Category Archives: Red Hat

Summit Day 1, FUDCon Day 0.

With many thanks to Jon Stanley (injured but not out for the season) for use of his EVDO card — worked like a champ in Fedora 9, no tweaking required.

Today my work consisted of:

  • Attending an hour of the opening keynotes for the Red Hat Summit
  • Meeting one on one with some ISVs and Red Hat partners to talk about how tomorrow’s hackfest discussions on ISVs and EPEL will be a can’t miss opportunity
  • Discussed some excellent upcoming European show opportunities for Fedora
  • Had an interview with three journalists from Japan
  • Ran around like a chicken with my head cut off, setting up additional logistics for Thursday FUDCon opening
  • Ran a campground session on LiveUSB with Jesse Keating
  • Helped man Fedora table for a couple of hours, making Live USBs and telling people about FUDCon
  • Capped everything off by meeting superstars Ian Weller and Stephen Smoogen, over an exceptional seafood dinner (a basil yellowfin tuna over beets that was worthy of tears of joy).

Tomorrow is FUDCon Day 1! Should be very exciting, and I do hope I’ll have time to blog something during the day, although it’s a cautious hope.

Die Rundfahrt war ausgezeichnet.

My Tuesday in Berlin. This is the long blog post that precedes the next really long blog post about my Wednesday in Berlin. 😉

Setting the dogs a-barkin’.

After a fairly decent night’s sleep, I got up at 0700 to search out some Fruehstueck (breakfast). There was a cozy shop just across the street from the hotel with some truly wonderful coffee and a chocolate croissant that hit the spot just right. I found the stand for the Berlino Rundgang bus and managed to buy the 20-euro “all day” ticket without speaking English. However, the young lady at the stand had me figured out after she gave me directions on where to meet the bus. “Would you rather I speak English?” she asked with a smile.

I replied, “Let me see how well I did. Cross the street, and catch any bus at the stop where there’s one standing now?”

Continue reading Die Rundfahrt war ausgezeichnet.

Getting on the grid.

A rather exciting post hit the fedora-advisory-board today. It’s about enabling a Fedora grid architecture, not dissimilar from grid.org or other community distributed computing efforts, but entirely run in typical Fedora fashion — meaning free as in beer and speech for everyone, end-to-end.

Users of Fedora could design, create, and participate in a wide variety of computing tasks to be shared throughout the community. This model has already proven effective throughout the commercial sector. But in Fedora’s case, this initiative relies on completely open source technologies already a part of the Fedora software repositories, and is end-to-end free just as with everything in Fedora.

It would be pretty easy to have an additional firstboot module, much like smolt, where users could opt in to the grid and select from a menu of groups in which to participate. Then you could donate your spare compute cycles to worthy efforts — how about helping with the evaluation of drugs to treat children’s diabetes or cancer? Possibilities abound.

I encourage people to get involved in the discussions and the efforts to make this yet another Fedora success story about the power of completely open code, community, and process.

UPDATE: Did you know, according to this post in the fedora-advisory-board thread, that there’s an internship available to work on security implementation for such a grid beastie?

The Great White North.

I was very pleased and excited to be able to give a Board “stamp of approval” over the weekend to the new Fedora EMEA group. It’s a collection of very dedicated and energetic Fedora Ambassadors working in concert in Europe to promote Fedora and expand our presence there. Max Spevack will be acting as a liaison to this group as part of his Community Architecture team duties.

The word “duties” makes it sound like it’s a lot of work to be saddled with, but I happen to know that Max is really excited about the opportunity, and he’s going to do a phenomenal job helping Fedora EMEA and the other contributors in the region realize their potential as a community.

After putting Eleya on a plane — or rather, sending her off to the plane — on Sunday following our house-hunting trip, I showed up, bags in hand, at spot’s house, where I’m staying for most of the week until I head back home Thursday night. This morning spot’s wife graciously drove me to the Keatings’ house, from which I walked with Jesse to catch the bus to Red Hat’s Westford office. (A relative heat wave in Boston today, with a 25 F morning and a high of 46 F.)

Once I found (and successfully operated) the coffee machine, I holed up and worked in a more or less spare cube. Its supposed owner is apparently very committed to either portability or an ultra-Spartan decor, since the cube contained a total flair consisting of a torn piece of paper, an old multisync monitor, and two small UPS units.

I caught up (mostly) with email and IRC logs for the portion of the day I didn’t spend on the phone or in meetings, but I also was able to spend some good quality time with my new manager this evening. Dinner with spot and his wife followed — sushi, yum! Then I retired like a hermit to finish some emails started before I left the office. Now it’s time to crash.

Friends, Romans, countrymen.

Here’s a couple recent tidbits of great tidings for the Fedora community:

Jeffrey Tadlock and Fabian Affolter, both Fedora Ambassadors, developed a superb one-sheet showing growth in the Ambassadors program. They’ve also put together a page on the wiki to do future tracking of these metrics. It’s amazing to see how fast the community can react and make things happen. It seems like the conversation about metrics in Ambassador-land had just begun and already we have some actual statistics to show. Superb!

Also, last night on IRC, the Fedora Documentation Project had a great meeting with some folks from the Red Hat Documentation team. They were introducing their new publican package, which is a soup-to-nuts DocBook creation system that has been used in-house for a couple of years. One unique feature of publican is its ability to integrate in the distribution without the need for tinkering with CVS repositories, since it’s simply an RPM package like any other, with a dead-simple create_book command, for instance.

A package has been approved and is in Fedora’s development “Rawhide” repository, and hopefully you’ll see it in Fedora 8’s repositories soon as well. The Docs team is currently running it through some tests to see what will be required to make a transition to using it for our CVS-stored documents. This sort of teamwork is what open source development is all about; thanks to Jeff Fearn and the other Red Hat Documentation team members who made this happen.

I thought I told you never to call me here.

Currently I’m working as a remote employee, until we get our real estate sorted out and move up to New England. It’s a very new experience for me, since I’ve always worked in an office ever since I graduated from college/university in 1991. Working as a remote employee, though, has its benefits:

  • I can basically start work right after a shower, dressing, and some coffee.
  • Lunch feels free, even if it really isn’t. At least it’s cheaper, and there are usually real plates and silverware. And sometimes cookies.
  • It was very rare that people ever came into my space at the office and hugged me unexpectedly. And it was probably better that way.
  • Two words: LAVA LAMP.

On the other hand, there are drawbacks, too:

  • When the walls rumble and shake, it’s no longer artillery, it’s a four-year-old.
  • Now I sit next to the laundry machines. In the basement. If they move me again, I’m going to burn down the building.
  • John McCain, this is the THIRD TIME you’ve called me today. Stop, already.

Day One.

Orientation at Red Hat started today. I had a great time meeting a bunch of new faces — in many cases, people I might not see again for a long while, if ever, since they are all going to different parts of the company. I was the one employee starting in the Engineering Division, so that was interesting. I got to tell all the other employees in our various break-time conversations about my new job.

We also got into a little bit of conversation at lunch about the continuing work to break down barriers in Fedora and exponentially grow our contributor base. I have a lot of ideas swirling about with regard to that topic, including how it relates to the decline of volunteerism in the USA overall, which I need to sit down and work out on paper.

Max also reminded me of something we need to change — the fact that the vast majority of people conducting the conversation (in blogs and other trendy venues) about principles they share with the open source community, are not connecting with our community as contributors. In fact, some of them don’t even seem to be aware we exist, except in the sense that they consume the products we create.

If you’ve got ideas on how to do this, I’d like to hear them. Then I’m going to ask you to get involved to help implement them. 🙂

So in short, I’m more excited about my new job today than I was yesterday — and i was pretty pumped already then. As one of my new coworkers said, and I’ll paraphrase slightly, “I used to be the only person around my office who cared about open source. Now I’m in a company where we all share the same passion.” Right on!