Indeed, now 2010 is over, it may be interesting to go back to it. Not for the same reasons that led the ReactOS to go back to 2010 (cf: r50529, a revert needed due to a bug on boot image handling). In fact, it is interesting to go back to 2010, just to see what has been done, what was planned, what has failed. Finally, what we can say and remember about that year.
First of all, I would like to speak about my servers. As you may know (or not) I currently own two servers, known as www.heisspiter.net and www2.heisspiter.net, and I also rent a third server at OVH, called www3.heisspiter.net. I was not speaking about them, because I was not really taking care of them. And this led to many and important issues (bad performances, bots, and so on). During a weekend, I decided to switch www3 to ipv6, which finally worked. But, it made me understand that my servers needed love, somehow. So, now, I am working back on them. The idea that they have reached some maturity point and can work alone is definitely wrong.Â Indeed, 2009 was already a pretty bad year for heisspiter.net and 2010 was terrible. No evolution, several issues, servers down, … A quick look at statistics show that people also stop coming on the server. And I cannot blame them. 2010 was a really bad year for heisspiter.net, and 2011 cannot be worse. I will just do my best not to make it the same.
An encouraging note regarding heisspiter.net, at least. Some evolutions have started. I was talking about ipv6, but also a webmail for users arrived, upload service is back, mail server has been fixed, servers software have been updated, and heisspiter.net internal tools fixed. This actually explains why heisspiter.net is more stable since December!
Other major point… Of course, ReactOS! You may have seen, reading my other posts that the project did important step into stability and features. Some rewrites, some parts becoming more mature. MM rewrite, with Heap rewrite (for user-mode land) force developers to fix the ReactOS code to corrupt less memory (or to less corrupt memory?). And this works. Especially when fixes are applied to those rewrites. This also comes after some hard year for ReactOS, with no releases, and nothing to release, due to broken trunk. But, here, it is past!
My modest goal, for 2011, is to prove that ReactOS has gained some maturity now. Some testers are already pushing to get 0.4, and I would like to show we are not that far. And I will try to show it on my domain of work on ReactOS, ie filesystems and kernel. With the help of Johannes Anderwald, and Art Yerkes, I attempt to make ReactOS boot from Microsoft FastFAT driver. Johannes has brought some code for tunnels handling in FsRtl, Art code for MCBs and CC. Finally, I come with notifications (still) and motivation to make all that stuff working together (which is not, at the moment). This is a very, very interesting experiment since it kinda stresses ReactOS and forces me to work on ReactOS part I promised I would never work on (I am speaking of CC!). On another side, I will also keep on working on other parts of the kernel as I did previously, trying to improve it and match Windows 2003. I will also switch a bit on FreeLDR, some bugs are calling me there!
About personal projects, I have been quite active during 2010, even if I did not publish about them. One of the project I wanted to publish about before I forgot is a C++ garbage collector. I designed it for several uses, and finally it is more a memory manager than a garbage collector. Its purpose is simple: giving you memory whenever you need it and keeping track about it. It can also performs some operations on it to make your program debug easier such as: memory marking, memory zone tagging. It can also allocate non-paged memory, check against corruption, and so on. It has been designed to work in multi-threaded environment and provides functions for that. For example, when you share memory zones between threads, sometimes you even do not recall who is using what, how long. Here garbage collector becomes useful. Each threads when it uses a zone just needs to reference the memory zone. And once it is done, it dereferences it. Simple mechanism, but that ensure the memory zone will be released once every thread is done with it.
I am not totally done with that project (that is perhaps why I did not publish about it yet) and I plan to finish it and make it a bit closer to a garbage collector. And giving it the ability to allocate and release objects.
Other project I have been working on (and I am still actively working on) is an IRCd “new generation” written in C++. Its purpose is quite simple, implementing the five RFC concerning IRC, optionally adding extra often used/needed features. But, the new thing is that it comes with services implemented in (if built with, of course!). This is quite new, and interesting in my opinion. When you need to rapidly deploy an IRCd, configuring both IRCd, services (when you found the good ones!) can be a pain. With that IRCd, everything comes in. Thus it makes services really efficient as they directly communicate with the server (in a proper way, nothing messy!). And there is no need for SVSMODE, SVSJOIN, etc, commands or equivalents, here you just use services. At the moment, the core IRCd is almost complete and works really well. Services are mostly non existant (excepted OpServ, obviously).
For 2011, I plan to finish that IRCd, and perhaps to use it on heisspiter.net. Time will tell.
Finally, this is the shortened version, but there would be so much to say… Best thing is to keep reading ReactOS’ mailing-lists and this blog to keep informed!
Happy new year ;).