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Ports updates in january 2023

Monday, 23 January 2023 | Adriaan de Groot


It’s been a really slow month for me on the Free Software front. Roughly since the KDE e.V. board meeting in Berlin I’ve been swamped with work-work (just lots of C++ code to grind through) and personal (family health matters) issues. The effect is that when I sit down at my FreeBSD workstation, I have at most 15 minutes a day to deal with whatever Free Software things affect me. That’s KDE, Calamares, and FreeBSD, so they all get short shrift. I finally did sit down this week and get a little more done, so here’s a brief report.

Matrix clients

libQuotient had new releases, so consumers have updated. That is the FreeBSD ports net-im/libquotient and consumers net-im/quaternion and net-im/neochat. Quaternion isn’t updated per se, since there’s no release that builds against the latest libQuotient release. I’ve just marked it broken, people can build against something older.

NeoChat works reasonably well also on FreeBSD, although I prefer Nheko on desktop and FluffyChat on mobile.

Music

Rosegarden got an update, if you want to produce sheet music. I quite like it for a predictable release pace and nice code. It needs a single patch that I’m not even sure is strictly necessary anymore (something about QVariant constructors).

MuseScore on the other hand is a wretched thing to deal with. I can only conclude that it builds fine in the specific Docker container its developers use, and is rarely built outside of that. The “BSD” build instructions are a joke, because it doesn’t even get through the CMake stage. So there’s dozens of patches needed there, and then it still falls over using a vendored copy of a 2-year-old release of fluidsynth. This is a battle every step of the way, so for now 3.6.1 remains in the ports tree until I gather more energy.

KDE bits

Tobias and the rest of the KDE@ and desktop@ teams for FreeBSD have been doing a great job at keeping abreast of things. We’re reasonably up-to-date with Qt from the KDE patch collection, KDE Frameworks, KDE Gear – but not KDE Plasma. There’s still a (long-standing by now) problem where 5.25 and later crash something on startup, and you get a non-functional desktop.

Diagnosing this requires someone with time and patience to sit and start-and-crash a KDE Plasma desktop for a few hours on end to figure out what’s going on. So far, hours on end has been elusive (or not so attractive) for any of us.

CMake

CMake 3.25.1 landed, with a handful of fixes for consumers – it’s always a challenge when updating tools to deal with open source projects that last had a release years ago and are no longer quite so compatible with the current generation of tools. This time it was lizardFS, which .. might be interesting or might be dead, I didn’t bother figuring it out and just hacked something together to make it build.