NiceBSD Dev Diary 2015-03-13

Fri 13 March 2015

After a bit of a hiatus (that included an Epic Ambient Battle), I’m back to work. My cold-boot qemu image is having trouble connecting to the local file server, from which it should pull the remaining necessary files (ie fonts). This isn’t an arrangement I’d like to keep - it’s one thing to have a remote file system to pick up user files, quite another to rely on it to pull files required for the thing to work. It’s got me digging around net/ethernet.lisp, which, to my delight is very readable, but hardcodes a lot of network assumptions, as well as not distinguishing between the OSI layers (DNS is not part of the Ethernet standards, last I checked). Since a good organizational scheme can make dealing with a large codebase much easier, I’m thinking of how to break down the subsystem (right now I have in mind something like, but I’m not married to the idea (yet)). I’m going to survey other software distributions and see what works well (and what doesn’t). Hopefully I’ll have something I can start working on tomorrow (as well as having the qemu image in a state where I can do some more interesting work).

I’ve also started reading the Intel Architecture manual, hoping to get a better understanding of the machine layer (kind of essential for this project). I don’t see NiceBSD moving beyond x86-64 anytime soon, and there’s a lot of milestones to hit before even contemplating another architecture (such as ARM or Sparc64).