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...

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...

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...

Monday May 12, 2008

AMD and OpenSolaris -- Margaret Lewis of AMD

Right before CommunityOne I caught up with Margaret Lewis, based here in Austin, who is the director of Commercial software at AMD.  We chatted about AMD's support and commitment to OpenSolaris.

My interview with Margaret (9:10)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • AMD's commitment to Open Source.
  • How AMD is setting up dedicated software resources in their center in Germany to focus on optimizing AMD's chips for OpenSolaris and how they are putting back all the changes.
  • AMD's virtualization work with the Xen hypervisor and how that feeds into the work that OpenSolaris has been doing.
  • AMD's work with Java and Java tuning.
  • AMD's power down feature, "PowerNow!"
Pau for now...

Intel and OpenSolaris -- Dave Stewart of Intel

Before the OpenSolaris launch I did an interview with Dave Stewart, the head of Intel's "Team Solaris."  Last week I got to meet him in person and snapped the pic below. 

Take a listen to hear what Dave and the team have been up to (they've been busy :).

My interview with Dave (9:06)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)

Dave at the CommunityOne party, proudly sporting his OpenSolaris Tshirt. 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • Intel's "Team OpenSolaris" in China and the US.
  • What Dave thinks are the coolest parts of OpenSolaris.
  • Where Intel has made most of its OpenSolaris contributions.
  • Project Tesla and Intel's effort with PowerTOP for OpenSolaris.
  • Whats coming up later this year and how Dave and co. are working to get their next family of chips, Nehalem to work really well with OpenSolaris.
Pau for now...


Tim Cramer -- OpenSolaris's Man in the Middle

Right before the the OpenSolaris 2008.5 launch I grabbed a few minutes with Tim Cramer who's recently been named the executive liaison to the OpenSolaris community.   In this role, Tim will be looking to strengthen the communication between Sun the corporation and the OpenSolaris community (his day job is Senior director of OpenSolaris core engineering). 

My interview with Tim (11:48)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)

Tim hoisting a Guinness at the GlassFish party the night before the Solaris launch. 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • Tim's background -- from super computer compilers, to Java performance, to NetBeans, to JavaFX to now.
  • Communication as the biggest issue over the past year and how Tim will work to make sure the community is never surprised by anything Sun does.
  • Who makes up the community and where Tim's looking to grow this.
  • Tim's goals for the next year: growing a healthy community, focusing attention on app developers and growing the repository.
Pau for now...

Friday May 09, 2008

Chatting with David Miner of OpenSolaris

Right before CommunityOne kicked off this Monday and OpenSolaris 2008.05 was launched, I was able to grab Dave Miner for a podcast.  Dave is another one of the big brains behind OpenSolaris and is the architect behind the install team. 

My interview with Dave (9:30)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)

Dave ready for the big day. 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • The gauntlet people previously had to run to install Solaris
  • Dave's involvement with Solaris install from member of the original team in '92 to rejoining and taking over the team a couple of years ago.
  • How they've streamlined the install process - Project Caiman
  • Building a LiveCD
  • Where Dave wants to take the install over the next year: jumpstart, server focus, distribution constructor project

Talking to Stephan Hahn and David Comay of OpenSolaris

I recently caught up with two of the big brains behind OpenSolaris, Stephen Hahn and David Comay to discuss the launch of OpenSolaris 2008.5 and a lot of the work and thinking that has gone into it.

My interview with Stephen and David (14:07)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)

Stephen and David toast the launch with their expensive crystal glasses at the OpenSolaris install fest at CommunityOne.

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • How to balance attracting new developers with making sure we keep the customers and developers who've traditionally been using Solaris.
  • Where we've borrowed from and what we've borrowed.
  • Stephen drills down on the Image Packaging System (IPS) and explains why we decided to roll our own.
  • How IPS compares to apt-get.
  • The easy conversion of system V packages to IPS.
  • Where OpenSolaris is heading over the next year
Pau for now...

Thursday May 08, 2008

Pics from CommunityOne & JavaOne

Here are a few pictures from earlier this week taken at CommunityOne and day one of JavaOne

Podcasts a comin'

In the next few days I will also be posting a bunch of podcasts I did while in San Francisco including a bunch from key OpenSolaris folks, a post-Distro-smackdown recording,  an interview with the Fedora IcedTea guys and a chat with the JRuby dudes.

Mr. Finch exits -- Before either event even began, the city was crawling with Java topped cabs.

CommunityOne and the Launch of OpenSolaris (this time for real)

Marten Mickos, Neelan Choksi and Ian Murdock hold forth on FOSS business models at RedMonkTwo

C1 Speakers: Jono Bacon (Ubuntu), Zonker Brockmeier (OpenSUSE), Mako Hill (FSF), Karsten Wade (Fedora)

Sun Software EVP Rich Green and RedMonk pundit Steveo Grady talk seriously under the disco ball at the OpenSolaris launch party. 

JavaOne - DayOne 

The MySQL Community Crew attend their first JavaOne as Sun employees (and find that that means they don't get the free backpack).  L-R: Jay Pipes, Giuseppe Maxia, Lenz Grimmer and Colin Charles.  

The post-keynote deluge. 

If you attend JavaOne you've gotta get your picture taken with Duke (there was a huge line).

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 03, 2008

OpenSolaris: A Sneak Peak with Ian Murdock

A little while ago I grabbed some studio time with Ian Murdock as a guest host of Sun's SDN channel.  We chatted about Ian's joining Sun and what he's been up to since he came aboard. 

The main focus was OpenSolaris and some of its new features like the new installer and the packaging system.  Ian also walked me through Developer Preview 2.  Check it out:

"Hmmm what stupid joke is he going to make next?"

(If you can't see the video above, try this.)

I'm quite excited for next month when OpenSolaris makes its official debut. 

And as if all this wasn't enough, at the end of the clip I join the Geek Gadget Guru.

Pau for now... 

Friday Mar 28, 2008

OpenSolaris Governing Board -- Results in

After a dramatic pause, the results are in for the OpenSolaris Governing Board (OGB) for 2008-2009.  It was a really good group of candidates and I enjoyed getting the opportunity to interview the majority of them.

Here is the new board along with the interviews I conducted (so you can make sure that they stick to their campaign promises :) 


John Beck (7:26)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

Alan Coopersmith (7:41)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg) 

Glynn Foster (7:36)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

Jim Grisanzio (8:30)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

Stepehen Lau    Read\*

Simon Phipps (8:02)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

John Plocher (7:44)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

\* Stephen was on vacation so he emailed his responses in.


The new board will take office next week on April 1 (an auspicious day)  Best of luck to all in an exciting new year in the young history of OpenSolaris!

Pau for now...

Wednesday Mar 26, 2008

OGB Elections and Dangling Electronic Chads

I was hoping today to be able to announce the victors in the Open Solaris Governing Board election. 

It looks like, however that 33 ballots were spoiled due to a bug with the voting software. Those whose ballots have been lost have been contacted and they now have a couple of extra days to vote.  Not as sexy as dangling, pregnant or hanging chads but there you have it.

The new timeline 

The resubmission of lost ballets closes tomorrow and Friday the results will go public.

Pau for now... 

Wednesday Mar 19, 2008

The Last(?) OGB Interview: Joerg Schilling

Earlier today I interviewed Joerg Schilling in Berlin about his candidacy for the OpenSolaris Governing Board

I have now heard from all but two of the candidates and, given that voting stops on Monday, I'm assuming that this is the last.  That being said, if I hear from the other two and they're interested I am still up for doing another interview or two.  :)

Joerg Schilling (8:44)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

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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