Linux, musical road-dogging, and daily life by Paul W. Frields
Update from the Left Coast.

Update from the Left Coast.

Sorry for the blog delay, things have been busy here. Please, won’t you enjoy another edition of “Boring News About Me”? K thx.

On Wednesday night, I finished The Time Traveler’s Wife, which was heartbreakingly wonderful in a really loneliness-inducing kind of way. (Why yes, I am a big sap. Why do you ask?) In all seriousness, highly recommended.

Thursday morning I was able to catch a number of great talks on the emerging desktop paradigms on which the Red Hat folks in Westford are working. Havoc Pennington (please, hold your screaming until the end of the paragraph) talked about a really cool model for a desktop that removes the reliance on a 30-year old view of file-centric computing. You can see a lot of the progress through the Big Board posts we’ve been seeing from Bryan Clark and others working on Mugshot and related technologies.

In the afternoon a bunch of Fedora folks (including your humble reporter) gathered in a posh executive conference room, complete with snazzy lighting and decor, for a video interview conducted by Kim Jokisch and mainly shot by Red Hat filmmaker extraordinaire Tim Kiernan. Tim pops up again later in this post. We talked about all the cool things going on in Fedora, including but not limited to the new release. We also talked about what is so fricking cool about working on Fedora. Why do we do it, beyone the simple “scratch an itch” answers? I’m hoping some of this interview will make it out into public space at some point.

That took up a large part of the afternoon, and then we gathered to talk about release cycles, and how to address some of the things we felt could be done better for Fedora 8. With every release, there are things that happen magically, and things that (magically or otherwise) fail to happen, and it would be good for us to be more deterministic about that stuff for the next release and beyond. It was a pretty informal discussion that was a little spontaneous based on John Poelstra being around for us to bend his ear, and vice versa. The real conversation will happen out on the lists and IRC as people figure out how to do a better job with F8.

There was a nice, low-key margarita party last night with tasty beverages served in “glasses” that lit up with pretty colors. Maybe this was to hypnotize us into drinking more of them; that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Then we boarded buses for the Aerospace Museum for dinner and carousing.

The museum was great, full of antique planes and replicas thereof, and a lot of associated wartime memorabilia from World Wars I and II. There were a bunch of naked plane engines to ooh and aah over as well, including a couple rebuilt ones that had been chrome-plated for maximum sexiness. A really good band played about 15 dB too loud in the central atrium (am I too old now?), but was very enjoyable from the separate ring of museum exhibits that ran around the perimeter. I toured around with Jesse, Chris, and Mike while Chris regaled us with tales of his aerial prowess and cool facts about planes and the engines that drive them. Jesse and I even enjoyed some flaming fruit — no jokes please — in the form of tasty crepes. Raspberries! Pears! ON FIRE!

Mike McGrath and I had a really awesome conversation about an idea for some new documentation that’s badly needed, applications that could fit around it, and the market for delivering training to supplement it. Then we ran into the aforementioned cinematic wiz Tim Kiernan, and talked about the genius of Grind House. Tim, if you’re out there, no kidding — your work is great, and I would love to sit down with you someday when you’re not dervish-whirling around with a camera strapped to your neck and just talk about film.

During the summit I also got to connect up with other associates such as Joshua Hoffman, Brent Langston, and Randy Russell, and talk to them a little about tools and processes. I suspect those conversations will continue into the coming months.

After the party, I returned to the hotel — fairly early — and did some work on the release notes package for Fedora 7. Looks like we have more translations finished than last release, thanks to our awesome translation teams and their work with the localization subproject. With the week’s slip recently announced, we may have time to get a couple more locales into the package!

Right now a bunch of us are in Rik van Riel’s “Virtualization Food Fight” talk, each trying to simultaneously take care of three tasks at once while still ingesting his material. I’ll write back later today if there’s time — many people are leaving today or tonight, but I’ll be here until tomorrow morning. I’m itching to get home to my family but a redeye would just put me out of commission for part of the weekend, so no sense losing a day if I don’t have to.