Books

I just finished reading Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. I really enjoyed it during my first reading several years ago, and more so this time around. I rarely read books over again anymore – I used to do it all the time. But I found I would bring a more critical eye on the second reading, and it would ruin the suspension of belief. There are very few books then, that can pull off a second reading that beats the first. So highly recommended.

So what’s going on with Frysk?

I thought I would write about what I am currently working on and been involved with in the last week. There are lots of other things that other team members are up to, but I thought I would let them blog about them (hint) ;)

Right now, I’m puzzling out concurrent sessions. The architecture is there to allow for multiple sessions in the UI, but it needs some work. A concurrent session is just a way to allow multiple disparate sessions to run at once. Though these sessions are separate, they all still have to cooperate and communicate; they will still all be channeled through the one frysk-core, but using multiple core event loops. A likely first candidate is to refactor out the singleton Window Manager to a Factory. I’m not even sure if that is the right approach. So judicious diving into the Gang of Four Design Patterns book, is in order. I can only read the book a chapter or so at a time, as it is so deeply technical. Add to that the Smalltalk -> Java conversions, and the neurons whimper for relief after an hour. It’s a very good book. Anyway, the problem is not converting a singleton to a factory, but rather all the accesses throughout the code to Window Manager expect it to be a singleton, and expect the static instantiations of the windows it manages.

Another thing that has been on my mind for a long time, is a richer set of Actions to Custom Observers. A Custom observer is a UI concept where you can extend the core observers to do X action on Y observer fire, as long as it matches Z filter. It really allows some fine-grain control when an observer fires, and what to do when it fires. Mike took this one last week, and one of the first things we came up with was an additional action that would run a binary file. Once we thought about it for a bit longer, we realized we’d have to throttle this somehow. If the executable was a pager executable that would send a page to someone, and the observer action was “Fork” (or Clone) on httpd, we would not want to page the poor harried system admin a 1000 times in an hour, if httpd went crazy. Lots to think about. It’s going to be exciting see what Mike comes up with in the next few weeks.

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