Inter­est­ing Sum­mer for FreeB­SD

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.

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