K-F updates, a whole mess of them

There’s a whole mess of updates in the area51 repository maintained by the KDE-FreeBSD team. These are the ports that will eventually, when they’re ready, be merged into the official FreeBSD ports tree (which still has KDE 4, installable through the kde4-metaport). Recent updates include Frameworks 5.17 (released december 12th), Plasma 5.5.1 (the weekly bugfix release, from december 15th) and Applications 5.12.0 (the 16th). But there’s other things going on as well: due to naming clashes (e.g. what to call last year’s kate, which is co-installable with this-year’s kate?) there is now a kate-legacy port. Ralf Nolden has provided updates for Qt creator.

Some updates have also made it to the official ports tree. That’s generally the case when they’ve matured for a while in area51, or when they are a regular update to existing software. In the official ports tree, Calligra has updated to version 2.9.10, released december 9th. Some options that make sense in a Frameworks+Plasma environment have been dropped, since for now the official ports repository targets KDE4.

As usual, I’m grinding through this lot of updates with poudriere, and then trying them out in a VM to see what happens (my other decent machine which I’d use for live tests has been totally taken over by the kids for the purpose of playing with dinosaurs).

Resuming GPG

I think I spent nearly five years GPG-Free. When I was with the FSFE, I know I spent some time fiddling with the smartcard variant, even. But then I spent a long time working in places where secure communications meant talking in the hallways and secure electronic commuications wasn’t relevant at all. In those five years, only Ingo once sent me an encrypted message; I’ve now finally replied to it.

Because yes, I’ve gone back and unearthed my GPG keys from old backups, and once more can use FEA2A3FE for communications, just like I did in 2002.

Quite possibly Moxie Marlinspike is right, but for non-casual communications this can still be useful.

Cookery 2015

I was on a stroll down memory lane — partly because I was showing the kids that I was blogging before they were born (“so were you, like, internet-popular back then?”) — and ran across this old entry for cooking local. And I realised that not much has changed (and I still don’t have a recipe for sinasiri, nor much chance of ever getting one). Sunday breakfast was home-made Brussels waffles (roughly this recipe from Piet Huysentruyt), home-baked whole wheat bread with sunflower seeds (from a slowly-mutated recipe that most likely originated in one of the Moosewood Cookbooks, but basically straight-forward yeast bread), home baked blueberry pie (admittedly with frozen blueberries, from a Junior Masterchef competition) and meringues (recipe is on a grubby sheet of paper folded in with one of my cookbooks).

I still believe it’s important to know what goes into my food, and to make sure the kids know how to make stuff from scratch (it’s fun to me, at any rate, to notice how Mira has grown stronger as she’s grown older and now can actually knead the dough for an entire loaf of bread). There’s probably a simile for software development hiding here, but all this writing about food has gotten me hungry (so dinner will be roasted parsnips).

When’s the current generation of KDE Frameworks, Applications, and the Plasma Desktop going to be available on FreeBSD?

So I’ve written about KDE-on-FreeBSD quite regularly, and in fact my most-common commit to KDE’s repositories recently is “adding news to the K-F site about updates”. But there’s an increasingly large gap between what’s in the official FreeBSD ports tree and package repositories, and what’s in area51. The testing repo gets regular updates, and I’ve got a local package server for testing. I’m sure the folks doing the real work in the testing repo have, too. But all that’s not official. And sometimes there are questions about when KDE Frameworks / Plasma5 / Qt5 are going to be updated in the official repo’s. Those questions also come from users of PC-BSD — PC-BSD is developed by iXsystems, who also graciously support the area51 repository.

I don’t have answers to those questions, though 🙁

Probably the answer is “when it’s stable and usable”.

On that front it’d be nice if releases slowed down at some point, for a little bit, so that we have one fixed point to get out there. On the other hand, the release of Frameworks 5.17 only took a day to hit our testing repo, so we’re catching up. Plasma 5.5.1 took less than a day. Calligra has just updated as well. One thing that really holds up integration with the official ports tree is the need for backwards compatibility — with all the other bits and pieces of FreeBSD and the ports tree. That means dealing with Qt4-versions of many applications and handling namespacing (of Qt4, but also Qt4 bindings to Python, for instance). Getting all the bits ready for peaceful co-existence is a lot of work and a lot of (re-)building.

That said, some important bits of the compatibility layers — for instance, PyQt 5.5.1 — have recently landed in the official ports tree, so it’s not totally unlikely that we’ll see KDE Frameworks 5, KDE Applications 5 and Plasma 5 Desktop (there’s a metapackage called kde5, which is a crude vernacular for installing plasma5-plasma-desktop, kf5-frameworks and a bunch of applications).

Nethack 3.6

Four days ago, and after a ten-year hiatus, a new version of NetHack was released. Many years ago, I was an avid player, competing gently with my friends Jesse and Joe over who would ascend the fastest, or whatever. Eventually I did the “ascend all the classes in reverse-alphabetical order” kinds of challenge, and then vaguely lost interest. But this new release has re-kindled my interest, so I quickly did a port for FreeBSD (based on the existing NetHack 3.4 port). I have filed a PR for it, so maybe the latest NetHack will be available shortly.

Me, I’m satisfied that I have the port. As part of testing, I also built it (with cross-compilation through poudriere) for my Beagle Bone:

root@smurf:/usr/local/etc/pkg/repos # uname -a
FreeBSD smurf 10.2-STABLE FreeBSD 10.2-STABLE #0 r287149: Thu Aug 27 06:11:58 UTC 2015 root@releng1.nyi.freebsd.org:/usr/obj/arm.armv6/usr/src/sys/BEAGLEBONE arm

and that means I could conceivably set up my own ssh-to-home NetHack server.

NetHack, Copyright 1985-2015
By Stichting Mathematisch Centrum and M. Stephenson.
Version 3.6.0 Unix, built Dec 13 12:58:42 2015.
See license for details.

Shall I pick a character's race, role, gender and alignment for you? [ynaq]