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Status update, April 2020

In the past month I’ve worked a lot on soju, my IRC bouncer project. With the help of delthas and Thorben Günther, soju is now ready for daily use! I’ve switched to soju for almost all IRC networks I’m connected to. The blocker for completely switching is detached channels, which I use quite extensively on Freenode.

soju now handles all common IRC messages. It fully supports the multi-server feature, which lets a user interact with multiple upstream servers from a single connection to the bouncer. Basically, all channels for all networks will appear with a “/<network>” suffix. I know this isn’t the ideal solution, but having to setup one connection per network is annoying (especially on mobile devices). Also, I have a plan to improve the status quo (but it will require patching clients).

soju now also has an IRC service called BouncerServ. One can just send commands to it. Commands include net status to check whether the bouncer is connected to all configured networks and net create and net delete to manage networks.

My next plans are to implement detaching channels to completely migrate to soju. We still need to add support for some IRCv3 extensions like away-notify. Some extensions can only be implemented if upstream servers support them, I’m not sure yet how to handle these. If you’re interested in contributing, feel free to stop by on IRC or to have a look to the issue tracker!

I’ve also completed quite a few Wayland-related tasks this month. I’ve continued work on explicit synchronization started last month, though I’m hitting issues related to output cursors: the wlroots cursor API hasn’t been designed for this. I’ve started working on viewporter which will allow Xwayland to make old games work better (using the full screen real estate rather than letter-boxing the content). I’ve introduced wlr_output_test which allows compositors to check whether an output configuration is valid before trying to apply it. wlr-randr now has a --dryrun flag that uses this feature (via the wlr-output-management protocol).

One last interesting feature I’ve been working on is adding support for virtual outputs when using the DRM backend. This will allow virtual outputs to be created on-the-fly in a regular Sway session. It’ll be possible to use e.g. wayvnc to remotely display the virtual output, a feature that for some reason has been requested a lot lately.

I’ve also sent some Wayland protocol related patches. I’ve continued working on extending the linux-dmabuf protocol to give better buffer hints for clients, allowing them to allocate more efficient buffers. I’ve submitted the layer-shell and KDE’s idle protocol for inclusion in wayland-protocols.

My small-new-project-of-the-month is sidediff. It’s a CLI tool to display a side-by-side view of a diff. The answer to “why not just use diff -y?” is that diff requires having the old and new files locally. I wanted a tool able to work from just a diff file, for instance when reviewing patches sent by e-mail.

There are a lot of other small things I’ll only be able to mention: koushin now has a new “alps” theme upstreamed (sneak peak) and I’ve sent patches for other projects too. But that’s all for today! Take care, see you next month!


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