Hello all and welcome again to another of my monthly summary posts on my work in free software, with a focus on open engineering in Debian & Ubuntu. I'm fortunate to have the February 12th Debian 10 soft freeze deadline to scapegoat for my missed January update, and thanks too to February for being short enough to postpone it further and combine the two updates.
I've decided to go with a bit of a dryer chronological approach to this update as there's lots to cover. Worth highlighting, however:
New Debian upload for a FreeCAD 0.18 pre-release
New Debian upload for OpenFOAM. An upstream switch from openfoam.org to openfoam.com and a different versioning scheme results in a massive version bump, 4.1 to 1812. That's over 1800 versions better. (Seriously though, it's about a 2 year bump in changes.)
FreeCAD is participating in Google Summer of Code and I'm looking for a student to mentor
Jan 12: Completed transition of FreeCAD PPAs to new versions of Coin3D & its Python bindings package Pivy, which resolved a major breakage caused by me on Dec 29 but was a necessary precursor to a FreeCAD 0.18 release; I just didn't execute it as well as I should have
Jan 16: Upload of OpenFOAM 1812.
Jan 19: FreeCAD pull request to fix Start Workbench behavior in Debian/Ubuntu since we can't include binary .FCStd examples, even though they're glorified ZIPs, for Debian Free Software Guidelines reasons (or can we? please contact me if you know otherwise)
Jan 25-27: Hosted Austin Debian Bug Squashing Party. Unfortunately, it wasn't very successful in drawing in people besides those already interested in Debian at the host venue, the ATX Hackerspace. I didn't want to over-advertise it since the venue was limited in capacity, which in retrospect was a mistake. Oh well, there was also plenty to learn for the next one. The following bugs were closed: 918479, 888026, 884092, 886538, 882510, 899099, 920525, 919711.
Feb 4: Announced tracker.freecad.io, an experimental instance of FreeCAD's bug tracker designed to test possible improvements to be had from moving away from shared hosting
Feb 5: Regained control of abandoned FreeCAD Snap, which was a pre-release of 0.17, by way of the uploader returning from MIA and adding me.
Feb 9: Merge PR for FreeCAD-Homepage repo to add Expires headers and unset ETags to try to get better performance
Feb 13: Confirmed sfepy upstream fix resolved the issue, but it came a day after the soft freeze preventing re-entry to Testing.
Feb 25: Google Summer of Code organizations announced. FreeCAD participating under umbrella organization OpenCAx led by BRL-CAD. I created a GitHub issue for the project I'd like to mentor. I'm looking for a student interested in improving the state of Debian & Ubuntu packaging for FreeCAD and its ecosystem of packages. Particularly -- not everyone's first encounter with FreeCAD is with the latest and greatest version. If someone installs an old version and has a bad experience with an easily fixable packaging bug, we should try to tackle that issue to not drive away people who are already interested, but get a bad impression.
Feb 25: Sponsored upload of Netgen to Unstable, thanks Anton Gladky. Netgen had to re-enter NEW because I made a mistake in the naming of the binary package, so I had to revise the package to make libnglib-6.2 (for the .1810 release) replace libnglib-6.2.1804.
Feb 28: Upload of OpenCASCADE, revising the package to revert to the default 'opencascade' installation paths instead of 'occt' (a not-so-great packaging decision as OpenCASCADE was my 2nd ever Debian package)
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Any level of support is appreciated!