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Just a tech.

Status update, April 2019

I have great news this month: I finally managed to sit down and work on mrsh job control! It’s taken a long time because:

  • There is little documentation about how it works. Hopefully the glibc manual has been pretty helpful and I managed to get a prototype working. I spent some time asking myself existential questions such as “what is a job anyway?”1.
  • It wasn’t obvious how to wire everything up with mrsh’s architecture. It turned out pretty well in the end, but it took several takes.
  • It’s hard to debug. If you mess up the setup sequence, all you get is a broken terminal.

Anyway, the groundwork for job control has landed. You can now start jobs in the foreground or in the background, interrupt or stop them, and continue them in the background or foreground (with fg and bg).

There’s still more to be done before job control support is complete. Some tasks are easy, like adding kill/wait or completing the fg/bg implementations. Some are more involved, for instance we’ll need to attach an AST to jobs. In any case, patches welcome!

Apart from job control, support for command -v has been added by dragnel. Thanks!

In Wayland news, I’ve become the Wayland and Weston release manager. I hope this will help the other maintainers since both projects could use more contributors!

I’ve also been working on wlroots, mainly on refactoring the wlr_output API. The new API looks a lot like wl_surface: you attach buffers, set properties and then apply all pending changes at once. This will allow for many cool features and will allow us to take advantage of the DRM atomic interface.

The next big change I’m working on is direct scan-out. This will allow wlroots to skip rendering completely when a fullscreen window is displayed. I’ve almost finished implementing it and it works pretty well. Once this is merged I’ll be able to think about planes to skip rendering in more situations.

With vilhalmer we’ve released a new mako version. This one brings a large number of enhancements! New features include grouping, icons, progress bars and rounded corners. Big thanks to all contributors!

Let’s finish this status report with some Go news. I’ve merged my e-mail authentication packages into one, go-msgauth. It supports DKIM, DMARC and Authentication-Headers for now, but more features are planned such as ARC.

maddy is making steady progress thanks to foxcpp (I have trouble keeping up with pull requests!). We now have a man page which is much better than the previous README-like file we had. We’re still trying to figure out a good config file format and simple mechanisms.

Alright, see you next month!


  1. Contrary to the POSIX definition, it’s not just a pipeline as a job is also created with e.g. asynchronous lists [return]

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