* Posts by Graham Perrin

33 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Jan 2008

Double BSD birthday bash beckons – or triple, if you count MidnightBSD 3.0

Graham Perrin

FreeBSD patch level table

A useful resource:


Graham Perrin

freebsd-update(8) and desktop-installer

> … the normal freebsd-update command is no longer enough to update your machine, …

This is true for any desktop environment, with any method of installation. (Not only for the DEs that can be installed with desktop-installer.)

> … you'll need to use the menu-driven auto-admin command instead.

auto-admin is smart, however it's not a necessity. It's a runtime requirement of desktop-installer:


Use of desktop-installer can be followed by normal use of 'pkg upgrade' (without auto-admin).

freebsd-update(8) is for updating FreeBSD alone.

Graham Perrin

Lumina Desktop Environment

For clarity: Lumina (pictured, as "FreeBSD's own native desktop") is not FreeBSD's desktop.

There's the TrueOS history – and more – to Lumina, so I do understand why people might think of it as a FreeBSD thing, but really, it's not.


Graham Perrin

FreeBSD compatibility

13.1 not dramatically different from 13.0, 13.2 not dramatically different from 13.1 …

… true, however (as a doc repo committer) it saddens me, slightly, that we don't make more noise about the leaps ahead in compatibility. Graphics, Wi-Fi, and hardware support were uppermost on the FreeBSD Foundation technology roadmap in 2021; these things are, happily, far better now than when the map was first published.

Graphics: loosely speaking, much of the work on graphics is currently committed to the ports repo, not the src repo. There's no shortage of graphics-related work in the src area, however it sort of flies under the radar when the time comes for (src) FreeBSD release notes and the like.

Wi-Fi, and more general hardware support: from what I can tell, iwlwifi(4) in 13.2 is greatly improved, compared to 13.1. I know less about rtw88(4), but I get the impression that this is another smart move. Throw in the 13.1 improvements to amd64 UEFI boot (quiet, but huge impact) and a few more ingredients: end result, a simpler decision-making process for people who are wondering about using a new or old laptop, or desktop, with FreeBSD.


Graham Perrin

Enabling snapshots on filesystems using journaled soft updates in 13.2


Release notes updated – https://github.com/freebsd/freebsd-doc/commit/140d0828158723141e7c9bd40b7e07312287271a – with a possibility of also updating the announcement.

FreeBSD 13.1 is out for everything from PowerPC to x86-64

Graham Perrin


Thanks, I don't expect you to remember four months later, but why was i386 chosen?

Graham Perrin

Re: FreeBSD is the best all round UNIX today

> … I tested FreeBSD + ZFS in VB and it works fine. …

Other people report the same. No problem installing FreeBSD 13.1-RELEASE to ZFS (the default) in VirtualBox.

I wonder why Liam Proven chose i386 for the guest. Maybe that was a factor.

(Was the host not amd64? I wonder.)

helloSystem: Pre-alpha FreeBSD project chases simplicity and elegance by taking cues from macOS

Graham Perrin

KDE with Mac OS X-like appearances

It's easy enough to make KDE resemble Mac OS X, visually.

A quick search with Google found, for example:

Making Linux look like macOS with these easy tweaks! ▶ Making KDE Plasma looks like macOS


More exotically, although BackSlash is not recently updated:

Familiarizing with the Desktop | Docs


Graham Perrin

Valuing menus

> … fat title bar with a hamburger and other large buttons embedded into it (yuck!). …

True. Ugly AF, crow-barring of large icons without names into space that should be put to better use.

Are you married to those types of desktop environment, or would you consider KDE Plasma?

Graham Perrin

With, without then again with a global menu

After abandoning macOS I switched to a FreeBSD-based system.

Over the past five years or so I became accustomed to working without a global menu. Recently discovered the global menu in KDE Plasma. Sweet.

Graham Perrin

Package management

> … starting with a new package manager …

helloSystem uses the norm for FreeBSD-based systems: pkg(8).


Graham Perrin

Shotwell and DigiKam


I had forgotten Shotwell.




Graham Perrin


> Already been done …

No, the two are quite different.

helloSystem emphasises the global menu. It seems that elementary OS will never have this feature.

And so on.

https://github.com/elementary/wingpanel/issues/195 duplicate of https://github.com/elementary/wingpanel/issues/81 …

Graham Perrin

Abandoning Apple

> … MacOS Big Sur …

Mac OS X Mavericks was the end of the line for me, after twenty-something years.

Apple span no small amount of bullshit around Yosemite. Too much of this BS was swallowed with glee by the unquestioning masses – this included the massed audience at WWDC.

A web browser that can no longer show the title in its title bar? No, thank you, Safari. Goodbye, Mac.

Graham Perrin

Not annoying oneself

> … annoying - my app is down here but I have to move the mouse all the way up …

Ask yourself: why is the foot of your app so far down?

Global menus aside: if a maximised window will be too tall, I'll simply not maximise it in that way.

Graham Perrin

Grey-bearded old scrotes

Upvoted, because I'm also a grey-bearded old scrote.

Also, because this finds nothing:


Graham Perrin

Something with which the long-time Mac user should feel instantly comfortable

> Honestly we really do not need another macOS clone. …

Honestly and more accurately, helloSystem is "Not a clone of anything, but something with which the long-time Mac user should feel instantly comfortable.".


Graham Perrin

Re: Interesting

> … indistinguishable from macOS …

That's not the intention of helloSystem.

Graham Perrin

Pie menus

> I love pie menus - though I only use see them in a CAD application. …

If I recall correctly, pie menus feature in some SMART Technologies software titles.


Graham Perrin


> … it's clear that he's only concerned with optimising one thing - speed to hit controls. …

If the article gave you that impression, you're misinformed.

Graham Perrin

helloSystem global menu, including its system tray: integrations

> … link the menu to the currently live window? …

If you'd like to find/raise an issue for the global menu not showing the name of the application: I'll up-vote.

In parallel:

Make Chrome work with the global menu · Issue #29 · helloSystem/Menu


Make Firefox and Thunderbird work with the global menu · Issue #37 · helloSystem/Menu


An application's window should be in front following use of the global menu for the application · Issue #50 · helloSystem/Menu


System tray (notification area) not working for some applications · Issue #96 · helloSystem/ISO — https://github.com/helloSystem/ISO/issues/96

Graham Perrin

> … Unity was a better OS X than OS X: …

Honestly, I never wished for my Mac OS X global menu to be marred by a clock in the middle.

Graham Perrin

Cartoons and ActivityPub

> Makes me think of https://xkcd.com/927/

… which makes me think of this, which referenced the same cartoon:

ActivityPub - one protocol to rule them all? - Dennis Schubert


– and the 2019 follow-up, which I just discovered.

Graham Perrin

Application metadata, name and icon

> … labelling …

+1 to useful metadata.

Here with KRunner in KDE Plasma, seeking 'image' presents 'GNU Image Manipulation Program' and other relevant applications, with their icons.

-1 to misrepresenting the name or icon. I dislike that using Falkon in helloSystem 0.4.0 (0D26) does not present the name or icon of Falkon in the dock – this might have been mentioned in chat, but there's not yet an issue for it.

Also, the absence of the application name from the global menu.

Firefox 57: Good news? It's nippy. Bad news? It'll also trash your add-ons

Graham Perrin

Lazy generalisations about instability with legacy exensions

> … It doesn't take much imagination to see the tech press headlines coming: …

OK, Register, I'll bite. Don't forget existing copy:

> … Legacy extensions … cause stability problems …

With respect: that's a lazy generalisation.

https://twitter.com/grahamperrin/status/925522450410037249 1,200 tabs a few days ago.

Now, whilst writing this comment:

- 1,400 tabs

- eighty-five extensions enabled, more than half of which are legacy

– and the vast majority of those legacy extensions are tried, tested, trusted, mature and stable. Certainly my own environment is stable, the presence of forty-eight legacy extensions is not detrimental. I'm aware of, and can easily avoid, just one stability-oriented bug.

Russian revolution: YotaPhone 2 double-screen JANUS MOBE

Graham Perrin

Meanings of Janus, JANUS MOBE and Janus One

Was JANUS (uppercase) an acronym for something mobile-related?

Or was it a reference to Janus, the two-faced ancient Roman god of beginnings and transitions?

There's also Janus One (comparable to Light Phone) but this February 2015 article in The Register appears to predate the KickStarter projects for both Light Phone and Janus One – and Janus One has one face.

Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog

Graham Perrin

What ho!

Where am I?

Spread the gospel! Tim Berners-Lee's Open Data Institute goes global

Graham Perrin

ODI aims, charter and more

ODI global network announced (2013-10-28)

Thirteen nodes; the open source ODI Charter. You can follow the development of the ODI Charter and Nodes via Github.


At this time, I should not expect the ODI itself to publish the data of other organisations. See below …

Aims of the Institute

In two paragraphs:

"The Open Data Institute will catalyse the evolution of an open data culture to create economic, environmental, and social value. It will unlock supply, generate demand, create and disseminate knowledge to address local and global issues.

"We will convene world-class experts to collaborate, incubate, nurture and mentor new ideas, and promote innovation. We will enable anyone to learn and engage with open data, and empower our teams to help others through professional coaching and mentoring."

Also, the ODI will "… help organisations who are using data be aware of which data they can and can’t use and to help organisations who want to publish data to make that data sharable, structured, reliable and traceable …"; "… demonstrate, encourage, promote and develop the use of open data by the private sector …" (emphasis added by me).

Open Data Partnership for Development

Both the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN) and The World Bank are well-established and reputable, so I should expect good to come from partnerships such as these.

Vulture 2 paintjob: Four-year-old nipper triumphs

Graham Perrin

Yes. Thank you.

I can visualise it, three centuries from now, looking for the creator.

So. Looking ahead. Can we arrange for Ariadne and James to have some prepared answers for their creation?

Only way to stop the iPad: Flash-disk mutant SPEED FREAKS

Graham Perrin

solid state hybrid drive

SSHD is more commonly solid state hybrid drive (not solid state hard drive).

Snow Leopard forces silent Flash downgrade

Graham Perrin

In what way is vulnerable?

http://www.adobe.com/support/security/bulletins/apsb09-10.html describes "Adobe Flash Player and and earlier 9.x and 10.x versions" as affected — without reference to 10.0.23.x.

Wolfram Alpha - a new kind of Fail

Graham Perrin


The noticeable presence of information from Wikipedia may be thanks to DBPedia.




VBA-free Office for Mac debuts

Graham Perrin

Compatibility with WebDAV and other types of server volume

1) Can anyone tell whether the 2008 suite still suffers incompatibility with WebDAV volumes?

2004 and prior versions of the applications tended to fail through, for example, requirement to write to the root of server volumes.

2) Historically, AFP and SMB/CIFS have offered better compatibility with Office.

Does anyone know whether such workarounds (for writing to root, when that's impossible) tend to be client-side (afpfs.fs and smbfs.fs) or server-side?

TIA for any advice.

Graham Perrin — CENTRIM — http://www.brighton.ac.uk/centrim/