• pkgsrc: Package-related terminology

    For a long time, I've been noticing a recurrent terminology mistake in some pkgsrc-related mailing lists and bug trackers. The error is that some people use the "pkgsrc" word to refer to single packages inside the pkgsrc tree; e.g., they send a problem report with a summary line saying: "New pkgsrc for foo-1.0". This is incorrect and should read: "New package for foo-1.0", but we will discuss this below. (A confession: I did this mistake when submitting my first packages, too.) [Continue reading]

  • The TERM variable

    After reading some messages posted during the last few days in a NetBSD mailing list, I realized that several people do not know what is the real purpose of the TERM environment variable. [Continue reading]

  • pkg-config: Specifying dependencies

    One of the good things about using pkg-config in a software package is that its configuration script can easily specify external dependencies by their name and their version. It doesn't need to mess with other requirements, such as specific build flags or tricks to determine whether the installed library is new enough to fulfill its needs. [Continue reading]

  • Books: The Da Vinci Code

    I've just finished reading The Da Vinci Code, which I started this past Tuesday. It didn't take my attention at first, as it seemed just like many other mystery stories, but after around 50 pages, I was hooked. I can't remember any other book which has captivated my interest so much. [Continue reading]

  • GNOME 2.10.0 hits pkgsrc

    After more than a week of work, I've finally updated the GNOME packages in pkgsrc to the latest and newest stable version; that is, 2.10.0. [Continue reading]

  • XTerm: Anti-aliasing

    One of the things I kept missing in XTerm, compared to Konsole or gnome-terminal, was anti-aliased fonts. But you know what? They are, in fact, supported, as XTerm now — well, I suppose since XFree86 4.0 at least — uses freetype to render text. [Continue reading]

  • XTerm: Setting up scrolling

    Back to the days when I used KDE (that was more than a year ago), I got used to the Shift+Up and Shift+Down keybindings in Konsole (I have to say it's a great terminal emulator). These keys combinations scroll up and down, respectively, a single line of text. [Continue reading]

  • pkg-config: Mixed state in some libraries

    A reply to my previous pkg-config introductory post outlined a real "problem" with "mixed-state" packages. These packages provide pkg-config metadata files in some situations; i.e., not always. This is a quite common situation in libraries that did not use pkg-config in the past, but have been recently converted to do so. Some examples are OpenSSL or the X libraries (which are being converted to the GNU toolchain by Freedesktop.org). [Continue reading]

  • TV series: Dark Angel

    I've just finished watching the second (and last) season of Dark Angel, a TV series I discovered around past summer. All I can say is that the whole series are great, but IMVHO, too short. In fact, that's because FOX canceled them just after two seasons; what a pity. [Continue reading]

  • pkg-config: A quick introduction

    If you have ever tried to check for the presence of a library from a configuration script, you know this is not an easy task. Getting the right compiler (CFLAGS) and linker (LIBS) flags can be very difficult, if not impossible, without manual help from the user. [Continue reading]

  • GNOME 2.10.0 released

    The GNOME Project has just released the 2.10.0 version of its Desktop Environment. This is a new major release of the 2.x branch, which is source and binary compatible with all previous versions in the 2.x series. [Continue reading]

  • How to get the window size?

    Today, a friend of mine raised the issue of how to get the terminal window size from within a program. He had observed in his system an environment variable, called COLUMNS, which was automatically set to the window's width; that variable even changed when resizing the window. [Continue reading]