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Name: David Brownell
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3 Dec 2002 (updated 4 Dec 2002 at 04:56 UTC) »

Hmm, haven't posted here in ages ...

Latest hacking: updating Linux Hotplug scripts to cope with the current 2.5 stuff. Modutils is at least limping in a mostly-usable way, but the new stuff isn't as complete or usable as the old stuff (and may yet change a lot). There's the first whack at a scsi agent, but there's a distinct lack of thorough solutions for the "here's a new disk partition's /dev path, now mount it" problem. I'm hoping that gets fixed before Linux 2.6 freezes, but this is exactly the kind of stuff that tends to take Longer Than You'd Think It Should.

Haven't touched Java or XML in quite a while; I should bring some stuff there up-to-date.

Tom tromey recently wrote that he's interested in knowing why, in particular, GCJ is less "successful" than Mono. Heh, the Sun-vs-Microsoft battle in its Free software mode. Time-to-usability for GCJ was relatively long, in part because it was tied to the gcc3 train. That hurts; the "release early and often" strategy didn't apply there, and I understand it did work with Mono.

But I think another issue is Sun's antagonism to Free Java. That's hurt a lot more than Microsoft's more generic anti-GPL jihad. After all, Sun ("the Open Systems Company") was intent on cutting itself off from its roots, which damaged its relationship with the entire software community. If it had put any real effort into fostering the Free Java community, everyone would be better off in a lot of ways.

I just created a new project entry for the GNU Classpath Extensions, supporting Free Java interfaces and implementations of javax.* packages. The JAXP software there is nearly ready for a release, one of these days I hope to put together a source distribution and binary release.

As of GCC 3.0, the GCJ support is beginning to get interesting enough to start thinking of large systems of GPL'd (or LGPL'd) Free Java, although it's not quite up to the everything that, say, JDK 1.1 is ... there are hard problems, and Sun's business strategies are no help.

I've recently been importing some of my XML utilities to the JAXP subproject of the GNU ClasspathX project ... good excuse to clean up some things, catch up to some of the updates in the various XML specs, catch up on bugfixing, and so on. License is "GPL with Library Exception".

So this means that Ælfred2 now has JAXP 1.1 support; I confess to being a bit underwhelmed by JAXP, though glad that at last Sun has at last accepted SAX2 (and JDK 1.4 will bundle it). The "gnujaxp.jar" file builds fine out of CVS, and has decent (and conformant!) DOM and SAX support.

The interesting bits are of course the XML Pipeline framework, which I'm cleaning up as I integrate/update it. That's a way to assemble and compose reusable SAX2 processing components ... for example, there's a streaming validator there, and producers of SAX2 events can assemble pipelines that terminate in DOM trees or just write straight XML text.

Most of this works well with GCJ (in GCC 3.0), but there are a few strangenesses. The DOM code doesn't compile yet with GCJ due to an inner class bug, and the exception handling runtime (and likely compiler) has some hard-to-isolate bugs. Oh well; I'm happy that Free Java has a decent compiler now, even if it's not yet ready for mission quality software!

Thanks to kroah for setting up the linux-hotplug project and mailing list. I just put some stuff onto the homepage, since otherwise it's a bit painful to find; and sent out a list query for help generating some integrated docs for all the hotpluggable drivers on Linux. (XSLT/Docbook is my preferred solution; it's not exactly the kind of problem the kernel docs are set up to address.)

This promises to be an interesting project, although it's inherently a complex architectural problem of the type I'm not sure I know Linux has addressed before. If you want most devices to autoconfigure when you connect them to Linux, that can mean changes all over the place. Right now it's been seen to behave pretty well for USB, PCI, and networking, but it's a bit thin on integration testing and on system docs.

OK, I finally signed up here at Advogato! Nice to be able to get a username I've kept for quite a few years now. Also, to start seeing how this certification system behaves.

I just created a project entry for one of my current Free Java projects: jPhoto, which among other things integrates Linux USB, Java, the GNU Compiler for Java (GCJ), and Kodak DC-4800 cameras into a nice SRPM.

 

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