Category Archives: Userland

Why bother with Frontier again?

I’ve asked myself the question “Why bother with Frontier?” many times in the last month.  I spent some time talking to people on the Frontier Kernel mailing list about getting involved with the project again.  I learned many things, including the fact that I’m not qualified to help in a meaningful way right now.  Sometimes knowing your limits is as important as knowing your strengths.  In my case, I would need to learn 10 years of C coding to catch up to the complicated environment that is the Frontier kernel.

I think instead I’ll spend my time building the software that I want instead of trying to fix the issues with the existing project.  There are many things about the Frontier coding environment that are appealing:

  1. Editing code in an outliner
  2. Scripting applications to automate tasks
  3. Building applications that work on more than one platform

That said, I think that I can build my own software while addressing my shortcomings.  I have the books and the tools to learn C, compile programs and run them under MacOS X and Windows.  I have the motivation to learn and some spare time.

So, why bother with Frontier again?  Why indeed.

BBC: “The prospects for the Beagle 2 lander on Mars look increasingly gloomy after a radio sweep of the planet failed to detect any sign of the UK-built probe.”

Dare Obasanjo: “My day job involves reading or writing specs all day. Most of the specs I read either were produced by the W3C or by folks within Microsoft. Every one of them contains contradictions, ambiguities and lack crucial information for determining in edge cases. Some are better than others but they all are never well-defined enough. Every spec has errata.”

A picture named xmasTree.gifFinal challenge for the morning — hooking up a Ceiva digital picture frame. It has to connect to the phone line. The phone cable they gave us with the unit, with standard phone jacks at either end, doesn't fit into the back of the unit. We spent a half-hour trying different angles, it just doesn't fit. Then we tried taking the cord that connects the base unit of an old Princess-type phone to its handset, and that fits. Unfortunately that won't fit into the wall. I'm afraid this one has me licked. (For now.)