Friday Oct 26, 2007

The impression of the OpenSolaris Developers summit 2007 (3)

Some small accident happened in the morning of the second day. Since the plan was to head to Santa Clara at night, we packed all the stuff and drove to the meeting by ourselves instead of taking the shuttle bus. But we got lost in the mountain area:( After driving for some distance, the environment didn't look familiar and we had to go back. The OpenSolaris Sign saved us at that moment. It pointed us to make a right turn and lead to the parking location.

The second day's first session was the lightning talk. It provided us a good chance to give some short topics(with audio):
\* Ben Rockwood's talk
\* Jim Walker: OpenSolaris test farm
The test farm includes Sun Fire T2000, Sun Fire X4200 M2 and Sun Fire X4600 M2. You can go to the test farm project page to reserve one to have a try. The users can access all these boxes through terminal. Is that possible that the GUI access could be provided in the future?
\* Alfred Peng: Mozilla DTrace
I didn't explain so much on the technical side of Mozilla DTrace. It's more about the cooperation with Mozilla community. DTrace is proved to be a good approach to introduce Solaris to another community, with the landing of the Mozilla DTrace framework, the Javascript probes, and also performance bugs fixed by Robert. To me, Mozilla community is one of the most successful communities in the open source world, with thousands of active code contributors, hundred thousands(or millions) of test contributors and evangelists, tens of millions of users, hundreds of millions of downloads. It's huge! OpenSolaris can benefit from this cooperation for sure. The development model is also another aspect that OpenSolaris community could learn from.
\* Al Hopper: Genunix
\* David Stewart: Intel driver support
David is from Intel. Laptop support is a hot point that Solaris users pay lots of attentions to. The "power suspend and resume" is just so necessary for laptop users. It takes me several minutes to boot the Solaris system every time. But for Mac OS users, just several seconds. A big different! It seems that the difficult part is on the power resume side. Hope that it can be resolved soon.
\* Jorg Shilling: OpenSolaris book in German
It's a pity that I don't understand German. But I'm still curious who takes this book finally?:)
\* Glynn Foster: What's community?
One of functions of the community is to connect people, from different parts of the world, and also stimulate information sharing and facilitate friendship. I can't agree with this more.
\* Brian Gupta: User Group

Following are the sessions:
\* Sara Dornsife: Naming and Branding
From the developers' point of view, the concern is the performance. String/Logo could have some impact on the performance. The release model is still the point that all the audiences felt interested. What's the relationship between distribution and the community projects? OpenSolaris community provide a platform for all the projects. Some of them are still under development. The users can download the release/experiment builds by themselves and have a try. There will be Stable/Unstable branches for the distribution to hold all of them.
Another thing I want to mention here is the intense relationship between Mozilla community and Debian, because of the Firefox/Thunderbird trademark issue. This seems to be one kind of fragmentation for Mozilla. But I still feel that merge is the way to go for Mozilla and Debian. The problem is just how to cooperate to handle the big patch that Debian has.

\* Glynn Foster/Stephen Lau/Alan Coopersmith: Community Structure and Involvement
What's the power of OGB(OpenSolaris Governing Board)? This must be a question for a lot of community guys. OpenSolaris community is a big community with many different projects. Every one of them have different interests. OGB doesn't have the power to control them. One big task for OGB is the development direction and promotion I think. For example, to provide better basic infrastructure for the community, to take some action to make decision when there are conflicts within the community itself, between different sub communities or with other communities, to promote OpenSolaris communities to other organizations and communities, and also, to stimulate communication and connection for different parts of the community.

\* Shawn Walker, one community contributor, stated the problems he met when he tried to do some code contribution to OpenSolaris. To my understanding, OpenSolaris community isn't very developer friendly for some certain aspects for other guys to contribute, with the existing of some private processes. That's the thing need to be improved in the future. Meanwhile, it's lucky for the OpenSolaris community to have all these awesome contributors even with the obstacle ahead. That's why open source is so important, and how powerful open source community is. It makes many people fly more than 12 hours to come to a same place from different parts of the world, and the goal is quite simple: to make OpenSolaris a better community.

\* Tim Foster: ZFS to the MAX
How does Indiana make use of ZFS? At least, it can do some help to replace the Live Upgrade to Snap Upgrade. Tim's demo is based on a USB snapshot disk. Network could also be a choice. The GUI of this upgrade can be improved a little bit. This could be a place that the desktop team get involved.

\* Glynn hosted the desktop sessions, about the desktop menu(to be more Ubuntu like?), the NWAN GUI design, the desktop search. Erwann demoed about Compiz, which is pretty cool and attractive. People are quite interested on whether there is plan to deliver it into Solaris. The package repository will be a solution to this. Users can get the compiz package by themselves with Indiana.

Ian Murdock gave the wrap up at last. It's great to know that this event will be held every 6 months. I can't imagine how cheerful people will be when Indiana is released the next time. With the successful experience, the next summit will be a bigger one, with more participants I believe.

It's wonderful to meet with Erwann, Alo, Glynn, Tim and all the other guys in this event. Have dinner together, chat with each other and see all the guys face to face are a great way for communication. I really had a lot of fun this time.

Tuesday Oct 23, 2007

Mozilla DTrace -- Javascript DTrace probes were landed

I found Brendan Gregg's blog post about Javascript probes occasionally Sep. last year. 2007-10-19 15:24 is the exact time that Johnny Stenback checked in the patch into Mozilla source tree. And the RFE bug was marked as FIXED and closed finally:)

Thanks very much for Johnny's work, also the Mozilla DTrace framework. And everyone get involved. DTrace can really help Javascript, and Mozilla as well.

If you're curious what Mozilla DTrace can help, please get the bug list here. Robert Sayre has done a wonderful job in using DTrace to dig performance bugs.

If you're interested in this project, please come to our project website.

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