BSDCam 2017 Trip Report: Mathieu Arnold


It seems that every time I try to go to England using the Eurostar, it gets delayed between 30 minutes an 2 hours. This year, it got my 45 minute layover down to 10 minutes. Luckily, King’s Cross is literally across the street from Saint Pancras, and I managed to get into my second train just in time.

I arrived in Cambridge on Tuesday right on time for tea. A quick walk from the station got me to St Catharine’s College. This year, we were in a different building for the rooms, so I listened to the convoluted explanation the porter gave me to get to my room, I managed to get there without getting lost more than once. That evening was almost organized as we got together for diner at the usual pub, the Maypole.


The weather is lovely, and it is a good thing as there is a 25-30 minute walk from the College to the Computer Laboratory where the devsummit happens. The first morning is for deciding what we are going to talk about for the rest of the week, so we all go in turn introducing ourselves and voicing about what we would like to talk about. There are a few subjects that are of interest to me, so I listen to the toolchain discussions while writing new bits for the Porter’s Handbook.


I spent most of the day writing documentation, and talked a bit with a couple of DocEng members about joining the team as I would like to give some love to the build framework that has not been touched in a long time. At the end of the afternoon is a packaging session, we talked about the status of package in base, which is not really going anywhere right now. On the ports side, three aspects that are making good progress include, package flavors, sub packages, and migrating some base libraries to private libraries, which is a nightmare because of openssl, and kerberos, and pam. That evening, we had the formal diner at St John’s College, I love those old buildings that reminds me of Hogwarts. (I am sure there is a quidditch pitch somewhere nearby.)


Last day.  I continued to write documentation, while listening to a provisioning session. It would be great to have bhyve support in existing orchestration tools like vagrant, openstack, or maybe ganeti. We end the day, and the devsummit with short talks, some very interesting, some going way over my head.

The weekend is here.  I spent most of Saturday strolling in some of the numerous Cambridge parks, gardens, greens, fens… and I worked on a knitting pattern in the evening. On Sunday, I ate my last full gargantuan english breakfast of the year, and then back in a train to King’s Cross, and a Eurostar (this one on time) back to Paris.

I would like to thank the FreeBSD Foundation for making this trip possible for me.

– Contributed by Mathieu Arnold


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