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 Jun 28, 2007

Ruggers '85 vs. Hackers '07

As I mentioned in my Haggis flashbacks entry last week, I had some pretty freaky deja vu moments while attending Debconf7 at Edinburgh University.

On arriving home I dug out my photo album from my '85-'86 year at Edinburgh and have paired some of those pictures with ones I took last week, 21 years later.

Enjoy...

Teviot Hall dining room -- 1986 


Rugby Club's Burns night supper

Teviot Hall dining room -- 2007


DebCon7 hackers lounge #1 (same lights but the pictures above the mantel are gone and the walls are now red).


Teviot Hall dining room -- South West Corner -- 1986

 
A toast to the Haggis 

Teviot Hall dining room -- South West Corner -- 2007

 
Much hacking (Notice the walls have been painted, an Exit sign has been added but the mantel and light fixture are the same). 

 

Upstairs at Teviot

 

 

 1985:  Burns night Ceilidh 2007: DebConf7 Ceilidh. (The dancers in the foreground are two of the hosts for DebConf8 to be held in next year in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

 

Upstairs at Teviot, the stage

 
 Ceilidh band 1985
 Ceilidh band 2007 -- featuring (on the far right) guest fiddler and Linux Journalist, Heike Jurzik.

 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.

Search

Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today