Tuesday, July 29, 2008


It's so perfect that our replay work R2 finishes with an OSDI acceptance. Just got the news right before saying goodbye to my friends at MSR Asia. Awesome the past two years!

Silas's paper on multicore OS was also accepted. Congratulations!

Welly: Rethink the BBS

In the past month I have been hacking the Welly BBS term client while waiting for the visa approval. I was fortunate to work with some amazing people: aqua, gtCarrera, and KOed, who are nice, young, and smart. I envy them. :-)

The project was initially a fork of Nally, which was developed by yllan and now is maintained by jjgod. It uses Core Text for rendering, much faster than state-of-the-art (ATSUI based) BBS terms on Mac OS X. Nevertheless, we don't want a general terminal application; there are enough good ones. Welly is tailored for exploring BBS, where we can also try fancy stuff for fun, such as Cover Flow and Quick Look integration that I finished recently.

One day Geoff asked me why Chinese prefer such old-fashioned term BBS sites. Yes, this is a little bit weird. It seems that most people, particularly on-campus students, prefer telnet access and the terminal way to present and exchange ideas. Some even spend hours there every day, as I did. We are using terminal emulators that have a history of more than 20 years, though they may be implemented via modern technology. Many term BBS sites also provide Web access and may use AJAX extensively, however, the core parts are derived from aged systems, mostly either Firebird or Maple.

I can still remember the days in 2005, which consequently drove me to get down to preparing for GRE and brought me two awesome years at MSR Asia as well. It changed anything, as least to myself --- I once had a dream of having a good job and a stable life in the city but gave up after the hard time. Thanks to better who stood with me. The immediate issue of Sci-Fi World, the most popular Chinese sci-fi magazine, came up with a Ma Boyong's novel titled The City of Silence, which quoted from the famous song by Paul Simon:
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening

I guess I might be overacted at that time, but there is no turning back.

Here is the move within a couple of weeks: Beijing => Haikou => Beijing => San Francisco => Boston.