OpenBSD Journal

t2k17 Hackathon report: Ken Westerback on dhclient progress, developer herding

Contributed by Peter N. M. Hansteen on from the puffy names the nets dept.

The next hackathon reports comes from Ken Westerback (krw@), who writes:

Take a university Computer Science department that thinks a room full of OpenBSD hackers is a relaxing change from a room full of students, add spartan residence accommodations to motivate said hackers to maximize time in the hackroom, mix in a local host excited to host the crowd of hackers in his backyard for dinner and you get an exciting, productive hackathon.
Oh, yes, and get some developers to show up. Simple. Sign up now to host your own hackathon!

The only real disappointment was the number of developers who managed to injure themselves, have significant others injured, (mis)time offspring production, lose babysitters and generally get taken out by 'life' at the last minute. Not to mention French developers who chose traditional August family vacations over hacking!

Outside of my organizational duties, I spent most of my time hacking on dhclient. Again. /etc/resolv.conf handling got some love, improvements in our network/routing infrastructures lead to a lot of dhclient logic simplification. Such as dropping the obsessive labeling of routes. The parsing code was tweaked in various minor ways, no major functional changes but a large backlog of long scheduled tweaks got cleared up.

In anticipation of the hackathon I had made a bunch of code refactoring and functional changes to dhclient, assuming that the people who (ab)use dhclient in various ways would expose problems during the hackathon. Thus providing some relaxing bug hunts to relieve organizing stress. In this I was disappointed. But I'm sure they are out there, lurking, waiting to strike.

Many thanks to University of Toronto CS department, New College residence and Russell Sutherland for all their support. And of course all the developers who showed up!

Thanks for the report, Ken!


  1. By eau (eau) eau+undeadly@unix4fun.net on

    very cool, great reports and work as usual form OpenBSD.
    btw anyone knows if base dhclient going to handle ipv4 and ipv6 at some point?

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