January 2003 Archives
January 28, 2003

Jaguar reinstall

Apple

Odly enough, Jaguar on my Powerbook decided to no longer do drag-and-drop. I noticed it first in Mail.app, where I couldn't move emails to a different folder. Then I noticed that in Finder I couldn't move icons off the desktop. The situation got really bad when I noticed I cannot create bookmarklets in my Web browser. So I decided to reinstall Jaguar on my 9 months old Powerbook, which I've upgraded from 10.1.2, successively up to 10.2.3.

I backed up everything in my home directory, /private and /usr/local on an external Firewire hard-disk. I used a simple shell script based on rsync:

rsync -av --copy-unsafe-links -H --delete /private /Volumes/WD40
rsync -av --copy-unsafe-links -H --delete /Users /Volumes/WD40
rsync -av --copy-unsafe-links -H --delete /usr/local /Volumes/WD40

I reinstalled Jaguar, logged in as root and restored the settings using another shell script which reads like this:

rsync -av --copy-unsafe-links -H /Volumes/WD40/private /
rsync -av --copy-unsafe-links -H --delete /Volumes/WD40/Users /
rsync -av --copy-unsafe-links -H /Volumes/WD40/local /usr

I then rebooted the machine from the terminal using the reboot command, to avoid any data being saved on the above directories by the GUI applications. When the machine restarted, I had all the settings I had prior to the reinstall, minus some add-on applications I had installed.

I also had to reinstall a lot of commercial applications, which was a pain. I felt like back in the days I was installing Windows over and over again because of registry corruption or who knows what :(

One thing which surprises me at MacOS X is the fact that you need to reboot your system when you upgrade certain applications. I assume these applications update shared libraries, but nevertheless this should not be required. I certainly don't have to do this on Linux when I upgrade glibc or any other system library. Having to do it on MacOS X is really a bad thing: how is it better than Windows then other than a nice GUI? If this also happens on OS X Server then it's really bad.

Anyways, my laptop is now much faster than it used to be. Most applications start up much quicker, and there isn't so much disk access going on. I guess the previous file system was very fragmented.

Posted by ovidiu at 12:14 AM |
January 22, 2003

Cocoon is a top-level Apache project

Cocoon

Pier Fumagalli just announced that Cocoon has become a top-level Apache project! The Web site still needs to be setup, you get an empty page now, but the DNS is working fine. Yupee!

Posted by ovidiu at 11:44 PM |

The first week at Google

Google


It's been a week already since I started with Google. Phew, how fast it went by! I haven't had much time reading blogs these days, that's for sure.

I met a lot of people with whom I share past and current interests. [Content edited to protect the innocent]

It's for the first time I see such a large engineering group developing exclusively on Linux. Development happens in C, Python and Java using (X)Emacs and/or vi. Everybody seems to be a Linux hacker, with their own desktop and emacs customizations. I was originally planning to do development on my MacOS X laptop, but I've quickly decided to go back to my roots and use XEmacs on Linux.

I'm trying to get familiar with the source code base, and understand the architecture of the whole system. To get familiar with the existing code, I've started prototyping an idea I had for a long time. The scale of the deployment is just beyond any imagination, it's hard to imagine a system more complex than this. The interesting/scary thing is the current system is still expanding...

The work environment is very free, engineers can contribute to internal projects as they wish. The cool thing is that most ideas that you see on the public Web site are driven by engineers. This freedom is something I enjoy very much, as I don't like being constrained by a particular project.

In short I'm having a lot of fun. And by the way, Steven, the food is great! ;) I still need to visit you though for a good Belgium beer...

Posted by ovidiu at 09:05 PM |
January 14, 2003

New weblogger: Costin of Tomcat fame

Java

Costin Manolache of Apache Tomcat fame finally started blogging. Welcome Costin!

Posted by ovidiu at 12:59 AM |
January 13, 2003

My new job at Google

Google

Tomorrow will be my last day working at HP, I've accepted an offer to join Google. While I'm sure I'll miss a lot of colleagues at HP I've worked with, I'm really excited about the new job. I'll get a chance to work in the most successful start-up in the Valley at the moment, and get to do some really exciting things.

I will say no more at this moment, it's really premature to talk about the future. My first day at Google is Wednesday, January 15th. Wish me luck!

Posted by ovidiu at 08:17 PM |

Free software Java platforms

Emacs | Java

Richard Stallman is interested whether XSLT-process, my XSLT processor and debugger Emacs interface for the Saxon and Xalan XSLT processors runs on top of a free software JDK.

As far as I know Kaffe is one such free-software implementation of a Java virtual machine. There are many other implementations listed at Kaffe's Web site.

Does anybody have any experience with any of these in a real project? How much of the JVM functionality and the associated class libraries in JDK 1.3 are implemented? Can one run an XML parser and an XSLT processor like Saxon or Xalan on top of them?

Posted by ovidiu at 12:07 PM |
January 09, 2003

Another Cocoon committer: Michael Melhem

Cocoon

I've just proposed Michael Melhem as a new committer for Cocoon. Michael has done an excellent job with his patch for expiring continuations in the control flow layer.

I was thinking to ask Michael about this last night, but I was too tired and went to bed instead. When I woke up I had an email from Steven who was proposing me the same thing ;)

Posted by ovidiu at 10:21 PM |

Jeff Turner as Cocoon committer

Cocoon

Jeff Turner was proposed by Stefano as a Cocoon committer! This is an important recognition of the hard work and commitment Jeff has shown in all the projects he's been working on, Anteater, Forrest and Cocoon. Good job, Jeff!

Posted by ovidiu at 10:02 PM |
January 08, 2003

Safari and Chimera

Apple

The rumors about Apple releasing its own branded browser circulated for some months now. With the hiring of David Hyatt at Apple, one of the main developers of Chimera and Mozilla, the expectation was the new browser will be based on Gecko. It now turns out Safari is based on Konqueror's rendering engine. Quite interesting!

It would be very interesting to see the evolution of Safari. One major feature missing from Safari is tabbed browsing, which was designed and implemented by David. His description of the story and how it was seen by marketing people at that time is rather amusing.

What are the long term implications for Mozilla of Apple's decision to go without Gecko? With the current polarization of developers around Apple's new MacOS X, is Mozilla going to loose its relevance as the "other" browser on the market? Can Apple fight this browser battle they've just entered? What will be Microsoft's response to this?

I think this year will be an interesting one to watch...

Posted by ovidiu at 12:43 AM |
January 06, 2003

XSLT-process 2.2 for Emacs released

Emacs | Java | XSLT

I'm happy to announce a new release of the XSLT-process mode for Emacs. XSLT-process is an Emacs mode for applying and debugging XSLT stylesheets from within XEmacs or GNU Emacs. You can also use this mode to do processing of DocBook documents edited with Emacs.

Tony Addyman contributed most of the changes in this release. He's using Emacs and XSLT-process to teach XSLT to students in UK!

Here are the main changes since the 2.1 release:

  • XSLT-process now uses Saxon 6.5.2, Xalan 2.4.1 and FOP 0.20.4
  • Debugging using Xalan is now fully supported.
  • Both JDK 1.3 and 1.4 are supported.
  • During debugging sessions the output produced by executing the stylesheet is serialized immediately, then displayed and incrementally updated in an Emacs window.
  • Added parameter passing to the XSLT processor. These are parameters that are specified to all the stylesheets, in addition to any other parameters. They are specified through the customization menu.
  • Logging output, error messages, etc. generated by the FOP processor are displayed in the *Messages* buffer. The level of logging can be customized.
  • Improvements to the display of information during debugging.
  • MacOS X is now a supported platform, in addition to Linux and Windows 2000.
Posted by ovidiu at 10:52 AM |
January 05, 2003

404 error

Random

I found this funny 404 error message on SDForum's Web site:


Either BOF or EOF is True, or the current record has been deleted. Requested operation requires a current record.

Posted by ovidiu at 11:08 PM |
January 03, 2003

Death Valley pictures

Travel

I've put up some of the pictures I've taken in Death Valley, a really fascinating place. I definitely plan to visit the place again, there are so many things still left to be seen and explored!

Posted by ovidiu at 08:11 PM |
 
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