Friday, November 04, 2005


On the horizon

There are always a couple of projects that I've been meaning to check out for a while, but seldom have the time to do so. Well, today I heard about a new research operating system called singularity. It is a microkernel based system with a goal of providing dependable computing - this is very similar to one of the goals of Minix 3. It would be very interesting to compare the approaches of the two systems.

Another project that I've been meaning to look at is C-cured, which is described on the home page as a source-to-source translator for C. So what it does is process C source code, and generates new C source code that has dynamic checking of memory references. The heart of C-cured is CIL, an analysis framework for C source code. The CIL project also originated at Berkeley.

My to-investigate list has had the Squeak project on it for a while (version 3.8 of Squeak is now available). Squeak is a graphically rich, object-oriented, environment based on Smalltalk. One of its goals is to be easy to use, and to provide a good environment for teaching children about programming - very laudable stuff. I've found Squeak hard to get into (after a 5 minute play months ago... I'm not being very fair to the system...), but I think that is because I've approached the system with the wrong mindset - I've been using Unix/Windows/C/C++/vi/... for far too long, and haven't been able to get my head around the smalltalk programming environment in the limited time that I've had. Anyway, ages ago I read the Back to the Future OOPSLA paper, and have been meaning to re-read the sections on the object memory and storage management. On that note, I'll stop typing this, and go do some reading (or more likely, sleeping).


The house got sold this week, which means no more opens (yippee!). Trying to live in a house whilst it is on the market is no fun at all... Heather and I were both very impressed with Paul Kloeden, whom we chose as our real estate agent. He kept us fully informed during the entire sale process, and impressed us not only with his professionalism but also his enthusiam. I'd happily recommend Paul to anybody else wanting to sell their house.

With all the packing, planning etc... I haven't managed to get any coding this week. It's unlikely that I'll get any done next week, or indeed the next few months as I'm likely to be fully booked out with painting/gardening/renovating/etc... which I'm looking forward to doing during the summer.

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