[kaffe] Kaffe Weekly News - 2002 Aug 31

Kaffe Weekly News Editor weeklynews at kaffe.org
Sun Sep 1 02:25:35 PDT 2002

                        Kaffe Weekly News - 2002 Aug 31

   Permanent web location: [1]http://www.kaffe.org/weeklynews/2002/1.html


   Welcome to the first edition of the Kaffe Weekly News. I'm going to
   attempt to write a weekly summary of what's happening in the Kaffe
   project - in the tradition of the [2]Debian Weekly News and the
   [3]Linux Weekly News.

   The intended audience of this newsletter is the Kaffe development
   community, and people who want to follow Kaffe development, but
   perhaps don't have enough time to track the mailing list. Also, I
   think it will be a handy organizational tool for myself.

   This is my first attempt at this, so I'm interested in feedback.

CVS Activity

   Not much this week.

   Dalibor checked in a [4]patch to fix a [5]hardcoded filesystem lookup
   for the java.security configuration file that I missed when I moved
   things to the JRE file layout. I imagine this affects 1.0.7 as well.

Mailing List Activity

   This traffic this week was almost entirely related to bug reports.
   I'll try to summarize them below:

   OpenBSD compile problem

     Greg Wooledge reported [6]an OpenBSD compile bug and a solution
     involving manually creating a symlink. Based on his description of
     the problem, it appears that the problem may be that Kaffe is not
     following the major number/minor number library versioning scheme,
     and is instead using three part version numbers (based on the Kaffe
     release version number). Arne Woerner [7]proposed a libtool
     modification - but I'm not sure if that's the right way to fix it.
     Eventually, I do want to see the vm component modularized to the
     point that it could be distributed separately as a library that
     solely implements the JNI invocation interface - so it probably
     makes sense to use a versioning scheme along the lines of what
     libtool recommends (eg. not use the -release flag in the

   JAR Manifest possible bug

     Gianandrea Gobbo reports that [8]kaffe can't access the manifest in
     Jar files. This needs to be looked at it - it might possibly be a

   Bogus jthread assertion?

     Greg Wooledge reported that he had a [9]kaffe 1.0.7 process that
     died after a few days with an assertion. Godmar thinks the
     [10]assertion is probably unnecessary and suggests an alternative
     fix. Sounds like another bug.

   Win32 assertion "!INTS_DISABLED()" failed errors

     Muthuswamy R reports on the [11]"make check" errors he gets on
     Win32. I was getting these too, the last time I checked. I think
     the Win32 port just needs a lot or work at this point. This should
     definitely be listed as a bug (if it isn't already). We could
     really use a volunteer to fix/clean up the Win32 port.

   Cygwin compile problem

     Daniel Kasmeroglu reported a [12]Cygwin compile problem. It's
     probably a bug. On my cygwin install, it compiles, but my install
     might differ a bit from the norm. I'm going to add this as a bug.

   Bad fcntl test / gcc local include warning compile bug

     Vesa Kaihlavirta reports a [13]strange compile problem he's
     experiencing. Gwenole Beauchesne [14]recognized the problem and
     suggests a workaround - it's got something to do with gcc warnings
     tricking the configure script. I need to look at it closer to see
     what the appropriate fix is, since I don't understand the issue
     completely, so I'll add it as a bug.

Patch Queue

   This is the list of posted patches that should go in, but haven't yet,
   either because they need more work, or I just haven't had the time to
   look at them yet.

    1. [15]ARM patch
    2. MIPS / Playstation patches

   I've got go back through several months of my mailing list archives
   searching for uncommitted patches. Feel free to point out any patches
   I don't appear to be taking action on, and I'll add them to the list.
   I've probably just lost them or have procrastinated for too long.

New Bugs

   The following bugs need to be "swept" into [16]FAQ.Known-Bugs:
    1. [17]OpenBSD compile problem / library versioning
    2. [18]JAR Manifest possible bug
    3. [19]Bogus jthread assertion
    4. [20]Win32 assertion "!INTS_DISABLED()" failed errors
    5. [21]Cygwin compile problem
    6. [22]Bad fcntl test / gcc local include warning compile bug

   Note: I've got a lot more bugs saved in my email folders - it will
   take me some time to write them all up and organize them.

Resolved Bugs

   The following bugs need to be removed from [23]FAQ.Known-Bugs:

Ongoing Work and Sightings

   This is a little section where I'm going to spotlight some of the
   ongoing work. Please tell me what you're up to, and I'll list it here.

     * [24]Dalibor Topic has been doing most of the work lately. He's
       working on updating Kaffe to Java 1.2 classloader semantics and
       security features, and has been merging bits of the JanosVM and
       PocketLinux work back in. He's also been doing quite a bit of QA
       work in identifying bugs and fixing them, including a lot of Mauve
     * The [25]JanosVM project, which is based on Kaffe, is very active
       at the moment, and a lot of good things are coming out of it. Tim
       Stack and Pat Tullman have been very helpful.
     * Robert Gonzalez is working on a [26]bytecode verifier
       implementation for Kaffe as part of his thesis
     * Svante Arvedahl is doing his Master's thesis on [27]implementing
       an IA-64 JIT for Kaffe. Gwenole Beauchesne has already [28]gotten
       the interpreter to work for IA-64
     * I heard from Dalibor that Kiyo Inaba was working on trying to get
       some of the PocketLinux SuperH stuff merged in.
     * Dalibor also mentioned that Andrew Dalgleish is working on
       integrating the [29]BDBJ debugger into kaffe, which would be very
     * Kevin Kissell is doing some work to try to get Kaffe [30]working
       well again on MIPS
     * Dylan Schell [31]ported Kaffe to the PlayStation 2
     * Abdeslam BENZEGHIOUA is trying to get [32]Kaffe to compile on
       eCos, and could use some help. I'd love to see some eCos patches
       in the main tree so we could say it was supported.
     * Mark Juszczec is trying to [33]port Kaffe to the Helio PDA
     * Grzegorz Prokopski is a Debian developer, and is going to help me
       try to [34]get some clarifications on how the GPL licensing of
       Kaffe works, and whether or not it can legally be used as the
       basis for Debian's efforts to get more free Java applications into
       their main distribution
     * Godmar Back is one heck of a resource, I'm glad he's on the list,
       because he knows a lot more about Kaffe than me. :-)

   I'm sure I'm missing a lot of people. Tell me what you're doing, and
   I'll add you to the list!

Documentation News

   One of my shorter-term goals for Kaffe is to improve the state of the
   documentation. There is already a fair amount of documentation
   scattered around in various places. I'd like to collect it all
   together in one place.

   Some recent items:

   I've been a bit slow posting this. Naveed Ahmad has started writing
   some documentation on [35]the architecture of Kaffe, which looks like
   it could be quite helpful to anybody trying to learn the code.

   Mike Chen has put online the paper he presented at the [36]JVM 2002
   conference entitled [37]"Targeting Dynamic Compilation for Embedded
   Systems", which is a new JIT which he implemented on Transvirtual's
   internal version of Kaffe (which was released under the GPL as part of
   PocketLinux). It's definitely worth a read, especially if you are into
   compilers. I'd love to see "jit4" integrated into a future release of

   Of course, if you haven't read Godmar Back's [38]thesis on KaffeOS,
   you should. There are some [39]earlier papers here.

   (I really need to reorganize the website so I have a good place to
   post these permanently)

   Here are some other really good bits of documentation I'd like to pull

     * [40]http://www.cse.msu.edu/~korenson/kaffe.html
     * [41]http://egp.free.fr/port-kaffe/port-kaffe-0.2.html
     * [42]http://www.cs.pdx.edu/~sanseri/kaffe/kaffe.html

Website / Server News

   I've been very busy in the past few weeks with my personal life. Since
   Transvirtual folded, I've been trying to find a new full-time job, and
   I'm doing some part-time contract work. So due to time pressures, I've
   let quite a backlog of website-related tasks built up. I'll try to
   clear up as much of that backlog as possible in the next week.

   Dalibor sent me a nice website patch incorporating japitools output -
   I want to go through the process of recreating the output myself
   before I incorporate it into the website.

   Another nice thing that Dalibor suggested I do is to incorporate the
   [43]Mauve test results into the website somewhere.

   A lot of the pages are in a semi- or non-finished state (eg. Credits,
   Compatibility, Performance), or need redesigning (Documentation,
   Ports, Projects). People have sent me a variety of links and screen
   shots that need to be added as well.

   The server is still sitting on at it's temporary location (on a DSL
   line). The line is pretty slow, but at least the hardware does seem
   fairly stable. I need to get in touch with my contact at
   [44]communitycolo.net to plan the logistics of physically moving the
   server to it's new, permanent home.

Other Java and Virtual Machine News

   There are a lot of interesting developments going on in the free
   software and virtual machine space. I'd like to highlight some of them

   Aug 24 - [45]SableVM 1.0.4 Released - ([46]Announcement)

   Aug 19 - [47]Kissme 0.0.26 Released - ([48]Announcement) - Also,
   Etienne proposed [49]merging Kissme with SableVM, and [50]here is
   John's response (he seems receptive to the idea). And a day later,
   John announces that he's got [51]a working PowerPC port!

   Aug 16 - [52]GCJ - Andrew Haley updated the gcc tree-based inliner to
   work for gcj ([53]Initial RFC, [54]Commit #1, [55]Commit #2).

   Aug 14 - [56]GCC 2.3 Released (includes gcj) - ([57]Changes)

   Aug 14 - [58]SableVM 1.0.2 Released - ([59]Announcement) - Grzegorz
   Prokopski contributed an Alpha port

   Aug 14 - [60]Wonka 0.9.3 Released - ([61]Announcement) - with a new,
   faster interpreter and some AWT improvements.

   Aug 8 - [62]SableVM 1.0.1 Released - ([63]Announcement)

   Aug 6 - [64]SableVM 1.0.0 Released - ([65]Announcement) - Wow, it hits
   1.0.0! Good work Etienne!

   Aug 1 - [66]JanosVM 0.8.0 Released - ([67]Announcement) - includes a
   new user level thread system that supports stride scheduling,
   optimized packet handling when using moab, a port of xprofiling to the
   nodeos/oskit, a resync with kaffe v1.0.7, an experimental java wrapper
   for the lmsensors library, an alpha version of the PowerPC jit3 back
   end for Mac OS X (darwin), a test suite for basic jitter operation,
   and the usual bug fixes.

   July 20 - [68]Jikes RVM + Classpath - John Leuner managed to get
   [69]Classpath to work on Jikes RVM

   Kaffe Weekly News is edited by Jim Pick.

   Do you have anything you'd like to see in next week's newsletter? Send
   them in to me a [70]weeklynews at kaffe.org.


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