Monthly Archives: July 2009

Hot off the Press: FreeBSD Foundation Newsletter

In this Edition:

* Letter From the President
* 2009 Fundraising Drive
* Dru Lavigne Helping Foundation
* Safe Removal of Active Disk Devices
* Wireless Mesh Support
* Improvements to the FreeBSD TCP Stack
* AVR32 Support
* Problem Reporting Prototype
* FreeBSD Powers Long Distance Wireless Link
* DCBSDCon 2009
* AsiaBSDCon 2009
* Foundation at BSDCan and Developer Recognition
* 2009 Grant and Travel Grant Recipients
* BSDCan Spotlight
* Financials

Huawei E169 on 7-STABLE

Two weeks ago I moved on my laptop from 7.2 BETA2 (SVN revision r191457) from 7-STABLE (SVN revision r195649). Why? Just because I thought I could...

it wasn't the worlds best upgrade I have had. Yes, everything still worked, like X, my network, the ports etc. Except that when using the Huawei E169 3G modem everything hang now and then. Not everything, just the keyboard (network and mouse still worked, so killing X and restarting it was possible if you could access it), but it was enough to have to make the laptop to shut down and to have do an fsck on it. And doing that on the train early in the morning is not my idea of a good time.

I remembered that Peter Jeremy had the same issue earlier after I wrote up the first stories about the E169 and his solution was to upgrade to CURRENT. Yech, that isn't something I want to do on my daily machine. So for two weeks I kind of worked without a network on the train until I finally had enough of it and installed CURRENT on the laptop. And it came up as 8.0 BETA2 (SVN revision 195900).

And I just my first trip on the train with a network again and without having to run fsck during the trip!

Planet FreeBSD and Feedburner

Following Murray’s suggestion to use feedburner to track Planet FreeBSD subscribers, I’ve created feeds and added badges to Planet FreeBSD frontpages. So far it still shows 0 subscribers but I’ve done the necessary tweaking to point the rss/atom feeds to the new one. I hope the readers will be smart enough to notice the rss to atom change. We’ll see how it works out.

I’ve also removed the rss10/opml/foaf feeds as they seem to be mostly requested by crawlers. If you’re using it and can give a reasonable reason why you can’t use atom, drop me an email.

Share and Enjoy: Digg del.icio.us Facebook Google Bookmarks Twitter

No related posts.

Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

Sign of life!

Yes I’m alive A small update of what’s going on here. At the beginning of this month we Called for Testing of the new Qt-4.5 for FreeBSD, most dependency ports build and work fine but unfortunately py-qt4 from the portstree failed, we have now to wait for the KDE 4.3 release to upgrade to Qt-4.5, py-qt-4.5, and KDE 4.3. [...]

Prowl is full of awesome

I read about prowl a few weeks ago, and quickly dismissed it as I believed it required growl sending him the alerts. Actually it doesn’t!

Here’s the description from the website:


Prowl is a Growl client for the iPhone. Notifications from your Mac (or even Windows! see the FAQ) can be sent to your iPhone over push, with a full range of customization and grace you expect.

Just go the the prowl website, create your account, log in, go to settings and generate your API key. Once you’re done, download the prowl client for iPhone (2.79E if I remember correctly) and start it once, it will register your phone on the website.

Now, download the CLI client here (not yet in ports) and start playing around!

Here are a few things you can do with prowl already: receive Nagios alerts, know when somebody’s talking to you on irssi, ...

Share and Enjoy: Digg del.icio.us Facebook Google Bookmarks Twitter

Related posts:

  1. iPhone, Twitter and Push Notifications So, everybody’s raving about the upcoming iPhone OS 4.0,...

Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

blogs.freebsdish.org updated to wordpress-mu 2.8.2

WordPress-MU 2.8.2 fixes a XSS vulnerability and a few other annoying bugs (like the auto-upgrade features).

Source

Share and Enjoy: Digg del.icio.us Facebook Google Bookmarks Twitter

Related posts:

  1. WordPress-MU updated to 2.8.1 Following WordPress-MU 2.8.1 release, I’ve updated the copy on...
  2. FreeBSD Blogs and Planet FreeBSD First, I’d like to apologize for the extended downtime...
  3. Planet FreeBSDish update (again) So, that WordPress plugin I mentioned previously has been...

Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

anholt @ 2009-07-22T21:19:00

Another quarter, and another release. I think we've made big progress here. One of my favorite reports on the mailing list was that a company deploying our graphics driver was delightfully surprised that their XV tearing issues were fixed. That was a lot of work, and I was despairing of them saying it didn't work out.

A few things I was involved with that I'm happy with:
- Fixing the "memory leak" of GEM buffer objects
- Fixing quake4 and doom3 which regressed back in Mesa 7.4
- Fixing VBO performance on 915 (I don't like discouraging people from doing the right thing)
- OpenGL Performance and correctness fixes for cairo-gl
- Fixing a bunch of FBO problems, particularly on 965
- Hardware-accelerated glGenerateMipmaps and SGIS_generate_mipmap. Finally.
- Fixing many GLSL bugs on 965.
- Fixing occlusion queries (sauerbraten)
- Fixing crystalspace regression (woo supporting other open-source software developers)
- Fixing ut2004 hangs on G4x.

Already, things are looking exciting for our next release. Thanks to cairo-perf-trace, I've just landed a 10% improvement in firefox performance for UXA. We're also working towards the future with cairo-gl, which I'd started doing in my free time based off of ickle's cairo-drm work, and is now merged into cairo master. This is a major step towards maintaining one driver (OpenGL) per chipset, with the other part being doing a real X-on-GL backend so that legacy stuff not using cairo doesn't suffer too badly. Both of these are now on our plates for work activity in the next few months.

But we've got a ways to go to get there. I know we've got fixes to be made to our OpenGL before cairo-gl's going to shine, and cairo-gl needs a lot of work as well:
[ # ]  backend                         test   min(s) median(s) stddev. count
[  0]    image             firefox-20090601   92.877  108.208   6.54%   15/15
[  0]     xlib             firefox-20090601   46.609   46.832   0.28%    6/6
[  0]       gl             firefox-20090601  238.103  238.195   0.35%    5/6
(tested with master of everything on a 945GM, lower is better)


One of the things we need to figure out is what sort of shader support cairo-gl's going to be based on, and what we want to do in our driver to support it. The 915 and other hardware of that era can't do dynamic flow control, so many GLSL shaders would be unimplementable. But we as developers of software targeting GL on these chips would love to write in GLSL instead of ugly ARB_fragment_program and ARB_vertex_program, even if we know we can't use some language features. We could maybe expose the GLES GLSL extension on 915, which explicitly says that programs with dynamic flow control and other features missing on this generation of chips may not compile. We could also be sneaky and do it on desktop OpenGL GLSL and be within spec (I think, and afaik some closed vendors have done it as well), though some apps might get angry with us for doing so. This is up in the air, but I'm hoping our answer is "expose it".

(Oh, and other people are doing exciting things, like jbarnes and mjg59 making big power savings, but I'll leave blogging to them)

anholt @ 2009-07-22T21:19:00

Another quarter, and another release. I think we've made big progress here. One of my favorite reports on the mailing list was that a company deploying our graphics driver was delightfully surprised that their XV tearing issues were fixed. That was a lot of work, and I was despairing of them saying it didn't work out.

A few things I was involved with that I'm happy with:
- Fixing the "memory leak" of GEM buffer objects
- Fixing quake4 and doom3 which regressed back in Mesa 7.4
- Fixing VBO performance on 915 (I don't like discouraging people from doing the right thing)
- OpenGL Performance and correctness fixes for cairo-gl
- Fixing a bunch of FBO problems, particularly on 965
- Hardware-accelerated glGenerateMipmaps and SGIS_generate_mipmap. Finally.
- Fixing many GLSL bugs on 965.
- Fixing occlusion queries (sauerbraten)
- Fixing crystalspace regression (woo supporting other open-source software developers)
- Fixing ut2004 hangs on G4x.

Already, things are looking exciting for our next release. Thanks to cairo-perf-trace, I've just landed a 10% improvement in firefox performance for UXA. We're also working towards the future with cairo-gl, which I'd started doing in my free time based off of ickle's cairo-drm work, and is now merged into cairo master. This is a major step towards maintaining one driver (OpenGL) per chipset, with the other part being doing a real X-on-GL backend so that legacy stuff not using cairo doesn't suffer too badly. Both of these are now on our plates for work activity in the next few months.

But we've got a ways to go to get there. I know we've got fixes to be made to our OpenGL before cairo-gl's going to shine, and cairo-gl needs a lot of work as well:
[ # ]  backend                         test   min(s) median(s) stddev. count
[  0]    image             firefox-20090601   92.877  108.208   6.54%   15/15
[  0]     xlib             firefox-20090601   46.609   46.832   0.28%    6/6
[  0]       gl             firefox-20090601  238.103  238.195   0.35%    5/6
(tested with master of everything on a 945GM, lower is better)


One of the things we need to figure out is what sort of shader support cairo-gl's going to be based on, and what we want to do in our driver to support it. The 915 and other hardware of that era can't do dynamic flow control, so many GLSL shaders would be unimplementable. But we as developers of software targeting GL on these chips would love to write in GLSL instead of ugly ARB_fragment_program and ARB_vertex_program, even if we know we can't use some language features. We could maybe expose the GLES GLSL extension on 915, which explicitly says that programs with dynamic flow control and other features missing on this generation of chips may not compile. We could also be sneaky and do it on desktop OpenGL GLSL and be within spec (I think, and afaik some closed vendors have done it as well), though some apps might get angry with us for doing so. This is up in the air, but I'm hoping our answer is "expose it".

(Oh, and other people are doing exciting things, like jbarnes and mjg59 making big power savings, but I'll leave blogging to them)

Why We Send Developers to Conferences

You probably know that the FreeBSD Foundation provides travel assistance for developers to attend conferences. If you've ever attended a BSD conference yourself, you have experienced first hand the value in networking with both committers and BSD users.

We'll be asking developers we've sponsored to share their experiences and will start with Thomas Abthorpe, a FreeBSD ports committer who attended this year's BSDCan. In Thomas' words:

It is an over used and abused saying, and I will invoke it, "Been there, done that, got the t-shirt". On the back of the shirt I received at registration it said "FreeBSD it's all about the people, from all around the world". For me, attending BSDCan was an opportunity to meet the people behind FreeBSD face to face. Email and IRC are great ways to collaborate with other developers, ideas can be shared, and projects brought to fruition, but in the end, the opportunity to get together with like minded people and just brainstorm in person is still the best way to get the job done.

I live in Thunder Bay, Ontario, a small city in central Canada, just north of the Minnesota border. My day job is as a Systems & Networks technician for the Canadian Grain Commission. FreeBSD is what I do for "fun" on my own time. Where I live, there are no local/user groups for any form of open source software. I have to rely on Internet technologies to reach out to others interested in FreeBSD. My interests in FreeBSD ports are quite varied; I maintain approximately 40 ports of various descriptions. Before I became a ports committer, I participated regularly in ports related bug busting weekends. Since becoming a committer,I worked with the FreeBSD KDE team that was instrumental in introducing KDE 4.x to the ports tree. I have also worked actively with the donations@ team, and have mentored other ports committers up through the ranks...


You can read the rest of Thomas' writeup in this PDF.

New Console Driver

Ed Schouten has been awarded a grant to write a new console driver for the FreeBSD project. The FreeBSD Foundation is excited to support Ed in providing a more efficient and user-friendly console driver.

This project will allow Ed to add an additional abstraction layer to the kernel. This new terminal layer will sit between the TTY layer, the kernel console and the actual console driver. The existing terminal emulator will be moved into the new terminal layer.

The advantage of the new layer is that the console driver itself will not have to handle any TTY semantics and will just receive a set of character drawing, filling and copying actions. This should make it easier to implement Unicode. It will also be much easier to make the boot process look nice on desktop systems such as PC-BSD).

This project will be completed by the end of December, 2009.

InternetNews.com: Why FreeBSD 8 Won’t Rewrite the Book

Even though the release cycle only has reached the BETA2 stage, InternetNews.com already has an article on the upcoming FreeBSD 8.0 release, with interviews with Michael Lucas, author of the Absolute FreeBSD book, Matt Olander of iXsystems, and Kris Moore of PC-BSD. Primary point of the article is how FreeBSD even for major releases with lots of new features and improvements still keeps the disruption for users to a minimum, and introduces these new features without forcing a paradigm shift on the users. This strategy has of course long been known to the developers as POLA, or Principle Of Least Astonishment. Highly recommended article.

Related posts:

  1. FreeBSD 8.0 released into the wild After the final preparations have been wrapped up, FreeBSD 8.0...
  2. Ports freeze schedule for FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE Below is the tentative schedule for the ports freeze in...
  3. Regressions in FreeBSD 9.0 Even though 8.0 hasn’t been released yet, with the second...

Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

FreeBSD 8.0-BETA2 Available

The final stage of the FreeBSD-8.0 Release cycle continues with the second public beta release. The FreeBSD 8.0-BETA2 ISO images for Tier-1 architectures are now available for download on most of the FreeBSD mirror sites. As with the first beta release, this is not yet intended for use in a production environment. However we encourage our users to test this release and report any bugs and problems you may have found. For more information about this release and updating details please see the official announcement.

Ports freeze schedule for FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE

Below is the tentative schedule for the ports freeze in preparation for 8.0-RELEASE. If any major delays occur in the overall release schedule, the dates may be postponed, but please start preparing to have your changed committed to the tree before August 17 to ensure they are included in the release. Also, portmgr kindly asks anyone who has anything major lined up to already from today start mailing portmgr about these so we know what to expect and not be surprised by any major fallout that might extend the short freeze we have planned.

August 17: ports tree is frozen and package build begin
August 24: ports tree is thawed and final package builds begin
August 31: FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE is released and ports tree is unfrozen

WordPress-MU updated to 2.8.1

Following WordPress-MU 2.8.1 release, I’ve updated the copy on blogs.freebsdish.org. Apparently there’s a bug with the auto-upgrader as it still says I should update to 2.8.1.

As usual, poke me if you encounter any issue.

Share and Enjoy: Digg del.icio.us Facebook Google Bookmarks Twitter

Related posts:

  1. blogs.freebsdish.org updated to wordpress-mu 2.8.2 WordPress-MU 2.8.2 fixes a XSS vulnerability and a few...
  2. FreeBSD(ish) blogs get some TLC Quick summary of the changes: WordPress MU updated to...
  3. Another Planet FreeBSD in testing… Alright, so I just found out about that FeedWordPress...

Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

VLF antenna

18_1_khz

This my vlf antenna, yes it is a deguass coil from an old tv, an tl-074 as instrument amp and BPF ~400 Hz – ~100 KHz

Above is the instrument amplifier and BPF.

The thin black line is a demagnitising coil from an old TV, the picture is taking looking straight south