Sunday, February 28, 2010

gnusim8085 maintenance - 1.3.6 released

After long silence followed by sudden burst of activity in the codeline we finally managed to release version 1.3.6 of GNUSim8085. The release was late by about 13 days than originally planned, but better late than never. :-)

This version contains three important features.
1. The UI is now internationalized - Apparently Sridhar had tried to i18nize the UI when he started the development but the support was partial and probably never worked. I found some time in December month to actually make some sense out of gettext manual and complete the i18n support. No offense to gettext maintainers, I am not very good at using autotools. :-) Kartik Mistry was first to complete translation in Gujarati using using launchpad. Thanks to numerous other translators the UI is now translated in nine languages.
2. Printing support - The 8085 lab practicals in second year of engineering course are one of the most favourite things I did in my education. The pain point of these practicals was to lookup the opcodes for assembly instructions and feed them into the memory on 8085 kit. And when the results of program were not as expected it meant trying to locate fault in the program, correct it, lookup the opcodes and feed them again. What Sridhar had done in GNUSim8085, long before I started hacking on it, was to add a assembly listing window which shows opcodes of the program currently written in editor. So feeling nostalgic about old days I decided implementing the printing support for the contents of this window. Thanks to the nice printing API in GTK+ this was easier than thought. There were some obstacles though as the tutorial fails to mention some API calls that are a must for a basic printing functionality. Thanks to the nicely written gedit source code the issue was not hard to locate. The printing support in my opinion bridges a gap between the simulator software and actual lab practical. Once it was confirmed that printing was working as expected the same workflow was implemented for the program editor component as well.
3. Better looking Windows installer - The Windows installer now uses the modern UI provided in NSIS. There is also a finish screen with option 'Run Program' and the text on various screens is available in multiple languages. Unfortunately both i18nized UI as well as printing are not available or don't work as expected in Windows version. We hope to solve this in upcoming versions.

And oh! We have a brand new logo courtesy of Kamaleshwar Morjal.

This is first release since migration to launchpad for project management. We hope to be more responsive to feature requests and bugs in near future. :-D

So head to (currently redirects to launchpad project page) to download latest version. The packages for various distributions are expected to arrive soon at appropriate places.

Happy Simulating!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Devotion to duty

Image source -

Knowing how rare the 'devoted sysadmin' species are, I want to thank all the sysadmins working behind the scenes in Ubuntu and Debian projects. You guys/gals rock. :-)