Getting to know your portmgr@ — Erwin Lansing

November 18, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

In this interview we talk to one of the Annoying Reminder Guys, Erwin Lansing, after Joe Marcus Clarke, the second longest serving member of portmgr@

Name

Erwin Lansing

Committer name

erwin (not edwin)

Inspiration for your IRC nick

My research, back in the day, as a post graduate on fruit flies
(Drosophila melanogaster)

ccTLD of origin

.nl

Current ccTLD (if different from above)

.dk

Occupation

See above :-)
Network and system administrator at DK Hostmaster A/S, maintaining the
.dk ccTLD.

When did you join portmgr@

2004 as portmgr secretary, 2005 as a voting member

Blog

http://droso.dk/

Inspiration for using FreeBSD

Quite the usual story, going from Slackware to RedHat to Debian to
Gentoo to FreeBSD after starting at a web hosting startup, and never
looked back.

Who was your first contact in FreeBSD

The one and only web server running the startup I joined after giving up
on academic life.

Who was your mentor(s)

edwin (not erwin)

What was your most embarrassing moment in FreeBSD

Copy/pasting diffs into email into GNATS with all the whitespace fun
that ensued. Many times!

Boxers / Briefs / other

boxers

What is your role in your circle of friends

Who needs friends when one has IRC?

vi(m) / emacs / other

nvi

What keeps you motivated in FreeBSD

It’s the best well-hidden success story in operating systems, by
now in the hands of more people than one can count and used by even more
people, and not one of them knows it! It’s not only the best
operating system currently around, but also the most supportive and
inspiring community.

Favourite musician/band

U2 (yeah, I’m that old)

<editor’s note: tabthorpe is older>

What book do you have on your bedside table

The rough guide to Portugal, though soon to be replaced after returning
from vacation

coffee / tea / other

coffee, strong and black

Do you have a guilty pleasure

see previous

How would you describe yourself

more coffee

sendmail / postfix / other

postfix

bind / nsd / knot

all of the above

Do you have a hobby outside of FreeBSD

There’s life outside FreeBSD?

What is your favourite TV show

Currently replaying Lost, looking forward to the next season of Top Gear

Claim to Fame

Structuring internal procedures inside portmgr as secretary, keeping the
pointyhat cluster alive and building packages for way past its best
before date, and now maintaining Bind.

What did you have for breakfast today

Yogurt

What sports team do you support

The winning team

What else do you do in the world of FreeBSD

Vice-president of the FreeBSD Foundation
Anything DNS

What can you tell us about yourself that most people don’t know

Today’s word is: My turn!

Any parting words you want to share

Goodbye, cruel world

What is your .sig at the moment

None, unless it can’t be avoided

Getting to know your portmgr@ — Antoine Brodin

November 11, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

In this interview, we talk to another portmgr-lurker@, Antoine Brodin aka antoine@  He claims his superpower is laughing at tabthorpe’s jokes

<editor’s note: whatever that means>

Name

Antoine Brodin

Committer name

antoine

Inspiration for your IRC nick

You have to ask my parents :)

TLD of origin

FR

Occupation

IS Security Consultant. I mainly perform incident response and provide security expertise.

When did you join portmgr@

Not yet, I am just a lurker

Blog

None

Inspiration for using FreeBSD

I started using FreeBSD in 2002, when I got my own computer. It is the best operating system around.

Who was your first contact in FreeBSD

pav@ handled my first ports PR in 2004

Who was your mentor(s)

rwatson@ was my src mentor in 2008, eadler@ and miwi@ were my ports mentors in 2013

What was your most embarrassing moment in FreeBSD

I don’t remember having one

Boxers / Briefs / other

Boxers

vi(m) / emacs / other

vi

What keeps you motivated in FreeBSD

There are improvements and new features implemented all the time. In the ports area for instance, there is STAGEDIR, pkgng, USES, QA stuff in just a few months

Favourite musician/band

My favorite artists are Admiral Tibett and Glen Washington

coffee / tea / other

Green tea

Do you have a guilty pleasure

Chocolate, fried chicken

sendmail / postfix / other

sendmail (because it is in base)

What is your favourite TV show

I don’t own a TV

What did you have for breakfast today

Hot chocolate, bread and mirabelle jam

What can you tell us about yourself that most people don’t know

I like cutting down trees in Morvan forest

What is your .sig at the moment

Cheers,

Antoine

Getting to know your portmgr@ — Mathieu Arnold

November 4, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

In this interview, we take a short break from the usual, and interview a portmgr-lurker@, Mathieu Arnold.  He was one of the founding members of perl@ back in the day

Name

Mathieu Arnold

Committer name

mat

Inspiration for your IRC nick

Well, not very inspirational, but everybody’s been calling me mat since
high school, well, except my grandmother, maybe.

TLD of origin

.fr

Occupation

Sysadmin/Developper/Network Admin/Stuff doer.

When did you join portmgr@

Ah, can we put a time in the future ? :-)

<editor note, this is a stock question>

Inspiration for using FreeBSD

Around 2000/2001 I needed something to replace a Linux firewall, the
Paris team, roberto@, pb@, were advocating FreeBSD, so I went that way,
with ipf. We were so pleased with everything that, well, over the time
we switched over, we’ve been a FreeBSD shop for a bit more than 10
years.

Who was your first contact in FreeBSD

That must have been roberto@ or pb@, don’t know which one :-)

Who was your mentor(s)

demon was.

What was your most embarrassing moment in FreeBSD

I’m not sure there was one, maybe this year in August, when I added perl
5.18 and broke the ports tree in r324662 and fixed it in r324667.

Boxers / Briefs / other

Boxers.

What is your role in your circle of friends

Being the clown.

vi(m) / emacs / other

vim. What Else…
https://github.com/mat813/dotvim

What keeps you motivated in FreeBSD

Hum, I get bored easily, so, things changing and going forward.

Favourite musician/band

My favorite band of all time would be Dire Straits. More recently,
though, Moriarty, Of Monster and Men, Owl City, Passenger (Mike
Rosenberg), so, pop/folk/rock would be my treat.

What book do you have on your bedside table

Right now, I’m at about 3/4 of The Department of Mad Scientists, The
World Without Us, and about half of Cryptography Engineering. On my
daily commute in the subway, I read science fiction or fantasy. Iain
Banks, Terry Pratchett, Peter F. Hamilton, Neil Asher, Lois McMaster
Bujold, Charles Stross, David Weber, John Ringo…

coffee / tea / other

Tea. Mostly green tea, Long Jing, a bit of white  Bai Mu Dan, and in the
mornings, some Far Too Good For Ordinary People Darjeeling teas.

Do you have a guilty pleasure

Like to cook, and to eat. People following me on instagram think it
should be renamed instakilogram because of me.

How would you describe yourself

Quiet, thoughtful, kind, witty, oh, wait, this isn’t a dating site.

sendmail / postfix / other

sendmail when cron’s the only one sending stuff, postfix otherwise.

Do you have a hobby outside of FreeBSD

Photography and hiking. (Mostly at the same time.)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mathieu-arnold/sets/72157620872036952/

What is your favourite TV show

Doctor Who. Then House, or The Big Bang Theory.

Claim to Fame

Ah, a long time ago, I translated linux HowTos, people are still quoting
me the white lies that I wrote in them, and I still try to correct
them…

What did you have for breakfast today

Earl gray, a toasted slice of whole bread, with a touch of butter and
melon jam with orange zests, and a yoghurt.

What sports team do you support

Ah, so, sport, the thing with the silly people encouraging other silly
people running around… None, really, maybe the French rugby team
during the rugby world cup or the rugby league world cup.

What else do you do in the world of FreeBSD

Beside being part of perl@ team, I try to advocate a bit…

What can you tell us about yourself that most people don’t know

Let me think about that, and get back to you :-)

Any parting words you want to share

I’m not feeling really like lecturing right now, so, no…

What is your .sig at the moment


Mathieu Arnold

portmgr-lurkers@ Pilot Project

November 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The FreeBSD Ports Management team is pleased to announce a pilot project
called portmgr-lurkers@.  Over the course of the next two years, volunteers
from our group of ports committers will participate in portmgr@ activites
by being added to our mailing list.

At four month intervals, two committers at a time will be brought in to
work on various projects and learn the inner workings of the team.

The first two -lurkers will start on November 1, 2013. They are Mathieu
Arnold (mat@) and Antoine Brodin (antoine@).

Official FreeBSD Binary Packages now available for pkgng

October 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

We are pleased to announce that official binary packages are now
available for pkg, the next generation package management tool for FreeBSD.

Pkg allows you to either use ports with portmaster/portupgrade or to
have binary remote packages without ports.

We have binary packages available for i386 and amd64 on
8.3,8.4,9.1,9.2,10.0 and 11 (head).

More at http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-pkg/2013-October/000107.html

Getting to know your portmgr@ — Bernhard Froehlich

October 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

In our ongoing series on getting to know your portmgr@, we talk to Bernhard Frölich, the one who brought us http://redports.org

Name

Bernhard Frölich

Committer name 

decke

Inspiration for your IRC nick

decke == blanket in German, mascot: /dev/blanket from ThinkGeek

TLD of origin 

AT (Austria)

Occupation

Software developer (logistics, fully automated warehouses)

When did you join portmgr@

10.2012

Blog

http://www.bluelife.at/

Inspiration for using FreeBSD

As a software developer I always liked the simplicity and straight
forward way of solving problems.

Who was your first contact in FreeBSD

miwi – high quality automated PR and commit bot

Who was your mentor(s)

miwi, beat

What was your most embarrassing moment in FreeBSD

About two years ago we had an X11 update and my laptop started to
become unuseable on the docking station because the mouse cursor and
X11 windows kept failing in very strange ways. Everything was working
fine when working on the built in laptop display but when docked with
USB mouse it was catastrophic. This situation lasted for a few months
until kdm@ fixed a bug in HAL that turned out to be the cause of this
issues.

Boxers / Briefs / other

boxers

What is your role in your circle of friends

Don’t have a role. It’s just me.

vi(m) / emacs / other

vi, eclipse

What keeps you motivated in FreeBSD

The FreeBSD community and all the people working on FreeBSD with such
an enthusiasm.

Favourite musician/band

Kosheen, Lamb, Zero 7

What book do you have on your bedside table

Papa To Go

coffee / tea / other

Jasmine Tea (Dragon Pearl)

Do you have a guilty pleasure

I’ve outsourced a lot of stuff to Google services (GMail, Google Apps,
AppEngine, …)

How would you describe yourself

always busy, sometimes grumpy, never too late

sendmail / postfix / other

exim

Favourite webserver

nginx

Favourite alcoholic drink

Magners (Irish Cider)

Do you have a hobby outside of FreeBSD

All the usual technical and geek stuff. Not really a hobby but I really enjoy a great barbecue in summer.

What is your favourite TV show

Star Trek: Voyager, Top Gear, The Big Bang Theory, Psych

Claim to Fame

  • helped porting and maintaining VirtualBox for FreeBSD since the beginning
  • creator of redports.org and QAT

What did you have for breakfast today

Cornflakes

What sports team do you support

none

What else do you do in the world of FreeBSD

I am also interested in DVB multimedia applications for FreeBSD which
is why I maintain mythtv and recently ported tvheadend to FreeBSD
besides the XBMC PVR addons.

What can you tell us about yourself that most people don’t know

I’m about to become father about the time this is published and I
expect that my little girl will consume all my spare time for quite a
while.

Any parting words you want to share

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish!

What is your .sig at the moment

Bernhard Fröhlich

http://www.bluelife.at/

 

Getting to know your portmgr@ — Joe Marcus Clarke

October 21, 2013 by · 3 Comments 

This is the start of an ongoing series profiling members of the FreeBSD Ports Management Team.  In this interview, we talk to longest serving member of the team, Joe Marcus Clarke, aka marcus@

Name

Joe Marcus Clarke

Committer name

marcus

Inspiration for your IRC nick

Longish story. Marcus is not my middle name. It’s Michael. When I was
seven, I came up with the nickname myself. I thought it sounded cool.
And there you go.

TLD of origin

US

Occupation

Distinguished Services Engineer at Cisco Systems

When did you join portmgr@

Damn, I don’t remember. My email dates
back to 2006, but I think it was before that…

Blog

Nope

Inspiration for using FreeBSD

Another longish story. I was in college at University of Miami (go
Canes!), and I managed to procure an old x86 PC. We were going to
install Linux on it. I thought having a csh in my own dorm room was
just awesome. A friend ran into my room and said I needed to check out
this thing called, “FreeBSD.” Sure, what the hell. A few days and
about 50 floppy disks later, I was sold. I never looked back.

Who was your first contact in FreeBSD

sobomax (Maxim Sobolev)

Who was your mentor(s)

sobomax

What was your most embarrassing moment in FreeBSD

Probably the first time I broke INDEX, or my first release song, “Ports
Freeze Baby.”

Boxers / Briefs / other

boxers

What is your role in your circle of friends

What are friends?

vi(m) / emacs / other

VIM (what is this “emacs” thing you speak of?)

What keeps you motivated in FreeBSD

I really believe it is the best operating system around. I advocate it
passionately at work (to the point people thought I got paid to say,
“FreeBSD”). I look for any chance to install it. I love it when people
run network tests to my servers at work and comment how amazing the IP
stack is… :-)

Favourite musician/band

I like a lot of musical types, but I’m particular to metal. I’m into
Five Finger Death Punch now.

What book do you have on your bedside table

Print is dead. But I’m reading up on Python online now. when is
Stackoverflow going to publish a book?

coffee / tea / other : Diet Pepsi

Do you have a guilty pleasure

Call of Duty

How would you describe yourself

Alive

sendmail / postfix / other

sendmail

Do you have a hobby outside of FreeBSD

I’m learning to be a pilot.

What is your favourite TV show

I loved House. I thought it was the closest thing on TV to be a network
troubleshooter. Right now, I’m big into Strike Back.

Claim to Fame

Tinderbox, I guess

What did you have for breakfast today

I only eat once per day. Usually at night.

What sports team do you support

University of Miami Hurricanes and Manchester United

What else do you do in the world of FreeBSD

GNOME, Netatalk, wireshark, Tinderbox, and a lot of local sysadmin stuff.

What can you tell us about yourself that most people don’t know

My North Carolina license plate reads, “FREEBSD”.

Any parting words you want to share

What am I, your priest?

What is your .sig at the moment

It’s lame. Don’t ask :-)

Package name collisions

October 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

For the sake of being able to have clean working binary packages, pkgng has had to use a dirty hack: origin is used has an identifier instead of the package name.

Why: How to determine than ImageMagick-nox11 and ImageMagick are the same package? and if I don’t know they are the same package how to upgrade them properly? same goes how the package manager can know that mysql-client-5.2.1 is not an upgrade of mysql-client-5.0.1?

How can pkgng determine which subversion is the right version to use: ‘pkg install subversion’ will propose all possible subversion, in that case the higher version is probably the default version, but in perl case, the higher version is probably not the one you want.

Some packages are totally different project but have the same package name… How can pkgng differenciate them?

So please stop using LATEST_LINK to differenciate the different port but directly make _unique_ package names, pkgng will switch back to package name as soon as possible (that will also solve the ugly and stupid pkg set -o).

There is multiple possibility to make sure to properly handle multiple versions of packages:

  1. suffix everything with part of the version (like tcl)
  2. suffix everything but the default with part of the version
  3. have only 2 or 3 different version: project-legacy project project-devel

Please stop renaming the packages based on options! Options are now registered with the package with both pkgng and pkg_install, please stop adding suffix base on options!

Think about the end user, he will try to install a package, it should be as transparent for him as possible.

I is really important to change that as quick as possible. This page on the wiki reference all the port with conflicting names.

Staging

October 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

You may has notice that staging has hit the ports tree, staging is something really important, all packages system are using that feature for eons, sometime called DESTDIR sometime called FAKEDIR.

Staging is consistent in adding a new step while building packages: install everything into ${STAGEDIR}. Then we can directly create packages out of that directory without having to install into /. What the implementation does is:

With pkg_install (legacy package tools):

  • Create a package from the stage directory
  • Install that package.

With pkgng:

  • Create a package from that stage directory

OR

  • Install to / (pkgng can consider the stage directory as if it is a package)

What it means is, that it is the end of the bad plist, only things in plist are really installed, this is the end of the broken packages that break the system because they fail in the middle of make install as a package will only be installed once we are sure the build process properly pass.

It allows right now to build and create a package without the need to be root.
It gives us new targets:

  • make makeplist (to create the pkg-plist)
  • make check-orphans (to print what is in the stage directory but not in pkg-plist)

It reduces code duplication: in the end the installation is being done via a package installation meaning that PKG-MESSAGE is automatically printed, all pre/post installation scripts are executed.

It reduces patches: no need anymore to patch upstream Makefiles to avoid installing the DOCS just do not list them in pkg-plist or conditionnaly list them in the pkg-plist.

This also allows lots of new features to come:

  • Allow to create sub-packages
  • Allow to create debuginfo packages
  • Allow to do a lot of sanity check in the staging area to improve our QA

To convert your ports refer to: https://wiki.freebsd.org/ports/StageDir

Along with stage you have noticed that MAN* and MLINKS has gone, and now all the manpages should be added to the plist. BTW MANCOMPRESSED is also not necessary now.

There is 3 reason behind making it go and not being replaced:

  1. The initial goal of those macros was to be able to compress the right manpages and to handle the different hardlinks/symlinks between those pages. Because it was directly installed in / rather than using a stage directory, it was necessary to at a point list them. and to properly track the different links in MLINKS (which wasn’t done properly in most ports btw :)). With stage, we have a new compress-man which does it properly on its own without the need to get the list of the manpages, without the need of an explicit declaration of the links. This syntax to handle localized man pages was also terrific :) and if you have a port mixing manpages in “non regular” and “regular” localtion, it was totally messing
  2. Consistency, a port is basically: some metadata, a plist and some operations to perform. for metadata all metadata are in the Makefile, all operations are in the Makefile but plist can be a mix of pkg-plist and Makefile, this is inconsistent, it makes sometime hard to figure out why a file has been added to the plist etc. Also this makes us having tons of targets define to handle those extras entries and results in highly inefficient make(1) usage.
  3. Stage is also a first step to go to sub-packages, sub-packages will basically be: 1 port able to produce N packages, to be able to do this we will use multiple plist, having the files properly defined already in plist will help that. Having files defined in macros on Makefile will make it hard todetermine which one should go in which plist.

Last thing I would like to add about it: I don’t see the difference personnaly between listing N lines of manpages into Makefile MAN* macros where btw you have to manually define the categories where to put them and adding those N lines
directly into the plist where make makeplist and/or make check-orphans can help you getting the exact lines automatically?

Ports and Packages Summit at EuroBSDCon 2013

August 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The FreeBSD project has provided pre-built ready-to-install binary packages for many years on a best-effort basis. While these packages do work in a large number of cases, there are too many inconsistencies and failure combinations, from the unpredictable update frequency to dependency handling across upgrades, for them to be used on a wider scale. After many months of work, we’re nearing a paradigm shift in both the format of the packages, and the building and distribution of the packages with the new PKGNG tools.

At the upcoming Developer Summit at the EuroBSDCon conference in Malta on September 26 and 27, there will be another Ports and Packages Summit, which will center on a round-table brainstorm that begins with a summary of the tremendous progress made in the last 12 months, and closes with a discussion of the roadmap on how to improve binary package creation, distribution, installation and upgrading. Please contact me if you have any topics you’d like to present or discuss. It will be an informal gathering, no formal slides or presentations are required.

As always, the DevSummit is an invitation-only event, so also contact me at [email protected] if you want to participate.

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