[talk] the next con: content (2 of 2)

Malcolm Matalka mmatalka at gmail.com
Thu Aug 13 12:57:04 EDT 2015

George Rosamond <george at ceetonetechnology.com> writes:

> Malcolm Matalka:
>> Den 13 aug 2015 16:28 skrev "George Rosamond" <george at ceetonetechnology.com
>>> :
>>> February 2014's con was focused on the "BSDs in Production" and was
>>> themed broad enough to allow us to choose content while feeling
>>> consistent :)
>>> And like last con, our audience is not the BSD scene local and remote,
>>> but rather the non-BSD people in the metropolitan area. No one can take
>>> anything away from the current BSDCons' importance, but we are doing
>>> something different here, again. Our con is not an opportunity for the
>>> 'usual suspects' to meet at different cities around the world. Rather,
>>> our con is about talking to the broader community around NYC.
>>> There are two theme ideas I'm personally thinking about that have been
>>> discussed.  Yes, the term "beyond" is purposeful.
>>> 1. The BSDs Beyond x86: ARM, MIPS
>>> The obvious connection for people on this topic is the Raspberry Pi, but
>>> I can imagine that will barely be mentioned.
>>> There is very significant work happening on armv7 and what is now known
>>> as aarch64 (64-bit ARM). It's not just about small hardware, but about
>>> powerful, low-energy consuming hardware that should begin creeping into
>>> data centers soon. The big firms are working on it, and even Amazon
>>> acquired an ARM hardware firm a while back.
>>> There are other angles. There is some *really* cheap hardware that is
>>> useful for testing network drivers, porting to the Chromebook, etc.
>>> Ideally, we'd get some hardware manufacturers to bring in some gear to
>>> make this a more hands-on event.
>>> 2. The BSDs and Security: Beyond the Obvious
>>> IMHO the security angle is way overplayed, and we should be angling this
>>> outside the box.
>>> There are a few topics that come to mind.
>>> OCAML being one. Capsicum/tame (fbsd/obsd, respectively). ASLR.
>> As an ocaml fan, what are you referring to when you say ocaml here?
> The language in the context of building secure services is one idea.
> And what would your idea be?

I don't have any idea per se, more of just curious to see it explicitly
mentioned.  I actually think Ocaml is great for low-levelish-user-land
things and spend most of my time developing tools and services in Ocaml
so I'd be interested to see it become more prominent in the BSD

>>> Interesting lessons in porting Tor Browser (essentially Linux software)
>>> to OpenBSD in regards to portability, footprints (er, bloat).
>>> Upstreaming portable BSD code, specifically thinking about OBSD's
>>> arc4random and libressl (libretls now? :).
>>> Another topic might be on entropy. In light of the FBSD breakage in the
>>> fall in -current and the critiques of Linux RNG, how do we know it's
>>> working?  What is good entropy? How do we know it's good? How many
>>> stupid ways do bad non-crypto developers try to replace a system's RNG?
>>> Finally, as always, we are going to work hard to keep the event as "BSD
>>> agnostic" as possible. All the BSDs should be represented, but also
>>> having more general speakers not tied to one project or another is a
>>> positive.
>>> Anyways, please feel free to jump into this topic.
> g

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