May 4th, 2010

Apollo 4 on column of fire

CLFS blues

I get through to about the third stage of building Cross-Compiled Linux From Scratch before I notice it does not support UTF-8 locales.

Frickin’ hell.

OTOH I got to use some important package configuration techniques that I either forgot or never knew.

I have to figure out what to do. Maybe I can still work in an Exherbo framework while doing the things I want. First I need to straighten out my system, in which so far I have blundered forward with Gentoo-like enthusiasm and lack of care.

Some things I have interest in that deviate from normal:

* BSD-style init system (stick shift) instead of SysV-style (automatic). I’ve worked with both, and at least with the BSD-style you know what is happening when, and why. OTOH restarting daemons has to be done manually (unless scripted separately), and there is no uniform procedure for that.

Exherbo forces no particular init system, although the current default is SysV-style in its Gentoo dialect.

Also I have some interest in playing with Icon in place of the initialization shell scripts. Icon’s ‘goal-directed evaluation’ may be of some use.

* Overlay/union filesystem

See GoboLinux. If that distro supported amd64 in any official way I’d be trying it right now. Also related would be Glendix: a Linux distro, under development, that is not GNU/Linux but rather Plan-9/Linux.

* Ditching fontconfig in favor of something sensible that I managed to create despite my disability. My hacked up fc works alright but does so by hobbling features; you could get similar results by using a very old version of fontconfig. But fontconfig’s core idea is a bad one. Someone had a clever idea that they won’t let go of.

I do not have the constraints of software, such as fontconfig, that is supposed to be small and require few external libraries, so what I would do might involve fast database software, such as Tokyo Cabinet. The main problem is having to right code in C, and my disability. It can be a lot of typing – not just for coding, but for debugging and testing – typing that, generally, I can’t or shouldn’t do.