GNU Xnee: Workaround for Xvfb bug

I have been trying to automate some profiling (with gprof) by running some apps in Xvfb and record/replay with Xnee. Problem is, Xvfb crashes. In order to spot the bug I set up a less complex enviroment

Here’s the set up:

Terminal 1: Xvfb -ac :22

Terminal 2: export DISPLAY=:22 ; while (true) ; do xterm -e sleep 2 ; done

After executing some five or six programs Xvfb crashed. After some purely non scientific investigations it turns out that

  1. the bug happens less often when I run Xvfb through gdb (see below)
  2. Xvfb goes down with a seg fault in FreeColormap

Hmmm, colormap….. How about if we lower the colors in Xvfb? Yes, that’s it. Now, let’s move forward. To stress Xvfb a bit more, I have a new setup to test before I go on with Xnee’s automated profile (and coverage of course) tests:

Terminal 1: Xvfb -ac -screen 0 640x480x16 :21

Terminal 2: export DISPLAY=:22 ; while (true) ; do xterm -e sleep 2 ; done

Terminal 2: export DISPLAY=:22 ; while (true) ; do xdpyinfo ; xwininfo -root ; xset r on; done

…. after 1743 program executions I feel I am beginning to see a good enough work around.

And for those interested in the gdb printout, enjoy:

Program received signal SIGSEGV, Segmentation fault.
[Switching to Thread 0xb7c2fa10 (LWP 18983)]
0x08156e2b in FreeColormap ()

Comments on quality and comparing Free Software with proprietary

In an aricle (Swedish only!) in a swedish computer mag a lawyer (refered to as an expert) says that proprietary programs are better in quality than free ones.

Let’s analyse the article a bit.

‚Äď Det kr√§vs en morot f√∂r att man ska anstr√§nga sig ordentligt. Om den stora inkomstk√§llan st√•r och faller med kvaliteten p√• koden tror jag att man anstr√§nger sig mer, s√§ger hon.

In English the important thing would be something like.

… If the main income is depending on the quality of the code I think one strains more.

Is money the only incentive? A happy customer sure is an incentive for me. Well, well, let’s pretend it is. OK, what does this have to do with the type of license? She explains:

√Ėppna program brukar n√§mligen ofta vara gratis och de f√∂retag som utvecklar s√•dana satsar i st√§llet p√• att dra in pengar p√• kringtj√§nster som support, utbildning och anpassning. Det leder bort fokus fr√•n sj√§lva mjukvaran.

Which would translate into (stripped down):

.. foss companies usually get their money from support, education and adaptions. This leads focus away from the software itself.

First of all, I would say that most companies make money from support, education and adaptions. Regardless of the license of their product. But let’s look at her argument for a while. Why would this lead away focus? There’s no answer to that.If I have a crappy product out there (under GPL and publically available) will notice some one will notice and they will either fix the crappy code and patch the product or they will provide an updated and forked product. If the product was proprietary no one would have known about the crappy code. If that’s her argument, that no customer will notice about the crappy code, she’s right in advising people to close their products. But looking at it from an end user point of view, I sure like to see the source code and have the four freedoms. But she speaks about code quality. No, I don’t understand from what she draws her conclusion.

…. well well well, time to go to work.

But before I leave I must say it’s kind of funny that the journalist points out that the second person in the article is working for an “Open Source” company. A bit like saying he is biased. In the article it doesn’t say that the lawyer used to work for Microsoft or that she’s also a member of Svenska f√∂reningen f√∂r upphovsr√§tt (SFU) as is MIcrosoft.

btw, she never says hoe she measures code quality, but I guess she is backed up by a research ūüėČ Perhaps by one of them Swiss reasearch institutes that research in shampoos.

New GNU releases Ocotber 2008

This is a compilation of the GNU software releases as
announced during October 2008 on the mailing list:

http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/info-gnu


glpk 4.33 / 2008-10-30
GLPK (GNU Linear Programming Kit) is intended
for solving large-scale linear programming (LP),
mixed integer linear programming (MIP), and
other related problems.
http://www.gnu.org/software/glpk/glpk.html
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2008-10/msg00016.html

Libidn 1.11 / 2008-10-29
Libidn is a fully documented implementation of the Stringprep,
Punycode and IDNA specifications defined by the IETF
Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) working group, used for
internationalized domain names.
http://josefsson.org/libidn/
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2008-10/msg00015.html

Binutils 2.19 / 2008-10-29
The GNU Binutils are a collection of binary tools.
The main ones are: ar, ld
http://www.gnu.org/software/binutils/
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2008-10/msg00014.html

GNU Gama 1.9.06/ 2008-10-29
GNU Gama is a project dedicated to adjustment of
geodetic networks.
http://www.gnu.org/software/gama
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2008-10/msg00013.html

GNU CLISP 2.47 / 2008-10-24
ANSI Common Lisp is a high-level, general-purpose
programming language.
http://www.gnu.org/software/clisp/
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2008-10/msg00012.html

GNU SASL 0.2.29 / 2008-10-22
GNU SASL is a modern C library that implement the
standard network security protocol Simple
Authentication and Security Layer (SASL).
http://josefsson.org/gsasl/
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2008-10/msg00011.html

bzr 1.8 / 2008-10-17
Bazaar is a distributed version control system that Just Works.
http://bazaar-vcs.org/
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2008-10/msg00010.html

Gnash 0.8.4 / 2008-10-14
Gnash is a GPL’d Flash movie player and browser
plugin for Firefox, Mozilla, Konqueror, and Opera.
http://www.gnu.org/software/gnash/
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2008-10/msg00009.html

GNU ed 1.1 / 2008-10-14
GNU ed is an 8-bit clean, more or less POSIX-compliant
implementation of the standard Unix line editor.
http://www.gnu.org/software/ed/ed.html
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2008-10/msg00008.html

Gnash 0.8.4 / 2008-10-13
Gnash is a GPL’d Flash movie player and browser
plugin for Firefox, Mozilla, Konqueror, and Opera.
http://www.gnu.org/software/gnash/
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2008-10/msg00007.html

GNU swbis 1.0 / 2008-10-13
swbis is a software administration system for GNU/Linux systems and
systems that are UNIX system-like
http://www.gnu.org/software/swbis/
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2008-10/msg00006.html

GNU M4 1.4.12 / 2008-10-11
GNU M4 is an implementation of the traditional
Unix macro processor.
http://www.gnu.org/software/m4/
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2008-10/msg00005.html

pspp-0.6.1 / 2008-10-10
PSPP is a program for statistical analysis
of sampled data.
http://www.gnu.org/software/pspp/
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2008-10/msg00004.html

GnuTLS 2.6.0 / 2008-10-06
GnuTLS is a modern C library that implement the standard
network security protocol Transport Layer Security (TLS),
for use by network applications.
http://www.gnutls.org/
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2008-10/msg00003.html

coreutils-7.0 / 2008-10-06
The GNU Core Utilities are the basic file, shell and text
manipulation utilities of the GNU operating system. These
are the core utilities which are expected to exist on every
operating system.
http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2008-10/msg00002.html

glpk 4.32 / 2008-10-03
GLPK (GNU Linear Programming Kit) is intended
for solving large-scale linear programming (LP),
mixed integer linear programming (MIP), and
other related problems.
http://www.gnu.org/software/glpk/glpk.html
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2008-10/msg00001.html

GNU Ball and Paddle 0.8.0/ 2008-10-01
Ball and Paddle is a ball and paddle game with
blocks, a ball, a paddle, and some powerups.
http://www.gnu.org/software/ballandpaddle/
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2008-10/msg00000.html


If you have any comments or questions regarding this
compilation, contact Henrik Sandklef hesa@gnu.org