Wednesday Aug 01, 2007

My Interviews at Ubuntu Live, Day 1

As I mentioned a few entries ago, the studio at Sun armed me with a Flash mic before I left for Portland.  The idea was for me to try and conduct some guerrilla style interviews at Ubuntu Live and OSCON. I had no idea what I would come away with but Im quite psyched to say that in three days I taped 18 interviews.

I tried to capture a representative sample of the Free and Open Source Software community, or at least those folks who were actually willing to talk to me. I got CEOs, pundits, a kernel developer, a package maintainer, foundation folks, an actual user of Ubuntu on servers, someone from Microsoft and even trotted out my rusty Japanese for an interview in Nihongo with Horiguchi-san from Hitachi America and big a Ubuntu fan.

Here are the first six interviews which I taped on day one at Ubuntu live.


Here I am interviewing Mark (I lost the dorky headphones after this) 

1) Mark Shuttleworth CEO, Canonical Inc, Ubuntu founder        Listen (5:21)

  • Topics: A conversation with Mark right after the first set of keynotes on the first day of Ubuntu Live (a Sunday morning no less!)  We talk about the show, the new freedom flavor of Ubuntu (Gobuntu),  Benjamin Mako Hill's appointment to the FSF board, Mark's travels to the east and what he's seeing there as well as his favorite food when he's in China.
2) Tim Gardner, Kernel Developer, Canonical Inc.                    Listen (2:57)
  • Topics: What a kernel developer does, where Tim gets his source, how he gets his changes back into the Linux kernel as well as what Tim is working on right now that he's most psyched about.
3) Jane Silber, COO, Canonical Inc.                                         Listen (4:05)
  • Topics:  How it was putting together Ubuntu's first O'Reilly event; Canonical's worldwide strategy meeting in Eugene; sprints and Jane's goals for the event.
4) Daniel Holbach, Ubuntu Desktop Team, Canonical Inc.        Listen (3:38)
  • Topics:  Daniel was a tremendous help when Sun was packaging our apps for Ubuntu's Feisty Faun release.  I chat with Daniel about the process from a package maintainer's point of view as well as I learn about MOTU's and how to become one.  Daniel also lets us know where he likes to hang out when he's home in Berlin.
5) Stephen O'Grady, Analyst Redmonk                                    Listen (8:57)
  • Topics: How Redmonk got into the Free and Open source game (both as their area of focus as well as what they use to run their business on).  We discuss Stephen's keynote "where Ubuntu can go next" -- how the distro can build on the great success its had, move on beyond apt-get and how the online desktop plays in; Mark Shuttleworth's mark on the GNU/Linux world.
6) Jono Bacon, Ubuntu Community Manager, Canonical Inc.   Listen (10:11)
  • Topics:  How the first 9 months of the job have been, whats a community manager do and how does it feel to be stuck in the middle between the Ubuntu community and Canonical.  We also chat about the history of LUG radio and why its more than simply 4 loud Englishmen shouting and swearing.  And finally, if ever anyone finds themselves in Wolverhampton, what should one do for fun.

Be sure and tune in next time for the next six interviews from Ubuntu Live.

Endnote: The above files are in mp3 (thanks Patrick),  you can grab the ogg versions here.  I would also like to give an endorsement for the Levelator, which Simon turned me on to.  It was absolutely brain dead easy to use and it basically normalizes volume, and cleans up the file for you. And its Free as in Beer and Free as in Freedom.

Pau for now...

Wednesday Feb 07, 2007

OpenSolaris: To 3 or not to 3, that is the Question

Well we're at an exciting point here on the "eve" of the release of GPLv3.   In light of the impending release the question has been raised, does it make sense to dual license OpenSolaris under both CDDL and GPLv3?  As OpenSolaris is already licensed under CDDL this means that the question on the proverbial table is whether to add GPLv3.  Obviously, since GPLv3 has not been released, its difficult at this point to definitively pledge support for the license or to rule it out.  That being said, however, it is an appropriate time to start soliciting opinions from the community(ies).  Whatever the final decision is, it cant be one that Sun makes in a vacuum or that is dictated to the community.

Stephen Harpster, engineering director for OpenSolaris, kicked off the dialog a week ago by soliciting feedback from the community on the idea of dual licensing Open Solaris under GPLv3  .  The funny thing is no one responded...just kidding, it has produced a maelstrom of impassioned responses.  Rather than trying to sum up the nature of the comments im going to take the easy way out and point you to Stephen O'Gradys blog from Saturday since he has done a great job of  capturing the issues. 

So thats the topic of the current community and its members...what about new members we want to attract?  One of the biggest reasons that Sun would look to add GPLv3 is to win over new converts to  "Free" Solaris and to grow the community by bringing in folks from the GNU/Linux world.   What I personally would love to see is for the GNU crew to take the Solaris kernel, wrap it in a GNUserland and create a distro that would be as easy to install as Ubuntu (which I, a marketing guy, installed recently in six easy steps that caused no feelings of  inadequacy or anxiety).   We could keep a rocket-scientist Solaris distro but why shouldnt there be multiple distros based on the Solaris kernel for various user types?

So this leads to the question, what does the FSF, the champion of GPLv3, think of all this?  Rather than pondering via inference and guesswork, we asked them.  At the end of last week, Stephen, Simon, Sara and I held a call with Peter Brown, executive director of the FSF, and a team from the FSF to get their thoughts on the possibility of dual licensing OpenSolaris.  Peter and crew were very receptive to the idea and gave us some thoughts to ponder.  It was a very good call and we ended with Peter and team agreeing to put their heads together and think through the most effective way they could help us with our decision.   The FSF'ers recognize the sensitivities around the topic and were going to give a think about how to weigh in and in which forums would be most appropriate to share their views with the OpenSolaris community as well as  Free Software advocates.

Im very interested to hear what they come back with.  Stay tuned...


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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