Friday, June 29, 2007

Novell Hackweek is over

This week we had for the first time Hackweek at Novell. During this week everybody in the engineering group of the Open Platform Business Unit of Novell was encouraged to work on some innovate and cool ideas - and not look at the usual work. This was not for engineers only but also for documentation, testing, and managers.

I started a day late since I landed on monday from the US, and started directly working on Michael's patch for ldconfig to clean it up (details are here and sent it upstream. After the first review comments I reworked nearly everything, introduced some bugs, debugged and fixed the code and sent it upstream again and wait now for review from the other glibc maintainers. Afterwards I tried to get some statistics out of bugzilla...

I also met a few guys from our community. Francis, Benji and Frank were invited and sponsored to join us - I hope we can invite more people next time and do it with more planning so that they have a chance to join. Francis and Benji have been hacking on the openSUSE Software Portal and Frank launched On tuesday a car of developers from Prague came over to talk personally with Benji and Francis about the portal.

Going through the Nuernberg offices I noticed a lot of cool ideas. Some people would need another hackweek to finish it - but I did not hear anybody speaking about a failure. A few people used it to learn new skills, e.g. C#, and therefore needed a bit longer to start.

Some of the great ideas that I noticed:
  • "Add a buildservice project that recompiles Debian packages": Coolo and Richi have now the first packages from Debian building in the openSUSE BuildService. They showed me some packages that they installed via rpm and which worked just fine.
  • Michael worked on a SAT resolver for package resolving (idea: Fast installation tool) . The speed of the examples he showed me was really impressive. Let's see whether and when we can use it in libzypp.
  • Henne created a "Media Center" edition of openSUSE.
  • Timo, Martin and Tom created an Laptop Access Panel using some python and an interpreter with both GTK and KDE user interfaces. The panel is extensible in an easy way.
  • Try design a nice digiKam HTML theme was the topic Jana worked on. It looks fine in Firefox, Konqueror and Opera but Internet Explorer does not seem to look it completely yet.
  • Holger worked on graphical suspend to progress - showing a sleeping tux while suspending.
The largest team I saw were six people from our server team, they implemented "Create a properly integrated solution for Directory based user authentication/authorization".

It was really a fantastic week - and we also enjoyed the organization by our OPS team - especially the breakfasts and the Indian dinner on thursday (Pawar from Sur Mandir is the best!).

You can find more blog posts about Hackweek at Planet SUSE.

I'm looking forward to HW2!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Linuxtag and Linuxnacht

The social event at Linuxtag was called Linuxnight and was thursday night. It was in a former transformer station in Kreuzberg and a really cool place to party at. At one wall they were showing running an endless slideshow of some photos from Linuxtag - including the above photo from Martin.

The place had two levels, the lower one with a small fountain and a coffee bar. The party was excellent, I was just a bit tired and left early.

Opposite of our booth was the IBM booth and they had a second life demo running.

At one time, some of us decided to visit the IBM guy at second life. But it was not that easy to go to there place, the "openSUSE kidd" first had to earn some money...

We had a lot of visitors on our both asking for openSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise and other Novell products. I'm glad that Joe, Ralf and Christoph were there to answer some of the Novell questions. There were quite some good talks and I've been glad to meet some people.

At friday afternoon I took part in the keysigning session - together with around one hundred folks. Checking identities was as usual some fun. Signing and sending off the signatures via email on saturday, I was suprised that I got quite some mails back as undelivered - I would have expected that people would check that the emails associated with their keys do actually work. So, if anybody did not get my signature, you might want to check that email delivery is working for you.

Linuxtag is over now - and was one of the larger Linux events that we took part in. 9600 visitors came to the exhibition and the talks - and some of them showed up in ours as well...