Archive for July 2006
As you may know, Gentoo’s stuck on X.Org 7.0 for x86 and amd64 because we package and “support” Nvidia’s and ATI’s binary drivers. Finally ATI released 7.1-compatible compatible drivers. Now we just have to wait for Nvidia. Anyone got some idea on when that might happen?
I’ve been pondering the idea of moving binary drivers out of the main tree to a Gentoo-hosted overlay at overlays.gentoo.org so this doesn’t happen again, and I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback so far. Anyone got thoughts on this?
I plan to write a few articles about how to use Gentoo in widely varying areas, from the enterprise to the development box. I’d appreciate some suggestions on good areas to pick, any tips about any of these areas that you use, or anything else relevant.
Finally I found enough money to re-up my subscription to LWN. It’s the only Linux news worth paying for, including any magazine out there. Highly recommend everyone reading this sign up for it.
Its audience is smart people who don’t want the content dumbed down. In the comments, you’ll see lots of names you recognize from the top developers in the open-source community.
Is there anything like IMAP servers for reading RSS/Atom/etc feeds? I’d like to keep track of which posts I’ve read and which I haven’t, and what I’m subscribed to, consistent through a large set of computers. But I also like the ability to use a number of different clients, which is why I don’t want to be tied into a Web-based reader.
Update: a couple more requirements are (1) that I can set priority levels for feeds to sort them, and (2) that it will recognize when I’ve read the same post on a different Planet and mark it as read everywhere. The second requirement should be a function of the client rather than the server.
I had a great time at OSCON. As you’ll see in what others say about it, the most valuable part is the “hallway track” — who you talk to and what you do outside of the sessions. I talked with so many people that I’m not going to spend the effort mentioning everyone’s names. Both the Gentoo lunch on Wednesday and the X lunch Thursday were fantastic, as well as the Wednesday night OSL party. At each of them, I reconnected with old friends and met new ones, all of whom were great to talk with.
Here’s quick summaries of the sessions I attended. If you feel like looking up who led them, here’s the schedule.
State of the Linux Kernel
A fun, Q&A-based session. Greg KH walked in with no preconceived notions of what to talk about, and the interplay between him and the lively audience kept things going.
Simple Guide to Linux File Systems
A user-oriented introduction to which file systems to pick for which workloads. There is no “best” file system, but there are different bests for different use cases. The most interesting part? When speed is needed, consider ext2, especially on read-only systems such as some embedded devices. Also, stop using jffs2 on current flash — it has write-balancing built in, so certain parts won’t wear out faster than others. Consider ext2/3 or minix instead for RAM disk use.
Getting Started in Linux Kernel Development
This talk would be much more useful to people not already involved in open-source development. I was hoping for an intro to kernel work for someone like me, but I didn’t fit the intended audience. Still, it was a good talk, and the last 5-10 minutes were new to me too.
Lightning States Of
This was the 15-project series of 5-minute lightning talks that I took part in. The project list was quite diverse, ranging from SQLite to Gentoo to OpenSolaris to Java and back to databases with MySQL and PostgreSQL, closing out with a wild five minutes about the kernel by Greg KH and his daughter. Under-attended, but wonderful.
Marketing to Dilbert: How to Invite Developers Into Your Project
Amusingly, 90% of the audience was developers rather than business people, quite the reverse of what was expected. A fun paraphrase: “My entire MBA is these three things: sales, tactics and strategy.” We spent no more than three minutes. The most intriguing part for me was creating a business using open source, and the key point here was, “How do I generate sustainable revenue?” I added the emphasis, because you need to think about ongoing revenue and how to get one-time customers to keep coming back. Another important quote: “Understand the market better than your competition.”
State of the Desktop Infrastructure
What is “desktop infrastructure,” you ask? In this case, it’s X, the underlying graphical core beneath your GTK+ and Qt. A solid, concise talk on some changes since the transition to the X.Org Foundation, the new eye candy, and some upcoming changes related to Xgl and such. The last half-hour or so was discussion, since a number of X experts were there to answer questions in their respective areas.
OSS Project Press Relations
An outstanding talk, again under-attended because it’s the last talk of the day. I typed pages and pages of notes from this talk, which I plan to apply to Gentoo’s PR. Soon, I’ll post my notes to the gentoo-pr mailing list for discussion and commit them to CVS in proj/en/pr/. Before this talk, the file systems one was the most useful, but this one stole the trophy.
Here’s my OSCON presentation [ODP, PDF]. I was part of a 15-project series of lightning talks. My talk and the whole session went quite well, but the audience wasn’t as large as I would have wished. Likely this is because things came together a bit late, so there wasn’t enough time to publicize it properly. It was definitely the coolest thing happening at that time slot, but it was the end of the day so people were tired out.
Alastair, you were wanting something about what’s going on with Gentoo. Here ’tis.
Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier published a Newsforge article about OSCON that briefly mentions my talk.
Just discovered I can make it to Thursday of OSCON too. I’m really excited about this, since it’s the only conference I attend.
I’d like to do lunch with X folks Thursday, lemme know if you’re interested. We haven’t gotten together for a while.