Free software activities and plans

May 18, 2018, by Hugo Lefeuvre.

Montreal skyline seen from Mt Royal

It's been a long time since my last post, and this blog is obviously missing some updates. And yet, it's no shortage of ideas!

These last months have been pretty busy both at the university and in my free software involvement. Also, I have started as a free software engineering intern at Savoir-Faire Linux (Montréal, Canada), where I work on Ring, a free communication platform respecting users' privacy and freedoms!

In this blog post I'll try to give a short overview of my free software wanderings over the past few months.

Debian

I have been mostly busy working on packaging issues and housekeeping uploads.

Also, as you may already know the Debian project is in its way to migrate away from the old Alioth forge to Salsa, a new Gitlab-based system. This has been a lot of work and although I didn't take part directly to the migration -- I only fixed some issues in @anarcat's migration script, it still brought quite a bunch of tasks to the backload stack.

Beside that I have been working on dlib packaging, a dependency of python-face-recognition, a Python module I intend to package. dlib was missing quite a lot of upstream updates which turned out being somewhat tricky to apply because they were introducing breaking changes in the build system.

Debian LTS

Excluding february, I have also been very active in the Debian LTS team since the beginning of this year. I have been mostly working on complex issues, involving long debugging sessions and specification reading, such as CVE-2018-9165 in libming or CVE-2018-7456 and CVE-2018-8905 in libtiff.

If you are interested in my Debian LTS work, you can find my monthly reports on the Debian LTS team mailing list.

Juliet

Juliet is a free, lightweight static website generator and is one of my running personal projects. I use it for this blog.

Since the 0.1 release I've had to step down to maintainance mode because I didn't have time to seriously prepare 0.2. Last week I found enough time to start active development again, prepared some plans for the next release and even had time to release an early alpha version. In broad strokes, 0.2 should carry the following changes:

I will dedicate a full article to the 0.2 release, so stay tuned!

Montréal

Last month I have started as a free software engineering intern within the Ring team. I am working on several projects including the GNU/Linux GNOME client and the LibRingClient, a library for UI logic shared by the macOS, GNU/Linux GNOME and win32 clients. Digging into Ring's internals, I've also had the opportunity to make some contributions to the Ring daemon and PJSIP, the multimedia communication library.

I am proud of contributing to what I hope to be the future of communication software: free software, distributed networks, privacy. Ring is a beautiful project full of very innovative ideas; if you didn't give it a try yet, stop reading this article and go download it! ;)

Plans

This week-end I will take part to the NorthSec CTF as part of Savoir-Faire Linux's CTF team. I will most likely post updates on my Mastodon account.

I am really happy to announce that I will be able to attend DebConf18 this year again, in Hsinchu, Taiwan! This is not without thanking my company, Savoir-Faire Linux for sponsoring my tickets. I will dedicate a full post to my plans for this year's edition in a few days.