Upcoming Talk by Ulrich Drepper on Memory Management on Modern x86 Operating Systems !

Ulrich Drepper, the well known lead maintainer of glibc, is visiting India for about a week.

This coming weekend, he will present on:

Memory Architecture and Management on modern x86 processors and Operating Systems.

Venue:
ThoughtWorks Technologies (India) Pvt Ltd.
ACR Mansion, 2nd floor, 147/F, 8th Main Rd.
3rd Block, Koramangala
Bangalore - 560 034, India
t: +91 80 4323 3700
f: +91 80 4323 3706

Time: 4 pm IST

Date: Saturday, March 12, 2011

View Map: http://goo.gl/pURj7

Read more about Ulrich Drepper:

http://www.akkadia.org/drepper/
http://udrepper.livejournal.com/

The OGB is dissolved

The opensolaris governing board has resigned, thereby handing control of the community to Oracle.

The OGB has done a good job in so far as their powers as a Governing Board are concerned. Before one declared them to be "weak" or "powerless", we should remember that most of them are strong enough to run their own distros. Indeed, Moinak created Belenix, and didn't hesitate to quit Sun when the pressure to stop work on Belenix became too disappointing (among several other reasons).

If Oracle really believes in community, etc, then this is the time for them to put their act together. After all, one of their VPs - Jeb Dasteel - has said in writing from an oracle.com email address that Oracle is interested in the community.

Surely Jeb must have some worth of his own words both as a senior Oracle officer, and as a senior person in the industryu.

Also, Oracle must have some self-respect of their own so explain their VP's statements and promises to the community.

OpenSolaris != opensolaris

I've always held that the OpenSolaris distro is different from the opensolaris community and code base.

There's been no formal communication about what Oracle intends to do with the opensolaris community + codebase. Leaked mails, news from friends within and from vendors did give a number of us insights into what's happening around.

If one were to go by the leaked email then the distro is dead and the mercurial repo will get some code pushed to it (under the CDDL license) only after Solaris 11 is release.

Circumstances may change in the future, and Oracle may push through nothing at all.

Rather than whine about source being closed, or Oracle reneging on promises made in Feb, I'd rather thank Sun for releasing the excellent code to the world, and congratulate them on putting together an engineering team that created such amazing functionality !

Thank you, Sun, and thank you, all you Sun engineers who created such wonderful work.

I just cannot use a Linux based distro full time ever again.

rpm ready, smart in testing :)

Just thought I'd let the world know that we've got rpm working on Belenix this weekend. We're able to use rpmbuild to generate packages, and I'm running most of my custom stuff as rpm installs :)

There was a curious issue with rpm (my usual mis-build karma, I think), so I got rpm5 in place instead.

smart's working as well, but there's some testing in progress more to do with me understanding smart better.

I haven't touched yum yet, though, since smart's more exciting at the moment :)

So just in case Nexenta's Debian-alignment doesn't work out, we have a plan B at least (though I'm myself partial to rpm, to Centos's stability, and to Fedora's clean new packages).

What fun !

rpm, dpkg, apt-get, yum, smart ?

One of the many attractions of a distro, is the quality of packages, and the ease of use of the package manager.

Choosing a package manager is easy: Use either yum/apt and put smart on top of it.

yum means the underlying package format should be rpm, while apt means the underlying package format should be dpkg.

Both rpm and dpkg today are good enough in their own right.

package formats also usually imply that the build recipes should be based on existing recipes which produce output in those formats (e.g. Fedora/CentOS for rpm packages, Ubuntu/Debian for dpkg packages).

The Belenix repositories at present have recipes in the form of spec files - these are in a format different from the Debian world. The package build recipes too are borrowed from SFE/Fedora. At present, the package quality at Fedora/CentOS is definitely much higher than that at Ubuntu. Debian packages are definitely of high quality, but one concern is that the packages are not updated as regularly as we'd like them to be.

Another concern is whether the Debian community would welcome contributions (such as Nexenta's enhancements to apt to support useful Solaris notions). This is a dilemma that can be easily resolved by talking to Debian, I think, even though they have in the past lashed out at well-meaning posts by Nexenta folk. This blog post (http://ianmurdock.com/solaris/no-good-deed-goes-unpunished/) makes things a bit confusing, though.

Update: Removed the Music label. The opensolaris planet was picking up the music label as the title of the post !

About the OGB decision

I decided to wait for a few days before blogging about my thoughts on the OGB's decision to ask Oracle to either appoint a liaison by August 16, or to resign on August 23 and had the community reins to Oracle.

While it is easy to accuse the OGB of being cowards, there are some points that we should remember:
- The opensolaris.org constitution mandates that there must be an Oracle representative (my wording, but that's the gist).
- The OGB members have approached Oracle via formal and via informal channels seeking responses from Oracle on how they intend to interact with the community.
- Till date, there have been informal responses to the OGB members, and two formal mails to various mailing lists attempting to provide reassurance to the community. There has also been a series of conference calls (which I have been unable to attend due to my own workload - more on that someday).
- The OGB members have to ensure that they do what's expected from them in their capacity as OGB members. Asking Oracle to honor the constitution and to respond to community questions are part of those expectations.
- One could expose the fact that all development of the OpenSolaris distro (different from the opensolaris community) is happening (if at all) behind closed doors by asking the distro community for a progress report. However, given that Oracle employees are stating that they cannot respond to anything they are not authorized to respond to, is already a signal in itself. However, Alan Coopersmith has told various community members that there are some critical bugs that are being worked on and that the distro would indeed be out soon. This was the message some months ago - I don't know the status today.

Given that there has been zero change in the above status for the past few months, I think the OGB did the right thing.

Also:
- Some of the OGB members are technically strong enough to have distros or package ecosystems of their own (Joerg with Schillix, Moinak with Belenix, Dennis with Blastwave).
- The others on the OGB have a proven track record of understanding corporates and open source (John Plocher and Simon Phipps).

It's not very clear what Oracle wants to do with the opensolaris community. It's not clear if Oracle understands how to deal with a community that thinks for itself (as against various communities of users who are interested in Oracle showcasing them new products).

I sure hope that Oracle doesn't decide to remain quiet and thereby damage the community. I also hope that the ON stays open and that new technologies are put out. After all, Linux awareness is more than AIX or HP-UX awareness because one is free and open, while the other two are not. We'd all want Solaris to rank high in awareness given the amazing technologies that it has.

Update: Removed the Music label. The opensolaris planet was picking up the music label as the title of the post !