Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hot off the Press: FreeBSD Foundation Newsletter

In this Edition:

* Letter From the President
* 2009 Fundraising Drive
* Dru Lavigne Helping Foundation
* Safe Removal of Active Disk Devices
* Wireless Mesh Support
* Improvements to the FreeBSD TCP Stack
* AVR32 Support
* Problem Reporting Prototype
* FreeBSD Powers Long Distance Wireless Link
* DCBSDCon 2009
* AsiaBSDCon 2009
* Foundation at BSDCan and Developer Recognition
* 2009 Grant and Travel Grant Recipients
* BSDCan Spotlight
* Financials

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Why We Send Developers to Conferences

You probably know that the FreeBSD Foundation provides travel assistance for developers to attend conferences. If you've ever attended a BSD conference yourself, you have experienced first hand the value in networking with both committers and BSD users.

We'll be asking developers we've sponsored to share their experiences and will start with Thomas Abthorpe, a FreeBSD ports committer who attended this year's BSDCan. In Thomas' words:

It is an over used and abused saying, and I will invoke it, "Been there, done that, got the t-shirt". On the back of the shirt I received at registration it said "FreeBSD it's all about the people, from all around the world". For me, attending BSDCan was an opportunity to meet the people behind FreeBSD face to face. Email and IRC are great ways to collaborate with other developers, ideas can be shared, and projects brought to fruition, but in the end, the opportunity to get together with like minded people and just brainstorm in person is still the best way to get the job done.

I live in Thunder Bay, Ontario, a small city in central Canada, just north of the Minnesota border. My day job is as a Systems & Networks technician for the Canadian Grain Commission. FreeBSD is what I do for "fun" on my own time. Where I live, there are no local/user groups for any form of open source software. I have to rely on Internet technologies to reach out to others interested in FreeBSD. My interests in FreeBSD ports are quite varied; I maintain approximately 40 ports of various descriptions. Before I became a ports committer, I participated regularly in ports related bug busting weekends. Since becoming a committer,I worked with the FreeBSD KDE team that was instrumental in introducing KDE 4.x to the ports tree. I have also worked actively with the donations@ team, and have mentored other ports committers up through the ranks...

You can read the rest of Thomas' writeup in this PDF.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Console Driver

Ed Schouten has been awarded a grant to write a new console driver for the FreeBSD project. The FreeBSD Foundation is excited to support Ed in providing a more efficient and user-friendly console driver.

This project will allow Ed to add an additional abstraction layer to the kernel. This new terminal layer will sit between the TTY layer, the kernel console and the actual console driver. The existing terminal emulator will be moved into the new terminal layer.

The advantage of the new layer is that the console driver itself will not have to handle any TTY semantics and will just receive a set of character drawing, filling and copying actions. This should make it easier to implement Unicode. It will also be much easier to make the boot process look nice on desktop systems such as PC-BSD).

This project will be completed by the end of December, 2009.

Travel Grants for EuroBSDCon

The FreeBSD Foundation is now accepting travel grant applications for EuroBSDCon. If you are a FreeBSD developer and need assistance with travel costs for this conferece, please submit a completed travel grant application. Applications need to be in by August 20.