Since I wear many hats, there’s multiple end-of-year retrospectives to have.

Huh, it seems like I’ve been a FreeBSD (ports) committer for a little over two years now. Time flies when you’re having fun and/or doing soul-crushing administrative busywork.

It depends on how you see packaging and tool support – what does it mean and what is your relationship with upstream.

The kde@ team maintains a bunch of C++ and toolkit infrastructure – CMake and Qt to name two – and that means that we have a lot of consumers that are not directly maintained by us. Changes in the infrastructure often affect other packages in some way – CMake no longer finds a specific package, or Boost gets away from us again, or changes in default C++ warning flags cause unmaintained code from 2002 to fail to build. All that is par-for-the-course when participating in a giant group project to maintain over 30000 packages.

Repology helps me keep track of what needs doing:

  • For kde@, right now that reminds me that CMake 3.16.2 needs an update (in progress) and gcompris-qt does as well and probably a dozen more,
  • For me personally, which tells me rosegarden and cutelyst and sayonara.

Keeping KDE software up-to-date

Overall, the kde@ team, and Tobias Berner in particular, has managed to keep up with the release cycles of KDE Frameworks (monthly), KDE Plasma (quarterly), and Applications (semi-annually). The change to KDE release service (dropping the Applications moniker) won’t change that. Since the KDE community runs a FreeBSD CI builder (supported by kde@) there is generally very little work to do for any particular release, just build-and-test and possibly tweak some package lists.

There are 467 packages maintained by kde@, of which right now 29 are out-of-date (e.g. gcompris-qt, which I mentioned). Without doing any actual research, I’ll estimate that 90% of the ports are updated within a week of a new release, with some things languishing (e.g. sddm which needs a bunch of patch-shuffling to get to the latest release).

The team’s work is coordinated on IRC and FreeBSD’s bugzilla, and we’re generally pretty good at handing things off to each other in case of Real Life Business.

Keeping up with my ports

Outside of the kde@ ports, I have a little over a dozen ports for myself; mostly Matrix-related, some Qt-based ports like cutelyst, some music things and Dwarf Fortress.

Most of these ports I don’t even use regularly – just Nheko and Charm – so I’m grateful for repology and users for reporting new releases. I usually try to get to them within a week when reported, but available time varies a great deal. I see that I am way behind on sayonara for instance.

Keeping up with the web

The KDE-FreeBSD website has been suffering from bit-rot for a long time. We moved most of it to the KDE Community wiki, but there’s some content that should be more controlled – the team, our in memoriam page, and news announcements. Those had been really static in 2019 and I’d like to thank Carl Schwan for biting the bullet and moving everything over to a modern Jekyll and Markdown-based setup, away from PHP and fiddly bits.

I’ve added a lone news entry for this year.

What’s next

Qt6 will probably happen in 2020 somewhere, which will mean a great deal of headaches for us (since FreeBSD isn’t a Tier-1 platform). Other than that, I want to update SDDM, finally, and there’s a few bits of very old code that I’d like to kill – in particular, killing HAL and some eject-the-CD code in Plasma would make me and Kai-Uwe very happy (assuming that I can still eject the CD afterwards – that is still important to me).