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...

Wednesday Apr 23, 2008

MySQL Conf08 - My Interview with Jennifer Venable of Red Hat

Last Tuesday when I was walking the show floor at the MySQL conference, I ran into a familiar name,  Jennifer Venable.  I had never met Jennifer before but we had traded mails and had spoken on the phone.  This was about 18 months ago when we were negotiating the renewal of Sun's contract as an Authorized Distributor of Red Hat.  At that time, Jennifer was the Red Hat lawyer working on the contract.

Well since that time Jennifer has escaped from the Red Hat legal ranks and has joined the business side where, as of a couple of months ago, she took over as head of the Red Hat Exchange. 

Take a listen.

My interview with Jennifer (12:25)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)


The venerable Ms. Venable. 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • What is Red Hat Exchange (RHX) and where is now located within Red Hat's org.
  • The ISVs that RHX focuses on (open source ISVs that also offer support)
  • Whats an EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux) and how they sit between Fedora and RHEL.
  • How Jennifer made her way from legal beagle to RHX head.
  • The upcoming Red Hat Summit, June 18-20 in Boston, and how this year it will be co-located with FUDCon.
Pau for now...

Thursday Nov 08, 2007

T1000 - Euro Freedom fighters weapon of choice

Ok, so maybe the title is a bit of an overstatement but its good to see Free Software advocates in Europe making good use of the UltraSPARC-based Sun Fire T1000 servers.  Superfast, supercool (as in low power consumption and heat) and based on GPL'd chips -- whats not to like!? 

FSFE:  We got a T1000 and we're gonna use it!

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is doing a lot of great work advancing Free Software in Europe.  It is therefor very cool to see that they are using the T1000 we gave them to power the on-line presence for the FSFE community (aka the Fellowship) and deliver them new services.

 
FSFE president Georg Greve, in a picture from his blog -- armed and dangerous with the T1000.


Debconf7 -- checkin' builds in Auld Reikie on a T1000

For this past summer's Debcon7 held in Edinburgh we lent Team Debian a T1000 to compile builds on.  There was a rumor that it was also used to power the Ceilidh.


Teviot Student union at the University of Edinburgh where Debconf 7 was held. 

 
High up in the union's bell tower was the debconf server room.  Look at that T1000 go! 

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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