• NetBSD/mac68k soft-float support

    Two days ago I commited some code to NetBSD's CVS HEAD to let the mac68k port be built with soft-float support. All this work was originally done by Bruce O'Neel, so if you want to thank somebody, thank him. In order to build a release with this feature enabled, it's as easy as passing the -V MKSOFTFLOAT=yes argument to the build.sh script. [Continue reading]

  • Why function names appear in column 1?

    Have you ever wondered about why many people writes C/C++ function definitions separating the return type from the function name? And why even style guides suggest you to do so? I'm referring to something like: [Continue reading]

  • Preformatted manual pages

    Some time ago, a friend of mine installed FreeBSD on his old laptop and told me that it was very slow. Specially, a simple man ls took forever, while the same command on a Linux system went faster. Why was this specific command slower? Probably because he missed to install the preformatted manual pages, included in the catman series. [Continue reading]

  • Bugs and questions

    Some time ago I talked about how to write good bug reports. Today, I've found an essay that describes this process in great detail; you can find it here, written by Simon Tatham. [Continue reading]

  • VCS Made Easy: sources imported

    I have imported the preliminar sources of VCS Made Easy into the repository; you can view them trough ViewCVS by clicking here. To download them, just follow the regular procedure for any project hosted at Sourceforge.net, which is summarized here: [Continue reading]

  • GNOME 2.8.0 hits pkgsrc

    After more than two weeks of work, I've been able to commit to the pkgsrc tree all the required changes to bring the GNOME Desktop to its 2.8.0 version. [Continue reading]

  • Writing portable code

    Portability problems can be seen from two points of view: the operating system and the architecture. Depending on the kind of application you are developing, you may hit these problems. An example of OS-portability can be the use of a specific hardware subsystem through kernel facilities; on the other hand, an example of architecture-portability can be the direct use of assembly code. [Continue reading]

  • GNOME 2.8 published

    According to the release schedule, the GNOME Project is pleased to announce the 2.8 version of its GNOME Desktop. You can find the official annoucement here, as well as the discussion in FootNotes. [Continue reading]

  • VCS Made Easy - Project registered

    Yay! Sourceforge.net has accepted my new project, called VCS Made Easy. This program aims to simplify the management of several directory hierarchies controlled by a version control system (such as CVS or Subversion) up to date. [Continue reading]

  • One time passwords

    When you are away from home, you may need to access your machine through an SSH (or telnet, if you are still using it) client. The client machine will often be public and not administered by you, so you can't trust it. Who warrants you that it does not contain any key sniffer that can capture your password? [Continue reading]

  • The old new thing

    I would like to recommend you a blog that I find very interesting: it's called The old new thing, and is published by Raymond Chen. You know, I'm not a Windows fan... and this blog's main subject is Windows... so why am I recommending it? [Continue reading]

  • Added RSS feed

    As I already said in previous posts, LiveJournal provides a quite good service. However, free accounts do not have the RSS service, which is a pity. Having a sindication method is a very important thing to make a blog popular among people. [Continue reading]

  • Why pkgsrc uses static file lists

    In the pkgsrc package system, each package comes with a PLIST file which describes the files and directories that belong to it. Its contents are used at deinstallation time to cleanly remove the package from the system, among other tasks. [Continue reading]

  • About the Finder...

    Today I've been reading a very interesting article which talks about the advantages of spatial interfaces. It is titled About the Finder... and can be found here. The paper starts explaining what spatial interfaces are, how they mimic reality and why they are good in usability terms. [Continue reading]

  • autogen.sh scripts

    The GNU Build System works by generating scripts that have to be later distributed in your distribution file; these include Makefile.ins and configure, among others. Many projects that use it are managed by a version control system (such as CVS), although they don't keep the generated files under revision control (which is a good thing in many scenarios). [Continue reading]

  • Migrating to new versions of the GNU Build System

    The GNU Build System is basically composed of GNU Autoconf and GNU Automake. The latest versions of these tools are 2.59 and 1.9.1 respectively, at the moment of this writing. Compared to 2.13 and 1.4, these are far better, although not completely compatible with the previous ones. However, if you are maintaining a software project which uses these two tools, you should consider updating to the latest versions, as your program will be more portable and easier to manage. [Continue reading]

  • Strange USB mouse

    I've been trying to setup a new laptop today (unfortunately, not for me); one of the things I had to do was to install an external USB mouse (by Packard Bell). Easy, you'd say. But it has turned to be impossible. [Continue reading]

  • To rely or not to rely on the PATH

    It is quite common for a program to need to execute other programs at run time. This can be done in two ways: specifying the full path to the binary or relying on the current path. So which approach is correct? It depends on what you are trying to do. [Continue reading]

  • Back at home

    Hi readers! I'm back from my vacations. Well... in fact I came back a week ago but haven't had a chance to write something for the blog. [Continue reading]