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2006 OpenBSD Hackathon Well Underway 71

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
An anonymous reader writes "KernelTrap is running a two part who's who at the 2006 OpenBSD Hackathon. Starting on the 27th and running for a full week, developers get together and concentrate on communication rather than just development. Project leader Theo de Raadt was quoted as saying 'I don't think anybody else does this, developers suspend their lives for a week to focus entirely on just development.'"
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2006 OpenBSD Hackathon Well Underway

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 30, 2006 @09:43PM (#15432567)
    Theo de Raadt was quoted as saying 'I don't think anybody else does this, developers suspend their lives for a week to focus entirely on just development.'

    For just one project that does this often, see http://plone.org/events/sprints [plone.org]

  • So no one else suspends work to do something else intensely for a short time as a competition/etc. Let's make a short list: semi-pro (or even pro in some sports) athletes. touring artisans. olympians. the peace corps. So yes, lots of other people do something like a "hack"athon, for their chosen area of interest.
  • by OmegaBlac (752432) on Tuesday May 30, 2006 @09:48PM (#15432591)
    Project leader Theo de Raadt was quoted as saying 'I don't think anybody else does this, developers suspend their lives for a week to focus entirely on just development.
    Tell that too the EA developers! [slashdot.org]
  • Is this where the techie fight clubs use axes for a day?
  • by pgpckt (312866) on Tuesday May 30, 2006 @10:15PM (#15432704) Homepage Journal
    KernelTrap is running a two part who's who at the 2006 OpenBSD Hackathon. Starting on the 27th and running for a full week, developers get together and concentrate on communication rather than just development. Project leader Theo de Raadt was quoted as saying 'I don't think anybody else does this, developers suspend their lives for a week to focus entirely on just development.'"
  • by cperciva (102828) on Tuesday May 30, 2006 @10:18PM (#15432716) Homepage
    I've never been to an OpenBSD Hackathon, but I really don't understand how this is the best way to use their time together. Surely the advantage of getting everybody into a room together is to allow them to talk to each other more easily, not to allow them to all stare at their terminals and ignore each other.

    When FreeBSD developer summits occur (e.g., at the recent BSDCan), there is always some important hacking done, but the most useful result of the devsummit is that people can talk to each other and make decisions about where the project should going next (e.g., dropping support for Alpha, working more on embedded/arm support, et cetera). Clearly we're missing something important -- can someone more familiar with OpenBSD tell me what the ingredient is in Theo's Magic Kool-Aid which makes developers better at hacking code when they all get together in a single room?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 30, 2006 @10:42PM (#15432796)
      I've never been to an OpenBSD hackathon either, but I think the theory is that when you are coding, you often might run into a problem where you'd like to consult someone else, and at the hackathon, an expert is right at the next table. No need to worry about lag from email/IM waiting for a response while another person has gone away for the day, or lives in a different time-zone, is busy working at their day-job, etc, etc.
    • by RazzleDazzle (442937) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @12:14AM (#15433055) Journal
      There are no "project decisions" to be discussed and made. Theo is the owner of the project, if you want to debate with him on the merits of his choices for the project, he will likely listen to what you have to say as long as it is reasonable to him.

      As an analogy imagine if you were part of a team creating a car. Each person in the team is worked on just part of the car.
      Person 1 says, "I like engines so I am going to work on engine development."
      Person 2 says, "I like tires so I am going to work on tires and wheels."
      Person 3 says, "I like safety features so I am going to work on safety."
      etc.

      Now imagine all of these people working on their respective components but in different countries around the world, completely independent of the rest, it could be difficult to ensure proper integration and compatability. Yes they chat, e-mail, etc but when many people are side by side it is much easier to discuss problems you are facing, either design issues, implementaion issues or whatever. Plus, you get to be around a lot of dialogue and discussions that could help enlighten you to other methods or ways of doing things better.

      This could just be an oversimplification, but if you work directly with a lot of cool and fun people you admire and are admired by, let's face it, it probably is a lot more fun and productive. It is a team effort of people that like what they are doing and want to do it all lead by captain TdR. Plus I imagine there is some Humppa playing there as well?

      Note: I am no developer nor have I ever been to an OpenBSD hackathon.
      • Thats a stupid analogy. With OpenBSD summits its more like this: OpenBSD Developer: I like safe code so im going to make sure all code we write is safe OpenBSD Developer: I like readable code so im going to make sure all code we write is readable OpenBSD Developer: I like safe code so im going to make sure all code we write is safe OpenBSD Developer: I like readable code so im going to make sure all code we write is readable Etc..
      • Can we not have such collaborative hackathons over the internet? The problems of somebody not being there etc. will go aay then. Free VoIP calls (Skype et. al) are all too good now a days. Wot say?

        * lon3st4r*

  • What about DebConf? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Roblimo (357) on Tuesday May 30, 2006 @10:19PM (#15432725) Homepage Journal
    It seems to me that two weeks ago I was in Mexico at DebConf [slashdot.org], which if you look at the official page [debconf.org], was preceded by a weeklong "DebCamp" that could just as easily been called a "hackathon," not to mention that probably 60% or more of the average attendee's time during the "main" DebConf week was spent in collaborative hacking. And DebConf had around 250 people there...

    I'm not knocking OpenBSD's hackathon, just pointing out that it's hardly unique. Many other FOSS projects have similar gatherings.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @12:31AM (#15433096)
      Yeah but OpenBSD hackathons usually produce things of great value. Others are just a communal handjob.
      • Parent is insightful? Do you have some evidence for that statement, oh Mr Coward?
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Parent is insightful? Do you have some evidence for that statement, oh Mr Coward?

          Yes he is insightful. You can download the evidence. Download almost any OSS software, be it application or OS in the form of the Linux kernel or Linux distribution. Use them, read the man pages and other documentation, etc. Download the source and read some of it.

          Now download OpenBSD, use it, read the documentation, read some of the source.

          OpenBSD and related project source is clean and professional and the resulting binaries
  • Meet the Hackathon (Score:5, Informative)

    by rbrander (73222) on Tuesday May 30, 2006 @10:54PM (#15432838) Homepage
    For the second time (and we're hoping for an annual tradition) the Hackathon has agreed to come up for air long enough to give a talk to the Calgary Unix Users Group.

    This year, Bob Beck and Reyk Floeter will give a talk to the group and many Hackathon participants on their directions in wireless chipset support, advanced feature support, and security support.

    At SAIT, June 1, 6PM - all details at

    http://www.cuug.ab.ca/ [cuug.ab.ca]


    • And beyond the fact that you'll be able to listen to some top developers in the industry, this is your opportunity to get your hands on OpenBSD 3.9 CDs, T-shirts and posters !
    • by ArbitraryConstant (763964) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:12AM (#15433405) Homepage
      I was going to post something here, but it seems half the board has already beaten me to it...

      I'm looking forward to it, they had some pretty sweet demos last time. For example, to demonstrate the firewall failover capabilities, they played music on a network mount that was behind a firewall. When they shut down the primary firewall node, the music didn't even skip as the backup took over.
  • EA-thon (Score:1, Redundant)

    'I don't think anybody else does this, developers suspend their lives for a week to focus entirely on just development.'

    Tell that to the folks at EA [slashdot.org]. Or to any other member of a startup for that matter who suspend their lives for at least a couple years.
  • Project leader Theo de Raadt was quoted as saying 'I don't think anybody else does this, developers suspend their lives for a week to focus entirely on just development.'


    Can Acar
    Can lives in Ankara, Turkey. He began using OpenBSD in 1998

    Thordur Bjornson
    Thordur lives in Hafnarfjordur, Iceland. ...continued to hang out with OpenBSD people on the mailing lists and IRC.

    Henning Brauer
    He noted that he did most of the work blindly on the airplane, and still could use hardware for testing.

    Michael Coulter
    Michael liv
  • by jemfinch (94833) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @12:16AM (#15433061) Homepage
    Let's take a closer look...

    First, we have the story submitter saying this: "developers get together and concentrate on communication rather than just development."

    And then we have Theo saying this: "developers suspend their lives for a week to focus entirely on just development."

    Hmm...
  • Sounds like Theo doesn't know about the Plone [plone.org] community, which just wrapped up their week-long "Archipelago Sprint" [plone.org] on a Norwegian island to drive forward development of the next major release of the most kick-ass open-source CMS on the planet.

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