Old ShagWare News

Old News

Monday, July 12, 1999:

Latest status of updates here: I'm currently rushing to get my thesis wrapped up over the next several weeks. After that, I'll be putting another pre-release (or maybe even a real release?) of DECO up here, and I'll *finally* be releasing a new version of SOLO. I'd also like to break out SHACC into a separate package and make that available, since it's a fairly finished product now, even if DECO isn't (right now it's only available as part of the DECO release, and that's a rather old version too).

Lots of work has been done on fixing up SOLO over the past several years. For one thing, it now all builds correctly on Redhat 5.2 (I don't have 6.0 yet but I think it ought to work), and can load newer Linux kernels (ones thare are remapped to high memory). (you might have problems building the old version that's online right now). There's also support for compressed kernels and ramdisks, so you can throw a whole bunch of different OS's on a single floppy. It also works correctly with larger hard drives (there were some bugs in dealing with heads > 63, so remapped disk geometries didn't work right before). There are also a bunch of new features to make it easier to configure and install and easier to use, and to remove some limitations it had before. I will start work on packaging up this new release of SOLO in a couple of weeks. If there's enough interest, maybe I'll even try to make a binary RPM of it.

The other thing I'd like to do is add an "as-is" software section to this page (or as a separate page). This will be divided into pre-releases (like the one for DECO), and old/incomplete software. The general idea of the as-is section is that all the software here is being put up in the hopes that it will be useful, but don't expect me to provide any support whatsoever for it. Feel free to comment to me about it, but if you ask any questions, don't expect an answer, since it's "as is". This is in contrast to the "official" releases which I will answer support questions about. (and yes, I know there are some SOLO questions from way back that I never got around to answering--- believe it or not, they're still in my 'reply' folder... maybe someday I'll get a chance to answer them, if the email addresses are still valid...).

The pre-releases area will give me a chance to give more frequent updates to those that really want them. (official release take too much effort to release, because I have to do a lot more testing on them, and update all the documentation). The old/incomplete area will allow me to release a lot of software I've written for personal use-- ones that aren't finished products and might be difficult to configure or use, but which may be useful to someone, perhaps just as a source code reference for someone doing something similar. Some examples of what I'll be putting up in this area include my voice mail software, my 3D rendering code for the VR project at CSH (with gourad shading, dithering, and support for split-screen and red/green stereoscopic viewing), my check/budget-balancing software (very minimalistic), sterm (like an xterm, but with anti-aliasing), and my old ShagTerm software for the Kodak KIMS workstations. And if I can still find the code, I'd like to start releasing a lot of my pre-college software for my Wang PC and Atari 800/130XE. Call it net-clutter if you want, but I figure that anyone who's not interested can just avoid it, and there's always a chance it will be found by someone who might find it useful for something. Search engines are a wonderful thing.

Friday, August 21, 1998:

I finally put up a pre-release of DECO. This includes CLex, CParse, SHACC, and genc2a, as well as DECO itself. Since this is a pre-release, I haven't had time to thoroughly test it, but I have built and run it on systems other than Linux/x86, such as Solaris/sparc, and NetBSD/pmax. It should be fairly easy to configure it to run on most other Posix-compliant systems, as long as GNU make and GCC are available. With a bit more config work, it might work with other build tools.

Note that the DC++ support is incomplete, and the CParse library still needs a bit of work, but I've been holding off on making this available forever (at least until my thesis is done...) so I decided I might as well finally put a pre-release out, so that some people can at least look at it, if not make use of it. The genc2a utility is a good example of a fairly small program that makes use of the C/C++ parsing library, and DECO is, of course, a larger example, that also makes use of the formatted C/C++ output library.

You can read the README file contained in the tar file for more info. Here's the DECO pre-release, with full source code:

Someday (hopefully soon) I'll update the SOLO releases to have the new configuration (well, it's already updated in my source tree, since SOLO, DECO, ShagOS, etc are all in the same tree-- I just split it up for releases). That should help with some of the problems some people have had. Also, the bug fixes (which I did quite a while ago) will finally become available.

Old News

Tuesday, March 10, 1998:

Yes, I know it's been a LONG time since any of the software here has been updated. I just want it to be known that I am still actively working on finishing up all the loose ends for DECO and CParse, and the CParse work also includes something I haven't mentioned previously which I will release as a separate package, tentatively called shacc. It's a yacc replacement that came about because trying to develop a complete C++ grammer in yacc stretched the limits of LALR(1) just a little bit too far. Shacc takes normal yacc grammars but isn't limited by one token of lookahead. Unfortunately, it's not currently as efficient as yacc, but at least it doesn't use backtracking, and future implementations should be as efficient as yacc for parts of the grammar that can be handled by LALR(1) and less efficient only on the parts that exceed yacc's capabilities.

I am aware of the large disk problem that affects SOLO (it doesn't always build maps correctly for disks over 1024 cylinders), and have fixed the problem already. I just need the time to package up a bug-fix release and get it tested and put out there. As part of that fix up it looks like I might have to fix an incompatibility with the new version of bash (or so I've been told). I'll take care of both these things as soon as I can.

Please don't send me mail asking for any of these things yet. I will put them up here as soon as I'm ready to release any of them. If you want to send comments, that's great, and I'll read them all. I'll even answer questions if they're fairly short, but if I keep taking time to write long email replies I'll never have time to finish the programs themselves. Once I release them, I'll be open to answering all kinds of questions again, just like I have about SOLO in the past. Oh, and one more thing-- yes, I'm still working on Shag/OS as well. In a sense I have been all along, since all of these tools are part of the complete development package necessary to build the new kernel, but in addition I will continue kernel work as soon as these tools are up to par. Currently, the only pieces being actively worked on are those that are being used as test cases for DECO.

Now, if only I had a job that paid me to finish up these projects instead of one that takes all of my free time and leaves me too burnt out to want to touch a computer....

SOLO 0.97.2 has been released, with unrestricted licensing (the new ShagWare General Public License, which also allows implicit/explicit conversion to the GPL in case of a potential conflict, although this shouldn't be necessary)

There is now a ShagOS Page with more detailed information about ShagOS, past and present. Some information is there now, and more will be arriving in the future, as I have time.

SOLO 0.97 has now been released, with many new features, and bug fixes.

Up til now, SOLO has not configured properly with newer versions of gmake. (I was running with 3.71) I've upgraded to 3.75, and fixed SOLO to work correctly now. So, SOLO 0.97.1 is now available, and should fix all the configuration problems. Let me know if you still have any problems with it. (for that matter, let me know if it works and fixes problems you had before!)

Shag/OS Classic has been updated to boot from SOLO, and is now available. This is the original Shag/OS, from 1992, written in C, with a few small modifications to make it compile with newer versions of Linux and GCC, and make it boot from SOLO 0.96.2 or newer.

A demo disk is available, as well as full source code.

Note that some additional support needed to be added to the SOLO libraries, so Shag/OS cannot be built with the old SOLO 0.96. The new SOLO 0.97 is available online now.

I've finally released SOLO (the Shag/Os LOader) to the net. Although the name implies that it is for Shag/OS, it can also load Linux, and comes with the tools needed to write your own standalone 32-bit protected-mode programs, including your own microkernels, and other types of custom operating systems.

Expected Approximate Release Dates

Note that I'm using all available time (which is almost none, since I moved and started a new job) right now to finish up my Thesis, so all future software releases will have to be delayed until that is done. This means that CParse, DECO, Elf32, and ShagOS are all being worked on, but won't be in a releasable form until I complete the written Thesis.
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