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NOTE: I have merged the contents of this blog with my web-site. I will not be updating this blog any more.


Small World

Niraj Kumar, who contributed the support for FreeBSD's UFS2 filesystems to the 2.6 series Linux kernel is also from Bangalore!

Not only that - he works for Oracle India as well and in fact sits in the same building as I do!

I am yet to meet him though. :-/

(Originally posted on Advogato.)


GCJ and Definite [Un]Assignments

I spent most of my free time this weekend trying to resolve some of the issues with definite [un]assignment in GCJ as specified by the JLS.

I just wanted to be able to see zero new FAILs with Jacks, but that goal proved to be quite elusive - I fix one bug and that uncovers problems elsewhere, I fix some of those bugs and they uncover some more, ad nauseam - I had to give up after a certain point and just came up with something that is the least disruptive.

All this effort on something that I do not even agree completely with! I mean, this part of the JLS must be one of the shadiest - Sun has just converted into a specification whatever they felt they could reasonably implement in their own compiler, never mind if someone else can come up with a more thorough code flow analysis and give out less stoopid warnings. Sheesh!

(Originally posted on Advogato.)



"How to Write Shared Libraries" (PDF) is a paper by Ulrich Drepper that should be mandatory reading for every serious UNIX programmer. If nothing else, it lets one throw terms around like GOT and PLTs at newbies! ;-)

(Originally posted on Advogato.)

GCC Gets Tree-SSA

After almost 4 years of development, the tree-ssa project has finally been merged into the GCC mainline!

The Static Single Assignment (SSA) form enables all sorts of funky optimisations to be implemented in GCC, making it possible for it to compete effectively with commercial optimising compilers.

Thanks in large part to Jeff Sturm and Andrew Haley, GCJ starts off as a first class citizen in this new avatar of GCC, that too with no libjava testsuite regressions. In fact, the Jacks testsuite now shows 30 unexpected successes (XPASSes) with GCJ and only 5 new failures (FAILs)!

The GCC bootstrap time seems to have regressed by around 20% percent, but one should not forget that quite a bit of new code has been added, not to mention the increased number of Trees that are created and the now redundant RTL optimisers.

And oh, by the way, say "Hello!" to Tree Browser!

(Originally posted on Advogato.)

www.advogato.org server woes

Even the Advogato server has been having problems lately! The result is that I've not been able to post diary entries for around a week now. (Not that I have anything insanely useful or profoundly interesting to say, but still...)

The following is what I intended to post around a week ago:

(Originally posted on Advogato.)



Gmail is a real pleasure to use - thanks to Yumpee Saar, I've had a Gmail account for a while now. It still lacks a couple of things and is not as customisable as one would have liked it to be, but it is still so much better than any other web-based email service I have seen. Like so many great innovations, it has so many neat and simple features that make you think "Why hadn't anyone thought of this before?". Nice.

I have since had four opportunities to invite others and my wife, my sister, Kingshuk and Srikanth were promptly doled out these invitations.

(Originally posted on Advogato.)

Package-Private Accesses in GCJ

My patches for PR 15073 and 9685 are finally in.

(Originally posted on Advogato.)

gcc.gnu.org Server Woes

The server that hosts gcc.gnu.org as well as sources.redhat.com had to be moved out of its colo facility at a very short notice. Its IP address was therefore changed and the RAM was also upgraded to 4GB. However the corresponding DNS entry's TTL was one whole day, so the IP address change did not quite propagate as soon as one would have liked it to. So we couldn't access the server for that period. However, worse was yet to follow.

The increased bandwidth and RAM somehow caused a RAID driver bug that results in hard lock-ups to show up much more frequently than ever before, with the result that the server is only intermittently up for useful work. (It responds to "ping", but CVS, SSH, etc. seem to be down.)

As of this writing, the server is down again - I really hope this issue gets resolved as soon as possible.

By the way, what I do not understand is why the "overseers" mailing list that is used to coordinate the activities of the maintainers of this important server for free software seems to be hosted on the server itself!

(Originally posted on Advogato.)