FrOSCon is approaching, and all MirBSD developers will attend… but why’s there no MirBSD exhibit? The answer to that is a bit complex. First let’s state that of course we will participate in the event as well as the Open Source world. We’ll also be geocaching around the campus with other interested (mostly OSS) people (including those we won for this sport) and helping out other OSS projects we’ve become attached to.
MirOS BSD, the operating system, is a niche system. The conference on the other hand got “younger” and more mainstream. This means that almost all conference visitors do not belong to the target group of MirOS BSD which somewhat is an “ancient solution”: the most classical BSD around (NetBSD® loses because they have rc.d and PAM and lack sendmail(8), sorry guys, your attempt at being not reformable doesn’t count) and running on restricted hardware (such as my 486SLC with 12 MiB RAM) and exots (SPARCstation). It’s viable even as developer workstation (if your hardware is supported… otherwise just virtualise it) but its strength lies with SPARC support and “embedded x86”. And being run as virtual machine: we’re reportedly more stable and more performant than OpenBSD. MirBSD is not cut off from modern development and occasionally takes a questionable but justified choice (such as using 16-bit Unicode internally) or a weird-looking but beneficial one (such as OPTU encoding saving us locale(1) hassles) or even acts as technological pioneer (64-bit time_t on ILP32 platforms) or, at least, is faster than OpenBSD (newer GNU toolchain, things like that), but usually more conservatively, and yes, this is by design, not by lack of manpower, most of the time.
The MirPorts Framework, while technically superiour in enough places, is something that just cannot happen without manpower. I (tg@) am still using it exclusively, continuing to update ports I use and occasionally creating new ones (mupdf is in the works!), but it’s not something I’d recommend someone (other than an Mac OSX user) to use on a nōn-MirBSD system (Interix is not exactly thriving either, and the Interix support was only begun; other OSes are not widely tested).
The MirBSD Korn Shell is probably the one thing I will be remembered for. But I have absolutely no idea how one would present it on a booth at such an exhibition. A talk is much more likely. So no on that front too.
jupp, the editor which sucks less, is probably something that does deserve mainstream interest (especially considering Natureshadow is using it while teaching computing to kids) but probably more in a workshop setting. And booth space is precious enough in the FH so I think that’d be unfair.
All the other subprojects and side projects Benny and I have, such as mirₘᵢₙcⒺ, josef stalin, FreeWRT, Lunix Ewe, Shellsnippets, the fonts, etc. are interesting but share few, if any, common ground. Again, this does not match the vast majority of visitors. While we probably should push a number of these more, but a booth isn’t “it” here, either.
MirOS Linux (“MirLinux”) and MirOS Windows are, despite otherwise-saying rumours called W*k*p*d*a, only premature ideas that will not really be worked on (though MirLinux concepts are found in mirₘᵢₙcⒺ and stalin).
As you can see, despite all developers having full-time dayjobs, The MirOS Project is far from being obsolete. We hope that our website visitors understand our reasons to not have an exhibition booth of our own (even if the SPARCstation makes for a way cool one, it’s too heavy to lift all the time), and would like to point out that there are several other booths (commercial ones, as well as OSS ones such as AllBSD, Debian and (talking to) others) and other itineries we participate in. This year both Benny and I have been roped into helping out the conference itself, too (not exactly unvoluntarily though).
The best way to talk to us is IRC during regular European “geek” hours (i.e. until way too late into the night – which Americans should benefit from), semi-synchronously, or mailing lists. We sort of expect you to not be afraid to RTFM and look up acronyms you don’t understand; The MirOS Project is not unfriendly but definitely not suited for your proverbial Aunt Tilly, newbies, “desktop” users, and people who aren’t at least somewhat capable of using written English (this is by design).
I gave a talk entitled “pkgsrc on MirBSD”. It gives a short introduction to both MirBSD and pkgsrc and details how we managed to get MirBSD supported as a platform, including some details on the new-developer process at the NetBSD foundation. The slides are now available on slideshare or as a PDF for download. —
The showcase is doing strange things. The NetBSD-current kernel panics reproducibly when the network card, an alc, does not have a link. Thus, I put it on a switch with no other connection to “fix” the problem. Furthermore, I have a half-finished pkg_rolling-replace on the NetBSD side; various things now give Memory Errors, including running xfce4-session. Oh well. WindowMaker to the rescue … I am planning on redoing the setup on this machine anyway, once NetBSD-6-alpha will have been branched. I would also like to use LVM to set up the partitions for the Xen domains, to avoid going through a vnd(4) device.
My dear MirBSD co-developer Benny did not only get his Doctor title but also recently married. There will be another post detailing this, including better photos of the two Doctors and the cake (with a Dæmon she made herself) on the wlog, but this is some fun beforehand:
Apparently, it is forbidden in France to drive GPL cars. (Without safety valve – but you have to admit the picture was fun. And we were like ＷＴＦ？ since the thing actually meant is LPG in German. Just like UTC is CUT (Coordinated Universal Time) in English, TUC (Temps Universel Coordonné) in French…)
I’m also working on improving our xterm(1) and GNU screen config, and other things. Explaining acronyms on our webpages is also coming some time. Benny is importing weird stuff from TNF for better pkgsrc® support, so there is activity. Just we’ve got dayjobs and a life… and mksh(1) still rocks (pdksh got orphaned in Debian today).
Day 2, nothing of note at the conference itself – according to Jana, the only interesting talk (that tcpdump(8) GUI) was cancelled, and everything else was PHP and Web 2.0 crap. The food also was different, at least what I got, from Day 1. But it wasn’t as hot as on the previous day, and we did more socialising. I also managed to get the MirBSD ISO distributed some more.
Then I took my fellow DDs Enrico and madamezou geocaching for their first time, together with benz; they then took a Travelbug I found on Day 1 (with rsc) to Italy so it’ll end up in Rome, a next step on its mission.
Other rarely-seen people, such as Dr. Pfeffer, made an appearance, but overall the second day was quite relaxed. Ah, and Benny is a Doctor in Germany now as well.
On Monday, I slept quite a bit ☺
Built the ISO in the morning, today. Finally. Whew. It was much too warm in the mēnsa, and why did I have to get up so early anyway? Real Conferences™ don’t start before 10 o’clock, and there are no sensible activities before 11 o’clock anyway…
Talked to a lot of people, introduced my favourite Fedora Packager to Geocaching. Now my throat is sore and I’m tired. Social Event was not my case, as usual. (And even the vegetarian food now costs money as opposed to, I think, two years ago.) At least dry and not too loud. Still, best thing of FrOSCon is the Friday Evening Jugoslawian Food Mealtime ;-)
This year without our friends from Grml, but The MirOS Project (all two active developers and our Booth Babe gecko2@) will of course attend FrOSCon, nicknamed Froschkon, again.
We’ll have a pre-event meal time at my favourite Jugoslawian Restaurant on Friday (20:00 CEST) – contact me privately for the coördinates if interested. On Saturday and Sunday we’ll staff a booth and answer questions about the many projects we have (more or less) running, including but not limited to paxmirabilis (aka MirCPIO), The MirBSD Korn Shell aka mksh(1), jupp the editor, and developers’ private projects such as slowly undermining Debian or Google-Go. While slow we are still working on World Domination. And teaching people good shell programming by example code.
We might even bring CDs, but I’m still working on the ISO… last night’s build aborted because the OS grew a bit making the floppy image not fit any more. (Solution, drop ping(8) and rtsol(8), but re-add sf(4) and bce(4) now that they fit again.)
The pictures are hypertext references to large versions. Of course, your photographer (me, although Samuel helped to set up the PocketPC’s camera application correctly, 10x) also had some Kruškovac ☺ (imported from Croatia into Bosnia)…
Of course we were not above closing Front Desk either ☻☺
Been hot and dry today (although the sky is now back full of dark clouds), so I had a headache most of the morning until way past noon. Better now though, and I found a place where I could get Cevapi, which are really some sort of quick imbiss / fast food here (no Đuveč pirinač though, and she didn’t have any Ajvar nor did she speak any language other than the local, but that wasn’t a problem, only a bit dry because I didn’t give in and took the offered Ketchup). Bought a 1ℓ bottle of Kruškovac (from Hrvatska, though) and some small plastic glasses, then.
I wonder how many people would, now, be willing to give Bosna i Hercegovina a try as holiday region (which might have been the intent of having a Balkan DebConf). I’m sure I do.
To all attendees: the hotel will give you some kind of stamped hardpaper card which states where you stayed on the trip, and for how long – give that to the border guards when exiting Bosnia.
Sitting in Бања Лука, Република Српска, Босна и Херцеговина (Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosna i Hercegovina) let’s just say the country is pretty nice. People are okay, the beer is not called “Nektar” by accident, and the Mark (subunit Fennig, funnily enough) is worth 1 DM. Price niveau is below Germany (even when we had the DM) in some things, below or at modern European in others. In short, very affordable. They don’t accept paper money though, it’s really hard to get coins in most places, and they only want those. The food is okay, and my hotel is very luxurious. It’s also got LAN.
The weather is not so nice at the moment though: raining a lot, and expecting 30°C too-hot sun in two days. And there are still no Geocaches in the area.
Anyway, DebConf is going on, I’m acclimating and trying to get people, faces, nicknames and realnames connected. And accents. (And pronunciation of names – for example, Ian differs totally from what I’d use.) We even have working wire network (LAN) most of the time ;-)
We’re indeed still working on resurrecting m68k, but that’s no news. More on that later, I’d say.
- √ Agreement to pay from company
- √ Going to drive with some apparently speed-loving brits
- √ Registration accepted
- √ Dienstreiseantrag prepared
- √ Sent that beast to the office ticket queue
So yes, this means I’m to what used to be Yugoslawia when I was there the last time, although in the Poreč region of Istria, Hrvatska.
Two DNF out of four geocaches, well… one was too muggled, the other was no longer there, judging from the previous visitors’ log entries. Cached with natureshadow and bought his book on how not to cycle across Germany.
CLT was a blast, and it’s refreshing to attend an event without having to drive a booth of our own. Talked to lots of people. Since the boss was paying, even did some mingling in that area.
My ADSL line has been hiccupping ☹