DTrace on SDNtv

I was recently interviewed about DTrace for SDNtv, Sun's Developer Network Channel. You can watch the video in a browser or download it and watch it later.

For the interview we discussed what DTrace is, what DTrace can do, and I ran the colortrace demo. It was a short interview aimed at introducing people to DTrace for the first time.

I found SDNtv itself quite interesting: the host I had, Mark Herring, was technically savvy and both understood DTrace and knew what best to ask. It was also filmed in one take - that was a big suprise - I've always assumed such interviews are cut together creatively, but this was a real interview filmed in one shot.

But what is especially interesting is the idea of videoing Sun engineers as they discuss their own products, and making those videos publically available. Not that long ago (6 years?), I remember being a Sun customer in Australia who was trying to learn more about Solaris and the kernel, and in particular (being a code geek and a Unix history geek) I wanted to know who wrote what and why. There was very little public information about Sun's engineers - it seemed that the very names of the engineers were confidential. And, growing up in Australia, there were no conferences to visit where Sun engineers gave presentations, like there are in the US.

When Bryan first emailed me in early 2004 suggesting I check out something new called DTrace, I had no idea who Bryan was. I remember staring at his sig and thinking "I wish I knew who this guy was". A quick Internet search didn't help much (try that now!).

Times have changed. Engineers now have blogs, and discuss source code on OpenSolaris mailing lists. And SDNtv lets you see and hear them speak!

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Brendan Gregg, Fishworks engineer

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