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Where did December go?

Alan Coopersmith
Senior Principal Software Engineer

Almost a month since my last blog post, though I didn't mean to go that long. I planned to write more about the Solaris Desktop Summit, but didn't. There were more good talks from people like Rod and Bart, who I'm fortunate to be able to grab in the hall for a chat most any time, but most of the JDS team members were getting their first in-depth time with them. Fortunately, while I failed to write more, other people there like Glynn, John, and Brian covered it well in their blogs.

I did miss much of one of the days of the summit for meetings back in the Menlo Park office, including interviewing a candidate to fill the opening in our group. Since the person we were interviewing had an interest in working for an "open source company" I brought him with me back to the summit, which was an interesting experience. In some ways, it was like a massive group interview, getting a lot of people he'd be working with to talk to him and for him to get a better sense of our place in the company and who we work with. Unfortunately we haven't been able to fill the position yet, and are back to sorting through resumés this week. (If you're an X hacker looking for a job at a old school Unix vendor evolving into a new school open source company, it's not too late to drop me a line.)

After the summit was done, it was time to work with the rest of the X.Org crew to finish up the X11R6.9 & 7.0 releases, which I was also going to blog about, but didn't find time to do. We got them polished off and officially released on December 21. It was three months later than originally scheduled, but the foundation laid in the 7.0 modular release should make it easier to keep future releases on schedule and easier to package and maintain in the future. Thanks to everyone who helped or sent in words of thanks and congratulations afterwards. Sun's “Chief Open Source Officer” even held up my role as X.Org release manager as one of the examples of ways Sun is actively supporting Linux by contributing to projects like X.Org, GNOME, and of course OpenOffice.Org.

Wrebbit Puzz3D San Francisco PuzzleAfter all that, I was ready to go offline for the week-long year-end holiday Sun US employees get off from Christmas to New Year's, and so didn't catch up on any missing blogs then either. The closest I came to anything productive that week was working with my wife on both preparing to move our spare-time project website to a faster server/new ISP, since the old 300Mhz server it's been on the last five years is really showing it's age, and on building the 1500+ piece 3-D puzzle of San Francisco she bought for Christmas. (Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of ours assembled, so the one here is from the puzzle maker's web site.) Of course, the puzzle assembly was done by putting together a lot of little modules and then rolling it up all the pieces into a big interlocking finished product, so even there I couldn't completely escape the echoes of the X.org modularization process.

So now it's January, and I'm back at work, rested and refreshed and with enough projects on my "Todo Now" list to keep me busy all month long, including (in no particular order):

  • Checking in the X11R6.9 final release to Solaris Nevada (done today!) and then backporting to Solaris 10 Update 2. (See this note I wrote to the xwin-discuss at opensolaris.org mailing list for details on the X11R6.9 & 7.0 plans for Solaris.)
  • Helping the Solaris x86 Platform Drivers team get the nVidia Accelerated Graphics Driver for Solaris integrated into the Solaris install.
  • Working with the Solaris Trusted Extensions (formerly Trusted Solaris) X team to take the XTSol multi-level security X extension port they did to Xorg 6.8.2 and make it ready to integrate with our Xorg 6.9 builds and port it to the Xorg 7.0 modular builds in preparation for releasing it as open source.
  • Finishing up the work to release the Solaris Xorg modifications, build scripts, and packaging to the OpenSolaris X Window System Community.
  • Doing the dtlogin and xscreensaver pieces of the "CoolStart" project for Solaris you'll see more about in a bit.
  • Watching Stuart go crazy getting everything ready for next month's X.Org Developer's Conference in Santa Clara.

Hopefully I'll be able to squeeze in a little more time for blogging between all that.

I almost called this post Wake Me Up When December Ends, but then while radio-channel-surfing in the car on the way home caught the end of the song whose title I'd be twisting, followed by a sound I think might be one of the signs of the apocalypse: "You've been listening to Green Day on the John Tesh Radio Show" and I couldn't bring myself to do it any more.

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