Tuesday Aug 19, 2008

Max Alt on OpenSolaris and Intel

Here's a little chat I did with Max Alt of Intel (about 11 minutes of audio) while we met at the OpenSolaris Developer Conference in Prague a bit back. You can also find a conversation with Intel Dave and Jeff Cheeney on the Intel project page. Lots of Intel going on here lately. Thanks to Deirdre Straughan for taping these interviews.

Thursday Jul 31, 2008

Kelly Nishimura on OpenSolaris 2008.05

While I was in Prague, I had a quick conversation with Kelly Nishimura, the Sr. Program Manager in engineering for the OpenSolaris 2008.05 distribution. Deirdre Straughan taped it.

Wednesday Jul 16, 2008

Contributing to DTrace

I can see I'll never have a career as an interviewer, but that's ok. Blogging is easier. Anyway, Deirdre Straughan was kind enough to record a conversation I had with Chad Mynhier, a contributor to DTrace, at the OpenSolaris Developer Conference last month. Chad also spoke at OSDevCon. Very nice guy. Audio here

Monday Jul 07, 2008

Contributing OpenSolaris Translations

One of the best talks at OSDevCon in Prague recently came from Petr Tomasek, Robert Malovec, and Ales Cernosek. They talked about globalization issues, and I especially liked it because the guys focused on how to contribute translations to the OpenSolaris project. In fact, they built a pilot system providing community access to back end computers with the end result being a package living in an IPS repository. If you are interested in globalization and want to contribute to the OpenSolaris project, check this out because your feedback would be most welcome. Here is the paper describing the details (from page 84 to 91). Here is the video presentation. And here is the slide deck.

As this system matures, I hope it -- or future versions of it -- will move to the Internationalization and Localization Community Group on opensolairs.org. Conversations for that community group take place on i18n-discuss.

Tuesday Jul 01, 2008

OSDevCon Prague Video

Special thanks to Deirdre Straughan for recording my session at OSDevCon (part one and part two). Rich Brueckner recorded sessions, as well. It's great to have all the conference materials up at osdevcon.org.

I'm certainly no pro speaker, but I'm making lots of obvious and fixable mistakes and that's making me better. My goal when I started this little trek into public talking a few years ago was to simply be able to get through a presentation without choking to death. I actually wrote that phrase down as a goal. I've largely achieved that, which is quite a relief, but I'm still trying to get better by improving the tone and transitions between stories and topics. This is critical since the content needs to be delivered via a story I can clearly imagine in my mind so I don't forget the bits along the way and so I can improvise and change things on the fly. I can't read or be bound by notes or even slides (I never read my slides anyway) since seeing the text can cause confusion, while at the same time I always felt I needed the content just in case I lost my way (which still happens). So confusing. Anyway, I still feel like I'm stuttering sub-vocally at times, but I can actually feel the process occurring in my head now, whereas before it all happened too fast and it was just a bunch of choking to death. So, this is good. As I experience more subtle levels of speech articulation, I can more easily adjust my way out of tough spots. Such a long way to go. Getting there, though.

More OSDevCon 2008 Images

Wolfgang Stief posted his images from the OpenSolaris Developer Conference in Prague. This is my fav. I like standing on things and shooting down.

I'm sure more images will be posted since there were a few people with cameras clicking away. I'll update here as I find them. In general, though, you can find more than 5,500 OpenSolaris images on Flickr now. Not a bad collection we have going, eh?

Saturday Jun 28, 2008

More OSDevCon Pics

Here are some images from the second day of OSDevCon 2008.

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Thursday Jun 26, 2008

OSDevCon Presentation

Here are the slides from my talk at the OpenSolaris Developer Conference in Prague earlier today. From an information perspective, the slides are pretty much useless. They are just full bleed images with almost no content whatsoever. I talked about community building from a governance perspective and made up much of the specifics as I spoke. I had a specific outline in mind, of course, but I just tried to tell some stories about what I've experienced on the project -- including the things we've done right, some of the things we've done wrong, and where I think we're going. I was more assertive about my own opinions than I've ever been, which was intentional, so I hope it came across ok. I was a bit long winded (as I am in writing), so I think I have to improve that. I'm the only non-technical speaker at the entire conference, though, so I figured I'd try something new with the full frame images with very few words. I think I'll continue this technique for a while because I have a lot of photos I can talk about and that offers a remarkable amount of flexibility to improvise during a talk.

But this was ultimately a discussion about getting involved in the OpenSolaris project -- either in governance itself or in any number of roles that will help you earn Membership and Core Contributor status in the community. In many ways, governance is just another form of community development, and there are many social, strategic, and technical factors involved. The governmental systems on OpenSolaris are still evolving, though, and some of the issues have been controversial. This is normal. It's simply the evolution of a complex and unique engineering project, one in which a multi-billion dollar corporation is opening its core product and is building a global community while still maintaining critical business operations.

There have been three clearly definable phases of governance on the OpenSolaris project:

(1) Sun's role in creating the CAB from within the Pilot Program, the development of (and confusion about) the Charter and Constitution, the redefinition of the CAB to OGB and the expansion of its mandate and extension of its term, and the ratification of the Constitution and election of the first OGB. This period of time ranges from late 2004 to March 2007.

(2) The first elected OGB begins normal operations with a Constitution that doesn't necessarily reflect reality, but many people on the board and in the community make a good faith attempt to make things work. The OGB controls no resources and key parts of the project are still internal to Sun. A community reorganization is specified and attempted but stalls due to disagreements and inflexible infrastructure issues. Trademark disputes over a new Sun distro lead to more arguments about the project's lack of openness in some areas. This second phase was March 2007 to March 2008.

(3) The second OGB takes office after a significant community argument with Sun. Most members ran on a platform to reform the governance and reorganize the community for two key reasons: the OpenSolaris community and Sun need to be in sync about the project, and the structure of the OpenSolaris community needs to reflect the reality of how the community actually functions. The re-org can now take place because the OpenSolaris engineering infrastructure team has resources to update the website, move the gates external, and finish the work necessary to make OpenSolaris an open development project -- which was the goal all along. The reorganization is not fully specified yet, and the discussion moves slowly. Sun's executive engineering management engages with the OGB as well as the community. This current phase started from March 2008.

The Reorganization

Currently the OpenSolaris community is structured around Members, Community Groups, and Projects. Community Groups sponsor Projects and grant Membership status to Core Contributors. There are some odd groupings, as well, such as user groups, which we have stuffed into Projects due to site constraints. Also, we have many Community Groups that were crafted back in the Pilot Program that really ought to be Projects today or consolidated into other Community Groups. And Sun has yet another grouping called Consolidations, which doesn't fit the Constitution. The website doesn't reflect the Constitution, too, since the site per-dated the Constitution and its evolution stalled due to resource constraints. So, the OGB's community reorganization has to address all of these issues.

To begin the process of discussing the issue, the OGB recently proposed interpreting the term Community Group to mean a class of groupings in the community, not a group itself. In other words, Projects, Consolidations, Special Interest Groups, and User Groups could potentially make up the new groupings and they could have relationships with each other in a web-like structure instead of the current hierarchical structure. To establish some consistently across the community under this proposed system, a new OGB committee would be formed to create standards for granting Membership status.

The reorganization idea has already generated several counter proposals, but the general concept is moving in the direction of offering more flexibility for different types of groups and crafting a system that reflects how OpenSolaris developers work rather than imposing an artificial structure on top. The reorganization and the infrastructure work necessary to support the changes will probably take a year, so there is plenty of time to get involved and contribute. The site can not be changed rapidly, and neither can a governance decision. The site's current monolithic architecture is being updated in stages to a new modular architecture, but it still must support current operations. And the community will have to participate in and finally approve any new governance structure.


The OpenSolaris governance process should define how the community operates. Therefore, it's at the core of how people participate in the project. It should not get in the way of participation, but it should offer opportunities for many people to contribute in many ways.

That's it.

Update: Here is the video of my session:

part 1, 30 mins

part 2, ~40 mins

Sun Prague Globalization

Had a nice dinner tonight with some of the guys from the Sun Globalization team in Prague ...

Sun Globalization Prague

Novak Mark Taylor

Pavel Heimlich Petr Hruska

Peter Sramel Ales Cernosek

Jan Hnatek Vasek Novak

Thursday Jun 12, 2008

Sun Czech #1

My Czech is a tad rusty, but I'm told that Sun was recently voted the best open source company in the Czech Republic for its support of the NetBeans community. Congrats, guys! I'll be in Prague for the first time in a couple of weeks, so I'm looking forward to meeting everyone there.

Tuesday Apr 08, 2008

OpenSolaris Developer Conference in Prague

Are you going to Prague in late June for the OpenSolaris Developer Conference 2008? Dirk Wetter posted a reminder for papers -- [osol-discuss] Last two weeks to submit papers to OpenSolaris Developer Conference 2008.



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