t answer any questions, but I like the IEEE-supplied graph it opens with that shows the trend of overall network traffic doubling yearly. (via)
- Anti-open source propaganda in Disney kids’ TV show. I’m actually more bothered by trying to hyphenate a phrase made from separate words. Anti-’open source’? Esoteric grammar issues appeal to me.
- Bash One-liners Explained, part 3.
- Perl hex and bit pack formats were added to fix the Magellan satellite’s output. A neat origin for something I’ve used trivally. Of course, I suppose any use is trivial compared to fixing output from a broken spaceship. (via many places)
- Here’s a DragonFlyBSD article from 2010 linked on Hacker News. The ensuing conversation in the Hacker News comments is lucid and useful, and not a single bit of whining about BSD being dead. That’s so refreshing to see!
- Looks like there will be a new version of ADOM. Will it run on DragonFly? It should, since the previous version is in pkgsrc.
- Do you like set theory? Then read this. I don’t understand a word of it, but I like seeing the mathematical characters encoded on the page, apparently using MathJax.
- I also enjoy reading about BSD users’ origin stories. In this case, Dru Lavigne.
- CDE has been open-sourced. There’s a good chance it will show up in pkgsrc soon. Seeing this interface will make you nostalgic if you are the right age.
- If you’re a fan of the Hammer filesystem, does that make you a hammerhead? That’s my weak attempt to segue to this comic.
- Artisanal, hand-crafted unsigned ints. Read the bottom of the About page for an explanation. This may not make sense to you if you haven’t encountered the trend it’s making fun of, which seems to be centered in Brooklyn. (via)
- I hope you enjoy scrolling, because this history of computers and history of computer graphics are very long single documents. I like seeing the early computer art. (via)
Your unrelated comic link of the week: Cul De Sac. The strip is ending due to the creator’s health issues, but what he has done is marvelous. This is one of the few newspaper strips that is both visually interesting and often abruptly laugh out loud funny, without being patronizing.
Do you happen to have the saved messages for one or more @dragonflybsd.org mailing lists sitting around? Hopefully in mbox format? I’m working on getting Mailman installed to replace bestserv, and being able to bring in the old messages would be nice.
DragonFly had a successful Google Summer of Code even this year. It marks our 5th time participating, 7th if you count Google Code-In events.
Mihai Carabas worked on adding SMT/HT awareness to the DragonFly scheduler. This project was very successful. The original goal was just to take advantage of threading with the scheduler, but the benchmarks published by Mihai show in general a 5% speedup from these scheduler changes. His work has already been committed.
Vishesh Yadav implemented an inotify interface in DragonFly. inotify is an originally Linux-based system for monitoring files and directories for changes. A specific use for this is an inotify-aware locate program, so that a list of file locations can be kept ‘live’. His code for the inotify interface should be committed to DragonFly very soon.
(This was written in part for Google to use on their Open Source Blog.)
I’m working on building new images, but: DragonFly 3.0.3 has been tagged. If you’re running 3.0, you can update and get some of the recent bug fixes.
I noticed that this recent commit from Sepherosa Ziehau is a bug fix for jme(4). The commit thanks a JMicron employee for help. It’s always appreciated when a vendor is helpful to an open-source project for hardware support. It’s also something you should consider the next time you are shopping for computer parts.
I think I’ve made it through my backlog of things to post. For no apparent reason, I ended up with a whole bunch of ‘this vs. that’ links this week.
- BSD vs. Linux. The target article is way old, but it’s interesting to see the comments.
- Arch vs. Slackware, a friendly comparison. Mentions BSD in passing, and Arch is the most BSD-ish Linux distribution I hear mentioned. The package count for both Arch and Slackware is much smaller than I expected, relative to pkgsrc. (via previous link.)
- Internet arguments about similar products, crystallized: WikiVs. Allthearguments you’ve ever seen, plus more.
- Emacs for Android. Requires “a rather big display”. (via)
- It’s somewhat off-topic for this site, but I’ll mention it: I read Ubuntu Made Easy from No Starch Press (who publishes a number of BSD books) recently and reviewed it on Amazon.
- The original drawing for the HP-35 calculator. The creation story is neat, but if you look closely at that drawing, you can see the little bumps in the red lines where the artist used a radius template to draw the curves with his marker. I learned to render that way, and it’s a visual flavor you don’t see often, given the ubiquity of computer rendering. (via)
- Maaaaybe it’s time to slowly sidle away from MySQL? Lemme bring out my favorite quote. (via many places)
- The problem and the fragmentation of content and communication. Maybe it’s just me that finds this interesting because of what I do here.
- Ken Thompson’s debugging method, as told by Rob Pike. Sounds a lot like the Feynman Problem-Solving Algorithm.
Your unrelated link of the week: Taipan! I played this on the Apple ][ and loved it. The buy-low-sell-high game is an old genre that hasn’t been used in newer games in the same fashion as roguelikes or sidescrollers. The only recent equivalents I can think of are Drug Wars and maaaaybe Eve Online.
John Marino has been on a tear fixing pkgsrc packages, and he posted a list of what he considers the most necessary packages to get working on DragonFly. Several people have already stepped up and fixed them if you follow the thread. If one of these packages is something you use, it’s worth looking at.
John Marino is working on updating tcl in pkgsrc. It’s apparently quite messy to update, which may be why it has sat out of date for some time. Never one to rest, he’s also been making FUSE filesystems work on DragonFly. (Here’s a FUSE explanation, if you need it.)
Also this. Someday I’m going to write a “games on DragonFly” feature, or series.
If you wanted to try Hammer 2 and you have several DragonFly-current systems around (virtual or not), Matthew Dillon has the instructions. Keep in mind that this is not something ready for use; it can’t actually free up space, for instance. It’s neat that you can have multiple systems passing data back and forth already, though!
Seen on Ycombinator News, the Vim and Vi Tips e-book on Amazon is _free_ today, and possibly just today. It’s a Kindle book, but there’s software Kindle readers from Amazon if you don’t have one.
John Marino finished another bulk build of pkgsrc, and reports a 96.4% package success rate, using DragonFly and pkgsrc-current. We’re just a week or so from the next quarterly pkgsrc freeze, come to think of it…
3.2 is the next major release of DragonFly, which will be relatively soon by the every-6-months release schedule. John Marino’s put together another catch-all bug report for that release.
I recently completed a bulk build of pkgsrc-2012Q2 on 64-bit DragonFly, though I still haven’t had a successfuly 32-bit build. However, John Marino has a report of how many packages are working on DragonFly in pkgsrc-current. (Answer: more than 95%)
Matthew Dillon recent posted a status report for Hammer 2. Of interest is the spanning tree protocol being built to handle messages between Hammer volumes. As he says in the message:
For example, we want to be able to have millions of diskless or cache-only clients be able to connect into a cluster and have it actually work…
(No, it doesn’t do this, yet.)
- Part of the reason I started this Digest was to document things that would otherwise remain buried on mailing lists. So I feel there’s a parallel between this and reporting on police scanners – not the same content, but the same intent.
- The Esoteric Whodunit. Read this article and think of the last time you were explaining something computer-related to someone, and had to change what you said in order to make it more comprehensible.
- SSD Cache Accelerators work. This is not news to anyone who has used swapcache(8), which does just what these hardware products do – in software, free. Here’s where you can pat yourself on the back for being a DragonFly user. (via)
- Desktop 2.0 and the future of the networked operating system. This somewhat wandering article assumes having everything go online is a good thing.
Your unrelated link of the week: The Counting Song.
I seem to include a vi/vim tip every week. It’s not on purpose, or at least it wasn’t until now.
- vimwiki – maintain a wiki within Vim. Not as extreme an idea as you’d think. (via)
- Oh yeah, something about git too. How about “10 Things I Hate About Git“? (same via)
- Revisiting the 2002 Radio Shack Catalog. Drop your phone/tablet and look at this. It’s only 10 years old. (via)
- The ELF Tool Chain project. This is a good idea. I found out about it by reading this description of the build system they are working on. (via)
- I’m sure anyone reading this is familiar with BSD – license, history, and so on. But are you familiar with the BSD battles with GRizzEAT?
- The apparently accidental origin of dotfiles, from Rob Pike. I wish his Google+ page had an RSS feed. (via)
- Speaking of Google things, did you know there’s a Google Store? Where you can buy such things as a light-up dog leash with the Google logo? And a Go Gopher Tote. Actually, the tote is kinda neat.
- Is the Go Gopher a Renee French illustration like Glenda, the Plan 9 bunny? Apparently yes. It’s from a WFMU t-shirt, and Renee French has a number of comics you can buy. Her Marbles in my Underpants book is one of the more disturbing things I’ve ever read.
- If you aren’t familiar with WFMU, you really should be. It’s my second-favorite radio station after my local college station, WBER.
- When I wander off track, I run.
Your unrelated link of the week: a thorough investigation of the history of the ‘long s’ character, via. If that’s too cerebral for you, try this video of a man making turkeys gobble, which made me laugh and laugh.
Hammer 2 (or is it HAMMER2?) is nowhere near ready to test. But! For laughs, I think it could be set up just so you can watch the messages go back and forth. Someone want to set up a few DragonFly-current VMs and try?
Pierre Abbat is curious about using Hammer on an SSD. The discussion that came from that has some useful points, including notes that a straightforward SSD as disk works for most anything with Hammer other than very intensive database use, due to the history retention. If space is an issue, swapcache on the SSD and attaching a normal HDD is a fine alternative. A SSD with Hammer can leave some features off, though I’d argue that dedup is totally worth is. Also, SSD speed is directly correlated with size.
Mihai Carabas has posted some more results from an 8-core system showing his efforts to make the scheduler multi-threading aware. The results are generally a 5% speed gain, which I think matches previous benchmarks on machines with less processors.
Sepherosa Ziehau’s added TSO support (that’s TCP Segmentation Offloading”, or “Large Segment Offload” going by Wikipedia) within IPv4 on DragonFly, pushing segmentation work from the CPU to the network card. There’s also some DragonFly-specific improvements.
There’s been a lot of commits from him lately focused around network card improvements; they haven’t been easily summarizable, but it’s worth watching if you are interested in high-bandwidth usage and the hardware to support it.