David Chisnall arrived at the Swansea University in 2000, looked at the sun and sea, and decided to stay there. Three years and one degree later, he was no longer under the illusion that the sun was a regular feature, but was persuaded to remain for another degree by the promise of a desk with a view of the sea. During his time as a PhD student, he worked hard at the best known of postgraduate activities: procrastination. This involved writing portions of A Practical Guide to RedHat Linux, Second Edition and regular articles for InformIT and a local tech news startup (which, as these are prone to do, has since gone bust).
David is an active member of the open source community. He is a founding member and core developer of the Étoilé project, which aims to build an open source user environment based for desktop and mobile computing systems on top of GNUstep. He also contributes to GNUstep and is the author of the GNUstep Objective-C runtime and maintains Objective-C support for open source operating systems in LLVM/Clang. In 2012 he was elected to the FreeBSD Core Team. His contributions to FreeBSD include improvements to locale support in libc, the port of libc++, and a replacement C++ runtime library: libcxxrt.
In 2007, David's first book, The Definitive Guide to the Xen Hypervisor, was published. This was begun as a procrastination activity, to distract himself from his looming PhD thesis deadline, and was successful: the book and the thesis were both completed within a fortnight of each other. He spent the next few years working freelance and writing three more books, two about Objective-C and one about Go, before returning to academia. He is now part of the Security Group at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory where he works on language and hardware co-design and continues to consult on compiler and language-related topics.
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