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...

Tuesday Aug 19, 2008

Open JDK in Debian's Lenny -- Distro Grandslam!

Not long after I began my journey home from Debconf last week, OpenJDK officially made it into Lenny.  Lenny is Debian's next release and is due out late next month (fingers and toes crossed). 


Pitching OpenJDK to the Debian powers-that-be: Doko (lower left) explains the finer details of OpenJDK to Mark Hymers at Debconf while, Neil, Phil and Joerg look on.

Can't Swing a Dead Cat without hitting a Distro with OpenJDK Included

With inclusion in Lenny, OpenJDK is now in all of the top four FOSS GNU/ Linux distros and available for two more:

OpenJDK included in Available for

Thank Yous All Around

A big Mahalo to everyone working on Fedora, Ubuntu, OpenSUSE and Debian who made this possible with specific shout-outs to:

Pau for now...

Tuesday Aug 12, 2008

Update from Debconf Argentina + More Pics

Greetings from Day 3 of Debconf 8 here in lovely Mar Del Plata.  This is a much more mellow event that last years which was held in Edinburgh.  Given the distance for a lot of the folks this debconf has about half as many as last years (~200 vs. ~400).  That being said it has been quite productive in spite of (because of?) its languid pace. 

I'm meeting with the various folks here who are working on Java as well as SPARC ports.  Its looking really good for OpenJDK making it into Lenny but I'm not ready to pop the champagne cork just yet.  We should know for sure in the next day or two. 

Debian SPARC support

This is what I've learned this afternoon regarding Debian SPARC support:  Debian supports everything the upstream kernel supports (i.e. they don't do anything Debian specific to it). Starting with Lenny they will not be supporting the SPARC32 machines (sun4m architecture) but will support sun4u (pretty much all older 64-bit machines) and sun4v (Niagara) subarchitecture.

I've gotten two good podcasts that I look forward to posting after I get back, one with DPL Steve McIntyre and the other with Mark Shuttleworth of Ubuntu/Canonical who spoke this morning.  


The view from the room where the talks are held: the Casino and town square


Happy hackers hardily hacking 


The view from the room where the talks are being held #2 


The fishermen's club, long pier, restaurant and gigantic beer billboard in one.


The fountain in the square at night, like the Belagio in Vegas, the fountains "dance" to the music. 


The Casino (rumored to be the world's largest). 


Sampling the local fare. 


"We don't need no stinking garnish".  Argentines take their meat seriously. 

Pau for now... 

Sunday Aug 10, 2008

Opening Day Debconf8, Argentina

After 24hours of travel I finally arrived yesterday afternoon at the hotel here in lovely Mar Del Plata, Argentina.  I'll have to admit that I'm still confused by this whole Winter-in-the-Southern-Hemisphere thing with the cooler temps and sun setting early.


The Mar del Plata boardwalk.  The low building on the far right is the Casino. 

The Conference Kick-off 


Team Argentina - our hosts. 

A couple of hours ago the conference kicked off with an introduction from our local hosts who have been busting their butts over the last year to get ready for this week.

After that was the introductory keynote from the current Debian Project Leader (DPL), Steve McIntyre.  This debconf is special since it marks the 15th anniversary of the starting of the Debian project.

My notes from Steve's talk

  • It was 15 years ago that Ian Murdock sent out an email announcing the starting of Debian
  • There have been 11 project leaders since then, 10 releases
  • The releases, since the Toy Story theme was adopted, are in order:  Buzz, Rex, Bo, Hamm, Slink, Potato, Woody, Sarge, Etch and soon, Lenny.
  • The stats
    • There are 24,000 binary packages in Lenny (about 10k source packages)
    • 1000+ registered Debian developers
    • Millions of users (?)
  • The Good
    • Huge dedicated developer community
    • Huge number of packages
    • Widest architecture support of any distro
  • The Bad
    • History of struggling to release
    • Flamewars
    • People often not willing to work together
    • PR & artwork
  • Why does Debian Matter
    • Often described as the most important distro
    • Massive number of users
    • Free and Open
  • The Challenges going forward: Need to be able to scale
Stay tuned for more updates!


The Mar del Plata coatsline from the air. 


The Mar del Plata International Airport (I wonder if I could have flow here directly from Austin?)


The fishing club as the sun starts to go down.


I spent some time poking around the downtown area after I got in.

Pau for now...

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...

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...

Wednesday Aug 06, 2008

OpenJDK default Java Runtime in Ubuntu

Last week, Doko (pictured here), sent out a mail to the ubuntu-devel-announce list saying that, for Ubuntu's Intrepid release due in October, "OpenJDK6 is the default java runtime / development kit in main, on all architectures."

This marks a key accomplishment for the JDK which began its it relationship with Ubuntu in the multiverse repository thanks to the Distribution License for Java

The Road to Freedom 

In the last year or so the JDK has been liberated and with the help of the folks from the Iced Tea project, encumbrances have been removed one by one.  With the release of OpenJDK JDK moved into Ubuntu's Universe repository in 8.04

Now, as of last week, it is has moved directly into the heart of the Ubuntu distribution, Main!  With OpenJDK in Main this means that the flood gates are now open for all Open Source apps that depend on the JDK to, as community manager Jorge put it, "rock in Ubuntu."

Interested in Getting Involved?

If you want to get involved check out the Java Team on the Ubuntu wiki.  Here is the background from Daniel's blog.  Make your Java app rock in Ubuntu!  Rock on.  :)

Pau for now... 

Tuesday Aug 05, 2008

OpenBSD runs on HUGE list of Sun SPARC systems -- T1, T2 support coming in 4.4


OpenBSD and Niagara Support

Back in April I wrote that Mark Kettenis had succeeded in porting OpenBSD to the  SPARC Enterprise T1000 server.  Well just last week he reported that he had started working with the UltraSPARC T2 system that he received.   According to him and Bob Beck, the next release of OpenBSD (4.4) will ship with UltraSPARC T1 and T2 support in the sparc64 release.

The Laundry List

Theo DeRaadt, founder of OpenBSD, was also copied on this thread and sent the following list and comment (I'll have to agree, it is pretty impressive):

The current list of sparc64 machines that we now run on is a pretty impressive list. It starts all the way from the original machine to Sun's newest.

Ultra 1/1E
Ultra 2
Ultra 5/10
Ultra 25/45
Ultra 30/60/80
SPARCengineUltra AX
SPARCengineUltra AXe
SPARCengineUltra AXi
SPARCengine CP1500
Enterprise 150
Enterprise 220R
Enterprise 250
Enterprise 420R
Enterprise 450
Enterprise 3000/4000/5000/6000
Enterprise 3500/4500/5500/6500
Enterprise 10000
Sun Blade 100/150
Sun Blade 1000/2000
Sun Blade 1500/2500
Sun Blade T6300
Sun Blade T6320
Sun Fire V100/V120
Sun Fire V125
Sun Fire V210/V240/V440
Sun Fire V215/V245
Sun Fire V250
Sun Fire 280R
Sun Fire V480/V880
Sun Fire V490/V890
Sun Fire V1280
Sun Fire T1000/T2000
Sun SPARC Enterprise T1000/T2000
Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120/T5220
Sun SPARC Enterprise M4000/M5000/M8000/M9000
Netra X1
Netra 20/T4
Netra 120
Netra 210/240/440
Netra 1280
Netra 1290
Netra T1 100/105
Netra T1 AC200/DC200
Netra T 1100
Netra T 1120/1125
Netra T 1400/1405
Netra CP3060
Netra CP3260
Netra T2000
Netra T5220
Momentum Leopard-V
RDI/Tadpole Ultrabook 170/200
Fujitsu PRIMEPOWER 250/450
Fujitsu PRIMEPOWER 650/850
Fujitsu SPARC Enterprise T1000/T2000
Fujitsu SPARC Enterprise T5120/T5220
Fujitsu SPARC Enterprise M4000/M5000/M8000/M9000

There are still a few SPARC systems OpenBSD doesn't run on but given the tenacity of this team I'm sure its only a matter of time ;)  (Speaking of which, I'm going to see if I can help them locate a Tadpole Viper)


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...

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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