Minutes of the BLUG Meet: July 2001

Date: 31 Jul 2001 23:16:37 +0530
From: Kiran Jonnalagadda
Subject: Minutes from the BLUG meeting of July 2001

1. The meeting was once again organised on the terrace of the Federal
Technologies (FedTec) building. After what seemed like eternity, Biju
announced that we were starting with a record delay of only 15 minutes
(assuming the meet is scheduled for 30 minutes after registration, which
started at 6:00 PM).

2. Bharata B. Rao from the IBM Linux Technology Centre explained how
inline assembler is used in GCC: the syntax of the asm construct, the
various options available for passing parameters and receiving results,
and the actual assembler code generated for the options selected. Some
light was also thrown on how passing parameters over the stack works.
Bharata's talk was the highlight of the day.

3. Kavitha Shankar from IBM explained that IBM's Linux initiatives
included participating with local LUGs, this being their first
interaction with the Bangalore LUG. DeveloperWorks CDs were handed out
and survey forms were collected. The CD contains several tutorials
covering Java, SOAP, PHP and MySQL. It also contains the source code to
Toot-O-Matic, IBM's tool for generating tutorials in HTML, JPEG, PDF and
ZIP formats, using a source XML file (yay! for XML). Limited copies of
IBM PartnerWorld Management Directions newsletter (April/May 2001)
describing IBM's involvement with Linux were also distributed. For those
who didn't get a copy, it's online at
www.developer.ibm.com/news/management. Finally, developers were invited
to contribute articles to the developerWorks site.

4. Atul detailed changes to the LUG. The lists have been renamed from
ilug-bangalore-*@yahoogroups.com to linux-bangalore-*@yahoogroups.com
and a new linux-bangalore-programming list has been introduced. There is
also a new domain name to reflect this change: linux-bangalore.org
(since blug.org was already taken). The .com and .net variations have
also been registered to keep domain squatters at bay. The domains are
sponsored by:

    Babu Kalakrishnan, Sankya Systems and Objects

    Harsha K, Knoxware

    Gopi Garge, Exocore Consulting

* All domains have been registered in the name of the Bangalore Linux
User Group, which is a registered not-for-profit society. Sponsorship
for the domains will be cycled annually to prevent single-person control
over them.

* Questions on whether Richard Stallman (RMS), who is in Hyderabad
currently, will be in Bangalore were answered: RMS has been to Bangalore
several times already, including last year, and is visiting other cities
this time.

* BLUG will probably not be participating in IT.COM this year because of
the poor impact of last year's presence. Since Wrox has also moved out
of Bangalore and taken BangLinux with them (the event will now be held
in Pune), plans are on for a local Linux-Bangalore event. Yours truly
holds the title of event coordinator until a real one takes over. The
current plan is to have this in early September, when engineering
colleges are between semesters.

* On other fronts, Biju is getting married on the 18th of August.

5. Hanish Menon described the steps involved in building for an embedded
Linux platform, from compiler and library options to considerations on
what C library is suitable for what kind of application. Yours truly
unfortunately got side-tracked into a parallel discussion on the layers
involved from a mouse using application to the mouse itself (app ->
mouse driver -> serial driver -> kernel -> CPU -> PIC -> serial port ->
mouse) and didn't record all of Hanish's session. The only memory now
(after also discussing stack pointer vs. base pointer over dinner), is
that Hanish is God.

6. Snacks were served, followed by techno-socialising. The last
hanger-ons left at 9:30 PM, nearly an hour after the sessions had ended.

Bharata's slides/tutorial are up somewhere on the ibm.com/developerWorks
site. I don't have a URL handy, but since Atul and Hanish made
presentations too, maybe we should put up presentations from every meet
on the site?

Kiran Jonnalagadda


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