Like Christoph, I'm going to Randa! It's a long train ride, but that means I can get some hacking done on the way.

Randa Fundraiser Image

You can support the Randa meetings! Click on the image for fundraiser information. The Randa meetings are one of the biggest sprints in KDE. Each year a tightly focused group gets together to work on KDE technology for one goal. This year the goal is KDE technology on every device.

While most of the participants seem to be going to the meeting for the purpose of getting more KDE applications on Windows, MacOS or Android -- indeed platforms where our technology can make a difference for developers and where our applications can make a difference for Freedom -- I'm going with a slightly different purpose. I'm there for our traditional niche platforms: the BSD's. But also for packaging in a traditional sense, and for building our software effectively and efficiently.

There's a lot of infrastructure in the KDE software (git) repositories, information about dependencies and build orders and where to find sources and stuff like that. For the traditional packagers, though, packaging is largely an artisanal process: discover what software is released this time, under what names and in which directory; figure out what new dependencies there are by trying to compile the new stuff in an environment that worked for the previous release; adjust sources for invalid assumptions. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Speaking of repeat, Scarlett has been working on reproducible builds of KDE software for Debian. FreeBSD is part of the same organization, so I hope to learn a lot from Scarlett towards that goal.

If containerized apps are really a thing, I'd hope to be able to build FreeBSD(-ish) containers from the same metadata as other containers are built from.

As preparation, I tried to build KDE (as in, the software stack needed for Zanshin) from source on a Linux distro. I failed. To me, that suggests that we shouldn't forget the devices running Linux, either, and the packagers that work there.