Thursday May 07, 2009

Building Momentum: Sponsor Program at 400

It's really cool to see the sponsor program breaking the 400 contribution mark recently and also that more companies are starting to contribute to OpenSolaris as well. The sponsor program, designed initially to be temporary and focused on the OS/Net Consolidation, has expanded and endured despite well-known constraints over the years. Yet developers continue to contribute, those contributions continue to be integrated, and the program continues to evolve. It's slow, yes, but it's moving. And that's the critical point right now. From a project management perspective, it's critical that you get some momentum going so you can learn and evolve in real time. To me this is the distinction between endlessly talking about a problem and actually working diligently to implement a solution -- even if temporary. There are significant challenges involved with updating and opening our existing development infrastructure, but the sponsor program is an example of biting off a small piece of the problem and actively and consistently working it. Also, I really like the idea of the small-bug-fix submission project as the next step for the sponsor program. More info on that and open development generally at the Open Development Infrastructure Project.

Monday Sep 01, 2008

Kernel Code Contributions

Cool to see J├╝rgen Keil, Rainer Orth, and Peter Tribble profiled on the front page of this week. More names and more contributions to the OS/Net consolidation are listed here. Actually, there are probably a couple of consolidations on that list now, but the point is that most of those contributions are to the ON consolidation. There are other projects with gates outside that have been taking contributions all along as well, but you have to go digging into the project list to find them. We're getting there. Slowly but surely. Over time we will pull all these pieces together so it will be much easier to conribute and to also see who is already contributing. Anyway, more front page features archived here.

Wednesday Aug 06, 2008

OpenSolaris Sponsor Program Kicks it Up

Cool to see some serious movement here in the request sponsor program to get more community code integrated into the main OpenSolaris repository inside Sun. Excellent. The number of people waiting for sponsors is way down, the number of integrations is up, and the number of sponsors assigned to new contributions is way up. The sponsor program has always been a temporary solution for us to take code from non-Sun developers until we could get the infrastructure outside (coming very soon now), and it's lived well beyond its years. However, it's also done a pretty fine job given the circumstances, and those who have been involved deserve a great deal of thanks for their patience and persistence. Discussions taking place on request-sponsor.

Monday Jul 28, 2008

10 Languages, 10 Contributions

Ikuko Kagaya from Sun Japan thanked some community contributors today for helping translate the release notes for OpenSolaris 2008.05 into German, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Brasilian Portuguese, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Korean. That's 10 languages of content with the Sun globalization team working with 10 contributors from the OpenSolaris community around the world. There are more documents that need translating, though. If you are interested in contributing, see Reiko Saito's outline at "How to Translate OpenSolaris Documents" and just jump in.

Thursday Nov 29, 2007


We just broke 201 code contributions via the request-sponsor program. Cool. That makes over 400 code contributions offered to OpenSolaris since launch (more, actually, when you go into individual projects). 101 are in the queue with sponsors assigned and 38 are waiting for sponsors. Ok, so it`s a bit of a backlog, but we`ll get there.

Monday Nov 19, 2007


I love the artwork for this year's FOSS.IN conference. Very nice stuff. The images are all based on freedom, opportunity, personal expression, coding, participation, and contribution. That last part is most important to me because I think we need to focus more on contributing in the OpenSolaris Community, especially as we grow and diversify globally.

I'll be going to FOSS.IN this year for my first trip to India. Getting a Visa is proving to be quite an experience. I was rejected initially due to "not enough empty pages" in my passport. Excuse me? I guess three empty pages is not enough. But two quick trips to the American Embassy in Tokyo, and I now have 24 shinny new pages stuffed in there. I hope that's enough. I'll know for sure a few days, but I think I'm fine.

Anyway, if I get to Bangalore, I'll be doing a talk about contributing to OpenSolaris. This is an issue that comes up from time to time on the OpenSolaris lists. Sometimes it's a source of genuine confusion, sometimes it's bitterly complained about, sometimes it's praised, and sometimes it's just totally ignored and neglected. At the very least, we need to do a better job documenting how to contribute and pointing to those who are already contributing -- whether they are contributing on or at other OpenSolaris-related venues around the world. So I thought I'd start writing a presentation about it, which I'll expand into some documents for the website. The talk at FOSS.IN will be a first attempt at this.

In general, there's no single entry point for contributing to OpenSolaris, and there's no single document explaining it all, either. Everything is conveniently spread out among dozens of locations -- Community Groups, Projects, User Groups, mail lists, and personal hard drives. It's all over the place. Plus, the project is still opening, so although most of the code is open now some of the core infrastructure isn't and that makes contributing harder for some. Then there are all the processes and governance and cultural issues to deal with. And then there are the flamers. It can be daunting for those just stopping by to check us out. But despite all that, people are getting involved, community code is getting integrated, and people are contributing in a variety of ways. And we are learning. So, that's what I'll try to talk about, along with a bunch of stories and politics along the way I'm sure.

By the way, just an aside: looking at the FOSS.IN artwork and the emphasis of some posters on coding brings back some memories. We had a conversation a while back about taglines for OpenSolaris (for banners or t-shirts or something), and the one I liked best was this: OpenSolaris is a four letter word: C-O-D-E. It never went anywhere, but I think the C-O-D-E bit blew away all the other options at the time.

Friday Oct 12, 2007

Czech Translation Contribution Integrated

Fuyuki Hasegawa just announced that Czech translations for the kernel commands and libraries have been integrated into build 74. This is the first contribution of its kind for OpenSolaris, which is excellent news. Generally, these translations are done by Sun globalization engineers, but as you can see we are expanding to include contributors of many kinds now. See Hasegawa-san's note here. See the entire thread discussing the issue here -- Czech OS.o translation available. If you'd like to get involved in globalization projects like this, go to the Internationalization and Localization Community Group and give us a shout on i18n-discuss.

Monday Oct 08, 2007

The Clean Room

James C. McPherson talks about his work with Jason King "to integrate his clean-room re-implementation of libdisasm for SPARC" -- Opening up OpenSolaris just a little bit more. I really like how James concluded his post: "I expect that there will be a few follow up putbacks as people find edge cases, but the great thing about this putback is that \*you\* can make those changes if you want. You don't have to depend on Sun doing it for you. Thank you Jason -- you've helped make OpenSolaris more open."

Cool. That's also the first piece of encumbered code replaced by a contributor on OpenSolaris, and that brings us to 187 putbacks via the request-sponsor program. Very nice.



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