2015-06-17 – mandoc: from scratch to the standard BSD documentation toolkit in 6 years, Ingo Schwarze

Abstract:
When Kristaps Dzonsons set out to write mandoc in the fall of 2008, all he wanted was a nicer HTML representation of manual pages on his private website. Today, mandoc is the standard manual page formatter in OpenBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, DragonFly, illumos, and Void Linux, and OpenBSD also uses it as the manual page viewer man(1), as the manual page search tool apropos(1)/makewhatis(8), and as man.cgi(8) to search and display manual pages on the web. It now produces ASCII, UTF-8, HTML5, MathML, PostScript, PDF, and man(7) output. Given that manual page toolkits existed for almost four decades before Kristaps even started, how could such an overfulfillment of expectations possibly happen, and what lessons were learnt in the process?

Topics of this meeting include:
– importance of and requirements for software documentation
– history of roff/man/mdoc, and why they remain the best doc tools
– features of mandoc, both seasoned and new ones
– mandoc development and system integration, or how to lead a software package to success
– mandoc adoption in various operating systems and possible future directions

The talk is designed as a best-of selection of content shown at BSDCan 2011, 2014 and 2015 and EuroBSDCon 2014.

After the presentation, you are welcome to optionally stay for a hands-on workshop, so be sure to bring your notebook. You might wish to hunt for markup bugs in operating system manuals, or you might wish to work on format conversions from legacy formats to mdoc(7), and if you already have some experience, there are more ideas, see for example pages 40-43 of http://www.openbsd.org/papers/eurobsdcon2014-mandoc-paper.pdf.

In any case, there is a chance to do some work that results in your first commit into your favourite operating system – that did happen at a similar workshop held at EuroBSDCon 2014 in Sofia/Bulgaria…

Bio:
Ingo Schwarze is the current maintainer of the mandoc(1) documentation toolbox developed by Kristaps Dzonsons. He also maintains the OpenBSD groff(1) port and has contributed to various parts of the OpenBSD userland, for example the Perl rewrite of the security(8) script, as well as smaller contributions to the rc.d(8)/rcctl(8) framework, the yp(8) subsystem, the C library, and various other programs.

After studying in Siegen (supervisor: Prof. Martin Holder), Ingo Schwarze worked in experimental and theoretical high energy physics at CERN (NA48) and in Karlsruhe. Having used various flavours of UNIX and Linux in the nineties, he settled on OpenBSD as his server and desktop operating system of choice in 2000 and joined the project as a developer in the spring of 2009. As a day job, he maintained the central configuration daemon and the MiddleWare of the Astaro Security Gateway (now called Sophos UTM) for six years.

2015-05-12 – SystemBSD: custom DBus daemons emulating systemd behavior for OpenBSD, Ian Sutton

Abstract
This talk will concern my work with the OpenBSD Foundation in the summer of 2014 involving writing four DBus daemons which emulate the behavior of some systemd interfaces, mentored by Landry Breuil (landry@) and Antoine Jacoutot (ajacoutot@). It will cover the rationale for this project idea (GNOME desktop support, etc.) as well as the technical details and current status of the project. Additionally, I will discuss my experience with the project as well as some thoughts and criticisms of systemd in the context of Linux’s init/job control vs. BSD’s. Finally, I’ll end by discussing what I have found as a relatively new *BSD user switching from Linux and why I am happy with such a choice.

Bio:
Ian Sutton is a senior undergraduate computer engineering student at Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. He has been inseparable from computers since he learned to read, and starting using Linux around 2006 until he mostly switched to OpenBSD in 2013. He lives in Houston, TX, where he was born and raised.

2015-04-14 – SSO with MIT Kerberos V, David Cross

Abstract:
Logging in sucks. Every place you enter your password is another chance for compromise, increasing your cross sectional area for attack. Common approaches include using utilities to manage and synchronize your passwords and keys adding another vector for attackers to exploit. Changing your password can become an all day or week endeavor of updating stored passwords, forgetting a service can lead to manual resets as the password used was lost to the mists of time. MIT created a solution for this almost 30 years ago, is an industry standard embraced by Microsoft, Oracle, and others; integrating and interoperating is typically just configuring existing software already on your machine!

Bio:
David Cross has spent most of his professional career working with FreeBSD; First as the Laboratory Director for the Department of Computer Science at Rensselaer. From there he designed and supported the infrastructure for the website OkCupid. Recently he’s helped to develop the website whosay.com that lets celebrities syndicate themselves to the world of social media; and currently helps people receive their e-commerce orders on time by working on the Platform and Pipeline teams at CommerceHub.

2015-03-10 – Designing Versatile Unix Utilities, Eric Radman

Abstract:
Designing versatile utilities for Unix-like systems is a process of exploration that aims to extend the capabilities of users so that they can be more effective in their professional or personal endeavors. This talk will highlight the key practices employed during the development of entrproject.org. Special emphasis will be placed on identifying an attitude that succeeds in overcoming impediments to a smooth workflow.

Bio:
Eric Radman has been building and supporting in-house and public-facing Internet services on BSD and Linux for more than 13 years. His most significant contributions have typically centered on eliminating operational dissonance between services by reconfiguring network applications to take full advantage of common data marshalled by PostgreSQL.

2015-01-13 – FreeBSD GEOM, David Cross

Abstract:
One of the most important aspects of running systems is configuring and managing disks; the FreeBSD “GEOM” system is an extraordinarily powerful modular system for configuring and controling ‘flow’ of data through the system. With this plugin system you can interface with BIOS ‘softraid’ systems, partitioning, encryption, device scheduling, remotely attached storage, multipathing, and caching to just name a few provided modules on every FreeSBD system. A demonstration of full disk encryption will be part of the talk.

Speaker Bio:
David Cross has spent most of his professional career working with FreeBSD; First as the Laboratory Director for the Department of Computer Science at Rensselaer. From there he designed and supported the infrastructure for the website OkCupid. Recently he’s helped to develop the website whosay.com that lets celebreties syndicate themselves to the world of social media; and currently helps people receive their ecommerce orders on time by working on the Platform and Pipeline teams at CommerceHub.

2014-12-09 – Holiday Meeting, Various

Abstract:
This meeting will feature audience participation – everyone gets 5 minutes (or so) to talk about some *BSD topic of their choice. Topics could include, but certainly are not limited to:
* What the BSDs do for me.
* What the BSDs are doing well.
* What the BSDs need to do better.
* I need help with *BSD!
* Some really neat maintenance trick.
The perfect meeting for everyone, whether you’re a decades-experienced sysadmin, a dev, “just a user,” or someone looking to get started. Come and share your knowledge!

2014-11-11 – Giving your first tech talk: an analysis of an OpenBSD talk, Brian Callahan

Abstract:
Whether it’s for work, CDBUG, or anywhere in-between, giving talks is a skill everyone should have in their back pocket. This talk reviews an OpenBSD talk given in October at RPISEC, the computer security club at RPI. It details aspects the speaker thought went well and what did not, followed by an overview of how the speaker approaches giving talks. It will end with a discussion on how to begin giving your own talks in a no-pressure, supportive atmosphere such as CDBUG.

Speaker Bio:
Brian is a Ph.D. student in the Science and Technology Studies department at RPI, interested in studying local community formation around Free and Open Source Software projects. He is also an OpenBSD developer, focusing primarily on ports.

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