Sunday, 15 March 2009


First of all, I finally updated the 'About Me' page on the main site. I added a list of facts as well, as a sort of FAQ. Hopefully it'll be more clear than the old version.

Secondly, to recap my mood and such the past weeks: about two weeks ago the continuous headache I already had began worsening, the past few days it seems to develop into a splitting headache during the day, incapacitating me, requiring me to take painkillers and try to sleep it off. It reminds me a bit of the year(s) at High-School when I had constant migraines (1+ times/week). Like then, there's no question that this is fully due to increased stress levels.

My mood during the day hovers between optimism, fatalism, depression, intense sadness and frustration, plus stoicism. I think it covers about the entire spectrum, including bouts of intense desire to commit suicide and despising oneself for being too chicken to just grab that knife or so. My only stable moods would be when I'm doing useful work.

The past weeks I have come to despise the compiler chain GCC with such an intense hatred, it could lead to manslaughter if it was alive. While working on a project for a German client (nicely behind schedule due to GCC's quirks), I managed to get the mixed C/C++ to compile on both the Microsoft Visual C++ compiler (MSVC) and MingW 3.4.x (using CodeBlocks as IDE). The 'extern "C"' statement is hereby a crucial key to making it work. The fun part starts with GCC (used 4.3.x) on Linux, which does not seem to recognize the 'extern' keyword and happily ignores it, instead throwing errors at me because it tries to compile the C code as though it was C++. My only recourse at this point seems to be to rewrite the C++ bits into C. I really dislike C-style strings :( Ah well, anything to be done with this project.

During the project I have come to loathe the Boost C++ extension libraries as well. I have tried to integrate the Filesystem, networking (ASIO) and some other libraries. The issues with it are due to the heavily embedded namespaces in some libraries like ASIO, poor documentation, and it being an absolute hell to compile. I spent a week attempting to make the filesystem library (two LIBs) link, only to have it demand time and time again an old, decripit version of one LIB while ignoring the LIB it should use. Disabling auto-link, recompiling Boost, plus hours of googling and trying solutions had no effect at all. Trevor couldn't get it to work either.

At this point I'm writing my own filesystem library, and employing Nyanko's existing standard library (SWL) for things like networking, threading and so on. I'll also use my own hybrid encryption method instead of OpenSSL for secure links within client-server frameworks, as OpenSSL is pretty much the pinnacle of a poor software project, with non-existent documentation, a backwards and non-intuitive API and the near-impossibility of the bloody source code ever compiling correctly. Its BIO I/O library I have the most experience with, and I must say that it has been an absolute horror to work with. Just astounding what kind of crap sometimes ends up in production systems. Leave poor closed-source, proprietary code alone for a change and see the horrors of open-source...


Anyway, one big project I'm working on at the moment is a hardware simulator, named Lilium, to be used with VHDL/Verilog and other hardware description languages, to simulate the design before it is loaded onto an FPGA or turned into an ASIC. It's a fairly involved project, but despite warnings from Pieter that it may be hard to pull off, I'm confident that I am capable of successfully completing the first prototype I'm working on. I hope that such demos will attract the attention of potential customers and/or investors. It would be a very welcome change.

Finally, I'll be going swimming again in an hour at the indoor pool at Almere-Stad (Almere-City) from 9 AM to 12 PM. Anyone is welcome ;)



zakir ahmed said...

Did u meet the kids again at the pool ? :D

take care

Maya Posch said...

No, but I did meet the Chinese woman I first met a few months ago and one of her daughters again. Both her daughters are really cute and fun :)