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Things look quiet here. But I've been doing a lot of blogging at dan.langille.org because I prefer WordPress now. Not all my posts there are FreeBSD related. I am in the midst of migrating The FreeBSD Diary over to WordPress (and you can read about that here). Once the migration is completed, I'll move the FreeBSD posts into the new FreeBSD Diary website.

New stuff coming soon 1 April 2002
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There hasn't been much new on the website lately. Only seven articles in three months. That is pretty low. But have no fear. I've been working on many things, most of which I've been unable to discuss for security reasons. But I have managed to type up a few notes on some of the new projects I've been working on.

FreshPorts
The biggest news is that FreshPorts is ready for a facelift. New features will include the ability to add a port to your watch list with a single click and uploading your pkg_info to create your watch list. The website is in the final stages of beta testing and should be going live this month.
New Ports

A small group of us have been working on some new ports. Based on the initial testing, we're sure you will find these very useful.

  • net/newbiebot - this port contains a bot which sits in the IRC channel and intercepts and answers newbie questions. We've been extracting newbie questions from various IRC channels over the past 6 months. The questions, and answers have been put into a small database which the bot uses.
  • net/lagrid - When you're on IRC, lag can be a real bummer. This port installs a daemon which sits on your FreeBSD box and constantly monitors the lag times between your IRC client and various IRC servers. If the lag becomes too high, it can automagically switch you to a better server. All of this is done transparently. You don't even notice the change.
  • sysutils/lart - This port is aimed at the sysadmin and contains a collection of useful tools for dealing with errant and idiotic users. Sponsored by BOFH.
  • misc/likelinux - It's annoying when Linux people ask for something "... you know, like in Linux". Unfortunately, Linux often uses terms and expressions which are Linux-specific. likelinux is a translater which converts Linux phrases to plain English. For example, echo "masq" | likelinux outputs NAT. There is an optional utility which replaces vi with vim, adds color to the ls command, and installs bash as the default shell.
  • net/nextrelease - keeps track of the number of seconds until the next FreeBSD release. It carefully monitors the cvs-all mailing list to compare real versus actual results. The resulting estimate has proven to be much more accurate than any other source.

You can get these ports from an FTP server near you.

Rumours and gossip

I was in the Bay Area last month, and was fortunate enough to be invited to lunch with a few people whose names you would recognize but whom I cannot name. There are big moves afoot to purchase a well known organization by what some would call their arch rival. The offshoot of this will be a radical license change which will annoy many license zealots but which will greatly please most software developers. Watch this space for new information on this BSPL license.

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