THM 2005-06-23 Summary

Original agenda:

Notes taken by If there are inaccuracies please email the fix to me and I'll update the wiki or fix them in the wiki directly. All names are given as the IRC Nickname used during the meeting with punctuation omitted.

Ericvh was the moderator. The meeting went for slightly longer than one hour. The moderator allotted ten minutes for each topic.


Uriel asked for feedback about the curent documentation.

20h suggested that there should be an introduction to creating documentation to help recruit new documenters.

Uriel started a discussion about what belonged in the wiki and what belonged in more formal documentation.


Uriel asked if anyone is still working on native Dis.

  • Lucho responded that he has not done any new work for lack of time. He is not aware of anyone else doing any work but thinks the work would be useful especially for writing GUI applications.
  • CaptainWillard said dis is native on froggie (f2f notes that froggie is brucee's OzInferno box).

Uriel offered up the idea of merging Inferno into the Plan9 distribution.


Newsh said that he has not done any work on sparc recently and has started working on Xen 3.0 with Ron.

Uriel asked if Kuro has worked out issues of overlapping work with Jmk, but Kuroneko was not around and nobody could offer an answer.

Ericvh said that ppc64 work looks to be moving ahead but didn't have further details since he is not directly involved.

  • Ericvh also pointed out that he put a G5 ppc64 linux machine on the network for people to use. He also mentioned that IBM will be releasing its full system simulator for ppc64 (ppc970 GP/UL and rhype) any day now.
  • Cross asked which machines other than the fated Apple ppc machines might benefit from such a port and Ericvh mentioned the Ps/3 and Xbox 360.

Newsh asked about how the cell would be used and Ericvh said the PPC core would run Plan9 and provided some examples of how the SIMD cores might be used.


Ericvh passed on a p9p update on behalf of Russ (who was not present). Work continues but nothing big is planned. Venti is working and available from the p9p CVS (although under a different module name). Russ and Jmk are going to put venti through its paces at the Labs and then roll it into p9p and Plan9.

20h is working on dtLinux 2.6 with some free time he has gotten recently. It will have p9p, Inferno and v9fs.

Ericvh also mentioned progress on a drawterm replacement under p9p which started off a discussion about drawterm and splitting up p9p into packages. The drawterm discussion:

  • p9p drawterm is progressing but Russ hasn't had time for it lately. It still needs work on the synthetic console and graphics devices.
  • Ericvh stated that dt2k has windows support and that there is talk of dropping the old drawterm completely. He also stated he has it working in ppc-linux.
  • Uriel asked who maintains dt2k, Ericvh pointed out that it is available at ucalgary (f2f's repository) and f2f eventually replied that it is unknown who current maintainer is.
  • 20h stated an objection to p9p as a drawterm replacement due to its size and lack of modularity.
  • Uriel stated that a Limbo-based drawterm would be a good solution and be easy to do (once Plan9 authentication issues are addressed in Inferno).
  • Hyperion hinted that VNC is a viable alternative and Ericvh pointed out that VNC doesn't do everything that drawterm does.
  • Ericvh asked for promiment drawterm documentation on the wiki and Uriel agreed that a drawterm page should be made.

The discussion on finer grained packaging of p9p:

  • Newsh stated that taking a specific component, such as drawterm, out of p9p and providing binaries or sources seperately shouldnt be too hard. 20h offered skepticism that this would actually occur due to traditional lack of manpower.
  • Ericvh said he had talked to Russ about breaking up p9p and that Russ wasn't opposed to it but did not want the packaging to be too granular due to interdependencies.
  • Uriel stated that there should be a package of libraries and opined that developers want libraries seperate from the applications.
  • Cross argued that breaking up p9p will only increase complexity.
  • Some stated that p9p is too monolithic and others pointed out that Plan9 has traditionally been monolithic. The topic drifted towards the philosophical.
  • Ericvh pointed out that if the sources are removed p9p is quite small.

Ericvh said he packaged p9p for gentoo and submitted them, although the packages are "lost in their bugtracker."


20h stated that there are two proposed solutions that have been developed and are in use. One is his own in use for and the other is tip9ug's implementation in use at

The potential for using Inferno's PKI-based authentication was suggested by Newsh and Uriel. 20h pointed out that the main obstacle is getting someone to write the code.

Ericvh expressed an interest in hosting some cross domain authentication server but may not be able to due to his network setup and a desire to maintain his current ability to authenticate against sources.

Ericvh said that there should be a wiki to collect information about the cross-domain authentication systems and Newsh seconded this idea.


The topic sponsor was idle and this topic was skipped at first and returned to when the sponsor returned.

Bakul expressed a desire to have a pre-canned automated installer that required no interaction.

Ericvh suggested that there should be an option to install a CPU server from the installer.


Uriel asked when VESA support would be in the install ISO. Nobody present was able to answer.

Uriel started off a discussion of wether the ISO should support both native and VESA drivers or only the VESA driver.

  • Hyperion pointed out that VESA did not work on his geforce2.
  • Ericvh stated that VESA was an important option during installs and suggested that it could be a boot argument or part of a companion boot floppy.
  • Uriel noted that 20h would like to remove native drivers to save space.
  • Uriel pointed out that VESA does not universally work and where it does may not work as well as native drivers in terms of selection of screen resolutions and refresh rates.
  • Ericvh pointed out that it would work more reliably than native drivers for LiveCDs and installers and that users could use native drivers after install if they so choose.


Ericvh called for a volunteer to moderate the next meeting.

Hyperion asked if the future direction of Xen 3.0 will adversely affect Plan9. Newsh and Ericvh answered that it will not since there are no plans for a Plan9 Domain 0.