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!

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