At this week’s DevSummit prior to EuroBSDCon, we had discussions on how to improve communications between end-users (who use software and discover bugs and usability problems) and ports maintainers (who port software and fix bugs). It was agreed that it isn’t always easy for users to submit their feedback and get a response back. It is equally difficult for ports maintainers to find users willing to test new ports.
In response, we’ve created two new PC-BSD forums:
- Ports Requests: where users can request ports for software that is not currently ported to FreeBSD
- Ports Testers: where ports maintainers can put out calls for testers and receive user feedback
Please read the README file in each forum before posting a new thread. If you maintain a FreeBSD port or know any ports maintainers, help us spread the word about these new resources
Bordeaux is looking for PC-BSD and FreeBSD testers who are willing to write a review. From the Bordeaux website:
The Bordeaux Technology Group is a software services and development company specializing in Windows compatibility software. Users of Linux, FreeBSD, PC-BSD, Solaris, OpenSolaris and Mac OSX systems from time to time find themselves in the need to run specialized Windows software. The Bordeaux suite enables access to these programs and data in a seamless and low cost manner without requiring licensing of Microsoft Technology.
In return for the review, they will give the reviewer a free copy of Bordeaux and a link back to the review site. If you’re interested, check out this forum thread.
The PC-BSD translation team uses Pootle to manage its translations. Josh has just finished a test upgrade to Pootle and is looking for testers’ feedback before initiating the actual migration:
I have a new version of pootle and translate toolkit up. There were some issues with the migration, some of the strings were mangled in the database, I think this is the bug that has been causing regressions in the pootle engine, but I’m not sure.
The new version should be quite a bit faster, and also it adds support for translation suggestions from google.
This is a test migration, I’ll be doing the real migration this weekend unless people have issues with this that I can’t easily fix between now and this weekend. Please please don’t do large translations on this instance, as it will be resynced from the live site this weekend and all changes will be lost.
I’m also taking suggestions for a new URL, the current one is pretty lame. Maybe translations.pcbsd.org?
LXDE is the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment and will be one of the window managers available for selection during a PC-BSD 9.0 install. You can see screenshots at this page of the LXDE website.
The existing FreeBSD port was quite out of date so Kris spent some time last week updating the port and adding some missing components. Since LXDE will be a desktop environment option in PC-BSD 9.0, we encourage as many people as possible to test this desktop environment and report any bugs on the PC-BSD LXDE forum.
Early testers can install the port using pkg_add –r lxde-meta on a FreeBSD system or from within Ports Jail on a PC-BSD system. A PBI request was submitted this morning and we’ll announce once a PBI is ready for testing.
For those of you interested in testing BBB (an open source VoIP web conferencing system similar to commercial applications such as Webex), I’ve written a how-to on setting it up on a FreeBSD or PC-BSD 8.1 system. When I get a chance, I’ll test it with webcamd and desktop sharing. Once better tested, we’ll see what we can do about getting a BSD version of BBB. Creating a port/PBI will be interesting due to the amount of configuration. It may be better suited as a warden inmate or a virtual image that someone can quickly download and deploy.
If you give the how-to a go, leave a comment if you run across any issues or have suggestions on streamlining the how-to or increasing its security settings. We’d also be interested in knowing if this is something you’d like to see installed with PC-BSD or as a separate PBI/inmate/image add-on.
One of the new features coming in 9.0 is the ability to select and run multiple window managers, meaning you no longer have to like KDE to like PC-BSD
We do realize that we’re opening up a can of worms in that we’ll be discovering lots of bugs in various window managers and/or their FreeBSD implementation. This can be seen as a great opportunity to get these bugs fixed, improving the desktop experience for both FreeBSD and PC-BSD users. In order to do so, we’ll need your help, especially if you have used your favourite window manager on a non-BSD system and have noticed usability differences in the BSD implementation.
To coordinate this effort, we’ve setup a Testing forum which contains sub-forums for KDE, GNOME, XFCE, LXDE, Fluxbox, and General Testing for all other window managers. Please read the “README First” thread before posting a bug report to a forum and leave a comment if you have other helpful information that you think should be included in that README thread.
If you start a thread, you should use Thread Tools -> Subscribe to this Thread so that you will be notified of any responses to your post. Alternately, if you’re interested in keeping up with all the threads for a particular window manager, you can use Forum Tools -> Subscribe to this Forum. As you subscribe, you can choose to be notified immediately, daily, or weekly.
Our goal is to help find and fix as many bugs as possible before 9.0 is released some time next summer.