Chris Coleman from Daemon News has been working for some time on getting the various BSD distributions to collaborate on a shared ports collection, so that we can all benefit from each others' work. This is a wonderful goal to strive for, so when he called asking for some support from Apple, we agreed.
Note that Darwin is still at a stage where we are trying to get the system itself built and released in a timely fashion, which puts concerns about a ports system somewhat out in the future, but certainly it's going to be important once we're rolling along, and we would love to be able to take advantage of the already existing infrastructure pioneered by FreeBSD and expanded on by NetBSD. So while it might take some time before we're actively using and contributing to the new unified ports collection, David and I are both on the mailing list and we'll try to make sure that we'll be ready to jump in as soon as we're ready, so that Darwin and Mac OS X users can all participate.
OpenSSH somehow managed to sneak itself into the Mac OS X build train (wonder how that happened...); expect to see ssh support built into Mac OS X Public Beta. A tip of the hat to the OpenBSD folks for getting us an excellent ssh implementation under a free license, and to the Unix porting team that made the port to Darwin rather straightforward. Going forward, I want to start deprecating the use of telnet, ftp, (especially) rsh and other clear protocols in Darwin, replacing them with ssh, rsync-over-ssh, and so on.
Last week, I went to my first Burning Man festival. Now that's an experience. The desert environment and weather was at times quite brutal, but fortunately the attending citizens are overwhelmingly supporting of each other, and there was much borrowing and loaning of gear and supplies with our neighbors, then off to explore the city and much fun. I went for pretty much the whole week (took off Thursday and Friday to pick up some more people), which was a good thing. Early in the week, when the population is smaller and everything is getting built up, it was much mellower. Apparently while I was back in the Bay Area, the winds torn down some of the cooler camps, so had I only come at the end, I'd not have gotten to see them at all. Plus the weather in the latter half of the week was pretty cold, even during the day.
I had hoped to fly in, but my flight school didn't like the idea of dust all over the inside of their plane so much. I saw about 20 planes there by the end of the week, though, so it seems reasonable... I'll try harder next year. We camped next to the Black Light Light Brite camp, which had a giant Light Brite made of wood and lit up with UV lamps. It was excellent, and the guys camped there the most helpful bunch we could have camped next to. I had a blast, and next year I'll be more prepared.