OpenBSD Journal

OpenBSD 3.9: Blob-Busters Interviewed

Contributed by jolan on from the who-did-what-and-why dept.

ONLamp.com has posted an article entitled, "OpenBSD 3.9: Blob-Busters Interviewed". It's quite an extensive interview covering some of the development and improvements made for the 3.9 release. Topics include binary blob drivers, sensors, apmd's new automatic performance adjustment, macppc G5 support, trunk/hostapd improvements, hackathon/development funding, and much, much more.

(Comments are closed)


Comments
  1. By frantisek holop (165.72.200.11) on

    it's a pitty they messed up some of the questions/answers.
    otherwise excellent interview.

    Comments
    1. By Anonymous Coward (151.41.14.156) on

      > it's a pitty they messed up some of the questions/answers.

      I'm using Konqueror and I don't see any problem with q/a. What do you see as messed up?

      Comments
      1. By frantisek holop (165.72.200.11) on

        page3:

        TRACE was disabled. Why? Is there anything else that you would like to disable or remove from the codebase?

        ...

        Henning Brauer: It was only a stub with nothing in it, because some software incorrectly assumed it always had to link libresolv. We found that these days the stub libresolv just confused some configure script.

        page4:

        Where has libresolv gone?

        Matthieu Herrb: Loic Duflot demonstrated in an excellent paper [PPT slides] at CanSecWest that the hardware access privileges that the X server is granted by the aperture driver can be abused to gain access to kernel privileges (allowing to bypass the security level settings for example).

        ...


        maybe some more i haven't read it again.

        Comments
        1. By Anonymous Coward (151.41.1.117) on


          Ok, Seen them.

    2. By Anonymous Coward (151.41.9.7) on


      Crazy questions fixed!

  2. By Luis (68.8.241.29) on

    Very insightful interview, thanks Mr. Biancuzzi! So many changes and so much talent among these developers. Just plain rad! Yes I'm using, a (US) 80's term and I don't care. >:)

  3. By Anonymous Coward (67.170.176.126) on

    I am wondering ... has the OpenBSD project ever thought of producing a score card for products/vendors to rate their openness towards the free opensource software ?

    Over and over again we see emails in the mailing lists "can you support xyz driver for this new laptop" followed by chastizing replies "why dont' you call the vendor of the product you bought ...". I do understand that point but I am wondering if we could go one step further by publishing from the get-go a list of recommended product/vendor based on how well they support open/free projects. This way we could reinforce positively the concept "you stay open, we reward you".

    just my $.02

    AC

  4. By Anonymous Coward (156.34.218.80) on

    The bit about the face-to-face benefits of hackathons got me thinking. In the past, when I've played games, I've often used programs like Teamspeak (audio conferencing) in cooperative play. With the addition a visual conferencing component (starting with shared terminal output) that allowed multiple developers to easily and simultaneously see/edit the same code and debugging output, it occurred to me this might make a pretty good cooperative development tool. Not as a good as a hackathon, but cheap and usable at any time. I don't think this would be too tough to implement either. Have the OpenBSD developers ever considered something like this? Does anyone else think this would be a useful tool?

    Comments
    1. By Corentin (81.56.152.193) on

      In any software project (and in fact in any engineering project) the main key to quality is communication.

      And physical communication is much more efficient than remote communication.

    2. By Anonymous Coward (128.171.90.200) on

      I thought the developers already used some kind of software like that, I cannot remember where I read it though.

      However, I work with developers in other countries, and communicate via email and Skype, but nothing beats being able to go to the local pub and discussing things to death, or being able to go over to someones console and work on something together.

      Comments
      1. By Anonymous Coward (128.171.90.200) on

        ...and not to mention having lots of machines on a local network dedicated to solving a problem.

    3. By jolan (66.188.109.124) on

      this doesn't address the radically different timezones problem.

      Comments
      1. By Anonymous Coward (156.34.218.80) on

        > this doesn't address the radically different timezones problem.

        True. I can't figure out a way to distribute beer either =) But I still think it could be a extremely convenient tool in many situations (much better than email tag!) -- especially if developed with specific needs and desires of developers in mind.

    4. By Anonymous Coward (82.43.92.127) on

      The bit about the face-to-face benefits of hackathons got me thinking. In the past, when I've played games, I've often used programs like Teamspeak (audio conferencing) in cooperative play. With the addition a visual conferencing component (starting with shared terminal output) that allowed multiple developers to easily and simultaneously see/edit the same code and debugging output, it occurred to me this might make a pretty good cooperative development tool. Not as a good as a hackathon, but cheap and usable at any time. I don't think this would be too tough to implement either. Have the OpenBSD developers ever considered something like this? Does anyone else think this would be a useful tool?

      This sounds remarkably like pair-programming as practised by the extreme programming crowd (http://www.pairprogramming.com). While this is generally applied to object-oriented programming, perhaps the hackathons show that it works for procedural code as well?

      Comments
      1. By Anonymous Coward (128.171.90.200) on

        This sounds remarkably like pair-programming as practised by the extreme programming crowd (http://www.pairprogramming.com). While this is generally applied to object-oriented programming, perhaps the hackathons show that it works for procedural code as well?

        Working in pairs has absolutely nothing to do with object orientation

  5. By Anonymous Coward (128.171.90.200) on

    I'll be interested to see how the apmd changes effect my Zaurus

    Comments
    1. By Matthias Kilian (84.134.64.216) on

      > I'll be interested to see how the apmd changes effect my Zaurus

      Much longer battery lifetime. When idle, the zaurus is clocked down to 91 MHz. Still enough for editing files, reading mails etc. (though lcd(4)/wsdisplay(4) seem to be a little bit cpu-hungry when scrolling).

      Comments
      1. By Anonymous Coward (128.171.90.200) on

        Much longer battery lifetime. When idle, the zaurus is clocked down to 91 MHz. Still enough for editing files, reading mails etc. (though lcd(4)/wsdisplay(4) seem to be a little bit cpu-hungry when scrolling).

        I've tried another cpu-stepping daemon recently and it had a habit of making the screen shudder when stepping. In the past OpenBSD has sucked the battery really quickly, so I am keen to try this out.

  6. By chill (216.229.170.65) on http://www.howtobeinvisible.com/

    Linspire's announcement of "Freespire" has spurred a rather rancorous debate over on http://www.groklaw.net/ about the use and inclusion of proprietary, closed source or blobs into FOSS. (1,100+ comments so far)

    OpenBSD's stance and public statements with the 3.9 release are frequently pointed to as a shining example of "how things should be done".

    BSD vs GPL aside, this is one area that more and more Linux developers and users are coming to realize is of major importance.

    -Charles

    Comments
    1. By Anonymous Coward (70.27.15.123) on

      > BSD vs GPL aside, this is one area that more and more Linux developers and users are coming to realize is of major importance.

      Yeah sure, that's why they are helping nvidia and friends to hold back consumers, and prevent us from ever getting hardware that we can use.

    2. By Anonymous Coward (70.74.75.200) on

      GNU/Linux became popular mostly due to their embracing binary blobs and NDAs. It's a little too late to reverse their predicament without major consequences.

      http://insight.zdnet.co.uk/software/linuxunix/0,39020472,39264019-2,00.htm

      Quote:
      Warning shot across the bow
      Users got a taste of an open source-only world last month from Red Hat. The company inadvertently suppressed the ability to use proprietary kernel modules when it shipped the new version 5 of its popular Fedora Core Linux. The unplanned experiment wasn't pretty for newbies.

      "I do not believe the intention was to promote open source modules and to attack proprietary modules," Larabel says. "One of the reasons I personally believe this is the fact that beginning Linux users who tried Fedora Core 5 would experience problems with loading mainly ATI or Nvidia modules and ultimately tarnish Fedora's reputation due to a troubling experience - or so I have gathered from the countless emails I received from those beginning users."

  7. By Anonymous Coward (70.74.75.200) on

    Loic Duflot's paper on X security, in the last page of this interview, is available from his post to the X mailing list.

    http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/xorg/2006-April/014874.html

    Or, directly here:

    http://www.ssi.gouv.fr/fr/sciences/fichiers/lti/cansecwest2006-duflot-paper.pdf
    http://www.cansecwest.com/slides06/csw06-duflot.ppt
    http://www.ssi.gouv.fr/fr/sciences/fichiers/lti/sstic2006-duflot-papier.pdf

    Comments
    1. By Anonymous Coward (151.42.125.9) on

      > Loic Duflot's paper on X security, in the last page of this interview, is available from his post to the X mailing list.
      >
      > http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/xorg/2006-April/014874.html
      >
      > Or, directly here:
      >
      > http://www.ssi.gouv.fr/fr/sciences/fichiers/lti/cansecwest2006-duflot-paper.pdf
      > http://www.cansecwest.com/slides06/csw06-duflot.ppt
      > http://www.ssi.gouv.fr/fr/sciences/fichiers/lti/sstic2006-duflot-papier.pdf


      And now he has been interviewed...

      http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/402

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