VMware Bugzilla and TWiki Appliances

I've been a big fan of VMware for the last year or so.  I've mentioned previously that I use it to run EDA tools on my Windows based laptop.  Today I was browsing through some of the free virtual machines that can be downloaded and run on the free VMware Player and noticed that a company called  ALM Works Ltd. has released a free virtual machine that runs Bugzilla!  What's the catch?  Well, the virtual machine is a stripped down version of Linux - so stripped down in fact that it doesn't have gcc or make installed.  That made it impossible for me to try to upgrade to the latest release candidate of Bugzilla (since the MIME::Parser package is missing from the Perl installation which requires make to build).  It seems the main reason for ALM Works to release the VM is to push their Deskzilla desktop interface to Bugzilla.  Not that there's anything wrong with that... :-).

A TWiki VM is also available.  I'd highly recommend checking out the entire list of VMs - it's much easier playing with them in the player than attempting to build up a new system each time you want to try something new.


Like Keeping Electronic Notes? Try a TiddlyWiki!

OK - I admit it - I haven't been doing posting of much significance recently.  What I've done instead is to build up a tolerance to the sight of an infant with spit-up covering the entire side and back of his head who is also urinating on my hand while soiling his recently removed diaper... <sigh>... Anyways, something ostensibly more closely related to verification is the experiment I'm trying on my current engagement.  Instead of writing all my notes down in a notebook or 10 I've started keeping anything I deem useful in a personal TiddlyWiki

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XSLT Workflow

Duncan Cockburn asked in a comment to a recent post what the output format was that I used for my XSLT transformation of a Framemaker document.  I dump the results of my XSLT transformation into a format that is close to the final output used in my workflow (i.e. I don't save it in a structured XML format first).  Then I post-process the whole thing with a Perl script to clean up some pieces that were difficult to  handle with XSLT.  I know that you can work with the XML tree directly from Perl but found two issues:

  1. I ended up using some XSLT 2.0 constructs  (or at least was playing with them) that required I use the Saxon XSLT query processor. If you know how to use XSLT 2.0 from Perl directly let me know.
  2. Time.  This was a side project I was working on - The task I was working on was to manually copy several registers worth of information from the Framemaker document to another, more structured, file.  I saved quite a bit of time (and was able to do the task much more accurately) using a more automated approach.  To make sure I didn't get stuck and waste time learning all the ins and outs of the way Perl and XML/XSLT parsers work I decided to separate the extraction and final cleanup tasks.

 

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Static vs. Dynamic Partitions

Wow, I must have hit the big time.  Someone linked to an entry I wrote back in December from the University of Michigan.  :-).  On it, they write about my vague description of static partitioning.  To help clear things up a bit I thought I'd provide a link to a Wikipedia entry with more info about logical volume management.  Additionally, the article entitled "Unix/Linux Disk Partitioning Guide" written by Wayne Pollock describes reasons for wanting a logical volume manager instead of using simple static partitions. 

In short, static partitions can't be changed dynamically, meaning you can't resize them.  To make a new partition you need to blow them away and start over.  A logical partition can be resized by adding new disks, taking over space from an existing disk, etc.  I would strongly encourage anyone reading this to refer to one of the links listed above for more useful (and accurate) info. 


Two Vacation Days Wasted!

I've been on vacation for the last week and a half or so.  Since I spend all day on the computer at work, I told myself that I should stay off of the computer as much as possible.  That wasn't much of a problem when my wife and I were visiting family in rural Indiana (I'd forgotten what it was like to browse the web over a dialup connection!).  When I came back the first thing I thought of was that we needed to post our vacation photos to Flickr.  In addition to recent photos we've also got a backlog of shots going back since we got our first digital camera three years ago.  Several hours later, we'd commented a bunch of pictures in Picasa and uploaded a few batches.  The plan was to get up the next morning and start getting the next batch ready to go.  Sad to say, things didn't go according to plan.

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FC4 Kernel Panic Under VMware

Update (February 10, 2006) - For info about static partitioning, check out my post entitled "Static vs. Dynamic Partitions".

Update (January 29, 2006) - FYI for those of you who have been having similar problems to the ones described below - I was able to boot up successfully using the 2.6.14-1.1656_FC4 kernel.  If you're still having problems with a the latest FC4 kernel you're on your own!

Original Post

I've been using VMware for the last several months to allow me to run the productivity apps I prefer (MS Office, iTunes, Picasa, etc) on my laptop while giving me the ability to run EDA tools under FC4.  A recent kernel upgrade has started causing me problems, though.  I can boot up just fine with the 2.6.12-1.1456_FC4 kernel but all hell breaks loose when I try to run the 2.6.14-1.1637_FC4 or 2.6.14-1.1644_FC4 kernels. 

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Schwartz on Free Software - Applicable to Hardware Verification?

A few weeks ago I wrote about how it would be interesting if companies open-sourced their verification infrastructure.  I've also previously mentioned that Sun was giving away much of their Java development software for free.  Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's President and Chief Operating Officer, posted a defense of their efforts to give away their software for free on his blog.  The question I have is if his strategy would work with verification tools in the case where the software will only be used by developers (as Jonathan states that people like developers are unlikely to pay for tools but instead will try to get them for free). 

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My Kingdom for an OpenOffice Writer Template!

What an afternoon.  I need to write a user's guide for a testbench I'm working on but can't use Microsoft Word.  Instead, I need to write a document that is compatible with StarOffice 7.  I've got OpenOffice.org 2.0 installed on my laptop and decided to spend some time this afternoon trying to set up a simple template for the guide.

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Get Your Free Copy of Sun's Java Development Tools

Sun just announced that they're giving away access to Java Studio Creator and Java Studio Enterprise 8.  I haven't had a chance to try it out but it's basically a Java development environment with what looks to be a good UML modeling tool.  Given the similaritites between Vera and Java it should be possible to get some good use out of the UML portion of JSE.  Here's a tip to those of you from Cadence, Mentor, and Synopsys  -- If you're going to be developing new languages, it's really a requirement that a suite of free tools of this sort should be available for SystemVerilog, Vera, and e.