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Scriptable Debugger

Adam Leventhal mentioned on twitter that he'd found my umem slab allocator port on macports. I commented that he might miss some of the umem debugging features that are available on its native Solaris platform in mdb, and we dreamed briefly of a portable version of mdb.

This weekend I took a peek at the mdb sources (via the Illumos Gate) to see how hard this might be. As it happens, this isn't the first time I've looked at porting mdb, so I was bit better prepared to go snooping around in there.

OSCON 2010 Redux

Another OSCON is done. As usual, it was a great mix of folks and ideas across many different areas of OpenSource technology.

The most valuable track at these conferences (for me, at least) has become the hallway track. This is due in-part to my becoming a big-headed know-it-all; you pick up a lot of knowledge after you been to a good number of these conferences/conventions. But it is really important to me to be able to converse with fellow OpenSourcerors, whether they are working on the tools that I use on a daily basis or are working on something outside of my familiar tool box.

I like to think of OSCON as a melting pot for OpenSource; an excellent opportunity for cross-pollination between projects.

A particularly interesting development at OSCON this year was the announcement of a new Distributed Version Control System, under the Apache License (v2); it is called Veracity and is the product of SourceGear, LLC. This is interesting for me for a couple of reasons; the first is the license (wouldn't it be cool to embed DVCS to keep track of configuration information?), and the second is the feature set; they provide everything from source control through to distributed issue tracking. Veracity isn't done yet, but I'll be keeping an eye on it.

I'm also pleased to have shared Gimli at OSCON. Gimli is a crash tracing and analysis framework that provides watchdog and tracing support for Linux, Solaris and Darwin (OS/X) systems. You can find my slides on slideshare and find the Gimli project on bitbucket.

It was great to be at OSCON this year, especially with it being back in Portland, and I look forward to returning next year.

Gimli at OSCON

OSCON 2010

Update: the session is complete; you can find the slides on and the code on bitbucket

I'm speaking at OSCON again with another new topic. This year, I'm spreading the news about Gimli, a Server Process Monitoring and Fault Analysis framework that I built at Message Systems and will be sharing with the world at OSCON.

In a nutshell, Gimli will supervise a process and capture an extensive crash trace (using DWARF 3 debugging information if possible) if the process crashes or wedges, and then restarts the process.

For more details on the OSCON session, check out the session details at

As usual, I'm excited to attend; I still regard OSCON as the best OpenSource conference and greatly value the opportunity to catch up with fellow OpenSourcerors; I hope to see you there!