Contributed by mtu on from the DYI dept.
c2k8 General Hackathon (Part 2) - June 7-15, 2008, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
About three and a half years ago, Jean-Francois Brousseau (jfb@) introduced OpenCVS. Since then, there has been a lot of interest, excitement and anticipation for this more secure BSD-licensed alternative to GNU cvs. It is also getting closer to prime time.
Read on to understand what is going to happen soon.
OpenCVS has been progressing along with the help of Niall O'Higgins (niallo@), Joris Vink (joris@), Tobias Stoeckmann (tobias@), Ray Lai (ray@) and others. It is also a good example of the importance of regular hackathons big, small and informal.
In an interview with Joris on BSDTalk , he mentioned that they got more done on OpenCVS during the c2k6 hackathon than the whole two years since it started. Yet what I find more interesting is to hear the passion in Joris' voice as he talks about OpenCVS. There are many things that I have noticed about OpenBSD developers. One thing is that they are passionate about what they do and generally very careful how they do it.
Here is what Joris had to say about his time and work at the c2k8 hackathon.
The fact that we decided to put it as an alternative on anoncvs servers should be a big hint that it's getting ready for prime time usage, and we will be making it the default very soon.
We want people to be using the OpenCVS anoncvs mirrors. We want people to give us feedback on things that seem weird or incorrect.
I know that OpenCVS is being used by some developers for their local repositories and that is exactly what others need to be doing as well.
We are on final approach with OpenCVS, and we will bite the bullet when it's the right time.
At the hackathon, we managed to get great progress on OpenCVS. We added support for CVSROOT/loginfo and CVSROOT/commitinfo (which are the scripts that take care of source-changes@ and ChangeLog and so on).
This was a pretty big step, since they were very important to have supported for obvious reasons.
We also changed anoncvs.shar, to include instructions on how to setup anoncvs using OpenCVS next to GNU cvs. We've had some great feedback from anoncvs admins and users trying out OpenCVS on them and fixed quite a lot of stupid bugs.
Another big thing we managed to change is the fact that checkout no longer requires anything to be written to /tmp - which makes it incredibly fast without stressing the disks on the servers too much.
An important change on the client side was our CVS/Entries rework. We used to open & close CVS/Entries about 4-5 times per file in that directory which obviously was a huge performance hit. We changed this so it only opens it once per directory, this took some stress away from local checkouts.
On the plane back I wrote a general hashing mechanism that we will be using soon for a more painless way to look-up RCS revisions, path file names and so on. (Since we currently do this very very very badly).
On a final note, everybody can rest assured - I'm staying WoW clean.
Hiking has been another tradition at hackathons that I took part in for the first time at c2k8. Anyone who knows Theo, will tell you he's probably the most active hiker of any of the OpenBSD developers. It is a real getaway from computers; no net, just mosquitoes and horse flies. ;-)
At c2k8, there was an easy hike and a hard hike. As a newbie hiker, I took the easy hike which involved a four hour drive from Edmonton to the edge of Jasper National Park to Miette Hot Springs and then a two hour hike up to the top of the mountain and two hours down ending at the hot springs to shower, relax and munch on a buffalo burger.
firstname.lastname@example.org:/cvsI wish that I had more time to talk with Tobias. My first impression after talking to him very briefly in the Miette Hot Springs was that he was very thorough. I also got the feeling that he was a perfectionist, that quality counts and doing it right matters a great deal to him. Now if I got it wrong, then at the very least, I've raised everyone's expectations of him and his work and now I've just challenged him to live up to it. :-)
email@example.com:/cvs [IPv6 capable]
Here is what Tobias had to say about his work and time at the c2k8 hackathon.
During this hackathon I was working with joris@ on OpenCVS to get in some diffs I was working a few weeks before. As both of us knew we would see each other in Edmonton, we decided we give them a try when we can actually discuss any possible side-effects or implementation details, because some core elements of OpenCVS had to be modified.
Beside of these "old" diffs Jonathan Armani finished his implementation of trigger files (which make it possible to send out mails when a person commits to cvs.openbsd.org) which we obviously had to get into OpenCVS as well. The rest of the time I was working on missing features like adding new files into a branch or writing entries to history the GNU cvs way as well as fixing some glitches which occur on "not so daily" cvs usage.
As this was my first hackathon, I obviously had to spend some time to figure out who's who and had some fine conversations with other developers -- not just about OpenBSD but also about their general day-to-day life.
The hackathon was a very cool event, with lot of fun and good results for OpenCVS, too. On this note I want to say "Thank you" again to all who have made it possible.
(c2k8 hackathon summary to be continued)
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