CIOPFS - Case Insensitive on Purpose File System

01.05.2008 at 23:42

Some time ago I saw Wine's Google Summer of Code ideas as I know nearly nothing about the Windows pre .NET core APIs and have zero interest in learning them, most projects weren't of interest to me. However, one idea about a case insensitive filesystem seamed like it would be fun to hack on.

The problem that wine has is that the file system on Windows is case insensitive while most POSIX file systems are case sensitive. In order to find a given file by a case insensitive file name wine does currently scan directories a lot and this is actually quite slow. So the idea is to let the file system deal with the whole mess. This would also solve the problem where a user extracts a zip archive over an already existing directory tree and expects that the files will be replaced instead of created with different case.

So I wrote a FUSE based case insensitive file system: ciopfs was born. Unfortunately the wine developers don't seem to be too interested and so it probably won't go anywhere in the near future but it was nonetheless fun to play with FUSE and maybe it will be useful for someone out there.


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SkiFree on Wine

18.04.2008 at 16:46

Today i stumbled by accident over SkiFree a game which i played ocasionally as a child during my early PC days.

I tried to run it via wine and it worked as advertised on the homepage. Nostalgic times come up...


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OpenExpo 2008 in Bern

17.03.2008 at 00:30

So I finally found some time to blog about the OpenExpo which I visited last Thursday. To make it short, it was great fun. Highlights were the talk of Alan Cox about practices and processes within the Linux community, while there wasn't really anything new for myself it was nonetheless fun to be there.


Another interesting presentation was given by Michael Lauer about the current state of OpenMoko. He promised that the Freerunner will be available real soon now(tm) which probably means in 2-3 months. I spent quite a bit of time with the OpenMoko people playing around with the prototypes (this was the first time I have had the opportunity to get my hands on the devices). Tried the gtk+ based GUI, Qtopia and an EFL based demo application they were showing. Since Raster is now working for OpenMoko I expect a lot of cool developments in this direction. Asked them why they were using glibc instead of uclibc and the reason is that they don't really care about the space gains because throwing more flash onto the device is cheaper than dealing with glibc incompatibilities. This is understandable from a business point of view but it is nonetheless a bit sad from a technical point of view which I am obviously more interested in. Another topic I asked about was opkg the package manager which is currently ipkg (which is unmaintained) + a few patches which remove a lot of crap and add a few features. I once looked at the ipkg code and I can only warn you it still hurts. Hence, I am not sure whether ipkg is a suitable starting point for a sane and lightweight package management system. But again from a business point of view it might be cheaper to improve on what is already there instead of doing it the right way(tm) from scratch. This would actually be a fun project but unfortunately I am a bit busy with other things right now. Another thing I asked was whether they were considering rendering directly to the framebuffer instead of going through X. But they prefer flexibility over raw performance. For example the ability to display application from your phone on your desktop, things like VNC, the fact that you can use applications from different toolkits and reuse existing development knowledge led to this decision. Another thing is that the directfb backend of gtk+ isn't really maintained (at least that's what they told me).

Anyway it is a great project and will buy a Freerunner as soon as it's available.

dvtm packaging

As there were also various people from different Linux distributions there, I asked about getting dvtm into their package repositories. dvtm is already in Debian, this left Fedora and Gentoo which both had a booth. The Gentoo devs were looking at the package and it's now in the Gentoo Sunrise User Overlay. I have given my mail address to the Fedora guys and hope they will get in touch with me.

Having a few drinks with Alan Cox

When the exposition closed, a few people were going to have a drink so I followed them and ended up with Alan Cox, 3 members of the Ubuntu Swiss Team, 2 Amarok and a Gentoo developer in a nice cafeteria. Topics that came up where I hadn't really something useful to contribute were: differences and similarities between various languages (with Alan as an English and Welsh expert) and computer based creation of modern pop music. It got a bit more interesting for myself when the discussion shifted to different programming languages and their suitability as a teaching tool. People complaining about Sheme, Eiffel, Lisp, Pascal, C++ (yeah Amarok is written in C++, hopefully a suitable subset of it) and so on. Alan doesn't seem to like perl, I should probably have mentioned that the latest 2.6.25-rc kernel requires perl in order to build it, which sucks big time! You now your out with geeks when suddenly someone starts to write code on a the carton saucer to show the beauty of Ruby. Alan showed off a C snippet with a combination of single line // and multiline /* */ comments which shows different results depending on the compiler (C vs. C++). I mentioned Fabrice Bellards tinycc compiler and noted that he won the IOCCC two times in a row. Alan agreed that he is a very bright guy but said that Fabrice could win another time with parts of Qemu.

Anyway this is getting way too long, it was great fun and I will almost certainly be there next time. Unfortunately, I forgot my digital camera at home and therefore have no pictures to share.


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Some Random Thoughts

01.02.2008 at 18:49

This week I have started an university preparation school, will see how this works out. But since I am working part time to earn a few bucks I will probably have less time to waste with fun things. Oh well.

I have done some improvements to dvtm which will lead to a 0.4 release pretty soon I hope.

Stumbled over these two window managers for Windows (no I don't use it voluntarily - I have to at work) too bad there is no dwm windows port.

What else? I have read through the SQL Injection cheat sheet. At some point I would like to learn some assembly, maybe I should start reading Programming from the Ground? Before that I will take a look at some of the interesting presentations.

Some random blurb to recent news: Nokia bought Trolltech, don't yet know what I should think about this one. Nokia supports software patents, is against OGG in the HTML5 spec, on the other hand they are involved in a few opensource projects. Their Maemo tablet device is based on a gtk+/pango/atk/cairo stack and now they are buying Qt, what does this mean for Qtopia? I hope they hold their promise, fortunately KDE is able to relicense Qt under a BSD-style license if development would be discontinued.

I personally hope that Rasterman who is now employed by OpenMoko will further advance the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) to build a user interface for resource constrained mobile systems.

As a last thing I would like to say a few things regarding the possible overtake of Yahoo by Microsoft. So they finally acknowledge that MSN sucks and their whole Windows Live(tm) strategy failed. Not that I would care about Yahoo but what bothers me is that they seem to be somewhat opensource friendly. They are apparently running quite a few FreeBSD servers and use PHP for some of their services, they have even hired Rasmus Lerdorf the creator of PHP. Good luck to the poor soles who will have the migrate their infrastructure to MS technologies.


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Integrating UTF-8 Support in librote for Use by dvtm

21.12.2007 at 21:13

During the last week I integrated wide character support into librote. This fixed mutt's threading view when run within dvtm. Did a 0.1 release.

For the next release I plan to integrate the ability to minimize windows.

So stay tuned.


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