Friday Aug 08, 2008

Off to DebConf 8 and Argentina

I'm off in few hours to attend DebConf 8 in lovely Mar del Plata, Argentina.  The only bummer is that its winter down there so this seaside resort is going to be a bit chlly and as a result Im not able to pack as light as I usually do.  That being said, getting away from the string of 100 degree days that we've been having here in Austin isn't such a bad thing.

I had a great time at DebConf 7 in Edinburgh, particularly since it was a homecoming of sorts for me.  This time its exciting since I've never been to Argentina before and have heard great things. Like last year, Sun is a Silver Sponsor of the event.

On the software side, OpenJDK is in Sid and we've recently been granted a Freeze exception so keep your fingers crossed for Lenny.  While Im there I want to sync up with the various maintainers and find out what the status is around other stuff like Net Beans, GlassFish, MySQL, VirtualBox, Sun Grid Engine, jRuby and Jython.  On the Hardware side I want to talk to folks about the status of various SPARC ports.

I've also got my trusty podcast recorder so I hope to post a few of those when I get back as well. 

Pau for now...

Monday Jun 23, 2008

Back From Boston and the Red Hat Summit and FUDCON

The second half of last week I attended the Red Hat Summit and FUDCon which Sun and MySQL were silver sponsors of.  The events were co-located at the Hynes convention center in Boston. 

Although both events featured an impressive list of topics and tracks, other than the keynotes I spent the majority of my time meeting and talking to people.   One of my goals was to figure out how Sun can better work with Fedora to get more of our software into their distro. 

A few key Fedorans: Max Spevak, Dennis Gilmore, Tom "Spot" Callaway, Jeremy Katz, Paul Frields, Jesse Keating. 

President and CEO Jim Whitehurst chats with Fedora board member, Karsten Wade, while Spot keeps a watchful eye out for ninjas. 

Notes from Jim Whitehurst's two talks 

I saw Red Hat's CEO speak both at the opening keynote as well as to the assembled Fedorans at FUDCon.  Here are the high-level notes I took: 

The Keynote 

Jim has only been CEO since the beginning of this year and his speech was short on vision and long on reassuring the assembled customers, partners and developers that he was true to the company's open source vision. 

  • Red Hat is the leader in Open Source "period, full stop."
  • One of the greatest features of Open Source is that the best ideas win.
  • Jim discussed the recent patent settlement that Red Hat made talking about how it was the first time a patent settlement was made that was consistent with the GPL.
  • Red Hat will remain 100% Open Source and has no intention of becoming proprietary.
  • Job #1 is execute, execute, execute.
  • RH will be delivering more products this year than any other year in the past.
  • Service and Support are not career backwaters, the are key career paths.
  • Red Hat's weakness is they are not always the easiest company to work with.
  • The company's goal is to make community innovation accessible to their customers.
  • Jim talked about unlocking the closed software that is hidden away inside of corporations and gave the examples of JPMorgan and a Canadian Insurance company that turned projects of theirs over to the community

At FUDcon

Jim only spoke for about 20 minutes and then turned it over to questions from the audience.  I was impressed at how open he seemed and genuinely interested he was in the ideas and suggestions that came from the audience.   He was quite relaxed and let the session run over the allotted hour.

One area that he cleared up was Red Hat's desktop strategy which he said was to be a player in the enterprise desktop but not the consumer market.  Also when asked about the "Spaceman" he commented that he had never met Mark Shuttleworth but had some issues with the way Canonical did some things pointing out that while they may comply with the letter of the GPL, Ubuntu didn't necessarily comply with its spirit.

Stay Tuned

Right after the FUDcon talk I was able to grab Jim for a few minutes for a podcast.  I hope to have that up in a few days for all to hear. 

Sunset across the Charles taken at the Thursday night party at the Prudential Tower's Skywalk Observatory

Pau for now...

Tuesday Jun 17, 2008

In Boston for Red Hat Summit and FUDCon

I just got into Boston a couple of hours ago.  It sure is a heck of a lot cooler that Austin right now.

As the title of this blog alludes Im here to attend the Red Hat Summit and FUDCon which are co-located for the first time.  I'm looking forward to seeing some of the Fedora guys I met at JavaOne like Karsten, Fitz and Pat and meeting new folks.  I've got my podcast recorder with me and hope to grab a bunch of interviews.  Some potential targets: Jim Zemlin of the Linux Foundtaion, Gordon Haff of Iluminata, Brian Stevens Red Hat's CTO and a bunch of Fedora developers.  I'm also curious to see Jim Whitehurst speak and see if I might even be able to grab him.

BTW Bostonians must be glad to see me here.  Last time I was in Beantown the Sox won the series.  I'm sure my presence this time will be what it takes for the Celts to triumph over the Lakers.

Pau for now..

Update:  The Celtics won.  (Darn, I'm better than a rabbit's foot!)

Friday May 23, 2008

Ubuntu Developer Summit - Prague

On Monday this week I attended the first day of the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Prague.  The summit which just ended today, was intended to drive plans and decisions for the next Ubuntu release "Intrepid Ibex" which is due out on October 30th.  (Check out the reports from the summit here.)

Mark welcomes the masses while Jono scans the crowd for hecklers.

Sun had about 12 folks there representing GlassFish, Open JDK, NetBeans, Hudson, Sun Studio and MySQL.  We attended sessions, had side meetings and had a big Canonical/Sun sync up at the end of the day to talk about the slew of software we hope to get into Intrepid. 

This was my third UDS and my favorite so far -- I loved the location, I loved all the Sun participation and I loved getting to see people who are becoming old friends! :)

The Many Faces of UDS Intrepid


Rick Clark brings the Ubuntu server team to its feet. 

Post pow-wow pic: Kaj Arno (MySQL), Mark Shuttleworth (Canonical), Arseniy Kuznetsov (NetBeans), Matt Zimmerman (Canonical) 

Robert has a bazaar conversation with the NetBeans guys (Yarda & Arseniy) 

Abhijit and Nitya talkin' GlassFish 

The road we took to dinner. 

Pau for now... 

Thursday May 08, 2008

NetBeans in Mandriva Linux, Fedora next

One of the things I really enjoy about JavaOne is getting to meet other Sun employees from around the world whom I've only corresponded with via email or talked to over the phone.  Earlier this week I got to meet Jaroslav "Yarda" Tulach from our NetBeans team in Prague.

I had recently learned that Jaroslav, on his own time, had packaged NetBeans for inclusion in Mandriva 2008.1.   This effort also served as the basis for the work needed to get NetBeans into Ubuntu.  I had planned to blog about this before JavaOne but things got too crazy.  Now I'm able to post the entry and with a picture to boot!

Not only that but at JavaOne I learned from Tom Fitzsimmons of Fedora/RedHat that Jaroslav's work to get NetBeans into Fedora is coming along nicely and should result in NetBeans getting in a update for Fedora 9.  Tres cool!

Jaroslav, this Bud's for you (the real Czech kind not the crappy American brew). 

Wednesday Apr 30, 2008

Free Java in Ubuntu 8.04LTS; Coming soon to Fedora 9

Last week, with the release of Ubuntu 8.04LTS, came the debut of the JDK in Ubuntu's Universe repository.  

Universe? So What?

While the JDK had been in Ubuntu's Multiverse before, getting into Universe meant having JDK packages based on OpenJDK6 that were 100% free. This was made possible by the work of a lot of people at Sun and the community (most notably the folks at Fedora cranking on IcedTea).  

The effort to produce the Free implementation started in earnest, as Mark Reinhold points out, last summer when Joe Darcy began creating a Free software "JDK6 code base by removing new features from a clone of the JDK 7 code and then gradually working through the remaining encumbrances and other issues." 

Having a Free implementation of the JDK also opens the doors for packages that depend on a JDK being in Universe, one example being NetBeans, which also made its Universe debut in 8.04LTS. 

Fedora Next

Free Java also means that  Fedora 9 which is due out in a couple of weeks on May 13, will also be able to include an OpenJDK implementation (Fedora, unlike Ubuntu, only accepts Free software).   Specifically, according to Lillian at Red hat's blog, the java-1.6.0-openjdk  package will replace java-1.7.0-icedtea that was in Fedora 8.   Check out the details here on the Fedora wiki.  More hoopla to come on the actual release of Fedora 9.

Mahalo Doko

A huge shout-out to Doko, aka Matthias Klose, the Ubuntu Java ubermensch who did the actual packaging of OpenJDK and then went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that the latest versions of GlassFish and JavaDB made it into 8.04LTS as well.

Doko and me in an Edinburgh pub last summer at Debconf7.  I owe him a few more of what he's holding in his hand.

Java in Ubuntu -- A Trip down Memory Lane

The JDK first appeared in Ubuntu two years ago in the 6.06LTS release and was made possible by the DLJ (Distribution License for Java) which made Java technology redistributable.  One release later, the JDK was joined in Multiverse by some of its buddies: GlassFish, NetBeans and JavaDB.  In 7.10, the "Java Stack" while still in Multiverse was made up of rev'd component pieces.  And now with 8.04LTS, NetBeans and the JDK are both in Universe and GlassFish and Java DB have been updated. 

Stay tuned for Intrepid Ibex and see where Java lands next!

Java Component
Ubuntu 8.04LTS
Ubuntu 7.10 - Multiverse
Ubuntu 7.04 - Multiverse
Java Dev Kit   Universe: based on OpenJDK6
Multiverse:  6u6
NetBeansIDE  Universe: 6.0.1
5.5.1 v1
5.5, 5.5.1\*
GlassFish  Multiverse: v2u1 
Java DB  Multiverse: 10.3

\*in backport

Want More?

Pau for now... 

Sunday Apr 27, 2008

GNU/Linux Distro Smack Down! Only at CommunityOne

Fedora! OpenSuse! Ubuntu! -- Three community managers together on one stage!  And if that wasn't sick enough we're going add in OpenSolaris and one of their board members!

When?! Where?! How Much?!

One day only, Monday May 5 at CommunityOne at the Moscone Center in San Francisco! 

And the price of admission? FREE! FREE! FREE!  Free as in beer, Free as in Freedom, Free as you feel when you're riding your Harley down a twisting mountain rode at midnight listening to death metal and the wind is howling through your hair, like a banshee thats sooooo mad its not even funny!

Meet the Gladiators: 

 Fedora  OpenSUSE
Karsten "The Killer" WadeZonker "Bring it On" BrockmeierJono "No Mercy" Bacon
Glynn "Miles of Smiles " Foster
 Don't let the fact that three of the four of these gentlemen wear glasses fool you!

The Schedule - Monday May 5

These community warriors will each be given an hour to present their side of the story then we'll bring them all together at the end of the day for the first Free and Open Source panel ever to be held in a locked cage! 

No rules, no limits, no problem! 

12:25 - 1:20    Jono Bacon - Community leader Ubuntu Linux!

1:30 - 2:25     Zonker Brockmeier - Community leader OpenSUSE Linux!

2:35 - 3:30     Karsten Wade - Sr. Developer Community Manager!

4:00 - 4:45     Distro Panel: Jono, Zonker, Karsten + Glynn Foster - OpenSolaris Governing Board member, moderated be me!

You'll not want to miss this one!

Pau for  now...

Thursday Apr 24, 2008

Ubuntu 8.04LTS is Live -- Sun Systems First to be Certified!

A few hours ago, Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Long Term Support) made its worldwide debut.  Parties are being held by LoCo teams around the world and there is even an IRC bash that is currently going on.


This is Ubuntu's second LTS version and just like the first, Ubuntu 6.06LTS, this one has been certified to run Sun systems.   Not only that but so far Sun is the only major vendor to be certified on 8.04LTS. 

8.04 is a big deal because, as an LTS, it is supported with free patches and upgrades for five years on the server and three years on the desktop.  Normal releases are supported for 18 months on both the server and desktop.  This is Canonical's big run at the enterprise and its great to be a part of it!

Which Sun Systems?

Canonical has certified four Sun servers, three new ones and one which has been certified since the last LTS.  These servers represent both AMD and Intel based systems and, in the case of the AMD-based X2200M2 and the Intel-based X4150 the certification holds for both the dual and quadcore versions.  Also certified is the Intel-based Ultra 24 workstation which was first certified on the 7.10 release.

Ubuntu 8.04LTS
Ubuntu 7.10
Ubuntu 7.04
Ubuntu 6.06LTS
AMD Sun Fire X2100 M2 server certified

Sun Fire X2200 M2 server certified

AMD Sun Fire X4100 server certified certified certified certified
Sun Fire X4150 server certified

Sun Ultra 24 workstation certified certified


The Heron has landed - Congrats all around!

So a toast to the Ubuntu community, Canonical and Hardy Heron, a most excellent release!


Pau for now... 

Friday Apr 11, 2008

The Linux Foundation Summit: Of Maddogs and Englishmen (and Sharks)

Earlier this week I attended the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, serendipitously held here Austin.  It was a fantastic opportunity to meet a lot of the people in the community whom I hadn't met before as well as to catch up with old friends.

Maddog (R) helping Executive Director Jim "Led" Zemlin to Flourish 

Great Speakers
(and I'm not talking Bose, which really aren't great speakers anyway)

There was an impressive line up of panels and speakers the first day of the summit ranging from Al Gillen of IDC to the Kernel Hackers panel to Brian Stevens, CTO of Red Hat (here's a good write up of the panel and Al's presentation).  My personal favorite, and I may be biased, was Marten Mickos' presentation.  I thought he came across as sincere and relaxed, yet authoritative.  Marten re-affirmed MySQL's commitment to GNU/Linux and talked about the "New Sun" characterized by, among other things, a "bold and humble new management."

One thing that struck me, particularly during the Q&A session of the kernel panel, was the preponderance of Englishmen.  It seemed for a while there,  one question after another was being asked by someone sounding like Hugh Grant (or at least closer to M. Grant than Ricky Gervais). 

A Super Location 

The event was held at UT's Super Computing Center about 10 minutes from my office and the exact same place where, six weeks ago I attended the dedication of Ranger: the Sun Constellation Linux Cluster.  In fact during the Summit they had tours of Ranger, aka"the world's most powerful supercomputer for open science research." 

If you want to get a feel of what its like to walk-through this uber computer check out this video that  Whurley shot during the tour.

Qua bottle lounge, where Tuesday's fete was held: Below the plexiglass dance floor swam sharks and manta rays.

Open Source, Open Bar

Of  course the biggest value in a summit like this comes in the after hours get togethers where you really get to meet people.  The Summit was no exception.  While the breakfast spread at the conference was put to shame by the breakfast spread that the Free Software Foundation (the Free Software Foundation!) offered at its member meeting, the food and drink Tuesday night was first class. 

I can't remember the last time I've been to a truly open bar.  I reflexively asked for a beer at the bar assuming that beverages would be limited to beer and two colors of wine.  I was quite surprised then a little while later when the hostess asked the person next to me what they wanted to drink he asked for a vodka tonic.  From there on it was margaritas for me!

James Bottomley (kernel SCSI god) picks the second winner in the raffle. I was the first winner and will be getting the new HP mini note running SUSE, Yippee!

Old Apple buddies, Mark Murphy (now of Canonical and who has the pleasure of dealing with me on a regular basis) and Zaheda Bhorat (of Google and tireless ODF champion) 

Pau for now.... 

Wednesday Apr 02, 2008

The Heron Cometh (with some Sunshine on its shoulder)

We are now about three and half weeks from the debut of Hardy Heron aka Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Long Term Support).  This will be the second LTS for Ubuntu, the first being 6.06 (aka Dapper Drake),  and it will help to give Ubuntu greater credibility in the enterprise. 

Sun and Canonical worked together to certify Sun systems for the original LTS and have done so for every release from then on.  In the case of Hardy look for a few new systems.

On the software side when we last saw Sun's Java stack it was safely within the Gutsy (Ubuntu 7.10) multiverse.  Tune in on the 24th of April to see what progress our Java bits have made within the distro. :)

Hardy Heron -- What a long strange trip its been. 

Pau for now... 

Friday Mar 21, 2008

'Tis the Season: Debian Project Leader Elections

Well here in the U.S. the election primary season is in full swing (as if you didn't know).  Barack? Hillary? McCain? (Oh, and by the way did I mention enough times that I went to school with Barack/Barry?) 

The Open Solaris Governing Board is in the midst of its campaigning/elections with voting closing on Monday and the winners announced on Tuesday and the Debian GNU/Linux distro is in the middle of its Project Leader campaigning period.

Debian Project Leader '08 Elections

Voting for the Debian Project Leader runs between March 30 and April 13 with the victor ascending on April 17. 

In the running in this year's election are:

  1. Marc Brockschmidt  [platform]
  2. Raphaël Hertzog  [platform]
  3. Steve McIntyre  [platform]

The Line of Kings

For those of you interested in history, since its inception, there have been 10 project leaders for Debian:

  1. Ian Murdock (August 1993 – March 1996), founder of the Debian Project
  2. Bruce Perens (April 1996 – December 1997)
  3. Ian Jackson (January 1998 – December 1998)
  4. Wichert Akkerman (January 1999 – March 2001)
  5. Ben Collins (April 2001 – April 2002)
  6. Bdale Garbee (April 2002 – April 2003)
  7. Martin Michlmayr (March 2003 – March 2005)
  8. Branden Robinson (April 2005 – April 2006)
  9. Anthony Towns (April 2006 – April 2007)
  10. Sam Hocevar (April 2007 – present)
(The above taken from wikipedia.)

Who will be lucky #11? (not to be confused with client #9)

Good luck to all three and may the best man win! :)

Pau for now... 

Thursday Feb 21, 2008

Bring on Prague, Bring on the Intrepid Ibex!

Yesterday Jono Bacon announced that the next Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) will be held from May 19 - 23 in Prague.  This is very cool for two reasons: 1) I've never been to Prague and 2) our Net Beans team is located there and will be able to attend in force.

The intrepid Jono Bacon about to make his debut on the Sun's SDN channel.  (I'm hoping to get this interview posted in the not too distant future.)

The Prague UDS, like the others before it, will serve as the planning session for the upcoming release which in this case will be Ubuntu "8.10ish" (looks like the October timing isn't exactly set in stone at this point).  As is tradition, yesterday the release was also given a pre-release alliterative animal name.  Alphabetically Ubuntu is now on "I" and rather than going with something common like an Iguana, the four legged beast that Mark revealed was an Ibex and an Intrepid one at that. 

According to Mark the focus for this Fall release will be mobility i.e. the ability to access the web through a variety of wireless technologies to be able to move from the office, to the train, and home, staying connected all the way.  They are also looking to beef up the desktop version so that it also can serve as a high-end workstation.

Virtual box and Ubuntu

And speaking of Ubuntu, I recently came across this entry that tells how to install Virtual Box on Ubuntu in three easy steps.  As you may remember a couple of weeks ago Sun announced that we would be acquiring the company.  Hopefully the Virtual Box team will also be at UDS Prague and I can meet them there.

And last, but not least, lets not forget Ubuntu 8.04 Long Term Support (LTS) aka Hardy Heron.  This is Ubuntu's second LTS release and like the releases before will feature a lot of cool Sun Java Software.   We are about two months away from the April 24 release and counting...

Pau for now....

Friday Feb 08, 2008

Ubuntu wins big in France: High school French rampant

Ill have to admit, when I heard about Ubuntu's big win last week the first thing I thought was, what clever headline can I create using my limited French (I find using French in a blog adds a certain "je ne sais quoi")?

The gendarmerie's 70,000 desktops currently use Microsoft's Windows XP operating system. But these will progressively change over to the Linux system distributed by Ubuntu, explained Colonel Nicolas Geraud, deputy director of the gendarmerie's IT department.

Unfortunately I got distracted with other work and everyone else used all the good ones:

Wither Macedonia?

Given the above, what I want to know is last Fall when Ubuntu scored big in Macedonia, where were all the clever puns employing Macedonian?  Why in that case did the media opt instead to go with straight-forward, informative headlines e.g.

As the grandson of Macedonian emigrants, I want answers!

Pau for now.. 

Tuesday Feb 05, 2008

OpenSUSE Community gets "Zonked" - Congrats Joe!

Yesterday Novell officially announced that  Joe "Zonker" Brockmeier, would be the new OpenSUSE community leader.  Zonker will step in to fill a void that was created when Markus Rex was "loaned" by Novell to the Linux Foundation (you can read all about Markus's move to the Foundation in this article by Joe "Zonker" Brockmeier.)  

Yes, until last Friday Zonker was the editorial director at  Besides, Zonker has contributed to a bunch of GNU/Linux and tech related magazines as well as written and contributed to books about Slackware Linux, DocBook, Linux Networking, and other FOSS topics.  This type of a background along with the fact that he's neither from Novell nor the community should actually serve him well.  

Good community managers are folks who are into technology but not necessarily uber-hackers themselves, folks who are good communicators and who can deal with, placate and rally a bunch of different egos and styles.  By being from the outside he doesn't come pre-labled as either a Novell guy or a community guy but his background as an industry writer should give him some good insight.

From reading comments on Zonker's first OpenSUSE blog as well as some of the articles, it looks like one of the community's big hopes is that, with his background he will be able to grab more air time and mindshare for the two and half year old distro.  Being a good communicator will also be essential when the topic of the Novell Microsoft patent covenant comes up.  An issue that left many in the community with a bad taste in their mouth.

I noticed in his blog that he will be out at SCALE this weekend.  I hope to get a chance to meet him there and maybe even grab a podcast :)

Pau for now...

Monday Feb 04, 2008

Java Real-Time, on beyond Solaris -- Early Access available for GNU/Linux

As part of our drive to get Sun software into the hands of as many people as possible, at the end of last week an early access version of the Java Real-Time system (Java RTS 2.1 EA) was released for GNU/Linux.

At this point, support and testing for Java RTS 2.1 EA is limited to the SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time10 platform and the Red Hat Enterprise MRG 1.0 release (currently in beta).  That being said, as the Release Notes point out

since this EA release uses the real-time POSIX programming interface, it is possible that other properly configured Linux distributions that implement this interface can also run Java RTS 2.1_EA. Temporal correctness is still being worked on by the Linux community, but currently the OS configuration needs to include a 2.6.21 Linux kernel or later with the latest RT patch and a 2.5 glibc or later. (See the site to obtain the appropriate RT patch.)

If you want to check it out for yourself, evaluation downloads are available here.  And if you have any feedback, the team would love to hear.

Pau for now...


I look after Sun's relationships with the various GNU/Linux communities as well as our relationship with the FSF. Last year, my family and I emigrated from Silicon Valley to Austin, TX.


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