Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cambridge DevSummit Trip Report: Aleksandr Rybalko

The next trip report is from Aleksandr Rybalko:

I recently returned from an exciting trip to Cambridge, United Kingdom, to attend the FreeBSD Developer Summit. Very warm and old town, and at the same time, one of the most historic academic centers in the world. Great support by the FreeBSD Foundation helps to make it realizable for me. It was a very interesting developers summit, even if some talks were difficult to understand because of English-to-English differences.

The main reason why I attended the DevSummit was to introduce the updated newcons project. Now, newcons works with i915 KMS and with the shiny new Radeon KMS too. Many thanks to Jean-Sébastien Pédron for that.

From the developers' reaction, it seems the most exciting part of newcons is a 2-color FreeBSD logo splash screen. Even though there's a lot of work in the underlying infrastructure, everything else is just letters and more letters on the screen.

While giving my demo, I found one more bug: connecting an SVGA projector produced a kernel panic (which was at least displayed nicely on the screen).

Anyway, the Cambridge Devsummit was a very good event. I met with many interesting people, including Adrian Chadd, my mentor (finally). He told me about PMC problems and points to me every time anyone asks about drivers for MIPS and ARM hardware. With Baptiste Daroussin and Vsevolod Stakhov, we discussed pkgng and ports problems and problems related to ports cross-building. I discussed a bit the lack of supported ARM features (like LPAE) with Andrew Turner.

Spent some free time hacking on Exynos4 based device together with Ruslan Bukin. Exynos4 has an interesting problem, but we still have not found a solution/workaround for it.

From the list of summit sessions I can highlight:

  • lldb - New, and I can say, more correct way to debug things. Thanks a lot to Ed Maste for that great work.
  • Capsicum by Pawel Jakub Dawidek. Exciting tool to limit everything you want.
  • pkgng - And of course I still don't understand how Baptiste got such a complex thing to work.
I enjoyed the devsummit a lot. Environment of the city of Cambridge is best for such activity, so developers are able to concentrate on things they need.

Many thanks to Robert, David, Jonathan, Bjoern and everyone involved in the devsummit organization. And of course, a huge thanks to the FreeBSD Foundation for sponsorship!

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