Monday Sep 22, 2008

Left in the Street in Beijing

I'm in Beijing for the week. Just got in. Really wild ride to the hotel from the airport. The driver got lost. Three times. Ok, it happens. Not a big deal. He was a charming fellow and trying very hard to please me. But each time he stopped and got out to ask for directions, he left the car running in the street. In the middle of the street. In traffic. With me in it. Now, Beijing is known to be a rather busy place. In fact, it's one of the most densely populated places on the planet. And with the lines on the road being mere suggestions, why would you park your car in traffic with a customer inside as you dart through oncoming traffic to ask for directions from the guy all the way over there on the sidewalk? I must admit, this has never happened to me before. Fortunately, the guys in the gigantic trucks were able to see the car in time and dodge around me with horns blasting. Got my attention, though, that's for sure.

Saturday Feb 11, 2006

OpenSolaris Charter: Approved

This past Wednesday the OpenSolaris Community Advisory Board (CAB) voted to approve the OpenSolaris Charter after many months of conversation. Today, Sun Microsystems also approved the Charter, and the document was signed by Glenn Weinberg, vice president of Sun's Operating Platforms Group.

The OpenSolaris Charter enfranchises the "OpenSolaris Governing Board (OGB) to manage and direct an OpenSolaris community in its efforts to improve upon and advocate in favor of OpenSolaris, so that the community may long endure."  The current CAB members now comprise the initial OGB, and their first order of business is to create an OpenSolaris Constitution. These governance conversations have already begun, and the documents will be written, debated, iterated, and ratified in the open -- just as the development of the Charter was done in the open.

Congratulations to the five CAB members -- Simon Phipps, Al Hopper, Roy Fielding, Rich Teer, Casper Dik -- as well as to OpenSolaris engineers Stephen Hahn and Keith Wesolowski for all their efforts in writing, editing, and debating the Charter. Also, a special thanks goes out to those OpenSolaris community members who provided valuable feedback on the drafts.

Tuesday Apr 05, 2005


Here's the OpenSolaris Community Advisory Board -- Rich Teer, Simon Phipps, Roy Fielding, Al Hopper, Casper Dik. Jonathan's not on the CAB. He just stopped by for lunch. That's me standing on the chair holding Simon's camera. I didn't want the shot at eye level and couldn't think of anything else to do. Although, the image on Simon's page is much nicer for some reason. I seemed to have lost some resolution when I reduced the image. Stephen has some images from the CAB dinner, too.

The CAB met with a bunch of reporters and analysts today, and they have a pretty full schedule for tomorrow. Here are a few articles:
It's good to be involved with the CAB. I was pretty nervous going into this today. This is new ground we are plowing here for Solaris and for Sun, so there are many unknowns. However, since January -- when we announced the intention to form the CAB -- I've watched Sun take this issue very seriously, much more seriously than I thought they would. The community has taken it seriously, too. And from what I observed in today's meeting, the CAB is optimistic about the future of OpenSolaris. Clearly, a new community is being born. And I've been saying this for a year now -- this community is going to surprise a lot of people.

The structure of the initial CAB announcement in January was pretty lightweight. This was intentional. The Solaris engineers and managers wanted to give maximum flexibility to the CAB to create its own charter and to be independent of Sun.

During the month of February, the OpenSolaris Pilot Community considered their participation on the CAB. The community nominated seven members to run in an election, and they finally elected two members -- Rich Teer and Al Hopper, two long time Solaris community leaders. This entire four week activity took place on the opensolaris-discuss mail list, and it was executed meticulously by the community. It generated significant conversation, as well. Sun provided logistical support for the election but did not participate in any other way. Nominations and discussion of nominees were public (public within the pilot program, I mean) and the votes cast were private. Future elections -- that means after we launch -- will take place among the greater OpenSolaris community for all to see. But for now, this was a reasonable system to get started.

While the community was discussing and electing their representatives to the CAB, the Solaris organization began the process of choosing two Sun employees to participate on the CAB -- Simon Phipps and Casper Dik. The Solaris organization wanted a highly-respected Solaris engineer and community leader, as well as a well-known expert in open source communities around the world. These guys fit the bill perfectly.

During this time, representatives of the Solaris organization also engaged in multiple conversations with the open source community to determine the best fit for the fifth member of the CAB -- Roy Fielding. Again, we were looking for someone with experience in community building and also someone who has significant credibility among open source developers. We are taking the "community building" part of this project to heart, so Roy's experience will come in handy. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation today when Roy explained the Apache Software Foundation's system of meritocracy and trust. To me, this is the foundational mechanism of a good open source project because it supports virtually unlimited opportunity for those who participate. You participate and give and everyone benefits, and there's massive incentive for the individual to innovate. The individual wins and the group wins. Love it. This core concept of community dynamics is a major reason I'm excited to work on OpenSolaris.

So, the CAB represents three elements: The Sun, the OpenSolaris Pilot Community, and the open source community. We've done exactly what we said we'd do. And we did it on time, too. Which is pretty wild.


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