GTALUG Q&A Topics for October 2020

1.1 AGM: Chris’ Financial Report

1.2 AGM Candidates for Board

  • Note: 2 slots for 2 years + 1 slot for 1 year
  • Two incumbents finishing terms:
    • Chris Browne
    • Alex Volkov
  • Also, Stewart Russell has “thrown his hat in the ring”
  • Chris thought that he had email from another would-be candidate, but couldn’t find the email 🙁

1.2.1 Candidates Found:

  • Alex Volkov
  • Chris Browne
  • Stewart Russell

There being 3 slots, and 3 candidates, no vote turns out to be necessary for this.

1.3 PostgreSQL

1.4 Pi Stuff

  • Review of Gempro Pi4 Enclosure It’s made out of a whole lot of aluminium, so the whole case is a giant heatsink, and is apparently interestingly effective.
  • US vendors (Amazon, Newegg) carry it for about $30 USD

1.5 NVFS – Non Volatile Filesystem

nvfs Internals NOVA filesystem NOVA (NVSL) on GitHub

  • No particular discussion fell from this…

1.6 Game of Trees

OpenBSD Game of Trees

  • Uses Git repositories to store versioned data
  • Can use Git to perform functionality not (yet) in Got
  • Intended to be simpler than Git to fit with OpenBSD’s desire to have auditable components
  • Note that FreeBSD is moving from Subversion to Git, and has added Got to their set of packages

1.7 Apple Swift increasingly open source

Swift System is an interface for system calls and low level currency types, now adding Linux support. This means that accesses can have type safety, unlike C interfaces

Swift Playgrounds
An introduction to programming intended for children to teach about iteration and such

1.8 Hello Darling, darling @ Github Darling is a translation layer that lets you run macOS software on Linux. At present, it won’t quite so much run GUI applications, though… It’s thus not so much a way to run Photoshop on Linux, and more like a way of running server-ish apps. Maybe it’s a place to host the Swift apps?

1.9 Word Lists


  • SCOWL (Spell Checker Oriented Word Lists) might be useful to “spice up” your /usr/share/dict word lists.
  • You can construct your own word lists, based on parameters:
    SCOWL Size
    Indicates the portion of the language covered. The balancing act is interesting; make the dictionary larger, and risk false-negatives, that is, typos being mistaken for extremely uncommon words.
    Dialect Choices
    USian, Canadian, 2 British variants, Aussie
    (no term)
    Spelling variant inclusions
    (no term)
    Handling of diacritics
    (no term)
    Special lists
    • Hacker words
    • Roman numerals
  • Lots of vigorous opinions!

1.10 A fun technical interview

Rewriting the Technical Interview

  • I find it really fun that the writer designed, in-interview, a compiler specifically to parse (and rewrite) a (somewhat awful) program that was pulled off of (I assume) StackOverflow.
  • Note that it’s from a series; each focuses on taking a different, um, “abuse” of programming techniques taking things well beyond any expected limits
    • Reversing the technical interview
    • Hexing the technical interview
    • Typing the technical interview
    • Rewriting the technical interview
  • No particular discussion fell from this…

1.11 Interactive Fiction Competition – An annual celebration of new, text-driven digital games and stories from independent creators. In its 26th year!

  • No particular discussion fell from this…

1.12 Object Storage Protocol: POSIX’s death imminent?

New Object Storage Protocol Could Mean the End for POSIX

  • Object storage now has an mmap function mmap_obj() similar to POSIX. That means the processing and scalability limitations of POSIX become the new bottleneck.
  • Of course, perhaps this is tilting at a windmill…
  • No particular discussion fell from this…

1.13 OnlyOffice

  • multiplatform distributed “office software”
  • AGPL licensed
  • No particular discussion fell from this…

1.14 Snek

  • By Keith Packard of X11 fame
  • Microscopic Python-like language
  • Can run on tiny, tiny hardware
  • Apparently Lego is adopting it
  • Is this a pure interpreter? Or does it push bytecode or machine code to the runtime environment? see also:
    • Looks like it pushes the textual code to the runtime environment

1.15 ICANN