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Date:      Sat, 30 May 2020 23:03:59 +0000
From:      Brandon helsley <>
To:        Polytropon <>
Cc:        Matthew Seaman <>, "" <>
Subject:   Re: FreeBSD Cert
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <> <> <> <>, <>

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So to find out the legality of licensing to port a program to freebsd do al=
l I have to do is contact that programs website. And then source code is qu=
ite easy to obtain I see. It would just be on git hub right. For the execut=
able script and profiles and config files l, I guessing the porters handboo=
k is how you fashion those in working order?

Sent from Outlook Mobile<>;

From: Polytropon <>
Sent: Saturday, May 30, 2020 4:54:21 PM
To: Brandon Helsley <>
Cc: Matthew Seaman <>; <fr=>
Subject: Re: FreeBSD Cert

On Sat, 30 May 2020 16:28:00 -0600, Brandon Helsley wrote:
> Before you all go will you help me make sure I am bottom posting
> correctly with k9mail first [...]

Make sure the indentation characters are "> " (note the space);
even though this should be quite standard, it's worth verifying.
Delete passages of the previous message you're not replying to.
You also don't need to include user-specific signatures and such.
If you have a look at the message archives, for example for this
mailing list, you can see how the preferred style of discussion
is on the FreeBSD mailing lists. As you will see, there are
several styles, but all of them have in common that they make
it easy to follow a discussion thread, to see "who wrote what"
in a convenient way.

You can take _this_ message as an example. ;-)

> [...] and answer my question about the intended path of education
> to at least get started maintaining ports.

As it has been pointed out, the FreeBSD-provided resources are
important, such as The Porter's Handbook. There is also nothing
wrong in reading a good real book about FreeBSD, and exercising
using a FreeBSD system, no matter if this happens in a VM or on
bare metal.

I'm not sure certifications are a way to go here. In general,
those seem to confirm, on shiny paper, that you have paid the fee
for obtaining that shiny paper. In some cases, you need to show
that you actually did understand something, in a test. Yes, this
sounds as if I don't believe in certifications, but reality
is... I don't believe in certifications because I have seen
too many that aren't worth the shiny paper (and definitely
not the money paid) except that they enable job positions
by their existence, not by knowledge and experience of their
holder. This might be specific to Germany where upper-class
HR management believes in "the power of shiny paper", so please
don't see this as a discouragement to take a course where you
actually benefit (!) from it.

However, personally, I found that self-guided learning is
the better way, at least for people who are able to direct
themselves (and yes, this is not universal to everyone).
You said you're interested in networking, so this is a good
entry point. See The FreeBSD Handbook for the networking
chapters and start experimenting; find a port that deals with
networking and become a maintainer, or create your own software
port for something that you feel is missing on FreeBSD. That
could be, for example, a GUI tool to interface with system
tools and system files to manage local network settings. :-)

> I'm a quick learner and would maintain a lot of ports.

It's not about the amount, but also about the quality of port
maintainership. Especially software that receives security patches
is worth being maintained in a quick manner, such as, for example,
a SSH server or a web server or a crypto component, or a library
that is being used as an essential part of such software. In
such cases, providing good and fast solutions to a new problem
is the key.

Depending on _what_ you want to maintain, the learing course you
should take can be quite different. As mentioned, first of all
you should make yourself familiar with the port building infra-
structure and tools. You should furthermore be sufficiently
skilled in the programming language(s) the desired port uses.
This can be from a wide range: Ports that contain device drivers
often use C and assembly, GUI ports can use C++, and you'll find
lots of software written in Python; other software is "just" a
shell script... so the ultimate answer is: It depends. :-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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