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Almost an year

It’s been almost an year that I’m working on Gentoo/FreeBSD project. It’s an interesting thing because too often I had to leave away projects after a few months, but Gentoo/FreeBSD still remains my main concern.

Last year, the only thing that was available was an overlay stage over FreeBSD 5.3, with many ebuilds that hacked aroudn installing stuff. Now we have already a 5.4 pure stage, and I’m working on the 6.0 one.

This year was sure full of events at least for me. The stage, the documentation, the project takeover, the amazing logo Marius drawn. It also proved that what we want to achieve is possible. There are no big obstacles for it, portage demonstrated to be flexible as we need, although some things still have to be nailed down, and it’s not difficult to maintain compatibility without sacrificing features in ebuilds.

One thing that still hasn’t changed is -again, sigh- the baselayout, that remained mostly the same of one year ago, and it’s something I want to get rid of soon.

But Gentoo/FreeBSD had implications also out of the purely Gentoo scope, and that is what make me like the idea of continuing also if I’ll get against all the upstream developers. I provided Tim Kientzle patches for libarchive and bsdtar so that now libarchive builds as a shared library also from the split tarball, as being done on FreeBSD (so that we don’t have regressions by using it); some portability patches were merged into GNOME packages like ORBit and gnome-applets, although way more work is needed on that side; Unieject project started and now provides an eject command for FreeBSD that is compatible with Linux’s version, and with that libcdio received a couple of fixes so that it could work on FreeBSD; xine-lib patches lingering in ports were applied upstream, removing the maintenance of them from ports maintainer; Mesa finally build on FreeBSD without failing at install because of broken script using GNUisms..

I know these little changes, compared to the whole quantity of software in portage, is almost nothing, but it’s something that can be worked on.. heck, most of that I did alone! If you want free software to improve, consider joining the effort and making sure that the patches applied by ports are cleaned up and sent upstream, instead of lingering there.

Think of ld hints for binutils that I’m working to be applied upstream… think of how many other stuff was never sent upstream because ports maintainers supposed to be “the only ones” for that platform…
Upstreaming is our passphrase 🙂

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