Year: 2005

Adopting the synopsis package

While I introduced myself into python lately, I was also looking for a useful tool to create documentation from python sources. Although doxygen claims to be suitable for python, I did not get any useful results from it (at least not out-of-the-box). I was also not satisfied with epydoc, since it fetches the documentation for all super classes, which is quite a lot for Qt derived classes. Finally, I found synopsis, which created very good results without requiring much configuration. The Debian package was orphaned, and the latest version in the Debian archive was 0.5.0 while the latest upstream version is 0.8.0, so I decided to adopt it. A preliminary package is now available at, the RFS was sent and I hope to find a sponsor soon 🙂

Write once, install nowhere?

I will never understand why people write applications in Java(TM), and then distribute it in some binary form, like .exe files for MS-Windows or .bin files for Linux/Unix. Instead of simply downloading a .zip or .tar.gz file, you have to choose the native platform you want the application to run on, and then execute some installation program like this: $ ~/sjsas_pe-8_1_02_2005Q2-linux.bin Checking available disk space... Checking Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment... Extracting Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment files... *** glibc detected *** double free or corruption (!prev): 0x08077718 *** Deleting temporary files... Really great … The cool thing in this specific case is that it is SUN Microsystems themselves where I downloaded the package from, to be more precise the J2EE reference implementation. Going to look for the jar files I need somewhere else now…

Debian amd64 port

Today I was able to try the amd64 port of Debian on an Intel Pentium D processor with EM64 technology. I dont have a broad overview of the various 64 bit technologies yet, but as far as I learned today the ia64 port is specific to the Intel Itanium processor, while the amd64 port supports both AMD64 CPUs and Intel EM64 CPUs. The current business card image booted well, but unfortunately the keyboard did not work anymore as soon as the debian installer showed its first menu. I tried both an USB and a PS/2 keyboard, but both have shown the same behaviour. Seems like there is more research necessary 🙂

The csh madness

I have been aware of it for a long time. But, from time to time, you need to make up your mind about it: the csh unix shell simply sucks. I noticed this again today when I tried to execute a simple ‘while’-loop on the shell within one line, something like ‘% while ( true ) ; doSomething ; end’. This is simply not possible with [t]csh: it needs a line feed after the while statement. More reasons why not to use [t]csh can be found at csh programming considered harmful and Top Ten Reasons not to use the C shell. The most obvious for me is: it does not support functions or procedures. So, just do not use it. Use a shell like sh, bash, ksh, zsh. For more complex scripts, use a modern scripting language like Python or Ruby.