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    Tuesday, 03 October 2006

    BSP Marathon - Utrecht, 30 Sep - 01 Oct 2006

    Last weekend, Jeroen van Wolffelaar and Thijs Kinkhorst organised a BSP at Utrecht University. I went along for a couple of reasons:

    • to help reduce the number of RC bugs in the run-up to the Etch release
    • to meet some of the Dutch developers and users, and to encourage them to work their best for Etch

    I met up with Hanna Ollila at Schiphol Airport late on Friday evening, and we took the train down to Utrecht together. We found Jeroen and some others at the station and went straight on to a party in the middle of town for a few hours. Then after just a few hours' sleep we headed into the University to get breakfast and start squashing bugs. A group of about a dozen people turned up that day - mainly a mixture of Dutch DDs and other locals.


    I took a look at a couple of bugs initially on Saturday: #387419 and #387498. Unfortunately, the first (kdepim FTBFS on alpha) was difficult to reproduce - the alpha machine I had available for testing was too short on memory and took a very long time to build kdepim, long enough that after 2 days I gave up. I couldn't reproduce the latter (system() hanging when running on mips) on any machine I had access to - it looks like more work is needed there... In parallel with those two RC bugs (found on Andreas' great summary page at, I also had a very productive session working in parallel with Christian Perrier, fixing translation/i18n bugs in one of my own packages, CVS. Thanks Christian, you're a pleasure to work with!

    On Saturday evening, the gang of us headed into the centre of Utrecht for a nice meal, some beer and some spirited conversation at a Greek restaurant. I took the opportunity to talk with Frans Pop about some of the remaining work needed for d-i and debian-cd.

    On Sunday, the work continued. I was still waiting on feedback on #387498 and my build of #387419, so I decided to make the most of the uninterrupted time to get some debian-cd development work done. I'm still hoping to get multi-arch CDs working before we release etch, so this was a great help. In fact, I got so engrossed in this that I managed to work straight through dinner...!

    In terms of bugs, I must admit that I didn't do much in terms of reducing absolute numbers. This weekend, there were a lot of bugs in categories that don't really work well for Bug Squashing: licensing/legal bugs (which really need discussion with the maintainer), newly-opened bugs (IMHO it's a little rude to NMU a package when a bug has only just been opened - give the maintainer at least a couple of days to respond!) and deep bugs where intimate knowledge of the package is needed. I expect there will be more to work on next weekend in Zurich, if nothing else some of those "new" bugs will have aged.

    Early on Monday morning I caught the bus from near Jeroen's apartment to start the journey home. Thanks to the nice reliable public transport, I got all the way to Schiphol well in time. Then my flight back to Stansted was delayed... :-(

    It was great to meet up with a bunch of enthusiastic people. Some I'd met before (Frans, Jeroen, Hanna). Some I met for the first time (Thijs, Bas, Moritz and others). But all of them were working hard, wanting to help get Etch out on time. Let's keep up the good work!

    I have a small number of photos online.

    23:12 :: # :: /debian/bsp :: 0 comments