Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quarterly Status Report

The FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report, covering the period of October to December 2010, has been published. The FreeBSD Foundation's status was reported as follows:

We raised $325,000 towards our goal of $350,000 for 2010! This will allow us to increase our project development and equipment spending for 2011.

We were proud to be a sponsor for EuroBSDCon 2010, BSDDay Argentina 2010, MeetBSD California 2010, and NYBSDCon 2010.

Completed the Foundation funded projects: DAHDI Project by Max Khon and BSNMP Improvements by Shteryana Sotirova.

We kicked off a new project by the University of Melbourne called Feed-Forward Clock Synchronization Algorithms Project. The Five New TCP Congestion Control Algorithms for FreeBSD Project by Swinburne University also officially started.

We continued our work on infrastructure projects to beef up hardware for package-building, network-testing, etc. This includes purchasing equipment as well as managing equipment donations.

Stop by and visit with us at FOSDEM (Feb 5-6), SCALE (Feb 26), AsiaBSDCon (March 17-20), and Indiana Linuxfest (March 26).

Read more about how we supported the project and community by reading our end-of-year newsletter.

We are fund-raising for 2011 now!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Accepting Travel Grant Applications for AsiaBSDCon 2011

Calling all FreeBSD developers needing assistance with travel expenses to AsiaBSDCon 2011.

The FreeBSD Foundation will be providing a limited number of travel grants to individuals requesting assistance. Please download, fill out and submit the Travel Grant Request Application by February 11, 2011 to apply for this grant.

This program is open to FreeBSD developers of all sorts (kernel hackers, documentation authors, bugbusters, system administrators, etc). In some cases we are also able to fund non-developers, such as active community members and FreeBSD advocates.

You request funding based on a realistic and economical estimate of travel costs, accommodations, and registration or tutorial fees. If there are other sponsors willing to cover costs, such as your employer or the conference, we prefer you talk to them first, as our budget is limited. We are happy to split costs with you or another sponsor, such as just covering airfare or board.

If you are a speaker at the conference, we expect the conference to cover your travel costs, and will most likely not approve your direct request to us.

We review your application and if approved, authorize you to seek reimbursement up to a limit. We consider several factors, including our overall and per-event budgets, and (quite importantly) the benefit to the community by funding your travel.

Most rejected applications are rejected because of an over-all limit on travel budget for the event or year, due to unrealistic or uneconomical costing, or because there is an unclear or unconvincing argument that funding the applicant will directly benefit the FreeBSD Project. Please take these points into consideration when writing your application.

We reimburse costs based on receipts, and by check or bank transfer. And, we do not cover your costs if you end up having to cancel your trip. We require you to submit a report on your trip, which we may show to current or potential sponsors, and may include in our semi-annual newsletter.

There's some flexibility in the mechanism, so talk to us if something about the model doesn't quite work for you or if you have any questions. The travel grant program is one of the most effective ways we can spend money to help support the FreeBSD Project, as it helps developers get together in the same place at the same time, and helps advertise and advocate FreeBSD in the larger community.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Requesting Project Proposal Submissions‏

The FreeBSD Foundation is pleased to announce that we are soliciting the submission of proposals for work relating to any of the major subsystems or infrastructure within the FreeBSD operating system. Proposals will be evaluated based on desirability, technical merit and cost-effectiveness.

To find out more about the proposal process please read this PDF which is available for download from our website.

The deadline for proposal submissions is February 15, 2011. Notification of acceptance or denial of proposals will be by March 17, 2011.

Proposals are open to all developers, including non-FreeBSD committers, but developers without access to commit to the source tree must provide details about how the completion guidelines will achieved.

FreeBSD Foundation at FOSDEM

Erwin Lansing from the FreeBSD Foundation will be available at the FreeBSD booth during FOSDEM, to be held in Brussels, Belgium, February 5-6. If you're at this event, drop by to say hi, discuss the Foundation's work, pick up a Foundation flyer, check out the swag, or make a donation. FOSDEM is free to attend.

There will be a BSD devroom during FOSDEM with network/internet connectivity and projectors. DevRooms are a place for teams to discuss, hack and publicly present latest directions, lightning talks, news and discussions.

Philip Paeps, a FOSDEM organizer and FreeBSD committer, will be proctoring the BSDA examination. More information about the examination is available here.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

EuroBSDCon2010 Trip Report: Lars Engels

Lars Engels recently submitted his trip report for EuroBSDCon. He writes:

This year's annual EuroBSDCon took place in the city of Karlsruhe, Germany in October. As usual there was a Developer Summit the two days before the conference.
Thanks to the help of the FreeBSD Foundation, who sponsored the conference fee for me, I could attend both the summit and the conference.

I arrived on Thursday morning at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) where the Summit took place. On my way to the right building I stumbled upon Warner Losh who was also looking for the place of the event. Just after we found the others the 15 minute talks started.

There were some interesting talks about the USB subsystem and USB 3.0 in FreeBSD, the state of FreeBSD's jail implementation and a new virtualization mode called Virtual Private Systems which lets one live migrate servers from one instance to another.

After the talks and lunch there were some breakout sessions. I attended hps' USB session where we worked on some non-working USB devices.

The second day of the Summit again started with talks. The most interesting ones to me were the cooperation with PC-BSD by Dru, FreeNAS by Warner, and Alexander Motin's work on a new event timer subsystem which can be very useful on mobile devices because with it it is possible to reduce the number of interrupts and so let the CPU stay longer in sleep states which consumes less of your battery's power.

After lunch I joined the PC-BSD breakout session where Kris Moore was collecting ideas for the upcoming 9.0 version of PC-BSD. Kris and I were also working out a concept of a new GUI for creating 3G mobile connections for the next PCBSD release. In the evening we had a delicous dinner at a local restaurant and had some beverages at the hotel bar afterwards.

On Saturday the actual conference began with a keynote from Poul-Henning Kamp who provokingly stated that the long tradition of text processing in Unix is dying and needs to get refined to support modern techniques like XML. With his talk he left a thoughtful audience behind.

James Gritton's talk on his ongoing work on FreeBSD's jails was very informative. When the work is finished, the jails will have a complete new way of configuring them with config files and new options.

After the lunch break I attended the longer version of the VPS talk that was already held at the Summit.

As the following talks weren't too interesting to me I worked on patching some ports with Ed Schouten.

In the evening there was an excellent buffet in the hotel followed by a mobile discotheque whose DJ tried to animate a horde of geeks which led to a fire alarm because the smoke machine activated the fire detector. :-)

On Sunday Kris Moore gave a talk on PC-Sysinstall which could replace FreeBSD's time-honored sysinstall installation program. PC-Sysinstall is already used in PC-BSD and seems to be mature. Meanwhile its backend was committed to FreeBSD's source tree but is still waiting for other frontends to be developed because the only existing frontend is a graphical one which cannot be used on devices without a screen.

Martin Matuska's talk on the future of ZFS in FreeBSD was also very enlightening. On the one hand he explained the legal hurdles of ZFS' implementation in FreeBSD and why ZFS's CDDL license is compatible to our BSD license but not to the GPL. On the other hand he gave an outlook on the development of future ZFS versions now that Oracle no longer develops ZFS publicly.

After the talk I continued to assist Kris Moore to develop the 3G part of the PC-BSD network manager.

The last talk was a restrospective of the BSD projects (FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD and PC-BSD) on their work during the last months. OpenBSD seems to have made big progress in suspending and resuming notebooks while NetBSD concentrated on developing the pcc compiler.

Brooks Davis presented several completed and nearly completed projects like the work on an alternative compiler (CLANG/LLVM) which was committed to FreeBSD base some time ago.

To sum up, I'd like to say that this year's EuroBSDCon was a nice and well organized conference. Thanks to for the organization and to the FreeBSD Foundation for funding my conference ticket.