BSDCan Trip Report: Mark Linimon

08/05/2014

The next trip report is from Mark Linimon:

The first day, Tuesday, was an unoffficial day, spent socializing.

The Developer’s Summit began Wednesday. My main interest was to attend the “FreeBSD future plans” session. Of particular interest was the discussion about how Release Engineering should look in the future. The ports team has done a great deal of work to decouple ports releases from src releases. This required both changes in the way packages were built, as well as a substantial amount of new hardware to be able to build multiple package sets simultaneously. (Much of this hardware was purchased by the Foundation). This was the first change that many of the src and docs people had been brought up to speed on these developments.

Thursday, of course, my main interest was the Ports and Packages session.

In the evening, I was invited to an informal meeting with the various Ports Management Team (portmgrs) who were in attendance. (I had previously served for several years on this team.) Somehow, I was “volunteered” to rejoin the Ports Management team with an “advisor” status. Clearly, peer pressure works.

Friday the conference itself started. I spent some of the day trying to catch up on rest from the hectic first two days, and then socialized in the evening.

On Saturday, the most interesting session was the FreeNAS development talk. While it was informative, there was also an opportunity to heckle John Hixson.

Perhaps the most important task that I accomplished during the conference was to sit down with Bryan Drewery and discuss future software improvements to the Ports Monitoring System (portsmon), which I wrote.

portsmon has survived many changes in FreeBSD. The first was from CVS to SVN. More recently, the ports build farm has been switched over from the old portbuild codebase to a completely rewritten system. Our discussion dealt with the changes that I needed to make to port over to the new system; what the future changes to the new system would be; and changes that I requested that would make portsmon’s job easier. These changes have now been incorporated. The next task is to catch up with the change from GNATS to Bugzilla; by that point, all of the inputs to portsmon will have been switched over from their initial codebase.

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