RFC: Weekly status update 17/01/04-23/01/04 (cvs-src summary)

From: Mark Johnston (mjohnston_at_skyweb.ca)
Date: 01/24/04

  • Next message: Poul-Henning Kamp: "Re: zlib hardware acceleration"
    Date: Sat, 24 Jan 2004 01:08:46 -0600
    To: current@freebsd.org

    Last week's thread about status reports spurred me to come up with this
    in a few idle hours. I've gone through the cvs-src mail from last week
    and summarized what looked like the most important commits, along with
    some of the longer threads that cropped up. I'm hoping for some comments
    on this from some people who contributed to the thread; I'm also CCing
    Jonathan Sage, who has rigged up an automated status update (and beaten me
    to the punch by a damn sight), in hopes that we can work together on this

    The report is written in reStructuredText, so it should be legible
    here; if you want to browse an HTML version of it, please hit
    http://excel.xl0.org/freebsd/ .

    If you have a minute, please read through this message and give me a
    sense of what you think. In particular, please think about:

    - Subject matter - too narrow? too broad? should I cover the -current
      list instead of cvs-src, or try to combine both into one report?

    - Prose - too technical? not technical enough? too flowery? too plain?

    - Commits covered - Did I miss anything I should have included, or
      include things I should have skipped?

    - Impartial? I've tried not to attribute consensus and opinions where
      they weren't very clear; have I succeeded?

    - Interest - would you be interested in seeing something like this
      produced weekly?

    If you don't have time for those, just a sentence or two of couragement,
    whether en- or dis-, would really help. If I don't get any answers, I'll
    assume that nobody's interested in this sort of report, so do respond if
    you are.


    [Report follows]

    FreeBSD CURRENT news for 17/01/04 to 23/01/04
    This is an experimental weekly summary of FreeBSD's cutting-edge
    development. It is intended to help the FreeBSD community keep up with
    the fast-paced work going on in FreeBSD-CURRENT by distilling the deluge
    of data from the CVS mailing list into a (hopefully) easy-to-read

    The format of this summary is based on Brett Cannon's python-dev
    summaries, but it is subject to change.

    Please send any and all comments to Mark Johnston (mark at xl0.org).

    .. contents::

    Committer changes
    Three new src committers were added this week. Robert Watson (rwatson)
    introduced Colin Percival (cperciva), who has been working on `FreeBSD
    Update`_, a binary update system for FreeBSD. Colin will initially be
    fixing the bugs he has uncovered during his FreeBSD Update work.

    Shortly thereafter, Nate Lawson (njl) introduced Philip Paeps (philip),
    who will be working on the ACPI_ (Advanced Configuration and Power
    Interface) subsystem. ACPI allows operating systems to manage hardware
    configuration and power in a standard way. It is especially important
    for laptops and newer motherboards, and especially challenging because
    of varying vendor implementations.

    Wilko Bulte (wilko), acting as core secretary, introduced Ken Smith
    (kensmith), who will be mentored by Robert Watson (rwatson).

    Finally, Eric Moore (emoore) retired from committership by request to core.

    .. _FreeBSD Update: http://www.daemonolgy.net/freebsd-update/
    .. _ACPI: http://www.acpi.info/

    Discussion topics
    Filenames and line numbers added to panic output
    Poul-Henning Kamp (phk) added code to display the filename and line
    number where the system was panic'ed. This prompted discussion of
    whether the change was worthwhile for most users, and comparisons to
    crash dumps and other debugging methods. It was agreed that the change
    should be left in to get other opinions on it before a final decision
    was made to keep it or back it out.

    In the same thread, Robert Watson (rwatson) brought up a discussion he
    had had with Bill Paul (wpaul) about the possibility of storing panic
    messages and backtraces in swap space when the system crashes. This
    idea was widely appreciated.

    New committer woes
    Colin Percival (cperciva)'s eager message, wondering whether FreeBSD had
    ever seen two src committers introduced in two hours, elicited some
    comments and reminiscences about new committers. The thread ended with
    an image of committers staggering around a vast desert under the weight
    of their to-do lists, ruled by witches and monsters and communicating
    with tin cans and string. This experience will no doubt be a distinct
    benefit to committers applying for jobs in IT.

    First DragonflyBSD merge
    Jeffrey Hsu (hsu) merged some TCP code from DragonflyBSD_. Alexey
    Dokuchaev suspects that this is the first merge from Dragonfly that
    FreeBSD has seen.

    .. _DragonflyBSD: http://www.dragonflybsd.org/

    Major changes
    cvs security update
    Jacques Vidrine (nectar) added two security patches to CVS. The first
    stops CVS's native server mode, pserver, from being configured to run as
    root. The second patch catches malicious requests that would cause the
    CVS server to attempt to create directories in the root of the
    filesystem holding the CVS repository.

    Bluetooth enhancements
    Maksim Yevmenkin (emax) imported sdpd, the Bluetooth Service Discovery
    Protocol Daemon. sdpd will help FreeBSD interoperate with Bluetooth
    devices. Poul-Henning Kamp (phk) requested a NO_BLUETOOTH option to
    disable the whole Bluetooth system; Maksim is planning to add it.

    PowerPC enhancements
    Peter Grehan (grehan) made many PPC commits this week, including
    introducing a console implementation. Peter also updated several files
    to be PPC compatible; the system can now be built completely for
    PowerPC. Dag-Erling Smorgrav (des) will be seeing whether it can be
    hooked up to the tinderbox for regular testing.

    Startup scripts no longer to be synced with NetBSD
    Mike Makonnen (mtm) removed NetBSD-specific code from many of the
    startup scripts in /etc/rc.d. He reports that Luke Mewburn of NetBSD
    has indicated that NetBSD no longer plans to keep their scripts
    synchronized to FreeBSD's. Mike also fixed a few minor bugs and tidied
    the rc.d files a bit.

    New SNMP code
    Hartmut Brandt (harti) imported version 1.5a of bsnmpd_, his own SNMP
    implementation. bsnmpd is part of the ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode)
    subsystem, which allows FreeBSD systems to participate in the
    high-performance networks and backbones that use ATM.

    .. _bsnmpd: http://people.freebsd.org/~harti/bsnmpd/

    New number conversion code
    David Schultz (das) imported version 20040118 of gdtoa, the package that
    handles conversion of numbers to and from their printable forms. This
    new version fixes some minor bugs in strtod(), which converts a text
    decimal number to a double-precision variable. He also updated the
    printf(3) manual page to match the new code.

    Marcel Moolenaar (marcel) discovered a bug in the new gdtoa code that
    affects the kernel build on the IA64 platform and is looking into it.

    Less-Major Changes
    Cryptographic code separated
    Ruslan Ermilov (ru) announced that all crypto-related bits have been
    moved out of the base distribution, mostly to the "crypto" distribution

    NDISulator development progressing
    Bill Paul (wpaul) made numerous enhancements to his NDISulator code,
    which allows some Windows network card drivers to be used on FreeBSD.
    The NDISulator was introduced not long ago, but development is moving
    quickly and it is growing to support more and more cards.

    Work continues on new infrastructure for ports
    Eivind Eklund (eivind) added the directory /var/db/ports/, which is used
    by the new OPTIONS infrastructure for ports.

    Minor Changes

    Theo de Raadt pointed out that a cryptography testing file he held the
    copyright to was in FreeBSD without a license. After a
    politically-charged flurry of e-mail, logged in PR 61676_, the file was

    .. _61676: http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/query-pr.cgi?pr=61676

    David Schultz (das) improved the random number generation by having the
    system discard the first 1024 bytes of random output. (PR 61126_
    submitted by Jeff Ito.)

    .. _61126: http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/query-pr.cgi?pr=61126

    Poul-Henning Kamp (phk) reworked libalias, the library that handles NAT
    and packet aliasing, creating a new API for it that allows one program
    to use it multiple times. The old API will continue to work.

    Colin Percival (cperciva) corrected a problem with traceroute when the
    number of packets per hop times the number of hops is greater than 255.

    Mike Makonnen (mtm) reworked some of the libthr threading code, adding
    more detailed debugging, refactoring some of the functions, and adding
    and documenting some missing functions.

    Soeren Schmidt (sos) tweaked some of the ATA code, fixing a problem that
    Nate Lawson (njl) had reported with his computer hanging on boot, and
    improving hardware support.
    freebsd-current@freebsd.org mailing list
    To unsubscribe, send any mail to "freebsd-current-unsubscribe@freebsd.org"

  • Next message: Poul-Henning Kamp: "Re: zlib hardware acceleration"