EuroBSDCon 2017 Trip Report: Li-Wen Hsu

Thanks to the FreeBSD Foundation’s support, as well as the encouragement from my friends, I attended EuroBSDcon 2017. Originally, I did not have plans to attend EuroBSDCon this year, but then changed my mind. I’m glad I did, as I definitely would have regretted not attending since it turned out to be an amazing conference.

I arrived in Paris on the morning of October 19th.  During the first two days, I did some sightseeing  with Hiroki Sato, and had dinner with Sofian Brabez and other friends. We continued our discussions from the last meetup, and exchanged some new ideas.

Most of the developer summit information can be found here on the wiki.  The “Testing/CI/QA” working group was there at the conference and I shared with them what we had done this past year, the status of our current projects, as well as our future plans for FreeBSD’s testing work.  We spent time discussing the To-Do lists, which included one of the more group important items –  that there are almost no false positives about the build failing so everyone agrees to enable the mail notification for the failed builds.

Brad Davis also shared his progress on creating the real-hardware testing environment and the ideas about running ZFS testing periodically. We also talked about embedded device testing in the working group. Ed Maste suggested that we create a device testing farm and Ilya Bakulin gave some ideas about how to conduct the tests.

I talked to many people during the developer summit and the conference. Olivier Cochard-Labbé and I discussed the network performance testing.  I went through how ci.freebsd.org can work for him and we put together a rough plan. We will discuss the idea more thoroughly with others and try to begin the testbed setup.

Bryan Drewery gave me a suggestion on adopting ccache to speed up building world and kernel. We also discussed using distcc or icecream to spread the build to multiple hosts to speed it up even more. We both have not tried but it seems worthy to check the support after introducing the ccache. I looked the icecream’s support of FreeBSD after the conference and upstreamed some improvements. It’s basically working now and I will add icecream port after finishing the rc scripts.

I thanked Mahdi Mokhtari for his continued work on FreeBSD’s guest support of the VirtualBox shared folder and for helping push the result in the ports tree. We talked about upstreaming the work and the possible license issues.

Mariusz Zaborski, Gavin Atkinson and I talked about Google’s Summer of Code.  We all agreed that joining the event is useful, but we need to put more time and effort on the preparation and post-event work to make those summer projects more useful to the FreeBSD project and therefore, possibly help push more students to becoming active contributors or even committers.

Michael Lucas and I had a short chat about the possibility of translating his books into traditional and simplified Chinese, which would definitely increase the number of readers and attract more BSD users in the Chinese language-specific regions.

One important mission of this EuroBSDCon trip was help promote BSDTW 2017, the newest BSD conference in Asia. I gave a three minute talk during the EuroBSDCon’s closing session to help advertise BSDTW that was in Taipei, Taiwan.

Per the request of the marketing staff, during the whole conference, I took many photos and shared with friends who attended BSDTW. This helped to attract interest, as it enabled audiences and staff to get more familiar with which speakers or colleague would be participating or attending.  It started great discussions, leading up to BSDTW. It was good to know that there are more friends from outside of Asia that had planned on attending BSDTW.

The trip to EuroBSDcon was better than expected. I made many new friends and came back with a to-do list. Again, I really appreciate the FreeBSD Foundation for helping make this possible.

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Author: Grace Mor

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