Report from pkgsrcCon 2018

July 14, 2018 posted by Leonardo Taccari

On July 7th and 8th there was pkgsrcCon 2018 in Berlin, Germany. It was my first pkgsrcCon and it was really really nice... So, let's share a report about it, what we have done, the talk presented and everything else!

Friday (06/07): Social Event

I arrived by plane at Berlin Tegel Airport in the middle of the afternoon. TXL buses were pretty full but after waiting for 3 of them, I was finally in the direction for Berlin Hauptbahnhof (nice thing about the buses is that after many are getting too full they start to arrive minute after minute!) and then took the S7 for Berlin Jannowitzbrücke station, just a couple of minutes on foot to republik-berlin (for the Friday social event).

On 18:00 we met in republik-berlin for the social event. We had good burgers there and one^Wtwo^Wsome beers together!

The place were a bit noisy for the Belgium vs Brazil World Cup match, but we still had nice discussions together (and also without losing a lot of people cheering on! :))

There was also a table tennis table and spz, maya, youri and myself played (I'm a terrible table tennis player but it was very funny to play the wild west without any rules! :)).

Saturday (07/07): Talks session

Meet & Greet -- Pierre Pronchery (khorben), Thomas Merkel (tm)

Pierre and Thomas welcomed us (aliens! :)) in c-base. c-base is a space station under Berlin (or probably one of the oldest hackerspace, at least old enough that the word "hackerspace" even didn't existed!).

Slides (PDF) are available!

Keynote: Beautiful Open Source -- Hugo Teso

Hugo talked about his experience as an open source developer and focused in particular how important is the user interface.

He discussed that examinating some projects he worked on: Inguma, Bokken, Iaitö and Cutter extracting patterns about his experience.

Slides (PDF) are available!

The state of desktops in pkgsrc -- Youri Mouton (youri)

Youri discussed about the state of desktop environments (DE) in pkgsrc starting with xfce, MATE, LXDE, KDE and Defora.

He then discussed about the WIP desktop environments: Cinnamon, LXQT, Gnome 3 and CDE, hardware support and login managers.

Especially for the WIP desktop environments help is more than welcomed so if you're interested in any of that, would like to help (that's also a great way to start involved in pkgsrc!) please get in touch with youri and/or give a look at the wip/*/TODO files in pkgsrc-wip!

NetBSD & Mercurial: One year later -- Jörg Sonnenberger (joerg)

Jörg started discussing about Git (citing High-level Problems with Git and How to Fix Them - Gregory Szorc) and then discussed on why using Mercurial.

Then he announced the latest changes: and that permits to experiment with Mercurial and source-changes-hg@ and pkgsrc-changes-hg@ mailing lists.

The talk ended describing missing/TODO steps.

Slides (HTML) are available!

Maintaining qmail in 2018 -- Amitai Schleier (schmonz)

Amitai shared his long experience in maintaining qmail.

A lot of lesson learned in doing that were shared and it was also funny to see that at a certain point from MAINTAINER he was more and more involved doing that and ending up writing patches and tools for qmail.

Slides (HTML) are available!

A beginner's introduction to GCC -- Maya Rashish (maya)

Maya discussed about GCC. First she talked about an overview of the toolchain (in general) and the corresponding GCC projects, how to pass flags to each of them and how to stop the compilation process for each of them.

Then she talked about the black magic that happens in preprocessor, for example, what a program does an #include <math.h> and why __NetBSD__ is defined.

We then saw that with -save-temps is possible to save all intermediary results and how this is very helpful to debug possible problems.

Compiler, assembler and linker were then discussed. We have also seen specfiles, readelf and other GCC internals.

Slides (HTML) are available!

Handling the workflow of pkgsrc-security -- Leonardo Taccari (leot)

I discussed about the workflow of the pkgsrc Security Team (pkgsrc-security).

I gave a brief introduction to nmh (new MH) message handling system.

Then talked about the mission, tasks and workflow of the pkgsrc-security.

For the last part of the talk, I tried to put everything together and showed how to try to automate some part of the pkgsrc-security with nmh and some shell scripting.

Slides (PDF) are available!

Preaching for releng-pkgsrc -- Benny Siegert (bsiegert)

Benny discussed about pkgsrc Releng team (releng-pkgsrc).

The talk started discussing about the pkgsrc Quarterly Releases. Since 2003Q4, every quarter a new pkgsrc release is released. Stable releases are the basis for binary packages. Security, build and bug fixes get applied over the liftime of the release via pullups, until the next quarterly release. The release procedure and freeze period were also discussed.

Then we examined the life of a pullup. Benny first introduced what a pullup is, the rules for requesting them and a practical example of how to file a good pullup request. Under the hood parts of releng were also discussed, for example how tickets are handled with req, help script to ease the pullup, etc..

The talk concluded with the importance of releng-pkgsrc and also a call for volunteers to join releng-pkgsrc! (despite they're really doing a great work, at the moment there is a shortage of members in releng-pkgsrc, so, if you are interested and would like to join them please get in touch with them!)

Something old, something new, something borrowed -- Sevan Janiyan (sevan)

Sevan discussed about the state of NetBSD/macppc port.

Lot of improvements and news happened (a particular kudos to macallan for doing an amazing work on the macppc port!)! HEAD-llvm builds for macppc were added; awacs(4) Bluetooth support, IPsec support, Veriexec support are all enabled by default now.

radeonfb(4) and XCOFF boot loader had several improvements and now DVI is supported on the G4 Mac Mini.

The other big news in the macppc land is the G5 support that will probably be interesting also for possible pkgsrc bulk builds.

Sevan also discussed about some current problems (and workarounds!), bulk builds takes time, no modern browser with JavaScript support is easily available right now but also how using macppc port helped to spot several bugs.

Then he discussed about Upspin (please also give a look to the corresponding package in wip/go-upspin!)

Slides (PDF) are available!

Magit -- Christoph Badura (bad)

Christoph talk was a live introduction to Magit, a Git interface for Emacs.

The talk started quoting James Mickens It Was Never Going to Work, So Let's Have Some Tea talk presented at USENIX LISA15 when James Mickens talked about an high level picture of how Git works.

We then saw how to clone a repository inside Magit, how to navigate the commits, how to create a new branch, edit a file and look at unstaged changes, stage just some hunks of a change and commit them and how to rebase them (everything is just one or two keystrokes far!).

Post conf dinner

After the talks we had some burgers and beers together at Spud Bencer.

We formed several groups to go there from c-base and I was actually in the group that went there on foot so it was also a nice chance to sightsee Berlin (thanks to khorben for being a very nice guide! :)).

Sunday (08/07): Hacking session

An introduction to Forth -- Valery Ushakov (uwe)

On Sunday morning Valery talked about Forth from the ground up.

We saw how to implement a Forth interpreter step by step and discussed threaded code.

Unfortunately the talk was not recorded... However, if you are curious I suggest taking a look to nbuwe/forth BitBucket repository. internals.txt file also contains a lot of interesting resources about Forth.

Learning about Forth from uwe !@netbsd #pkgsrcCon

Hacking session

After Valery talk there was the hacking session where we hacked on pkgsrc, discussed together, etc..

Late in the afternoon some of us visited Computerspielemuseum.

More than 50 years of computer games were covered there and it was fun to also play to several historical and also more recent video games.

We then met again for a dinner together in Potsdamer Platz.

Group photograph of the pkgsrcCon 2018 kindly taken by Gilberto Taccari


pkgsrcCon 2018 was really really great!

First of all I would like to thank all the pkgsrcCon organizers: khorben and tm. It was very well organized and everything went well, thank you Pierre and Thomas!

A big thank you also to wiedi, just after few hours all the recordings of the talk were shared and that's really impressive!

Thanks also to youri and Gilberto for photographs.

Last, but not least, thanks to The NetBSD Foundation for supporting three developers to attend the conference. c-base for kindly providing a very nice location for the pkgsrcCon. Our sponsors: Defora Networks for sponsoring the t-shirts and badges for the conference and SkyLime for sponsoring the catering on Saturday.

Thank you!

[1 comment]



Nice.. Keep going :) looking forward to future PkgSrcCon

Posted by Jay on July 14, 2018 at 09:21 AM UTC #

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