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The Windshield in a World of Bugs*

General Purpose Library
Networking Library
Software Insights
Windshield Chasing Bug!
Software Conventions
Porting and
Supported Platforms
On the Shelf

*Apologies to Mark Knopfler!


Design/Implementation/Documentation Conventions

My library software follows certain conventions that you might find useful to know when using or examining the software:

More to follow when I think of it ...


Porting and Supported Platforms

In writing my software, I try to make it as portable as possible. I make use of ANSI C libraries and header files as much as I can. Function declarations are made in both ANSI C and non-ANSI C form, so the code will compile whether your compiler is ANSI C-compliant or not. I've attempted to isolate compiler and OS dependencies in a header file, pragmatics.h, except for some networking and time definitions that are found in skt_util.h and tv_util.h, respectively.

The major operating systems I've built and used my software on are:

In previous years, earlier incarnations of my software were built and run on the following OSes: SunOS (on 68K and SPARC platforms), HP/UX, IBM's AIX (we had a single PC RT in the late 1980s), Lynx OS 2.4 (on a PowerPC), PalmOS (68k), and VxWorks (circa 1990 and again in 1994-1996).

I currently build/use my software on:

I've tried to write portable software. I use the Linux and Cygwin64 versions daily. I build the Windows versions periodically, but since I use Cygwin64, I don't exercise the Windows versions; in particular, I haven't explored my software's behavior in the Windows IL32P64 data model at all.

On Windows, I build static libraries and link them to console applications. The libraries are small. so there's no advantage to my figuring out DLLs yet.

The software distributions generally include the following Makefiles. The most up-to-date Makefile is always Makefile.linux, so start with it as a model for new Makefiles:

You might also encounter the following Makefiles which I haven't used in years:

[Palm Pilot]

With respect to PalmOS, I built my libraries with PRC-Tools (and now prc-tools-remix) and I created a number of StdIOPalm applications that use the libraries. Click on the Palm Pilot thumbnail to see the screen output from a port scanner, scanet, running in the POSE emulator. A StdIOPalm application is a command-line application that is run from/in the Palm's "Network Log" screen.



Thanks to the following people for bug and porting reports:

I don't have the changes required for the various ports, but at least I know it's possible to port the code to the various platforms with relatively little trouble. My apologies to anyone I've left out, including those who reported bugs (e.g., in the quadword utilities and in the IPC utilities) before I started keeping a list here.


General Purpose Library (Downloads & Instructions)

Last Update: Sun Jun 30 22:17:40 2024

Licensing: The CSOFT libraries and applications are covered by the MIT License. Basically, you are free to use the software however you see fit, in commercial or non-commerical applications. I only ask that, if your time and inclination permit, you report any bugs or portability problems you encounter. Suggestions for improvements and enhancements are welcome, but I do not guarantee I will act upon them.

Command Line Processing

opt_util - full-word option scanning package for UNIX-style command lines or strings.

Data Structures

gq_util - generalized queue (deque) package.
gsc_util - generic depth-first and breadth-first graph search package.
hash_util - hash table creation/search package.
list_util - generic list handling package.
nnl_util - name/number lookup package.
tpl_util - N-tuple creation and element retrieval.

Error Reporting

aperror - perror(3)-like error reporting function.


drs_util - directory scanning package.
fnm_util - file name parsing package.

Memory Operations

adx_util - dynamic array handling with descriptors.
mdx_util - dynamic memory handling with descriptors.
meo_util - memory operations.

String Manipulation

get_util - miscellaneous string scanning functions.
rex_util - full-featured regular expression matching and substitution package.
sdx_util - dynamic string handling with descriptors.
sto_util - length-limited string-to-number conversion functions.
str_util - miscellaneous string handling functions.
utf_util - Unicode Transformation Format (UTF) functions.
wcs_util - wide-character string handling functions.


bmw_util - benchmarking package.
ts_util - POSIX timespec manipulation package.
tv_util - UNIX timeval manipulation package.


bit_util - bit manipulation functions.
id3_util - ID3 tag access functions.
nbr_util - Prime numbers and fast square roots.
srt_util - SubRip Text (SRT) subtitle files.
xqt_util - shell execution package (high-level interface to UNIX shell or VMS CLI).


The following packages provide high-level, but powerful, interfaces to TCP/IP and UDP/IP networking:

tcp_util - high-level interface for TCP/IP network socket I/O.
udp_util - high-level interface for UDP/IP network socket I/O.

And the following packages implement higher-level protocols layered on top of the TCP_UTIL package:

ins_util - IN-SNEC CORTEX utilities.
lfn_util - high-level interface for LF-terminated network I/O.
nft_util - FTP server framework (UNIX, VMS, and VxWorks).
xnet_util - high-level interface to xdr(3)-based network I/O.

The IOX package simplifies the writing of I/O-event-driven applications (e.g., network servers):

iox_util - I/O and timer event dispatcher.
port_util - simple listening ports for IOX dispatcher-based network servers.

The remaining packages are an assortment of networking support functions:

net_util - miscellaneous network functions.
skt_util - socket support functions.
xdr_util - XDR functions and utilities.

Version-Independent Messages

These three packages implement version-independent messages as described in Appendix B of Robert Martin's Designing Object-Oriented C++ Applications Using the Booch Method. (What he calls attributed data trees, I call name/value lists.) The VIM packages were inspired by Mike Maloney's named variables-based C++ libary which we used in one of our company's products. VIM network streams are layered on top of the TCP_UTIL package.

nvp_util - name/value pairs.
nvl_util - lists of name/value pairs.
vim_util - version-independent message streams.


The CORBA-Lite packages provide a lightweight implementation of CORBA TCP/IP messaging.

coli_util - CORBA messaging functions.
comx_util - CORBA marshaling functions.
gimx_util - GIOP marshaling utilities.
iiop_util - Internet Inter-ORB Protocol (IIOP) streams.
damx_util (idl.h) - Data Acquisition from Industrial Systems (DAIS) marshaling functions.
ddmx_util (idl.h) - Data Distribution Service for Real-Time Systems (DDS) marshaling functions.
lemx_util (idl.h) - Laboratory Equipment Control Interface Specification (LECIS) marshaling functions.

Applications (CSOFT Downloads & Instructions)

A pocket FTP/WWW server. (When you select the file in the Nintendo DS directory listing, the icon is animated and looks pretty cool, with the red lines pulsating in all directions! Well, at least the 4 diagonal lines radiating out from the center. Yes, anise does work on the NDS. There was or still is a problem in the NDS sockets library when you close a network connection. Your peer on the connection may receive the close-connection message before he/she has received all the data in the pipeline. Consequently, retrieving a file via FTP from the NDS is likely to fail. The WWW server avoids this problem by keeping each connection alive for 30 seconds after sending the last data.)
Networking extensions to John Sadler's Ficl (Forth Inspired Command Language) interpreter.
A network server that provides each client with its own Tcl interpreter, extended with networking and hardware debugging commands. (Derived from earlier programs, nicl and picl!)
Collects function-by-function metrics for C source code. The metrics include lines-of-code, Halstead's Software Science volume, McCabe's cyclomatic complexity, and NPATH.
Networking extensions to the TinyScheme interpreter.

Generic Tools

chafn - change file names.
colior - dump CORBA Interoperable Object Reference (IOR).
cornet - CORTEX network tool.
dump - formatted dump program.
duop - dump old-style Opera files (Wayback Machine).
ffc - format file in columns.
frize - benchmark/test integer factorization algorithms.
gflow - graph flow.
primal - primate Lite; perform various operations related to prime numbers.
primate - benchmark/test prime number algorithms.
squint - benchmark/test fast, integer, square root algorithms.
subtle - adjust subtitle times in a SubRip Text (SRT) file.
talknet - network talk utility.
tag311 - add/change ID3v1.1 tags on MP3 files.
wbc - WordBrain word count.

Project-Specific Tools (EPOCH)

The following programs were used in both Versions 3 and 4 of our system. Cornet, dumpaev, milk, and the descendants of epcot and entice were used extensively. I wrote dssi, eniac, and mcci just for the heck of it and they were probably run just once to see if they worked!

No links to code — I just wanted the hand-drawn icons to brighten up the page! (Incidentally, I drew the icons with SibCode's Junior Icon Editor. I purchased JIE at the time but it is now available for free, having been replaced by the not-for-free, but more up-to-date and more powerful Sib Icon Editor and Sib Icon Studio.)

dssi - Dynamic Spacecraft Simulator (DSS) Interface client or server.
dumpaev - EPOCH archive dumper.
eniac - ENertec InterActive Client.
entice - ENertec In-Circuit Emulator.
This program was later ported to C++ by me and given the bland name of SimHandler by the powers-that-be!
epcot - EPOCH-CORTEX telemetry server.
This program was later ported to C++ by me and given the bland name of CortexTlm by the powers-that-be!
jedi - JCSAT EPOCH/DSS Interface.
Honest-to-goodness, that is an exact and succint description of the program and the name fits perfectly. It is a server that sits between a JCSAT-9 system (using the DSS message protocol) and an EPOCH system (using the EPOCH V3 message protocol).
mcci - acts as a Mission Control Center (MCC) client or Spacecraft Control Center (SCC) server.
milk - EPOCH device handler reader/writer.
This program was usually used for feeding canned telemetry data into the system for testing purposes. (Regarding the name: milk originally talked to a program, cereal, which emulated our serial-port device handler. We later switched to CORTEX and CORTEX-emulating Enertec interfaces. Consequently, cereal was replaced by a program, entice (Enertec In-Circuit Emulator), which, in turn, was ported to C++ by me and given the bland name of SimHandler by the powers-that-be!)

The following programs were specific to Version 3 of our system. They're all command-line tools and were a lot quicker and easier to use during testing than having to bring up the ponderous, X Windows GUIs to effect or monitor some action. I rarely used the last two, stamp and v3net.

const - EPOCH V3 node management client.
direct - EPOCH V3 directive submitter.
eire - EPOCH V3 events reader.
glop - EPOCH V3 global variable print.
stamp - EPOCH V3 stored command client.
v3net - generic EPOCH V3 client/server network tool.

The following programs were clients for our CORBA-based Version 4 system. As with the Version 3 programs above, these are all command-line tools and were a lot quicker and easier to use during testing than having to bring up the ponderous, Microsoft Windows GUIs to effect or monitor some action. The database clients, cdc and db4u, were very useful because they exhaustively retrieved every bit of information from the database servers, thus exercising them more than our actual system did. The point service client, psic, could request, retrieve, and display running updates of some or all of the available telemetry and non-telemetry points. The test team used to run it in parallel with the test system so that they could determine if a point-service problem was on the GUI client side of the system or the Unix server side.

cdc - EPOCH CORBA command database client.
dart - EPOCH CORBA data retriever client.
db4u - EPOCH CORBA telemetry database client.
dirt - EPOCH CORBA directive submitter.
f4rd - EPOCH CORBA telemetry frame reader.
noman - EPOCH CORBA node management client.
psic - EPOCH CORBA telemetry point service client.
(Pronounced "p-sick". I should have called it "Point Service/CORBA" or psico, pronounced "psycho" — an opportunity missed!)
v4ever - EPOCH CORBA events reader.

Alex Measday  /  E-mail