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Selected articles of all aspects of our work, mostly in open source projects, usually quite technical.

Support for MARC Records in PostgreSQL

Submitted by Marc Balmer on Tue, 06/12/2012 - 09:16

Sitting in one of the nice pubs in Edinburgh during KohaCon, I had the idea to add MARC records as a proper datatype to the PostgreSQL database server. After a discussion with Marc Véron and Dobrica Pavlinusic about what that could mean, I decided to just try it and I have now a basic implementation (or, more a proof of concept). So here is some information on this:

Using the Lua Programming Language to Create a Graphical User Interface

Submitted by Marc Balmer on Thu, 12/30/2010 - 08:48

Most toolkits for graphical user interfaces organize the elements of the user interface, typically called "widgets", in a hierarchy: Starting with some container like a dialog or window at the top, the elements like push buttons, labels, or layout managers are added. To add new elements a set of C functions is provided which are called with a handle to the parent widget, the class (or type) of widget that is to be added plus any further arguments like e.g. a label string in the case of a push button.

The Monkeys Chased Away Puffy, or, Replacing OpenBSD with NetBSD at the Point of Sale

Submitted by Marc Balmer on Mon, 12/21/2009 - 12:13

About one year ago, I wrote about how we used OpenBSD at the point of sale at the Basel Zoo. Well, the good news first: We replaced OpenBSD by NetBSD for our POS applications, both in development, but also for deployment. That might sound like a radical step, but in fact it is not. It is just the consequence from OpenBSD not being ready for prime-time in an enterprise world. The lack of proper SMP support, for one, is a major problem with todays computers being mostly multi-core.

NetBSD's GPIO Revisited

Submitted by Marc Balmer on Sat, 07/25/2009 - 21:11

I reworked the GPIO framework in OpenBSD last fall. Now I have taken my work to NetBSD and updated their GPIO implementation. While there, I corrected some mistakes made in the OpenBSD implementation and took it a step further. More development will take place in NetBSD, and there is quite a few interesting upcoming things to watch out for...

If you are interested in the latest userland accessible GPIO stuff, and the most up-to-date GPIO implementation, then keep an eye on NetBSD -current. This is where I am working on new stuff.

See for details. And stay tuned.