Last weekend, I finished the construction part of my garden shed. The last bit mostly playing with the circular saw, taking rough boards and making them square, then angling them so that they would fit under the roof. It took a couple of hours, but I ended up filling the 3m-by-65cm gable with vertical planking, quite neatly. At the beginning of this year, I wouldn’t pick up a circular saw — power tools, scary. So I planned building a shed to force myself to learn something about carpentry. The next-door neighbour is a handyman, so we worked together and basically he taught me how to use the tools and get things done. (The Czech animation series “Pat a Mat” is popular in the Netherlands as “Buurman en Buurman“, and we style ourselves thus).
Anyway, I think my point is that learning to use the tools is half the battle.
So on the weekend I also worked on updating Qt 5.6.1 to Qt 5.6.2 on FreeBSD, which involves using new and scary tools as well. Power tools, they can be really useful, or they can take off a finger if you’re not careful. In this case it was Phabricator, which is also used in KDE — but not everywhere in KDE. For FreeBSD, the tool is used to review updates to ports (the packaging instructions), so I did an update of Qt from 5.6.1 to 5.6.2 and we handled the review through FreeBSD’s Phab. The ports infrastructure is stored in SVN, so the review is relatively straightforward: update the ports-tree checkout, apply your changes, use arc to create or update a review request. I was amazed by how painless it was — somehow I’d been frightened. Using the tool once, properly, makes a big difference in self-confidence.
At this point, the tooling no longer stands in my way, and we can expect to have KDE-FreeBSD updates rolling out a little faster (until we’re caught up, finally). Current status is: Qt 5.6.2 is in exp-run (last stage before committing), KDE 4 infrastructure has landed, KF5 is being prepared for review by Tobias, and the plasma5/ branch of area51 contains the latest bits of everything released by the KDE community that we can port.