Sepherosa Ziehau has added a generic form of support for multiple transmit queues in DragonFly. This means less contention when transmitting. It’s not done; he has drivers to set up and as he said, it’s “step 1 of many“.
If you are a brave soul and have an IPv6-only DragonFly installation, there’s now a git mirror of DragonFly that is available on IPv6.
It’s a very short week this week. I was on the road for work, so I didn’t see anywhere as much of the Internet as I may have liked. Count my dports writeup yesterday as part of this and it averages out to a good amount of reading.
- Favorite Linux Commands. Not all of them are Linux/bash specific. (via)
- Advanced Vim Registers. Or buffers, or clipboards, if you want to get messy with terms. (via)
- “I hate BSD so much!”, he yelled at his spittle-flecked monitor.
- TOME, a roguelike. Read through the comments for discussion of many other roguelike games.
John Marino’s DPorts project, mentioned here briefly before, is interesting. I had two separate people ask me how it works, so a better explanation is in order. I’ve tried it out on a test machine over the past few weeks.
Dports is an effort to use FreeBSD’s ports system as a base for DragonFly, and the pkg tool as a way to manage binary packages built from DPorts. This is complicated, so I’ll explain each part in order.
- FreeBSD ports are a FreeBSD-specific collection of software installation files that automate building 3rd-party software on FreeBSD. You’ve probably already heard of them. (Note there’s no mention of DragonFly.)
- DPorts is a collection of files that map to existing FreeBSD ports, and contain any changes necessary to make that port also build on DragonFly. Many of those programs build without changes on DragonFly. DPorts builds from source.
- pkg is used for package management, and is usable on FreeBSD and on DragonFly. The binary packages produced from building with DPorts can be installed from remote locations and managed separately using pkg, so that software upgrades and installation can be performed with binaries only. (It’s much faster that way.)
Every port seen in DPorts is known to build on DragonFly. John Marino adds a port only after it builds successfully, using poudriere as a bulk software tool. Ports are only updated to a newer version when that newer version builds, too, so once something arrives in DPorts, it should never break from being updated at some point in the future.
To use DPorts, you need two things:
- DragonFly 3.3 or later, though 3.3 is the most recent right now.
- You need to rename /usr/pkg so that your existing pkgsrc binary programs don’t get accidentally used while working with DPorts, causing confusion. If anything goes wrong with DPorts when you are installing it and you want to go back, remove all the DPorts packages and rename /usr/pkg back to normal.
(Don’t confuse pkg, the management tool, with /usr/pkg, the normal installation directory for pkgsrc. ) For the installation of the base port files:
cd /usr make dports-create-shallow
If you’ve already renamed your /usr/pkg directory, git won’t be in your path any more. You can instead download a tarball and unpack it, which also happens to be possible automatically via that same Makefile.
cd /usr make dports-download
Downloading via git is fastest, so if you do need to use the tarball via make dports-download, build devel/git, delete /usr/dports, and then pull it again with make dports-create-shallow. This all comes from John Marino’s Github site for DPorts.
DPorts doesn’t use pkg_info, pkg_add, and the other tools traditionally seen on DragonFly for pkgsrc. Instead, package management is done with pkg. Use pkg info, pkg install, pkg remove, and pkg update to list, install, delete, and upgrade various packages on your system. Packages built from source or downloaded as prebuilt binaries are managed the same way, using these tools.
Since DPorts doesn’t update a package until it gets a successful build, and installations are of successfully built binary packages, upgrades with prebuilt packages should always succeed. Since they’re binary, they should be fast. There’s a lot of ‘shoulds’ in this sentence, but these are reasonable suppositions.
What about pkgsrc?
Pkgsrc and DPorts shouldn’t be used at the same time, since one system’s packages may be at different versions but still get picked up during building for the other system. That’s about it for restrictions.
I intend to try building an experimental release of DragonFly with DPorts, to see if all the right packages can be added, but no guarantees. DPorts is brand new and does not yet have a repository for downloading packages, so the normal caveats apply; don’t install it on a mission-critical machine, and be ready to deal with any surprises from using it if you do try it out.
What packages are available?
Browsing the Github repo will show you all listed packages. More complex packages like xorg, openjdk7, and libreoffice install, as does xfce. Parts of KDE 3 and KDE 4 are in there. (I haven’t tried either.) I’m not sure about Gnome, but I don’t think anyone ever is. There’s no vim, but there is emacs.
That’s just what I see at this exact minute. It changes daily as more packages are built. Changes from DragonFly builds are sometimes relevant to the original FreeBSD port, so there’s benefits for everyone here.
Try it now if it has all the packages you need, or wait for a binary repository to be created to speed things up. Remember, this is a new project, so a willingness to deal with problems and contribute to fixes is necessary.
It’s actually been out since the start of January, but the release announcement is available now.
Stéphane Russell, on the users@ mailing list, pointed out an in-depth article about DragonFly’s 3.2 release, on linuxfr.org. It’s in French, which means I’m just going to have to trust his word about the contents.
January’s issue of BSD Magazine has something I didn’t expect: an article on panoramic photography on BSD – among other material.
If you recall, Phoronix recently ran a bunch of benchmarks on DragonFly. One spot that didn’t look good was the “Himeno Poisson Pressure Solver”. I’m no closer to knowing what capability it actually tests other than itself, but Alex Hornung, Matt Dillon, and Venkatesh Srinivas figured out that cache coloring was the missing ingredient. DragonFly now scores the same as Linux.
Tangentially related, this cache coloring is happening in nmalloc, which is now used on 64-bit DragonFly systems. The previous one, dmalloc, had problems in long-running programs.
I’m going for the terse list of links. It’s sort of Neukirchen-ish.
- Top 10 Command Line Utilities 2012. a bit silly given the program age but that’s OK. (via)
- The Vim Beginner’s Site. (also via)
- In the same vein, World of Commodore videos. (via)
- 2600, from 1985, in free collected form. (via)
- Russ Cox’s writing. I’ve linked to some of it before. It’s all fun reading.
- IRC is dead, long live IRC. Shows the first IRC server.
BSDCan 2013 is looking for papers, all due by the 19th. I mentioned it before, but a reminder went out and Michael W. Lucas wrote up a lengthy explanation of how and why you should present that paper.
John Marino has been working for some time on a project he calls, ‘DPorts’. You may have noticed his recent commits for it. He wrote up a summary on users@ to explain what he’s doing. It’s translating FreeBSD ports to DragonFly in a way that appears to be (relatively) low-maintenance. It only works on DragonFly 3.3 and up and you can’t use it at the same time as pkgsrc.
Most interesting to me, it gets rid of the quarterly release chase that happens with pkgsrc releases. Since it’s primarily a binary install system, packages are only upgraded when the results are known to work.
Are you anywhere near Italy? BSD-Day is happening April 6th, 2013, in Naples, Italy, and it would be nice to have some DragonFly representation. (seen on #dragonflybsd on EFNet.)
Will you be near Berlin, Germany, in March? The pkgsrccon 2013 technical conference will be held there. Julian Djamil Fagir posted details about the event. The conference is free; you pay for your food and drink. If you’re interested in presenting, you need to contact them before March 8th.
The Open Graphics Project, which is building a completely open video card, needs a wiki maintainer. It’s a volunteer effort. If you were perhaps thinking you wanted to step up to a more complex project but didn’t want to just be writing code, here is a perfect opportunity.
(Not too different from maintaining a project work blog, after all, and I know that’s rewarding.)
Right in time for the end of the year, BSDTalk 221 is out, with Michael Dexter interviewing Matthieu Herrb at EuroBSDCon 2012 for 11 minutes about Xenocara.
The last of the year.
- Outgrow.me, a list of successfully funded Kickstarter and IndieGoGo projects. There’s some neat technology doodads in there. And a zillion hipster iPhone tripods.
- Remember when you could find program source code printed in magazines, for you to type in? Here’s an interesting story about that. (via)
- Some good news: despite the completely hostile (and wrong) story on Slashdot, the FreeBSD Foundation has exceeded their pledge goals for the year by a wide margin.
- A very early pre-Internet story about packets. (via)
- Relational shell programming. (via)
- History of the Microwriter. I remember seeing a version of this called the Twiddler. (also via)
- How to Host a Dungeon. Follow some of the links at the bottom. (also also via)
- Early Apple computer designs. I link not because it’s Apple but because it’s very much 1980s industrial design, which is both wonderful and awful. (via)
Your unrelated comics link of the week: Marlo Meekins’ Tumblr. Her lettering is refreshingly expressive. That may sounds strange to single out, but so many people place words as an set block of text rather than as part of a graphic layout.
As is customary with pkgsrc, a number of packages that do not build or are no longer needed will be removed. This will happen in the next quarterly release. It’s a short list, and one item on that list, misc/p5-Locale-Maketext, will actually stay.
The freeze for pkgsrc-2012Q4 is due to complete in about 48 hours.
I’m not sure what IFQ stands for, but Sepherosa Ziehau’s added it. It appears to be based on an idea from Luigi Rizzo called ‘netmap‘. In this case, network packets are grouped together before being placed onto the network interface’s hardware queue. That means better packet per second performance without a corresponding increase in CPU usage, as Sepherosa Ziehau’s report lists, along with needed sysctls.
Hope your presents are interesting this year…
The Digest was down over the last 12 hours or so – sorry! Upgrading this system took a bit longer than planned. I upgraded to Apache 2.4, and had to figure out all the config changes, and several packages didn’t like upgrading.
I’ve resisted upgrading for a long time, mostly because I think I could recreate the entire Apache 1.3 config file layout from memory. For the benefit of anyone else, this checklist of Apache errors and corresponding modules helped tremendously. Also, pkg_leaves is a great, if minimal, way to find packages you don’t need.
I started this Lazy Reading early, since I had so many links it overflowed into the next week. Merry almost Christmas!
- Here’s an in-depth review of Guilded Youth, an interactive fiction game that hearkens back to the old days of BBS usage. (Do I need an interactive fiction tag to complement the roguelike one?)
- Dear Open Source Project Leader: Quit Being A Jerk. I really think part of DragonFly’s success, despite being such a small, esoteric project, has come from being generally tolerant.
- Vmail, a Vim interface to Gmail. This seems pretty slick. Looking further, the author has a number of other Vi/Vim-related projects, like a Vim wiki, Vim newsreader, Vim iTunes controls, and more. Also something really clever: the equivalent of ‘tail -f twitter.com‘ (via)
- How I got four errors into a one-line program. All via git.
- Go for C programmers. (via)
- Mars Code. I like the statistic that the lines-per-hour of code was <10; it points out that not all metrics apply, all the time. (also via)
- I never thought I’d actually see e17 come out.
- XKCD has a good summary of the recent Instagram licensing mess, and perhaps a good summary of social media in general. I’m always surprised when I see a business using Facebook or something similar as their primary customer contact method.
- Why is grep always fast? Here’s a very technical explanation of why. There’s more.
- Bunnie Huang is building a laptop. All the extra headers and analog bits remind me of the dearly departed BeBox. (Bunnie mentioned previously here) (via)
Your unrelated link of the week: I work at a salt mine. One of the highlights of my job is when I’m in the mine and need to get somewhere quickly; I use a 4-wheeler to drive. (I’m licensed to operate it.) There’s no stop signs, no stoplights, and generally a whole lot of straight roads with no obstacles or traffic. It can be a fun drive. However, it’s not as cool as driving on the moon. (via)
Pkgsrc has entered a ‘freeze’ for their next quarterly release, which would be pkgsrc-2012Q4. (DragonFly 3.2 ships with 2012Q3) The freeze ends and the release happens at the end of the year, assuming no surprises.
Sepherosa Ziehau has been making a lot of commits to increase packet-per-second rates without increasing CPU usage. He’s published a sort of progress report/benchmark to show current performance levels. It sounds like he’s expecting even better performance in the future, though I’m not sure how much more he could push out of it, since the bulk performance appears to be close to the rated capacity of the copper…
I hope you like links, and lots of history. It’s been a bumper crop this week.
- The Radio Shack catalog from 1983. Including such gems as 156,672 characters of storage per $600 disk. For perspective, that’s about $4 per kilobyte. A randomly-picked SSD is about 0.000001 cent per kilobyte. Previously linked here: Radio Shack 2002. (via)
- Hey, O’Reilly has a comprehensive list of all their open-licensed book titles, for download. Found from a link to Unix Text Editing. I bet much of that book still applies, despite being from 1987. (indirectly via)
- The MOS 6502 and the Best Layout Guy in the World.
- Shady Characters Miscellany #20: On Typewriters. The ancestor of the TTY. It’s still just barely possible to buy a new typewriter. I worked for a printer cartridge remanufacturer for a few years; the highest-profit items were typewriter ribbons, because nobody else made them.
- The UNIX philosophy and a fear of pixels. I think the author’s conflating philosophy and style. (via)
- Bell Labs CSR Selected Technical Reports. (via) Warning: they’re all in Postscript. Includes Brian Kernighan’s “Why Pascal is Not My Favorite Programming Language“, and I’m linking there to a non-Postscript version to make your life a little easier.
- If the idea of non-standard hexadecimal breaks your brain a little bit, go a little bit farther and read The Story of Mel. I had to read the solution twice to get it.
- Nostalgia for the more open web of 10 years ago. It’s true, and also makes me feel sad. (via)
- Google60, Google via punchcard and printer. It’s more stylistic than literal, but still fun. (via)
- If you’re near San Francisco, a hackerspace there called Noisebridge wants more open source people – including BSD users – showing up.
Your unrelated link(s) of the week: Said the Gramophone and The New Shelton Wet/Dry. The first one’s a music blog, and the second’s more general. Both have a somewhat random feel with the images used – completely random in the New Shelton’s case. It’s interesting that there’s such a flood of text and images on the Internet that you can reassemble content out of all of it. You can’t push over a bookshelf and call it a library, but you can build a whole new narrative from random assembly of Internet data.
BSDCan 2013, which is being held in Ottawa May 17th-18th, has a call for papers out. You’ve got until January 19th to submit, so just about a month.
This is mostly unrelated to DragonFly: I need to get more Python experience in the next few months, mostly around the OLPC project. I’ve only messed with Python when needed to get an existing script running, etc. Any Python users that can point me at a good learning resource?
BSD Magazine for December is out, offering the usual mix of articles in a free PDF. There’s several Postgres articles in this one.
If you were thinking you wanted to try gcc 4.7 with pkgsrc, John Marino’s described the option you need to set. It only works in pkgsrc-master right now (because of changes John made), and not every package in pkgsrc will build.
The advantage is that it’s also possible, with the same syntax, to set pkgsrc to build with gcc 4.4. This means the default compiler in DragonFly can be changed to gcc 4.7 and pkgsrc packages that aren’t compatible can still be built.
Update: Check this minor change: ‘?=’ instead of ‘=’.
Whomever submitted this story to Slashdot really doesn’t like FreeBSD; they’re describing FreeBSD’s annual end-of-year fund drive as failed. The month-long drive is only about a week old and has already picked up donations at a faster rate than any previous year’s donation drive, but apparently the poster – and Slashdot’s editors – can’t be bothered to do math. While we’re on the topic, donate to the FreeBSD Foundation; they do good things.
(There’s DragonFly too, though we’re not as ambitious or officially 501(c)(3) non-profit.)
If you’re running DragonFly 3.3, make sure you perform a full buildworld and buildkernel when you next upgrade. Sascha Wildner is mentioning this as a cautionary note after experiencing issues when using quickkernel, after removing a number of syscalls. Once past that point, it should be safe to go back to quickworld/quickkernel.
Matthew Dillon has written up another update on his progress with HAMMER2. (I need to be consistent in how I write that.) He has disks being exported and mounted on other systems, and adds an explanation of some of the issues around creating reliable multi-master setups. Before you get too excited, no, multi-master isn’t working yet, and this is not production ready.
There’s more benchmarks for DragonFly vs. other systems on Phoronix. It has the same problem as previous benchmarks; some of the benchmarks may have no connection to reality (what does the “Himeno Poisson Pressure Solver” actually test?), and almost every system has a different version of the gcc compiler. So it’s meaningless in terms of comparative or absolute performance. On the other hand, DragonFly doesn’t do badly.
You can also look at the comments to see someone absolutely freak out over the very existence of things that aren’t Linux. I’m not sure if it’s actually trolling, since the comments are so exactly wrong.
This is a mini-theme Lazy Reading, where I find small groups of related things.
- Exploratory data analysis with Unix tools. The command line is a far better place to mangle data than you’d expect. Well, maybe not your expectations, given that you’re reading this site.
- “The UNIX System: Making Computers More Productive” Brian Kernighan, Dennis Ritchie, and Ken Thompson in 1982. I found that after reading “Open Source Guilt & Passion“, which is a quite accurate description of working on open source, or perhaps any volunteer work. (via).
- While talking about people of that generation: Here’s Rob Pike’s Go slideshow (linked previously) in a single-page text format. (via)
- And we can get even older with this article about the Computer History Museum in California. There’s a lot of pictures of hardware ‘firsts’, like a light tracking, self driving robot from the 1940s, or the first mass-produced transistor radio. Look for the hardware that shows where ‘core dumps’ came from. (via)
- Found on the previous link: Rebuilding the IBM 1401. I like looking at the old “fill-up-a-room” computers, since they look like supercomputers. I wouldn’t want to actually possess a mainframe; they aren’t powerful, eat electricity, and so on. Well… I can think of one that would be OK.
- The Enduring Object. I find it oddly reassuring when hardware doesn’t change because it works so well. It’s sort of like an inherited tool from an older relative; something worn from use but distinctly better than buying new.
- The 2012 Good Gift Games Guide. There’s some really neat board games in there.
- Along the same lines, Designing Board Games with Perl.
- The First Few Milliseconds of an HTTPS Connection. An in-depth dive with Wireshark and an explanation of RSA. My cup of nerditry runneth over! (via)
- It wouldn’t be a Lazy Reading post without some Git thingie. This time, it’s ”Git: Twelve Curated Tips And Workflows From The Trenches“. (via)
- The DuckDuckGo command line. (via)
- Exploring Emacs. Posted mostly in the interests of equal time to vi-ish stuff. (via)
- “What a Wonder is a Terrible Monitor“. A Jason Scott article about emulating old monitors in software, with videos showing the difference. I’ve seen the hardware difference he’s talking about. I’m distressed just knowing my children probably don’t recognize analog static. (via)
Your unrelated link of the week: The Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things. Also known as ‘old weird crap’, but that’s OK – still interesting.
I knew about files like /etc/services, for common IP port usages, and /usr/share/zoneinfo, for time zones, but I didn’t know that DragonFly (along with other systems) keeps a list of agreed names for various human languages defined by ISO639 in /share/misc/iso639, and it’s maintained at least in part by the Library of Congress. At least I didn’t know until Sascha Wildner updated it.
Michael W. Lucas has a coupon code for his new edition of Absolute OpenBSD, so jump on it now. I haven’t read his first edition, but his other books are certainly good.
It’s the end of the year, so it’s time for the FreeBSD Foundation’s end of year campaign.
If you’ve ever wondered how building all of pkgsrc would go with GCC 4.7.2, which is in DragonFly but not the default compiler, John Marino can show you just that. He has a list of the results from a bulk build of all packages on DragonFly with GCC 4.7.2.
It’s been a quiet week, but that’s OK. I have sick kids, sick coworkers, and a certification test this Monday…
- Playing at the World is apparently a good book. The author has a blog where he dives into old RPG minutiae. You will either find that not very interesting or super interesting. No halfway point.
- Teleglitch, a roguelike top-down shooter with pixel graphics. I was happy at the word “roguelike”, of course. (via _hasso_ on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- A review of Version Control with Git, 2nd Edition.
- “I’m writing my own OS“. I think Dominic Giampolo said once that everyone in computer science goes through a phase where making your own operating system can’t be too hard and why not try it etc etc. (via)
- This picture makes me happy.
- An entire book of studies based around a single line of C64 BASIC code. It’s available as a free download.
- Teach Your Children Groff. It’s sort of the opposite of the do-without-needing-to-understand practice that most people assume Steve Jobs wanted. (via)
- Your Objects, The Unix Way. (via)
- Getting your computer work done in 1973. Given the hardware, I don’t think this is Unix, but it’s still neat to see it work. Punch cards! (via)
- Here’s how arcade cabinets were first planned out. I like seeing the old-school marker rendering.
- This notebook seems like a bad idea. (via)
- This secure bootloader, on the other hand, could be useful. (via)
- A hypnotic data visualization. (via aggelos on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- A Star Wars roguelike on GitHub. (via)
Your unrelated link of the week: GET LAMP. I thought I had linked to it before, but I’m probably thinking of It Is Pitch Dark. It’s a documentary by Jason Scott of textfiles fame about text adventures.
Michael W. Lucas announced his next book will be about DNSSec, which is good. It’s also self-published, which I like to see. I don’t know if it necessarily makes him more money, but I like to see more exploration of this new way of publishing.
If you look at his announcement, there’s a link to something else: vendor-free SSL certificates. These are possible? That’s one of those things I didn’t even realize I wanted; having to deal with a certification authority is annoying.
BSDTalk 220 is up. It’s a conversation with Eric Oyen, OpenBSD user. It’s about 20 minutes and I don’t know the subject past “OpenBSD” cause I haven’t listened to it – yet.
NYCBUG is joining up with a whole bunch of other software user groups (Linux, Lisp, Puppet, etc.) for a holiday party on December 11th. This may not do you much good unless you live within a few hour’s travel, but I like seeing that sort of cross-group get-togethers, with no sponsor other than the desire to talk and drink.
This discussion of cryptographic hardware for FreeBSD may include hardware that would work for DragonFly too. Can someone verify?
It’s ‘old week’!
- Your team should work like an open source project. It’s not as complete a possibility as I think this person paints it, but there’s principles outlined in that article that could apply to any office. (via)
- World’s oldest d20. If you told me it was, say, a few decades old, I’d have believed it. (via)
- World’s oldest digital computer turned back on. From 1951. I like the name “Harwell Dekatron”.(via)
- Speaking of old, Windows 95 Tips, Ticks, and Tweaks. (via multiple places)
- A horrible computing idea from the 1960s. (via)
- Old computer art updated to work in Processing. You know what Processing is, right? If not, you may be in for a treat. (via)
- xmonad layouts for netbooks. I’ve thought that a tiling window manager is a good solution when low on screen real estate, but I never got this detailed. (via)
- Remember the complaints about Linuxisms last week? ITWire followed up on this with Marc Espie of OpenBSD. He makes the good point that computers are complex systems, and when you stop thinking about compatibility, everything – including Linux – gets crappier. (via)
- Vi-style shortcuts appear everywhere, including on Tumblr. (slightly related: I have a Tumblr with images from the mine where I work.)
Shopping! This is the big holiday shopping weekend in the US, and I usually put together something here.
- Buy an SSD for someone who doesn’t have one – including you if that’s the case. There’s better and worse SSDs out there, but you’ll get a speed benefit no matter what, and other bonuses are possible.
- The Tea Bag Buddy, which also comes in a color-changing version. Because tea.
- My perennial Science! suggestions: ThinkGeek, American Science and Surplus, Ward’s Scientific, Carolina, and United Nuclear, The Bone Room, and Skulls Unlimited.
- The Best of BSD 2011 and Last Year in BSD Security, from the BSD Magazine publisher.
- For more BSD, there’s always the orgs themselves. FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD - no DragonFly, though there ought to be. Also, ISC.
- For lists of gifts, there’s the Verge Gift Guide, which has some interesting offshoots.
- Another long list: The Comics Reporter’s Shopping List.
If you have suggestions, please comment!
If you are one of the few people still wanting to read an OS/2 HPFS drive, support for it in DragonFly has been updated by Antonio Huete Jimenez. It’s read-only, but writing didn’t work well, and I’d be surprised if there’s any hpfs disks that aren’t archival, out there.
The initial download of pkgsrc via Git on DragonFly is a little bit faster now, with the ‘make pkgsrc-create-shallow’ option recently added by John Marino. Note that there’s a similar option for src. It skips downloading file history.
Sascha Wildner has added system management BIOS (SMBIOS) support, visible with kenv, from FreeBSD. Use it for getting things like the BIOS revision, system manufacturer, and so on. For example:
smbios.bios.reldate="12/04/2006" smbios.bios.vendor="Dell Inc. " smbios.bios.version="2.1.0 "
This may seem minor, but this can be very helpful when dealing with hardware you aren’t physically able to access.
Apparently this is history week for Lazy Reading.
- You know what I like about older retail games? Not the playing, but the paraphernalia that came with it – maps, histories, stories on printed paper. This Empire for Apple ][ description even has pictures of a hand-drawn timeline.
- Remember when Enlightenment was considered too graphically intensive to run easily? Now E17 is in alpha! (via multiple places including here.)
- The regular expression that’s the equivalent of a shrug and a handwave.
- “Why BSD is better than Linux” (2002). It’s an old PDF presentation, but a good history overview. I got a kick out of slide 40.
- Rob Pike on why object-oriented programming isn’t always awesome. Slightly related: I wish Google+ pages had RSS feeds. (via)
- The GPL is usually described as a defense for users against companies. What if it’s being used as a bludgeon by one company against another?
- Remember in last week’s Lazy Reading, I pointed at complaints about Linuxisms; changes that assumed Linux was the only Unixlike system. The problem continues even within distributions. There’s a common thread of the people involved.
- When In Git, different animated gifs set to different git habits and events. This is the next stage after rage comics.
Because of the recent good results for pgbench on DragonFly 3.2, Phoronix has a new benchmark of DragonFly using other (possibly unrelated) tests. There’s not a lot of information to glean from them; they are testing operations different than what was optimized for pgbench in 3.2. I’d like to see DragonFly 3.0 tested the same way to see how much improvement there was between versions.
A person labeled only as ‘wicked’ sent me a link to this conversation about BSD unification. I’ve seen the topic brought up before, and I’d argue that it’s already happening, slowly. DragonFly has code brought in from FreeBSD, pkgsrc from NetBSD, pf and dhclient from OpenBSD, etc. ’bmake’ is used in NetBSD, FreeBSD, and DragonFly now. Clang works across the board, I think (dunno the status on OpenBSD). There’s more of that cross-pollination going on if you think about it.
The 3.2 release seems to have gone well. Who has tried the new USB support? I’m curious to see how it’s going.
- :syntax Off, about working without syntax highlighting. (via)
- The previous link led me to this .vimrc with by-line explanations. I never get tired of looking at these things, though I also never implement anything out of them.
- 102 FreeBSD Tips. It’s really the contents of the FreeBSD fortune file. Almost all these tips apply to DragonFly, too, and often the other BSDs.
- A tcpdump primer. Always a good tool to know. It’s not as easy to use as Wireshark, but it’s certainly possible to end up with access to tcpdump and not Wireshark, right when you really need to see what’s happening on the network. (via)
- An HTML5-based terminal in your browser. Displays images, runs vim, etc. All that technological growth since 1972 has come full circle to replicate an 80×25 screen again. (I kid; it’s pretty neat.)
- A 6-week cryptography course, free of charge.
- Nothing to do with this operating system, but: Robot DragonFly, an Indiegogo project. (via)
- When you’re young and getting paid to work on open source, you can be surprisingly naive. (via several people)
- I agree with this sentiment about Linuxisms coming from an OpenBSD developer. (via Tomaz Bodzar)
- Someone want to work on ssh-ldap-helper for BSD? It sounds like a very good idea.
- A bunch of free computer books. Ignore the Linux ones; there’s free books for Ruby/Python/Perl there. (via)
Sepherosa Ziehau is switching a number of network cards over to use ifpoll, which means they will have capabilities similar to MSI-X, even if the network card doesn’t support it. My suspicion is that it will make these cards perform better in busy situation where they would otherwise get bogged down… but that’s based on hunch rather than empirical testing. As Sepherosa Ziehau pointed out, it certainly can’t hurt.
On the 10th of November, I’m going to remove the binary pkgsrc packages from mirror-master.dragonflybsd.org for DragonFly 2.8 through 2.11. They are closing in on 2 years old at this point, and are from a pkgsrc branch that hasn’t been updated for that long.
If you are actually using version of DragonFly that old, you can continue building from pkgsrc normally; these are just prebuilt packages.
Today is the day that FreeBSD moves to using clang by default. This is not necessarily a surprise, but I like the finality of calling it “Clang-Day”. I think Clang will probably be the next compiler brought into DragonFly’s base system, instead of the next release of gcc. Don’t make any bets on my statement, though, cause I certainly won’t be the one doing it. (It’s hard.)
I’m glad 3.2 is out the door. I think I spent more time on release notes and watching package builds than any other release.
- This in-browser recreation of an Apple ][+ is a trip down nostalgia lane. (via)
- HappyEdit, “Vim-based” text editor. It’s actually an IndieGoGo project. (via)
- A physics paper with a description of a non-Euclidean universe, which happens to mention Cthulu. (via)
- NetBSD now supports these 100-core Tile-GX processors; I didn’t know such hardware existed. (Thanks, Tomas Bodzar)
- Active vs. Passive Benchmarking. (Tomas again.)
- The Search for the Ultimate Engineer’s Pen. I like looking at some of the pen models mentioned. The best way to find the “ultimate” pen, that nobody mentioned: go into a good art store and ask to sample a few pens. Bring the type of paper you normally use. Pens are usually out loose, and having it in your hand is the best way to tell. If there’s a college near you with a good technical art program, check the campus store. Why, yes, I did base that example on direct experience.
- The evolution of the computer keyboard. The descriptions of the various mechanisms are neat to hear about. It of course repeats the Dvorak story. (via)
- All the back issues of science fiction magazine Omni, online and free.
Your unrelated link of the day: Sir, You Are Being Hunted. I link to the Kickstarter for this game for no other reason than I think it would be fun to play.
Every year, the Chaos Communication Congress tends to gather at least a few DragonFly-using people, and this year is no different. The event is being held in a much larger arena this year, in Hamburg, Germany, so there’s a good chance a DragonFly ‘assembly‘ could be held. Speak up on the users@ mailing list, or EFNet #dragonflybsd, if you’re going too. It’s happening on the last few days of this year, December 27th through 31st.
I’ve written a release email that includes the steps for updating from source and updating pkgsrc for existing installs. This release enjoys better performance and new packages, so go, enjoy.
There was one more file to change for the bmake import, so if you are running DragonFly 3.3 and updated between the 28th and 30th of October, do a full rebuild.