An ag(e)ing hacker - posts tagged as "gnu"

Luca Saiu's blog

Posts tagged as "gnu" (24 posts)
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p≡p-mail-tool: easy privacy for email with existing Mail User Agents (p≡p is working with Gnus!)2023-08-07 03:05
Updated: 2023-08-08 20:23
During the last month and a half I have unfortunately mostly disappeared from GNU, having been busy and focused writing p≡p-mail-tool (, a new work project I have let overflow into my personal time. A new beautiful little hack in which I believe. p≡p-mail-tool is of course free software. Motivation Freedom of speech and privacy are more and more threatened by governments and hostile corporations working against the public interest. In this season of death of liberty the minimum we can do to respond is making surveillance more difficult, by providing the general public with easy tools to use for [...] Read more
Tags: aiosmtpd, bash, command-line, dovecot, emacs, english, free-software, gnu, gnu-linux, gnus, hacking, imap, lisp, minimalism, myself, parentheses, pop, p≡p, privacy, python, script, smtp, software, surveillance, thunderbird, unix

Announcing make-gallery, a simple web image gallery generator2022-11-21 01:33
Updated: 2022-11-21 23:53
I wrote a script generating an image gallery suitable to be included in web pages. Since it can be generally useful I cleaned it up and published it, of course as free software (; you are welcome to download a copy of ‘make-gallery’ from <>. The software is released under the GNU General Public Licence ( version 3 or later; the generated code is in the public domain. I hate the web I have never made a mystery of my personal dislike for the web with its gratuitous ever-growing complexity, inefficiency, lack of expressivity, hostility to the developer and to [...] Read more
Tags: angle-brackets, apl, autopatente, bash, code-generation, command-line, css, english, free-software, gallery, gnu, gnu-linux, graphics, hacking, html, imagemagick, images, javascript, keyboard, make-gallery, minimalism, myself, nausea, p≡p, russian, script, software, thumbnail, unix

SMTP, OrangeWebsite and using your own computing resources2022-10-24 00:35
Updated: 2022-11-21 05:11
I have had a personal server with the domain ‘’ since 2010. At the beginning I was sharing hosting costs with two or three other people, each of us running a virtual machine inside a Virtual Private Server. By 2016 my requirements had grown, I wanted stability and so decided to rent a VPS by myself. Around that time I had also decided to run a Tor exit node for the benefit of the global community, and more in general wanted my server to be in a country that allowed some freedom of speech; since I did not, then like [...] Read more
Tags: 1984-hosting, email, english, flokinet, freedom, free-software, gnu, hosting, iceland, myself, orangewebsite, port-25, p≡p, server, smtp, surveillance, swisscom, switzerland, vps

A personal reflection on the GNU Hackers' Meeting 20222022-10-11 00:30
Updated: 2022-12-06 23:34
According to the definition on the web site ( “The GNU Hackers’ Meetings or ‘GHMs’ are a venue to discuss technical topics related to GNU and free software”. And GHMs are in fact events structured as conferences with talks and presentation slides and all; very technical indeed, the way we like them and the way they should be. But if we take the time for attending every year since 2007 or so, and organising, it is mostly for the fun of spending time with our GNU friends in a relaxed environment. After many years in which most GNU Hackers’ Meetings [...] Read more
Tags: e, english, free-software, ghm, gnu, hacking

GNU Hackers' Meeting 2022: Call for presentations, even remote2022-09-12 18:05
The GNU Hackers’ Meetings or or “GHMs” are a friendly and informal venue to discuss technical topics related to GNU ( and free software (; anybody is welcome to register and attend. The GNU Hackers’ Meeting 2022 will take place on October 1st and October 2st in İzmir, Turkey; see the event home page at <>. We decided to help students who wish to attend by contributing 50€ out of their 60€ attendance fee (required by the hotel for use of the conference room, coffee and snacks) so that students will need to only pay 10€, upon presenting proof of [...] Read more
Tags: e, english, free-software, ghm, gnu, hacking

The GNU Hackers' Meeting 2022 is less than one month away2022-09-04 20:21
Updated: 2022-09-05 12:15
The GNU Hackers’ Meetings are a venue to discuss technical topics related to GNU and free software. GNU Hackers’ Meetings have been taking place since 2007: you may want to look at the pages documenting most past editions ( which in many cases also include presentation slides and video recordings. The event atmosphere is always friendly and informal. Anybody is welcome to register and attend, including newcomers. The next GNU Hackers’ Meeting will take place in İzmir, Turkey on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd October 2022. We updated the GHM 2022 web page ( with information about the venue, accommodation [...] Read more
Tags: e, english, free-software, ghm, gnu, hacking

GNU Hackers' Meeting 2022 proposal: İzmir, Turkey2022-06-10 01:55
The GNU Hackers Meetings ( are a friendly and informal venue to discuss technical issues concerning GNU ( and free software ( The time we proposed for GHM 2022 is approaching but unfortunately we only received three replies expressing interest. If we are to hold the event then we need more participants; at this stage a simple informal expression of interest is enough. The event is planned for an extended weekend (with talks from Friday to Saturday) in October 2022 in İzmir, Turkey. For the time being all the infamous entry barriers or restrictions are lifted in Turkey, with the [...] Read more
Tags: e, english, free-software, ghm, gnu, hacking

Hackers getting married2022-05-16 22:00
On May 14th E. and I got married, here in Zürich. I do not normally share very personal information here; but people who knew me before January 2021 will remember me before and since that time. How she changed me for the better. E. is my joy. [Hugging photo] E. and I hugging under the cloister next to the Stadthaus. Photo by Gloria Bressan ( For the occasion we invited our friends and relatives, most of whom live as émigrés in one country or another, like us. We had several of our old-time friends from the GNU Project, and some [...] Read more
Tags: e, english, gnu, myself, switzerland, wedding, zürich

GNU Jitter and GCC: the fun of playing with fire2022-03-10 21:32
A few days ago on March 6 I participated in the Binary T00ls Summit online event (<>) organised by José Marchesi (<>); a video recording is now available. My presentation had the ridiculous title GNU Jitter and the illusion of simplicity or Copying, patching and combining compiler-generated code in executable memory or The Anarchist’s guide to GCC or The fun of playing with fire — or, in shortened form, GNU Jitter and GCC: the fun of playing with fire. This is the official abstract: GNU Jitter is a generator of portable and efficient language virtual machines; a Jittery VM lies [...] Read more
Tags: binary-t00ls-summit, free-software, gnu, hacking, jitter, myself

Jitter is now GNU Jitter2021-12-19 19:52
I am happy to announce that my project Jitter has been officially accepted as part of the GNU Project ( The new Jitter home page is <> . The git repository is still at <> . — Luca Saiu, 2021-12-19 19:52 [...] Read more
Tags: english, epsilon, gnu, hacking, jitter, software-by-myself

Global variable initialisation in C++2021-11-18 22:00
Updated: 2022-11-26 18:37
Today Volker Birk ( and I were speaking over lunch about object initialisation in C++ and about how weakly defined a program entry point is, because of objects with static storage duration. Volker wrote a short program whose output changes after reversing the order of two variable definitions, both out of a ‘main’ function whose entire body was ‘return 0;’. He discussed it in German (, on his blog ( I was more annoyed by the fact that initialisation order is not guaranteed to respect functional dependency across compilation units. Here is my test case, where GCC and the GNU [...] Read more
Tags: c++, english, free-software, gcc, gnu, myself, p≡p

Thanks for fighting against the European copyright directive2018-09-11 21:50
Updated: 2021-11-18 17:48
As I am writing this, the European Parliament is debating the disastrously liberticide copyright Directive. After out previous mailing campaign (The European Parliament has voted against the copyright directive, for now (<>)) organized along with a group of GNU friends, we again contacted the Members of the European Parliament before the forthcoming vote. I wish to name all the people who helped by translating the text into several languages and improve it, working tirelessly and with very little time: Christopher Dimech, Yavor Doganov, Rafael Fontenelle, Alexandre Garreau, Bruno Haible, José Marchesi, Tom Uijldert. Thank you all, friends. Update: we failed. [...] Read more
Tags: copyright, english, eucd-2018, europe, free-software, gnu, politics

The European Parliament has voted against the copyright directive, for now2018-07-06 00:47
Updated: 2022-10-29 02:03
The EU copyright directive in its present form has deep and wide implications reaching far beyond copyright, and erodes into core human rights and values. For more information I recommend Julia Reda’s analysis at <>, which is accessible to the casual reader but also contains pointers to the text of the law. Today on June 5, following a few weeks of very intense debate, campaigning and lobbying including deliberate attempts to mislead politicians (<>), the European Parliament voted in plenary session to reject the directive in its current form endorsed by the JURI committee, and instead reopen the debate. It [...] Read more
Tags: copyright, english, eucd-2018, europe, free-software, gnu, politics

Introducing Jitter, an efficient language Virtual Machine generator2017-08-31 04:18
Updated: 2017-09-03 14:05
During the last few months of this long silence I’ve been busy working on a new project. Of course it is free software, and I plan to propose it soon as an official GNU project. I’m now releasing Jitter to the public, after presenting it for the first time at the 2017 GNU Hackers’ Meeting (<>) in Germany last weekend. The meeting, by the way, was awesome — thanks to the organizers John Darrington and Alex Sassmannshausen and to everybody who attended. I was good to see the old friends, and make some new ones as well. The Jitter presentation [...] Read more
Tags: english, epsilon, forth, ghm, gnu, hacking, jitter, software-by-myself, talk

Happy pi Approximation Day 20142014-07-22 00:10
Updated: 2015-01-23 22:59
It’s 22/7 again. Last year on pi Approximation Day I published a simple Forth program based on an intuitive geometrical idea: see Happy pi approximation day 2013 (<>). I’ve been thinking about what to do in 2014 for some time, without finding anything as nice from the programming point of view. Sure, you can find series and continued fractions converging to pi, even rapidly; these methods work, but the corresponding programs are trivial to code and don’t provide any insight. So I chose another route: a practical experiment to approximate pi by cutting and weighing metal. The result turned out [...] Read more
Tags: english, experiment, gnu, guile, hacking, pi, science

A practical GNU epsilon tutorial2013-08-23 12:54
Updated: 2023-09-29 17:57
A practical GNU epsilon tutorial Audience Lexical conventions Rationale and introduction My PhD thesis Implementation, and the relation beteen epsilon0 and epsilon1 The bootstrap problem Setup Writing more comfortably, from ‘guile+whatever’ and Emacs Basics of epsilon1 The stuff values are made of: fixnums, pointers, buffers Error situations in epsilon1 Slightly higher-level data structures: vectors, strings, boxes, tuples, records Equality and boxedness tags Lists, and simple programming examples Digression: a look at epsilon0 Practical programming in epsilon1 Sums A programming example: structural equality with boxedness tags A look at reflective data structures ‘e1:define’ is just a macro! S-expressions What’s the point [...] Read more
Tags: english, epsilon, gnu, guile, hacking, tutorial

Hello from the GHM2013-08-22 16:13
Updated: 2013-08-31 21:15
Posting during a quiet time at the GHM pre-meeting, before most people arrive. We have something new to show: [ghm-t-shirt] I went to get the t-shirt at the shop this morning, with José; they did a nice job in the end. This post is just for bragging a little, and to make the people who aren’t here envious. — Luca Saiu, 2013-08-22 16:13 (last update: 2013-08-31 21:15) [...] Read more
Tags: english, gnu, hacking

Playing with graphics2013-08-12 02:40
Updated: 2015-01-26 19:43
I’m not good at graphics. Or rather, don’t think I have particularly good taste. Now that I’m thinking of it, in the remote past as part of my first big job I was actually paid to do photo touch-ups. It was my driving school job. Old graphic hacks The screenshot below belongs to that project; what we would call now an e-learning system, to be used locally on the driving school computers. [a simple touch up I did] The driving school owner went around taking photos of the roads in the neighborhood, so that his customers could recognize familiar places, [...] Read more
Tags: english, gimp, gnu, graphics, hacking

Privacy 2013: Why. When. How --- a talk by Werner Koch2013-08-05 23:05
Updated: 2013-08-26 12:16
A couple days ago Sylvain (<>) asked me to proofread his transcription of the latest talk by Werner Koch (<>). That was an occasion for listening carefully to what Werner has to say about electronic communication privacy in the global police state. Following his speech while paying attention to the text was instructive for me and, I think, a good use of my time. Werner is very competent on the subject: he’s a security expert and, as you probably know, the main author of GPG (<>). [Werner Koch speaking] Werner speaking: a frame from the video, CC-BY-SA <>. I’ve known [...] Read more
Tags: english, gnu, politics, privacy, security, talk

Happy pi approximation day 20132013-07-21 12:34
Updated: 2014-07-21 21:14
The fraction 22/7 has been known since antiquity as a simple rational approximation of pi. The fraction decimal expansion is 3.(142857); since pi is about 3.141592653589793, the approximation has three correct digits. Of course nowadays we can compute much better approximations with computers, and billions of digits are known: <π> is a nice review also explaining some efficient computation methods. For example if you want to obtain a lot of pi digits in a short time you may like the series by Ramanujan, yielding very good approximations even with a small number of terms; but that’s not the point now. [...] Read more
Tags: forth, gnu, hacking, pi, tutorial

GNU Hackers Meeting 2013 in Paris, France2013-05-17 20:39
Updated: 2013-10-10 21:36
Thanks to a kind offer by Sylvestre Ledru (<>) from IRILL (<>) we have a venue for this year’s GNU Hackers Meeting: we will be in Paris, France, for the second time at IRILL after the very successful 2011 edition. Since I live near Paris and I also happen to work at IRILL once or twice a week I’ve decided to do something to help organize the event, along with Sylvestre and Dodji Seketeli (<>) who graciously volunteered as well. The meeting will take place in late August 2013: right now we’re deciding whether to have talks on Friday 23 [...] Read more
Tags: english, ghm, gnu, hacking, paris

European unitary patent amendments2012-12-10 13:17
Updated: 2012-12-11 19:40
Please call the Members of the European Parliament right now, asking them to support amendments 74 and 76 on the Unitary Patent directive. <> • Amendment 74 restates that software is not patentable, as already expressed by the European Parliament in 2003 and 2005; • amendment 76 makes explicit the legislator’s control, in particular the European Parliament’s. Without this amendment the European Patent Office would not be accountable to enforce any limit on patentability, thus opening the door to unlimited US-style patenting of abstract ideas including pure software. All amendments, including 74 and 76: <> The plenary vote will take [...] Read more
Tags: english, europe, gnu, politics, software-patents

Meta-update and GNU epsilon news2012-08-29 23:33
Updated: 2012-09-16 13:38
This little diary of mine needed some love. A good excuse to motivate myself to write more often comes from the idea of syndication in the GNU Planet (<>); to make that possible without adding off-topic stuff to the GNU site I’ve recently improved trivalblog to also support per-tag RSS and Atom feeds — the idea being, of course, to have only posts explicitly tagged as “gnu” linked from the planet. My little blog system is described in The trivialblog software (<>). It’s just a quick unpolished hack with no documentation built upon bash and Texinfo, but I find it [...] Read more
Tags: english, epsilon, gnu, hacking, meta

The trivialblog software2011-09-08 08:45
Updated: 2011-09-08 14:44
I’ve written the software running this blog myself, in Bash; in fact it’s mostly a simple combination of GNU command-line utilities, producing completely static HTML. Texinfo renders the post source text into HTML; my scripts generate indices, links and other minor things. I will probably add a PDF export feature later. I’ve put together the software very quickly, for myself; the source is crude and there’s no documentation, but since I guess somebody might want a copy anyway I’m publicly releasing it. trivialblog is free software, released under the GNU GPL version 3 or later. Most icons were not drawn [...] Read more
Tags: english, gnu, hacking, meta, software-by-myself

Posts tagged as "gnu" (24 posts)

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Luca Saiu

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