Wednesday Aug 27, 2008

Mark Shuttleworth: from Debian Developer to Ubuntu Founder

The other podcast that I did while I was at Debconf8 down in Argentina was with the ever charming Mark Shuttleworth, Debian developer in a past-life and founder of the Debian-based Ubuntu.  Take a listen! (pay no attention to my sniffling and broken Spanish in the beginning :)

My interview with Mark (15:33)  Listen (Mp3) Listen (ogg)

If you havent met Mark he's 6'10" (notice the relative size of the cup).  As a student he was starting guard on the Capetown Krugerrands pro basketball team.\*

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • How mark got involved with Debian back in '93-- he noticed the lack of an Apache package so he banged one together and contributed it
  • After he sold his first company, what drove him to found Ubuntu and why did he choose to base it on Debian?
  • What is the business model behind Canonical and how has it evolved over time, particularly when in the case of Ubuntu, "the bits are free" (from technical support contracts to custom engineering)
  • Where will Ubuntu most likely get traction in the enterprise, via the server or desktop?
  • The trends Mark sees in the industry today
  • The Ubuntu+Red Hat+SUSE+ IBM "Microsoft-Free desktop" announcement that was made at Linux World and how this represents "a shift in what's possible"
  • Where Mark sees Ubuntu two years from now, what its like being your own angel investor and does Mark have an exit strategy?

\*(Mark really isn't 6'10 and I don't think there is such a team as the Capetown Krugerrands).

Pau for now...

Friday Aug 22, 2008

An Inside look at Debian -- Chatting with DPL Steve McIntyre

Down in Argentina I grabbed some time with Steve McIntyre, Debian's 11th project leader since its founding 15 years ago.  Steve has been on the job since April of this year and I checked in to see how it was going.

My interview with Steve (17:36)  Listen (Mp3) Listen (ogg)


Right after this picture was taken Steve took second in the Mar Del Plata Caber toss

Some of the Topics we tackle: 

  • What Steve's been doing his first four months on the job
  • The survey he sent out to all the teams to see what was working and what wasn't, and what he learned
  • Progress on the search for the sender of the death threats
  • The dunc-tank brouhaha and how things have quieted since then
  • The power of derivatives (e.g. Ubuntu, the City of Munich, Spain...) and trying to make it easier for them to contribute back.
  • How decisions are made in this organized chaos -- a do-ocracy rather than a democracy and how things be dictatorial as a release nears
  • How Debian is similar to kernel.org

Extra credit reading: Debian GNU/Linux: 15 years old and at the Crossroads


Pau for now...

Thursday Aug 07, 2008

Gordon Haff of Illuminata shares his views from OSCON

My last podcast from OSCON is with industry pundit Gordon Haff of Illuminata (I actually also recorded an interview with someone from Amazon Web Services but their PR department nixed it after the fact). 

I originally did an interview with Gordon at the Red Hat Summit back in June but due the vagueries of technology, it vanished.  Gordon was kind enough to give me a make up in Portland.

My interview with Gordon (15:04)  Listen (Mp3) Listen (ogg)


A man of many words. 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • Why Gordon was attending OSCON.  It has something to do with "philosophical underpinnings."
  • Red Hat as the most successful pure-play Open Source software company.
  • How IBM has used Open Source to sell proprietary software.
  • While Microsoft may be "Dead in Theory," it keeps turning a profit.
  • Ubuntu's chances in the enterprise space
  • Sun, a clear set of strategies around Open Source.  What about execution?

For more Gordon-from-OSCON, check out this piece he did from up there: The Attribution Problem

Pau for now...

Monday Aug 04, 2008

Talkin' with the Open Solaris Dudes

At OSCON I was able to assemble three of the Open Solaris folks to hear about what had been going on since their launch back at CommunityOne.  I corralled OGB board members Glynn Foster and Stephen "I don't work at Sun anymore" Lau as well as, package-meister, David Comay.

My interview with Stephen, David and Glynn (17:42)  Listen (Mp3) Listen (ogg)

(If you are interested in seeing what the interview looked like, check out Stephen's pics that he took realtime.)  


Glynn, David and Stephen:  We are family, I got my brothers with me. 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • Whats coming in the next release (OpenSolaris 8.11) due in November
  • Building up the repository.  Pushing packages every two weeks.  Looking to set up a repo for "encumbered-ware."
  • IPS and its integration with ZFS.
  • The challenges the OGB is focusing on: scaling and getting projects and communities the resources they need.
  • When we might see a Long Term Support version of OpenSolaris.
  • Intel's contribution to the kernel
  • Using Virtual Box to install OpenSolaris on Macs and Windows.
Pau for now...

Wednesday Jul 30, 2008

Sam Ramji of Microsoft Tells all

Last week at OSCON I ran into Sam Ramji, head of Microsoft's worldwide open source and linux team, outside of Starbucks.  He had a back-to-back meetings lined up that day but since my podcast last year was singularly responsible for his rise within Microsoft, he cut out some time for me.  [BTW, this was the day before their Apache announcement] Here is the result:

My interview with Sam (11:02)  Listen (Mp3) Listen (ogg)


I came bearing gifts.  Sam holding a real operating system (turns out he already had BeleniX loaded)

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • His new position and team (its grown from 12 to 112 people and spans 65 countries) and what they're responsible for.
  • Strategy without execution is hallucination
  • The two licenses Microsoft submitted (one BSD-like and the other copyleft and which allows dual licensing), and got approved by the OSI last year.
  • The importance of interoperability and making sure MS stuff works well with Linux/Solaris etc.
  • The work they've been doing with the Jeremy Allison and the Samba team
  • Ballmer's recent quote regarding Open Source and "recovering their agnosticism"
  • What Sam's proudest over the last year and shout outs to team members.

Want more Sam?  Check out this Infoweek article, also from OSCON.


Pau for now...

Friday Jul 18, 2008

Fedora's Max Spevack chat's about Community Management

Last but not least, here is my final podcast from the recent Red Hat Summit  and FUDCon.

I chose to close my series with the interview I did with former Fedora project leader and community manager Max Spevack.  It seemed a fitting way to end cuz after all, its all about community anyway, innit?.

My interview with Max (20:27)  Listen (Mp3) Listen (ogg)


Rumor has it that Max has been in talks with Ralph Lauren to replace the polo player with the Fedora logo. 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • The history of Fedora and how Max got involved, making the transition from Slackware, as well as his journey from QA to community.
  • How the Fedora leaders prior to Max had been tech-superstars whereas his skills are stronger in the softer areas e.g. community building
  • Its about leadership 101, not computing; The power of persuasion and "Thank You"
  • The Fedora culture and the fine line between clever and stupid working hard and being a workaholic.

The next FUDCon

And speaking of FUDCon, I saw where Max recently sent out an email about the next one which will be held in Brno, Czech Republic, from September 5 - 7, 2008.

Pau for now...

Wednesday Jul 16, 2008

DGilmore on the Fedora SPARC port

Continuing in my series of podcasts from the Red Hat Summit  and FUDCon, here is an interview with Dennis Gilmore the soft spoken ex-Aussie and key member of the Aurora SPARC Linux project.  Dennis is a Fedora community member but, as I found out, doesn't work for Red Hat but instead is employed by One Laptop Per Child.

My interview with Dennis (10:40)  Listen (Mp3) Listen (ogg)


Former Aussie and current Cubbies fan. 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • Fedora and its quest to support SPARC
  • Making it so OpenJDK can run on SPARC -- How thanks to the hard work of Dennis and others, OpenJDK for SPARC  32 and 64 patches have been sent up stream and accepted so all flavors of GNU/linux can benefit.
  • The packages are now available on the Aurora mirrors.
  • How Aurora rose like a majestic phoenix from the ashes of the former official Red Hat SPARC port
  • Dennis' passion for obscure Hardware and the mini-home datacenter in his basement
  • How Dennis got involved in the world of Fedora and SPARC
Pau for now....

Friday Jul 11, 2008

Talking with Zmanda's CEO, Chander Kant

At the Red Hat Summit I was able to grab sometime with Chander Kant, CEO of open source back-up provider, Zmanda.

I had previously met Chander at the MySQL conference where they were named a partner of the year, but we didn't get a chance to talk much.  It was pretty cool to hear about how he originally identified the opportunity for Zmanda and then built a business around it.

My interview with Chander (13:27)  Listen (Mp3) Listen (ogg)

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • How Zmanda was founded around the Amanda project, and how Chander realized there was a business to be built around it.
  • How Zmanda's subscription-based model works and how they offer both community and enterprise editions
  • The OS's they support including the wide range of distros
  • Working with Amazon in the S3 cloud for the past 18 mos.
  • GPLv2 and the watchful eye Chander is keeping on v3
  • How to get involved in the community
  • What the future holds (hint: some of it involves an announcement re. Oracle, better ZFS integration and much more)
Pau for now....

Monday Jul 07, 2008

Chattin' with The Linux Foundation's Executive Director, Jim "Led" Zemlin

I'm back from my week of vacation and am ready to pick up where I left off with the interviews I conducted at the Red Hat Summit/FUDCon last month.  After today's, I will have three left: Dennis Gilmore, Max Spevack and Chander Kant of Zmanda.

The Honourable James Zemlin

On the first day of the Summit I was able to grab my buddy Jim Zemlin, the Executive Director of the Linux Foundation for a spirited discussion about the Foundation, Linux and a bunch more. 

My interview with Jim (15:55)  Listen (Mp3) Listen (ogg)


Jimmy Z, all badged-up and ready to roll! 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • What exactly does the Linux Foundation do? 
  • Fighting the anti-Linux FUD that comes from Microsoft and "others"
  • List of events coming up that the LF is involved with like the Kernel Summit and the Plumbers Conference.
  • Props for Sam Ramji of Microsoft
  • How Marten Mickos did at the Linux Foundation summit
  • Will Sun release more of its Free Software under the GPLv2?
  • IBM and their mix of Free and proprietary Software
  • What Jim plans to do at the RedHat Summit
Pau for now...

Thursday Jun 26, 2008

Sun and Red Hat talk Open JDK

At last week's Red Hat summit I grabbed Boston local and Sun employee Rich Sands and Toronto-ite/Red Hat employee Tom Fitzsimmons for a podcast.  Rich is the Sun marketing guy for OpenJDK and Tom is one of the key engineers at Red Hat who've been working on IcedTea/OpenJDK.  (Last time I met Tom was at JavaOne where we did this podcast).

The day was a particularly auspicious one for not only was it the day Boston was celebrating the Celtics victory with a humungous parade, but it was also the day it was announced that the OpenJDK in Fedora 9 passed the Java TCK.

My interview with Tom and Rich (13:25)  Listen (Mp3) Listen (ogg)


Rich Sands of Sun (left) and Tom Fitzsimmons of Red Hat (funny thing is Tom is only 5'8") 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • The people who make up the Red Hat/Fedora Iced Tea team.
  • The significance of passing the TCK and what a milestone achievement it is
  • Tom as the demo-dude floor demonstrating OpenJDK in Fedora on the show floor and the reactions he's been getting.
  • What's coming for Fedora 10
  • What about the Java plugin and Webstart from Sun and the implementations of these that Fedora has created
  • JRuby and Jython running on OpenJDK in Fedora
Pau for now...

My Interview with Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst

Figuring I had nothing to lose, the first day of the Red Hat summit I introduced myself to Red Hat's new CEO and president, Jim Whitehurst and asked if he would be up for a podcast. 

Instead of making up some plausible excuse, he was very receptive and gave me his card.  He also gave me his cell number and told me to give him a call the following day to set something up.

When we got together I was very impressed with how approachable and down to earth Jim was as well as his excitement and enthusiasm for his job.  Take a listen...

My interview with Jim (12:10)  Listen (Mp3) Listen (ogg)


Fedora fan #1, Jim Whitehurst

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • How Jim heard about the opportunity at Red Hat
  • Jim's programming background and his work at Delta as COO
  • Matt Szulik is the visionary, Jim's emphasis is on execution and "focus, focus, focus"
  • Red Hat is "all in" when it comes to open source and how their last non-free offering (RHN satellite) went free that day.
  • Proprietary software isn't wrong, open source is simply a better model (that being said, he'd love to see IBM open source DB2)
  • His conversation with Jonathan Schwartz and the challenge that Jonathan faces
  • Reaching out to other open source players and taking them to dinner
  • What are Jim's biggest opportunities and challenges
  • Jim's key areas of focus for Red Hat (a couple of which are virtualization and making sure Linux is "cloud ready")
Pau for now...

Wednesday May 28, 2008

Talking with Meena: Open HA Cluster - Whole Enchilada now Open-sourced

As of today, the third, final and largest code release for Open High Availability Cluster has been made available.  This now means that all of the Open HA Cluster code is available as free software.   This will allow developers and admins to access and build complete HA solutions built on source code from the OpenSolaris project.

Right before the launch I grabbed some time with Meenakshi Kaul-Basu, the engineering director at Sun responsible for Availability products, and whose group the Open HA Cluster falls under.  Take a listen to Meenakshi's explanation of the event and her insight:

My interview with Meenakshi (9:29)  Listen (Mp3) Listen (ogg)

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • The first phase of the open code release was the Cluster agent in June of last year.  Phase two was in December and and was for the Geographic edition.
  • This third release represents nearly two million lines of code (and this number doesn't include the test code).
  • In addition to code it also comes with docs and internationalization functionality as well as the above mentioned automated testing.
  • Open HA cluster is tightly integrated with built-in OpenSolaris features like ZFS technology.
  • Integration of Open HA Cluster with free software apps like ,Apache TomcatMySQL, PostreSQL, Glassfish...
  • Where can you get started? (Here
  • How to join the discussion (HA cluster forum)

BTW: for a bevy of engineering details, check out Oasis, the Sun Cluster group blog.


Pau for now...

Thursday May 15, 2008

Talkin' with Charlie and Tom, the JRuby Guys

Last week, at the end of JavaOne day one, I was able to grab the JRuby dynamic duo for a podcast.  Tom Enebo and Charlie Nutter turned out to be really nice guys, must be their midwestern roots, and were a pleasure to talk to (I also learned a lot :). 

My interview with Tom and Charlie (14:19)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)


Charlie Nutter and Tom Enebo -- the JRuby dyanmic duo (and wearing the shirts to prove it).

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • A historical background, Ruby, then Rails, then JRuby.
  • What the guys were doing pre-Sun and how Tim Bray lured them to the fiery orb.
  • Three licenses is better than one (GPL, CPL, LGPL)
  • How JRuby is working with GlassFish and NetBeans.
  • The DaVinci machine project, jMaki and what ever happened to AJAX?
  • Might we see a JPerl?
  • Looking to get more involved with MySQL
Pau for now...

 

Wednesday May 14, 2008

Linux Distro Smack Down - the Podcast

As promised, after individual presentations at last week's CommunityOne I brought together the community leaders of three of the top GNU/Linux distros (Zonker Brockmeier, OpenSUSE; Jono Bacon, Ubuntu; Karsten Wade, Fedora), threw in Glynn Foster of OpenSolaris and moderated a no-holds-barred panel.  (It took them three hours to clean up the blood afterwards!!)

Although the panel itself wasn't recorded, immediately after it concluded, the five of us headed to the make-shift podcast studio we had set up at the event and recorded the following discussion.  Listen at your peril!

My Discussion with the panel (44:08)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)


No glasses? No facial hair? Get in the back.
Zonker Brockmeier, OpenSUSE; Jono Bacon, Ubuntu; Karsten Wade, Fedora;  Glynn Foster (standing), OpenSolaris
 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • How the gentlemen balance the needs of the community with the needs of their corporate parent.
  • Working with upstream providers.  Is the heat Ubuntu gets on this subject justified? Karsten's mantra (Glynn, a former GNOME director, also offers a perspective from the upstream)
  • Shout-outs to Debian
  • Governance and how each of the distros handles it (the community/corporate split and who picks the members)
  • In the last third of the podcast we head off in to the realm of the philosophical and address Free vs. Non-Free software, the "Vocal Minority," Richard Stallman, mini-Stallman's and all things holy.
Pau for now...

Tuesday May 13, 2008

OpenJDK and IcedTea, A view from the Fedora side

Last week, on the first day of JavaOne, I was serendipitously able to grab Tom Fitzsimmons, (the owner of Iced Tea) Patrick Macdonald (Tom's boss) and Karsten Wade (community contact for OpenJDK) from Red Hat for a podcast.  We sat down and talked about the journey to get OpenJDK into Fedora that began in earnest last JavaOne.

BTW today just happens to be the launch of Fedora 9.  Congratulations to the whole Fedora community!
 

My Talk with Tom, Patrick and Karsten (23:43)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)


Patrick, Tom (kneeling) and Karsten -- helping to put the "Open" in Java.
 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • Attacking the "remaining 4%" to get OpenJDK into Fedora ASAP (leveraging GNUClasspath components)
  • FOSDEM 2007 -- building bridges with the Sun crew 
  • Trademark issues and the birth of "IcedTea"(Fitz really did go back to his hotel room and hack rpms last JavaOne after OpenJDK was announced)
  • IcedTea -> OpenJDK in Fedora 9.
  • OpenJDK now available for RHEL5 and CentOS5 via EPEL and getting it ready to being moved into RHEL5 proper
  • NetBeans coming soon to a Fedora 9 update
Pau for now...
About

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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