XScreenSaver 6.03 out now

XScreenSaver 6.03 is out now, including iOS and Android.

I wrote two new hacks this time:

Squirtorus, which I can't really explain or justify except that it came to me in a dream. The pandemic has been weird, ok?

And also MapScroller, which suggested itself following my investigations of OpenStreetMap while trying to figure out how to plot a heat map of my ticket sales.

MapScroller is not available on iOS or Android because network access happens through a Perl subprocess, since doing HTTPS from C code is untenable.

Also Sphere Eversion has a freaky new mode.

Two years ago I said: "fixed rotation on iOS 13 (Apple incompatibly breaks rotation every two years as a matter of policy)". As it has been two years, they broke it again, and I fixed it again. As foretold by prophecy.

And on X11, by popular demand, holding down backspace in the password entry field will clear it. For some reason the XInput2 extension does not send keyboard auto-repeat events, so I had to special case this in the client, like an animal.

A couple of things I could use some help with:

  • Speaking of XInput2, if you are the sort of person who is concerned about the fact that this popular and universally-deployed component of the X server is reproducibly returning uninitialized and/or freed data from server memory to any old client that connects, might I recommend that you build and run "xscreensaver/driver/test-xinput --grab". The logs printed should make the problem extremely clear. Update: I was mistaken, nevermind.

  • If you are the sort of person who cares about localization: the eldrich horror known as "intltoolize" has gurgled to the surface again: if you upgrade autoconf beyond 2.69_5, then the po/ directory stops working. Something has angered the many-angled ones who squat and gibber at the bottom of the potfile. So if you could install a recent autoconf, Make It Go, and send me a patch, that would be great.

    I'm sorely tempted to just delete the po/ directory entirely and let each distro figure that shit out on their own. I've just about had it.

    As I said years ago in a comment in configure.ac:

    This IT_PROG_INTLTOOL nonsense has so many self-modifying levels of insanity that it must have been written by RMS, or an equally demented protégé. Why does po/Makefile.in.in exist?? Why does aclocal.m4 exist?? Why can't I ever upgrade it without everything breaking?? Won't someone please have mercy on us all and write a normal po/Makefile.in that uses wildcards, and write a sane set of rules to detect gettext(3) and msgfmt(1) and just do the obviously straightforward thing?
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27 Responses:

  1. Um I think your planet has slinky diarrhea.

  2. Mark Gardner says:

    I really like MapScroller, thanks! Is there any way to add more cities?

    • jwz says:

      In "random city" mode it selects from a list of every city with population over a million, plus capitals. hacks/glx/mapcities.h. If you mean on the menu in the settings dialog, edit the XML file.

  3. By the way, a while back I made a map that uses the geolocation API. I intended it as just a quick 'Where am I?' reference, and I do use it for that all the time, but it's also fun to just watch it on (above-ground) public transit. Like MapScroller but your actual location. https://acme.com/where.html

    Also, did you know that Leaflet is Ukranian? I did not. They have a note about the war on their home page right now. https://leafletjs.com/

  4. Jon says:

    Squirtorus should feature a Goatse once in a while.

  5. There's something very familiar about that audio...

    (If it's what I think it is, that machine is still alive today.)

    • Doctor Memory says:

      It's a running gag that jwz never identifies or even acknowledges the background sounds on these videos, so if you recognize it I'd be curious to know what you think it is -- I've always assumed it was a Lisp Machine booting, but am just a smidge too young to have ever encountered one in the flesh.

      • I didn't know there was such a running gag here, even though I've been reading for years.

        I believe the audio, however slightly edited, comes from a video I made in 2014 of an IBM 15F7077 30MB hard drive in a Personal System/2 Model 50z.

        These drives use a stepper motor to move the heads around and even compared to other stepper-operated drives, have a unique operating sound. Unfortunately, they also give in to internal contamination of some kind and fail. Between that and failures of the drive's electronics, I can't imagine there are a whole lot of them left in working condition today. I didn't want that sound to fade into history, so I did what had to be done and captured it with the best quality equipment I had at the time.

        I believe others have found and used the audio portion of that video as well, because I'm pretty sure I've heard it in some TV shows. I don't really care, so long as they are not doing anything generally considered to be in poor taste, illegal, or to harass someone. I wouldn't mind being credited, though.

        Of course, I could be completely wrong. In which case, I rescind my entire commentary and you should feel free to forget everything I said.

        • Doctor Memory says:

          Oh interesting! Those definitely sound extremely similar, although your video has the PS/2 system beep at 0:19 and Jamie's doesn't. (Although perhaps it's just been edited out.)

          Although that said, in the one video of an actual LispM being used that I could find, if you listen in the background you can hear fan and stepper motor sounds which also sound plausibly similar -- did the lispm also use the 15F7077 or a close relative, I wonder?

        • apm74 says:

          I went off to college with a brand new 386 PS/1 with a hard drive that sounded like that (40 MB?). Had multiple aunts & uncles with access to the IBM employee discount. :heart emoji:

    • jwz says:

      Like I keep saying, those videos are completely silent... I don't know what you people think you're hearing but you should probably check your equipment.

  6. Carlos says:

    > network access happens through a Perl subprocess, since doing HTTPS
    > from C code is untenable.

    Pardon my ignorance - never done any Ios programming - but would using libcurl be tenable? The curl commandline tool can generate C code equivalent to a request you use it for. If it gets you past a restriction on subprocesses...

    Squirtoros is probably a better name than "angry sphincters", but I'd be happy with either.


  7. Honestly, I was expecting Squirtorus to be much worse. My initial guess before clicking on the video was that one would squirt a jet of milk in the air and it would come down to another.

    But I have 2 kids under 4, so I may already have been primed for that kind of imagery.

  8. Robert says:

    Squirtorus brings to mind the Bobbit Worm. Previously.

  9. apm74 says:

    Feature Request: Google Street View? /asking politely?

    • jwz says:

      Google's API is unusable and Open Street Map does not do street view. So, nope.

      • apm74 says:

        Was thinking whatever hook Geoguessr to sit on top of Street View might be an option, but understandable. That's also probably one reason why the Geoguessr game isn't free, obvs.

        Presuming Apple's "Look Around" is similarly nope'd.

  10. Michael V. says:

    Don't know if this is a reasonable place for a bug report, but I haven't been able to get anything out of an RSS or Atom feed for quite awhile in the XAnalogTV module on MacOS. Currently version 12.3, but this dates back to at least. 10.11-10.12.

    Thanks for the work you put into this!