Now that we have (or “soon will have”) an official FreeBSD  blog, I decided to give this kind of electronic and public diary a try. At least to report the status and progress of some FreeBSD  related projects  I’m involved in.
A lot happened in the last days. We’re past the deadline of the Google Summer of Code rating process and now the lucky students are chosen. It wasn’t easy. We had more than 120 proposals (out of ~6400). From those we where willing to mentor 40 – 50 (based upon our resources and the quality of the proposals). Google granted 14 to us (a big thank you to Google!). I expect an official announcement “soon”. Hopefully some of those students Google wasn’t able to fund are willing to work with us regardless of the money , there are a lot of very nice proposals (I will add some items to the ideas list  based upon them later). We’re at least willing to provide the same amount of mentorship as if they where selected.
I will work with two students. One of them will work on syncing the OSS API from recent releases from 4Front with our sound system. The other one will work on improving the linuxolator. I will announce this on the corresponding mailinglists after the official announcement. ATM we need to do some administrative stuff (handing out access to the wiki and perforce , setting up email aliases, …).
I already mailed some general guides to the students (note to mentors: it’s in the wiki on the “hidden” and restricted to mentors SoC page). For the sound stuff I don’t have a nice TODO list, but luckily the student already investigated the 4Front stuff for the proposal and is eager to start the work (basically this gives us the userland  interface for multi-channel mixer support). Regarding the linuxolator improvements the student has a little bit less luck. I compiled a nice TODO list which is based upon his own proposal and all the various things I know about the linuxolator (PR’s, messages on emulation@, private conversations, things we noticed while working on the update of the linux  base to a recent Fedora Core, …). I will be impressed if he manages to do everything on the TODO list (don’t worry, he knows that not everything has to be done to declare “success” to Google).
Both of them may be candidates for a commit bit (not within the SoC, but maybe later), both are eager to do the work, interested, motivated, and don’t need hand-holding.
Further news in the area of the sound system: Ariff told me he is working on multi-channel and endianess issues/support, and I may be able to commit two more sound drivers to the tree. One driver is the emu10kx driver currently available in the Ports Collection, and the other one is a driver for some envy24 chips. Currently I’m in contact with the author of the emu10kx driver and a volunteer who wants to improve an existing envy24 driver (author of the driver contacted; since it’s BSD licensed, this is a “don’t be evil” action).
And some news regarding the userland part of the linuxolator: We’re waiting for a repo-copy form linux_base-fc3 to linux_base-fc4 . It seems FC4 is compatible enough so that we can direclty move from RedHat 8 to FC 4. FC 5 is out of the game for a while, it doesn’t want to run with the old linux kernel  version our linuxolator announces. Changing the version via the sysctl doesn’t help (probably because of the changed semantic of the linux clone syscall between 2.4.x and 2.6.x), so it has to wait until the linuxolator SoC finishes.