Ten years ago, I started a new job. If I didn’t blog these things, I would never be able to remember them. Eleven years ago, I was blogging every other day, about all kinds of Free Software things and OpenSolaris bits and travels. This year has been a downer for a lot of folks, and I grew my hair long and my beard woolly as memories of swimming in the Amazon river fade away. Here’s some end-of-year summary bits to make an even 50 posts for the year.

Calamares in 2020

Calamares is a distro- and desktop-independent Linux installer. I keep intending to extend it to do FreeBSD installations as well, but get side-tracked by bugs and features on the Linux side instead. In 2020:

  • The Calamares website got a lovely make-over thanks to Anke
  • There were 17 regular releases
  • There were 5 hotfix releases

I try to run Calamares on a short-release-cycle system, where the main development branch is, in principle, always ready for a release and feature branches get merged in; every two or three weeks there is a release of whatever-is-ready-now, if it is at all useful. 52 weeks divided by three tells me that I’ve been reasonably good at keeping to that schedule on average.

For 2021 I intend to go support one Season of KDE student doing various improvements in Calamares, maintain the release cadence, help out PostmarketOS where possible and finally start on that long-needed partitioning rewrite.

FreeBSD in 2020

Bug counts have gone up in the past few months, we’re at 41 today. I remember us at 28 or so, which seems more manageable.

The KDE on FreeBSD team has expanded a bit, with new contributors and assistants and increased cooperation across the X11 and desktop layers on FreeBSD. Somewhat ironically, it is KDE that maintains GNOME on FreeBSD.

The things the team did can be found on the f.k.o site under news (note to self: add news items more regularly) and in the FreeBSD quarterly reports (note to self: q4 will be published soon). The summary is, though:

  • chased all the KDE Frameworks releases
  • chased all the KDE Plasma Desktop releases
  • chased all the KDE Applications releases
  • landed Qt 5.15.2 and WebEngine
  • chased all the CMake releases, including breakage across a few thousand packages
  • landed some ninja releases and other related build-stack tools

Individual team members also do other things in the FreeBSD world; I chased the releases of audio/praat which is a program to support doing phonology on a computer, while Tobias prepared Qt6 packages. I think we are getting better at upstreaming things in general, and I filed a lot of PRs in GitHub for things that were being fixed in packaging (and should be fixed upstream instead).

Now on this last day of 2020 I’m informed that Cutelyst has some new releases even if Daniele hasn’t announced them yet .. more updates to come!

KDE in 2020

On the KDE-upstream front the big news was the switch to GitLab but my own activity has been fairly limited; most of KDE software is just fine on FreeBSD, and I’ve done just a few small PRs for various improvements. I like the TODO feature of GitLab, although I kind of wish it would also include the “merge requests you have authored that are not yet merged” and some other bits and bobs.

Neochat is the best new thing to come out of KDE this year as far as I’m concerned: a desktop Matrix client that is pretty nice to use.

Other things?

There is life outside software! Yes indeedy. I grew my hair long, but that is a natural consequence of “I get my hair cut before going to conferences” and all the conferences being cancelled. I also didn’t visit nearly all the people I would have liked to, this year, and bicycling all over the place in summer didn’t happen either.

I did help repair the roof of the carport out front of my house, and watched both kids (unoriginally indexed as 0 and 1) grow up and learn to be adults. Kid 1 knows more gardening than I do, and kid 0 knows more real analysis than I remember having forgotten. Both have learned to cook the way I do: slapdash, and inventive, and sometimes inedible for some people in the house (it is possible to overdo it on the sambal front).

Things for the coming year are “fix my recumbent bike which has been rusting for too long in the shed” “build a chicken coop” and “restore my cooking website which vanished in the late ’90s”. Hopefully more than that will happen, and the world can slowly open up again as we head towards northern-hemisphere summer.

🎆🎇🍷💏 until the new year.