I didn’t realize until very recently that our yum-presto plugin and DeltaRPM leverage a good bit of work done over in the openSUSE community — and that work is AWESOME. If you check out one of our recent podcasts for Fedora 11, you’ll hear Jon Dieter talking about this feature and the work he did to enable DeltaRPMs in Fedora. The fact that open source made it possible for us to bring this openSUSE work to our community is a true testament to the power of sharing.
Recently I had another reminder of how cool it is to work in free software — while working on my PulseCaster project, I was in serious need of some Python bindings for PulseAudio. Unfortunately, they don’t exist as such in the upstream code, but the Python “ctypes” module allows you to wrap any arbitrary C library, as long as you’re willing to spend the time defining for Python the appropriate functions’ expectations for memory structures. I found a project in which someone had done this work for PulseAudio sinks — but I needed sources. Well, it turned out to be no problem, because by reading the other code and comparing it to the generous PulseAudio developer documentation (produced by Doxygen), I was able to create that code myself — and then send it back to the other project!
The feeling of both having my work cut in half (or more), and then being able to share my work back with someone else for their benefit, felt so good. It made me recallthat underlying all this talk about Distro X or Distro Y is the fundamental goodness of sharing code from one developer to another. Superb!
So thanks, openSUSE, for the DeltaRPM goodness. We are making good use of it here in Fedora too, and we appreciate your contribution to our distribution — our users just know they’re having a better experience, and we’re happy to share that love too.