Thursday Aug 27, 2009

I'm leaving Sun

Today is my last working day at Sun. It's the hardest decision I've ever made that I'm leaving Sun. It's really difficult to send this message to all of you.

In the past 5+ years, it has been a pleasure for me to work with many of you. I enjoyed working in such a great company, with talented people here. Thanks a lot for your help and support.

As I'll be working for the company which works on Songbird, I'll be still around in the OpenSolaris community. And OpenSolaris will still be my development platform. I'll be still in the Mozilla community as Songbird is built on top of Mozilla's XULRunner platform.

If you have a chance to go to Singapore, please do let me know.

I've just set up a new blog at: http://alfredpeng910.blogspot.com/. Let's keep in touch.

EMAIL: alfred.peng@gmail.com
MSN: alfredpeng@hotmail.com
GTALK: alfred.peng@gmail.com
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/alfredpeng
TWITTER: http://twitter.com/alfredpeng

Tuesday Jan 20, 2009

The first day of Sun Tech days in Singapore 2009

Could you imagine the Sun executives wore Chinese traditional costume on stage for the first day of the Sun Tech Days in Singapore 2009? Could you imagine that a new Singapore record was born for the largest number of developers waving rattle at the same time? Could you imagine how crowded was it in the Sun Tech Day (Over 1100 people showed up)? I don't want to reiterate everything, please check the detail on Arun's blog.

Actually what I'm more interested in the first day event is the Singapore OpenSolaris User Group gathering. It's nice to meet with the guys who are interested in OpenSolaris. Hope that we could start from here and roll it bigger. As for the user group, I'd like to share some of my comments with you guys:
- OpenSolaris User Group is usually the local representative for the OpenSolaris community. It's a place for people to have some gathering, technical discussion, exchange ideas, have some collaboration, inspire business opportunities, make friends, have fun and more. The topic isn't necessarily technical only.
- OpenSolaris User Group is part of the open source efforts. A lot of things that is related to open source could be embraced in the group. It's not necessarily OpenSolaris only. I'm really glad to see the cooperation between OpenSolaris User Group and some other open source groups.
- OpenSolaris User Group could be the first line help for the local users/developers. It's a doorway to the broader OpenSolaris community. The questions go to certain group mailing list should be handled properly, either fixed locally, or forwarded to the broader community for further help.
- OpenSolaris User Group is global. Wherever you go, ping the local User Group and maybe try to give some talk about the things that are interesting.

BTW, I do remember that there was some OpenSolaris community digest before to summarize the community mailing list activities periodically (weekly?). Do we still have that now? Just feel that it must be good to have that and share with the User Group guys so people can know what's happening in OpenSolaris. I myself am part of OpenSolaris desktop, indiana, opensolaris general, sw-porter. Partly due to the language reason, I didn't subscribe to more mailing list as I couldn't catch up with all the stuff.

Monday May 19, 2008

Firefox 3.0RC1 testday -- participation and contribution

Sun China OpenSolaris desktop team cooperated with Mozilla Online to hold a Firefox 3.0RC1 testday in Sun China office on May 18th, from 10:00am to 6:00pm.

Testday is a traditional community event for Mozilla QA. 28 students from Beijing Capital Normal
University joined this event. The team here prepare the Solaris Vermillion b90 environment with Firefox 3.0RC1, including SunRay, x86 and SPARC. It's all black box testing by logging in Litmus and all the students experience what Firefox 3.0 brings to the end users. Finally, they passed 1400 testcases, about 70 testcases failed and the top studnet ran 200 testcases.

At the end of the event, we selected 5 top students from the crew, awarded them some prize and certificates. One student said she has never thought that to contribute to open source is this simple.

Some pictures can be found here.

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.

Friday Oct 05, 2007

Three big events

Sun Customer Engineering Conference 2007 will be hold in Las Vegas, Nevada Oct 7-10. CEC is an annual event that delivers quality and critical technical training as well as networking opportunities to the customer facing engineering community at Sun. The event is highly technical with several hundred break-out sessions and tracks.

OpenSolaris Summit: it's the first time that OpenSolaris community organizes such big event for all the community contributors to meet with each other, especially to plan the next release of Project Indiana.

Sun's Open Source Summit: October 15-16. Leverage Sun's expertise and enrich Sun's internal community.

Tuesday Jun 05, 2007

A wonderful day--Mozilla visit


The Mozilla visit to Sun Beijing office is really a nice event. The schedule is in the previous post. Following are some writeup about the wonderful day, with part of John Rice's summary included.

Thanks Sin-Yaw Wang(VP, Sun ERI site leader) for providing the Welcome session. Sin-Yaw gave an introduction of Sun ERI, especially the Sun Beijing Browser team.

Mike followed with a very interesting overview of Firefox, the current status and where it's going. Firefox adoption is at over 100 million users! And it keeps climbing higher and higher everyday. Tab browsing changed the life for users to surf the web. Then how about Firefox 3.0? Lots of interesting things happening in Firefox 3, such as Reflow Refactoring, Places, Offline application support, cairo, APNG... Mozilla 2 is underway to completely revamp the platform and will act as the basis for future releases of Firefox. It'll include a new version of JavaScript engine--Tamarin, based on the flash VM from Adobe--with many of the language features familiar to Java users to help support production of large scale Web 2.0 apps. The VM overview is available here. It's a browser war towards more open sourcing in the future. BTW, the Firefox flicks are really interesting:-)

Emily, Dave and I gave an overview of the Sun Browser team (developers, QE and RE) covering all of the work we are doing in developing to head with Firefox, porting of Flash 9/Breakpad onto Solaris, A11Y support, Bugday/Testday, test automation based on LDTP/Dogtail/Orca and Tinderbox support for Solaris. The Flash 9 for Solaris is in the beta release phase and will be finally released in the next several month. Breakpad is an ongoing project in the Mozilla community. It's an open source crash reporting tool to replace the current one--talkback.

Li Gong described to us what exactly Mozilla China is all about. The Chinese name for Mozilla China is "Mou Zhi"谋智(Seeking wisdom). It's clear that to be successful in China, there needs a local presence and an understanding of what unique features the product must provide to be successful in China. This is born out in both the Search engine and IM market in China where the world leaders, Google and Microsoft are only poor seconds in to local Chinese firms, Baidu.com and QQ. There are a lot of opportunities for Sun ERI and Mozilla China to work together to really help Firefox shine in the Chinese market.

After lunch, we went to visit the Mozilla China office. It's still under decoration and Johnny took some pictures there. If the weather is good, you can see the Summer Palace from the office. It's wonderful, isn't it? The Google's office is just in the next building across the street. And, Sun and MS's office are also nearby.

John gave a presentation on the Mozilla Dtrace framework and some of the sample probes we have integrated, both in the layout engine and the Javascript engine. To compare with the last time when John Lilly/Chris Beard/Gen were here, the DTrace demo was added to the session and it's absolutely much more interesting. Lots of feedback, with some clear directions on next steps and areas that we could help both in Firefox performance, testing and beyond into Web 2.0 development with DTrace. You can go to the Mozilla DTrace community to get more information. And several guys from Sun will visit Mountain View to give the demo to a broader audience. Please stay tune.

Johnny gave us a very useful overview of the Mozilla platform. Especially, the description of what happens during a load URI could be a use case for Mozilla DTrace. There are some useful videos that we should chase up on Mozilla Developer center. Johnny also described the new CycleCollector which will be used to help GC stale references across Javascript and XPCOM.

The dinner was at Peking Duck Restaurant(全聚德), built in 1864. The Duck serviced to us was about the no. 115 million. Hrmm, almost the same as Firefox users:-)

That's the day. Thanks for your coming! Hope that more and more Mozilla developers can visit Beijing, and China can host some Firefox developer conference in the future.

UPDATE: Related blog post from Mike Schroepfer and Li Gong

Monday May 28, 2007

Mozilla's second visit to Sun Beijing Office

It's a great honor to have three Mozilla guys coming to visit our Sun Beijing office this Wednesday(May 30th). They are:

Mike Schroepfer: vice president of engineering of Mozilla Cooperation, has been declared 40th most important person on the web by PC World last year.
Johnny Stenback: the super-reviewer of the Mozilla community and the core developer for the following components: docshell, DOM(document object model), htmlparser, plugins, Privilege Manager, XML and also Javascript. He is now responsible for setting up the new Mozilla 2 source repository on mercurial.
Li Gong: head of Mozilla China.

The schedule for their visit is as below:

09:30 - 09:40 Welcome session
09:40 - 10:35 Mike Schroepfer(Firefox/Thunderbird future Roadmap/Focus/New features)
10:35 - 10:40 Break
10:40 - 11:10 Emily Chen/Dave Lin/Alfred Peng(The introduction of the Sun China Browser team -- developers, QE and RE)
11:10 - 11:15 Break
11:15 - 12:05 Li Gong(Mozilla China development)

12:05 - 13:00 Lunch

13:00 - 14:20 John Rice(Use DTrace in Firefox development)
14:20 - 14:25 Break
14:25 - 16:35 Johnny Stenback(Technical TOI: Javascript/Layout/Dom/XPConnect/plugins)
16:35 - 16:40 Break
16:40 - 18:00 Discussion Session

Johnny's TOI session will include the following topics:

1. The architecture of Mozilla platform. It will explain the connections among different components, such as DOM/Layout/XPCOM/JS engine/XUL.
2. The development of Mozilla 2 and the effect of Mozilla 2 to the whole Mozilla platform.
3. The architecture of DOM and how the DOM module interacts with the other modules, there could be some discussion about the interaction between dom and the accessibility module.
4. The architecture of plugin. Some background of the plugin API evolution and possible change in the future.
5. The introduction of the tools for finding memory leak and performance tuning.


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