I've been in the New York City area this week, taking part in presentations to the local customer base on a variety of Solaris topics; in my case, focused on Solaris 10 patching
. Wednesday evening turned out to be a bit more intense than I bargained for, as Spencer
, Brian Wong and I were having an impromptu discussion with a customer after the day's event had concluded when there was a fairly loud bang, followed by a sustained, roaring rumble. At first it sounded like the thunder we'd had earlier in the day, but when it continued for more than 30 seconds, we looked out the window, and realized people were running away from our building. Taking that as a cue, we hurriedly shook hands and headed for the emergency exits. Turned out to be the steam pipe eruption (though we didn't know that for roughly an hour), which was only a couple hundred yards from Sun's NYC office on Park Ave. That chaotic scene also turned out to be the context for my first introduction to Ian
and Sara Dornsife as we scrambled down 41st St. Hopefully this isn't a harbinger for our collaboration on Indiana
! It was a relief to hear that the cause of all that chaos was a failure of some aging infrastructure rather than an intentional act, but that will do little to ease the pain of those injured in the accident. My deepest condolences to them; those of us who were in the area and got out unscathed really have to feel lucky. My thanks to Ambreesh
for his aid in getting to our hotel in NJ that night, as well as Isaac
for retrieving my stranded bags from Park Ave. Thursday morning.
In Solaris, we've got our share of aging infrastructure as well, very notably in packaging and patching. Its failures haven't been as dramatic as that steam pipe, but it's been failing nonetheless and becoming ever harder to maintain as the demands on it have increased. We've been doing our best to band-aid the patching situation for Solaris 10, the latest being the addition of Deferred Activation Patching, which provides a mechanism to safely apply complex changes to the system in contexts where Live Upgrade can't be used (I still recommend Live Upgrade as the preferred alternative). Even as we've been patching patching, though, we've well understood that a fundamental reconstruction of our packaging system is in order to solve the core issues and have been exploring approaches to that task. I'm delighted that Stephen has posted his initial observations on the topic, and I'd encourage everyone to give it a read and join the conversation. There will be much more to come in the next few weeks as this turns into a full-blown project on OpenSolaris.