After I came across the Haskell programming language three times today (twice while scanning the latest debian-devel postings, and later again while searching for some documentation about the python distutils package) I had a closer look at it. Other than wide spread languages like C++, Java or Python, which are imperative languages, Haskell is a functional language (until know, I thought that these are those languages which are rarely used in practical programming because they are too complicated... I am curious if Haskell can argue the converse ;-) ) The introduction at the start page looks quite interesting, at least the implementation of the quicksort algorithm is much shorter in Haskell than in C.
For the new year, I had the intention to write blog entries more regularly, but currently I don't see any improvement yet ;-)
Well, the new AMD64 system is running quite good, it sometimes looses the mouse after booting (i.e. the pointer simply is simply frozen), but this could be a problem with a conflict of the ehci_hcd USB kernel module. Some hints suggest to load it directly at boot time instead of automatically when it is needed during the boot process.
Apart of that, I continue to collect a list of applications which are not yet available as 64 bit version, among them are the RealPlayer (the helix-player is available but crashes) and the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Hopefully this situation will get better soon...
I upgraded my desktop PC to an AMD Athlon64 3000+ last week. I got an ASUS k8v SE Deluxe mainboard rather cheap, and also upgraded my hard disk to a SATA disk (a lot of new technology to get involved with ;-) ) As always with unknown technology, there was some trouble at the beginning. The mainboard contains two SATA controllers, one Promise and one VIA. The Promise controller did not work very well, but the hard drive was not detected when connected to the VIA controller, only the Promise controller detected it at all. I made an BIOS upgrade, which did not help much. Finally I found a poorly documented jumper on the hard drive ("Use SATA-150 only", whatever this means for a SATA-150 drive (non-SATA-II)). After I plugged in this jumper, the drive was also recognized by the VIA controller.
Of course I installed the AMD64 port of Debian, which was much less troublesome as the installation I tried on an EM64 Intel Pentium some months ago, probably because I did not need to install on a RAID this time. Nevertheless I decided to put the complete installation on a LVM managed partition, basically to get more familiar with LVM concepts.
The installation runs quite well, the AMD64 KDE 3.5.0 packages in unstable seem to be broken, but the somewhat older packages from pkg-kde.alioth.debian.org work well. However, one issue is that not all software is available as AMD64 binary. For example, OpenOffice.org 2.0 is still being worked on, and it seems that porting it to AMD64 is a bunch of work. Also, some more closed software like Acrobat Reader or Macromedia Flashplayer is not available. Especially OpenOffice.org is sad, but it is almost trivial to setup a chroot environment with ia32 binaries, so that all those applications can still be used. The drawback is of course that all libraries need to be installed both as 64 bit and as 32 bit versions (and also be loaded in memory when a 32 bit application is launched). The chroot environment took about 550 MB after installing OpenOffice.org; but, hey, this is almost as much as MS-Office takes, with the difference that the chroot contains an almost complete operating system installation ;-)
I have written a very simple script which transforms all Packages files in a debian archive into an xml file. This xml file can then be transformed into an html file through an xslt file. The result for my Debian archive can be viewed here.