Viglen MPC-L from Xubuntu 10.04 LTS to Debian stable

With Ubuntu not supplying a kernel suitable for the CPU (a Geode GX2 by National Semiconductors, a 486 buzzing at 399MHz clock rate) of my Viglen MPC-L (the one Duncan documented the installation of Xubuntu in 2010), it was time to look for other alternatives. I wasn’t too keen on the idea of using some random repository to get the suitable kernel for newer version of Ubuntu, so Debian was the next best thing that came to mind.

Friday night, right before heading out to pub with friends, I sat on the couch, armed with a laptop, USB keyboard, RGB cable and a USB memory stick. Trial and error reminded me to

  1. use bittorrent to download the image since our flaky Belkin-powered Wifi cuts off the connection every few minutes and thus corrupts direct downloads, and
  2. do the boot script magic of pnpbios=off noapic acpi=off like with our earlier Xubuntu installation.

In contrast to the experience of installing Xubuntu on the Viglen MPC-L, the Debian installation was easy from here on. The installer seemed to not only detect the needed kernel and install the correct one (Linux wizzle 2.6.32-5-486 #1 Mon Mar 26 04:36:28 UTC 2012 i586 GNU/Linux) but, judging from the success of the first reboot after the installation had finished and a quick look at /boot/grub/grub.cfg, had also set the right boot options automatically. So the basic setup was a *lot* easier than it was with Xubuntu!

Some things that I’ve gotten used to being automatically installed with Ubuntu weren’t pre-installed with Debian and so I had to install them for my usage. Tasksel installed ssh server, but rsync, lshw and ntfs-3g needed to be installed as well which I had gotten used to having in Ubuntu, but installing them wasn’t too much of a chore. As I use my Viglen MPC-L as my main irssi shell nowadays, I had to install of course irssi, but some other stuff needed by it and my other usage patterns… so… after installing apt-file pastebinit zsh fail2ban for my pet peeves, and tmux irssi irssi-scripts libcrypt-blowfish-perl libcrypt-dh-perl libcrypt-openssl-bignum-perl libdbi-perl sqlite3 libdbd-sqlite3-perl I finally have approximately the system I needed.

All in all, the experience was a lot easier than what I had with Xubuntu in September 2010. It definitely surprised me and I kind of hope that this process wasn’t as easy and automated 18 months ago…

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Review: Watership Down, by Richard Adams, Finnish translation by Kersti Juva

Ruohometsän kansa

Ruohometsän kansa by Richard Adams, Finnish translation by Kersti Juva
My rating: 5 of 5 stars5 of 5 stars5 of 5 stars5 of 5 stars5 of 5 stars5 of 5 stars

I fell in love with this book when I was a teenager, and I fell in love hard. I read the book a few times, listened it from cassettes, and finally bought a copy from the library old book sale and rebound it in art class. I’ve listened it in both Finnish and English, and my hardcover copy of the book is in Finnish.

I love the story. I dreamt dreams of rabbits for months and even presented the book in school. Now, travelling often in UK I highly enjoy seeing rabbits on the roadsides and imagining them to be Hazel crossing the road.

The book is a bit dark to be treated as a children’s book, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone aged 12 or less. Especially the animated picture movie is apparently somewhat traumatising from the start, so be aware that it may not be your (or your childs) cup of tea.

Other than that, the book is split into distinct parts of the story and it is very refreshing in its view about the world, which is told from the viewpoint of the rabbits. The author makes very plausible assumptions about how rabbits see the world – for example how threatening open spaces and high grounds are.

The Finnish translation is also excellent without any obvious mistakes. It’s been done by Kersti Juva, a wellknown and -established translator, also known as the translator of Lord of the Rings.

I fully recommend the book.

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Review: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, Finnish translation by Jyri Raivio

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, Jyri Raivio (translator)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars3 of 5 stars3 of 5 stars3 of 5 stars3 of 5 stars 3 of 5 stars

I got the book from Hervanta library as a quick loan and read it in a week. The translation to Finnish is atrociously bad (silicon is not the same as silicone and similar other obvious translation mistakes) as Aleksi Moisio noted on his review of the book in Helsingin Sanomat. However, if these problems are overlooked, the book itself was ok. While it was interesting to read about Steve’s life and how he did things, his personal traits as portrayed by the book didn’t come as a surprise.

I appreciated the interview snippets of Bill Gates and Jobs’ relatives, and the description of the last years of his life during his sickness.

View all my reviews

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Ubuntu 11.10 on an ExoPC/Wetab, or how I found some use for my tablet and learnt to hate on-screen keyboards

I attended an event in the spring that ended with a miraculous incident of being given an ExoPC to use. The operating system that it came installed with was a bit painful to use (and I’m not talking about a Microsoft product), so I didn’t find too much use for the device. I flashed it with a new operating system image quite often, only to note that none to few problems were ever fixed in the UI. Since operating system project is pretty much dead now with participants moving to new areas and projects of interest, I decided to bite the bullet and flash my device with the newest Ubuntu.

Installation project requires an USB memory stick made into an installation media with the tools shipped with regular Ubuntu. A keyboard is also nice to have to make installation process feasible in the first place, or at least it makes it much less painful experience. After the system is installed, comes the pain of getting the hardware to play nice. Surprisingly I’ve had no other problems than trying to figure out how to make the device and operating system to realise that I want to scroll or right-click with my fingers instead of a mouse. Almost all the previous instructions I’ve come across involve (at best) Ubuntu 11.04 and a 2.6.x kernel – and the rest fail to give a detailed instruction on how to make the scrolling or right-clicking work with evdev. The whole process is very frustrating, and I still haven’t figured everything out.

Anyway. First thing you notice, especially without the fingerscrolling working, is that the new scrollbars are a royal pain in the hiney. The problem isn’t as bad in places where the problem can be bypassed, like in Chromium with the help of an extension called chromeTouch where the fingerscrolling can be set to work, or in Gnome-shell which actually has a decent sized scrollbar, or uninstalling overlay-scrollbar altogether, which isn’t pretty, but it works.

Exopc The second immediate thing that slaps a cold wet towel on the face is – after you’ve unplugged the USB keyboard – is the virtual keyboards. Ubuntu and its default environment Unity use OnBoard as the default on-screen keyboard. OnBoard is a complete keyboard with (almost) all the keys a normal keyboard would have, but it lacks a few features that are needed on a tablet computer: it lacks automation of hiding and unhiding itself. In addition to this annoyance OnBoard had the tendency of swapping the keyboard layout to what I assume to be either US or British instead of the Finnish one I had set as default on the installation. One huge problem with OnBoard is at least in my use that it ends up being underneath the Unity interface, where it’s next to useless.

I tried to install other virtual keyboards, like Maliit and Florence, but instructions and packages on Oneiric are lacking and anyway, I still don’t know how to change the virtual keyboard from OnBoard to something else. However, the virtual keyboard in a normal Gnome 3 session with Gnome-Shell seems to work more like the virtual keyboards should, but alas, it doesn’t seem to recognize the keyboard layout settings at all and thus I’m stuck to non-Finnish keyboard layout.

However among all these problems Ubuntu 11.10 manages to show great potential with both Unity and Gnome 3. Ubuntu messaging menu is nice, once gmnotify has been installed (as I use Chromium application Offline Gmail as my email client), empathy set up, music application of choice filled with music and browser settings synchronized.

I’ve found that the webcam works perfectly and the video call quality is much better than it has been earlier on my laptop where I’ve resorted into using GMails video call feature, because it Just Works. It’s nice to see that pulseaudio delivers and bluetooth audio works 100% with both empathy video calls and stereo music/video content.

Having read of the plans for future Ubuntu releases from blogposts of people who were attending UDS-P in Orlando this past week, I openly welcome our future tablet overlords. Ubuntu on tablets needs love and it’s nice to know it’s coming up. This all bodes well for my plan to take over the world with Ubuntu tablet, screen, emacs and chromium :-)

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What I have been doing in my spare time…

Warning, a photo galore! I’ve not done a proper display of what I’ve done in years, so to show my workmanship, some photos :-)
Continue reading

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Things I learnt about managing people while being a Wikipedia admin

Colour explosion Just over four years ago I gave up my volunteer, unpaid role as an administrator of the Finnish Wikipedia. Today, while discussing with a friend, I realised what has been one of the most valuable lessons in both my professional life and hobbies. While I am quite pessimistic in general, I still benefit from these little nuggets of positive insight almost every day when communicating and working with other people.

  • Assume Good Faith. “Unless there is clear evidence to the contrary, assume that people who work on the project are trying to help it, not hurt it.” Most people aren’t your enemies. Most people will not try to hurt you. If stupidity is abound, it’s (usually) not meant as a personal attack towards you, nor is it intentional.
  • When someone does something that doesn’t immediately make sense, which contradicts your assumptions about the skills and common sense of a person you are dealing with, discuss it with them! Don’t make assumptions based on partial information or details, ask for more info so you don’t need to assume the worst! If something is unclear, asking won’t make things worse.

Pessimists are never disappointed, only positively surprised. But while the world seems like a dark a desolate place and the humanity seems to be doomed, I still have to try to believe in the sensibility of people and that we can make something special for the project we are trying to work for. Ubuntu, Wikipedia, Life… or just your day-to-day job.

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And then, unexpectedly, life happens

I hope none of you have expected me to blog more often. It’s been over a year since I’ve last blogged, and so much has happened since I last did.

I’ve travelled to Cornwall, started a Facebook page that got a huge following in no time, fiddled a bit with CMS Made Simple at work, bought another Nexus One to replace one that broke and after getting the broke one fixed, gave the extra to my sister as a Christmas present, have taught Duncan how to make gravadlax and crimp Carelian pasties, visited Berlin and bought a game. I’ve attended a few geeky events, like Local MeeGo Network meetings of Tampere, Finland, MeeGo Summit also in Tampere, MeeGo Conference in San Francisco, US and OggCamp’11 in Farnham, UK.

I’ve also taken few steps in learning to code in QML, poked around Arduino and bought a new camera, Olympus Pen E-PL1.

My mom What else has happened? Well, among other things, my mother was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma right after New Year, and she passed away 30th of June.

Many things that I have taken for granted have changed or gone away forever. Importance of some things have changed as my life is trying to find a new path to run in.

Blogging and some of my Open Source related activities have taken a toll, which I am planning to fix now that I feel like I’m strong enough to use my energy on these hobbies again. Sorry for the hiatus, folks.

Coming up, perhaps in the near future:

  • Rants and Raves about Arduino
  • Entries about social networking sites
  • Camera/Photography jabber
  • Mobile phone/Tablet chatter

So, just so you know, I’m alive, and will soon be in an RSS feed reader near you. AGAIN.

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California Dreamin’, release 1.2.1 (LCS2010, MeeGo workshop videos)

As promised earlier, I’ve now published four of the sessions from Linux Collaboration Summit 2010 which was held in San Francisco in April. They’re viewable in, and I’ve decided to follow the licensing Linux Foundation itself has for the videos of the previous day, so the videos are licensed in CreativeCommons Attribution. I managed to burn a lot of time to edit the videos, but I guess in the end they’re fairly good. The sound quality isn’t magnificent, but most of the time you can tell what is actually said… I’ve not yet uploaded the MeeGo question hour or the panel, because I’m not still quite convinced that the sound quality is good enough. If you want them on, please leave a comment.

Quim Gil - A Working Day in MeeGo project

Without further ado, here are the episodes so far:

<3 <3

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California Dreamin’, release 1.2 (Linux Collaboration Summit, day 2)

The second day of the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit started with breakfast and scoping out the possible talks to attend to. Many of the talks looked interesting, but I wandered to the MeeGo workgroup room according to my original plan and set up my Flipcam to record the sessions (the cheap mock Gorillapod proved to be worth the money several times over this day!).

MeeGo Sticker by Dawn Foster, All rights reserved First of all Dawn Foster, the MeeGo co-Community Manager from Intel (Quim Gil of Nokia being the other) introduced herself and asked us to introduce ourselves too, with three words. That proved to be a funny experience and it was even funnier looking at my attempted recording of the introductory round (though I succeeded in pointing the camera at the right person with surprisingly high percentage!). There were plenty of Nokians, Intelians (though I had to wonder how many of them know Walter) and even a person from Adobe developing Flash. Of course Bergie was there too, after all, he was the first person I met on previous day, Wednesday arriving to the venue. Ericsson had people attending the workgroup, as did Igalia and Collabora, and, of course, Canonical as well. In my hazy (feverish) state I forgot to discuss with Robert McQueen of Collabora more, it would have been fun to discuss the state of affairs of Linux, open source and Maemo in Cambridgeshire area.

After the roll-call Arjan Van de Ven, Senior Staff Engineer of Intel gave us an overview on the technical aspects of MeeGo. MeeGo is a personal OS for personal devices, and as Imad mentioned the day before, MeeGo plans to integrate upstream projects to be released every six months to nice bundles that manufacturers can use as a basis for the software stacks of their products. The grand plan is to make MeeGo a standard that can be used with standard Linux applications with least effort of porting effort, and Nokia will make efforts in synchronizing MeeGo with Qt releases.

Qt and C++ will be the languages of choice for development for MeeGo. Compliance testing may assume the applications are done on Qt. Judging from this, GTK will be phased out from the stack, which I think is a shame. Python can be used for programming too with Pyside, but it might not be available on every platform MeeGo will be released on. Browser hasn’t been decided on yet, it could be Fennec or Chromium, as it’s just an application. Webkit will be offered as the embeddable HTML viewer.

On the hardware side both ARM and Intel will be supported:

We as MeeGo don’t want to have one-time hardware-specific forks like Android has had.

Hardware patches, as other patches, should be submitted upstream because of this policy. Only devices that agree on the rules set by MeeGo can use the MeeGo logo and trademark: Devices need to ship with the full MeeGo stack and the application-level API must not be broken, so patches should be applied to the stack. There are plans for MeeGo application store as with Maemo has the community repositories, but proprietary stuff will be centralised either on Ovi Store or manufacturer-specific stores. There might be restrictions imposed to what can be installed to the devices by the manufacturers and the operators. [slides]

Next Greg Kroah-Hartman from Novell told us about the netbook UI. There was some video from Beijing that apparently presented the leaked UI. Novell is contributing to the Netbook quite a lot, so there’s a lot of Novell stuff going to the Netbook version: Banshee, Evolution, MobileMe, Tracker. As such, C# is included with the Netbook version and that can be used for development as well. The browser is going to be Chrome, and the aim is to have similar power/battery usage as Windows XP.

Quim talks MeeGo Decision making is important in every project. Quim told us about it in his presentation after lunch (Mexican menu in a Japanese restaurant was somewhat… disturbing is the best way to describe it) – by scribbling on the flip board (checking the notes from his N900 now and then). In hindsight someone should’ve taken pictures of all the scribblies Quim drew, but oh well… The basic idea of the decision-making is that there’ll be working groups for specific areas of development that make the big decisions – such as for handheld UX, netbook UX etc – but that for most of the stuff, it will decided as on every other distro out there.

Marcel Holtmann of Intel continued by offering us an overview of the connectivity framework used in MeeGo. It is built mainly on oFono, connman and Bluez with tight interaction: similar user interfaces and functionality overlap in the projects. connman controls all the radio on the device, it handles setting the device to flight mode, and on the todo list for it are for example statistics and counter interfaces, portal and location detection (I really wish this would come to Linux in general, hotel wifi authentication http catchalls are such a pain!) Wimax is a whole separate stack, controlled by connman, but LTE will be controlled by oFono. Currently there is nobody doing the mmsd and there is no open source mmsd implementation. VPN implementation isn’t ready yet, so far it supports Cisco VPN’s but OpenVPN support is coming up soon, too (WOHOO!). [slides]

Later, we were given a treat of hearing a presentation of Qt Quick (QML) by Henrik Hartz, Qt Product Manager. The UI is defined with a combination of “CSS” (even I, a non-coder understood some of that part) and JavaScript, and all the hard byte crunching happens underneath the bonnet with the logic done with C++. To me that sounds like a brilliant idea that allows the design of the UI and the actual programmatic logic be separated better, giving both aspects a fair amount of focus instead of concentrating only to the non-UI parts.

MeeGo Technical panelThe last officially formed session was the MeeGo Technical panel with Sakari Poussa, Dawn Foster, Arjan Van de Ven and Andy Wilson. It shed some light on why MeeGo was formed: the goals and perceived methods to achieve them were considered so similar be the two companies that they figured the benefits of combining the efforts would outweigh the bad, but of course some negotiations were needed to make the most important platform decisions.

The panelists didn’t think working groups would cause a lot of decision making overhead as they are not meant to micromanage everything. Most decisions should be done by upstream developers on mailing lists, bug reports and team meetings in any case.

Although future MeeGo devices willh have the possibility for the operators to lock the phones to their network, Quim did reminds the audience that if a Nokia device is bought directly from Nokia store or online shop, there will be Methos of unlocking it, if it’s not outright unlocked by default.

Finally we had a quite uninformal discussion about translations for MeeGo, led by Intel’s Margie Foster. The discussion was about the translation tool, Transifex, quality control, best practices and teams.

I’ve got some experience on translating software to my native language, Finnish. At one point I was an active member of the translation community of Finland due to personal interest and my job. My line manager at Nomovok, Timo Jyrinki is the team leader of the Finnish translations in Ubuntu and GNOME, and during my more active years in the Finnish translation community some of the knowledge rubbed on me too.

Out of interest I found my way to MeeGo’s current translations and checked out the Finnish translations. Some of the translations were in an abysmally bad they literally made my eyes water. I was horrified when I was told that someone had been paid to do those translations (getting paid for translating open source stuff is good, doing a bad job at it is not). I couldn’t keep my mouth shut but asked what kind of quality control is there for the translations, and how is MeeGo as a project going to make sure that translations pulled from upstream aren’t written over or edited to be worse than they originally were – since I know cases of this happening too. The best way I know to make sure the quality of the translations are consistent is to make the amount of contributors consistent and big enough. If you have done translations for Ubuntu, perhaps you could have a look at doing translations for MeeGo as well?

The evening party was organized by MeeGo and it consisted of drinks and tapas at Dosa on Filmore/Post. I had lengthy discussions with Ryan Abel, Randall Arnold, Quim Gil and Ronan MacLaverty, and couple of other people whose names I’ve probably managed to forget.

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California Dreamin’, release 1.1 (Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, day 1)

I’ve got plenty to tell about my experiences of our two month trip to Silicon Valley, but I’ll start with telling about the conferences and events I’ve attended. I’ll start the story with the most important and the biggest one, Linux Foundation’s Collaboration Summit which was held in April in San Francisco, at the Hotel Kabuki.

Flippin' fail... Unfortunately I had a flu at the same time so some of my memories of the sessions are a bit hazy, but not to worry! Before the summit we attended WhereCamp, an unconference about geoinformation, maps and everything related to that. (I’m not too much into location information, but my partner is, and I tagged along.) The organizers gave out five Flip UltraHD camcorders, and we got one! So I naturally used mine to record the sessions, which turned out to be a good thing, since the MeeGo Workshop on Thursday was not recorded by anyone else. I’m still in process of editing the video files into uploadable format – my laptop and Linux applications for video editing seem to be incompatible combination – but I promise I’ll upload the stuff soon! (Keep tuned to this channel!)

Caltrain double decker The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit was held in San Francisco on the 14th to 16th of April, 2010. Because of the flu I attended only the two first days, but that was plenty of action! Our hotel is down south at Sunnyvale so I had to find a way to travel to downtown San Francisco. I don’t have a car or drivers licence, so Caltrain was the only viable option, and that was plenty of adventure! I did plan to use the public transport in San Francisco, but it was too much for my hazy brain and I ended up using the taxi from the train station to Hotel Kabuki, where the conference was held. Being afraid of heights traveling on Caltrain was an experience, as the carriages were double-decker (see picture).

We visited Japantown on the Sunday previous to the conference so I’d know a bit about my surroundings, and it was a good decision. The hotel the conference was held is very pretty, and it’s next to a shopping centre full of Japanese shops and restaurants. It helped a lot with my navigation later!

Arriving to the venue on Wednesday we got breakfast and while eating my croissant and drinking my coffee, Elizabeth introduced me to couple of people, including Landon Jurgens from GE. I also had a little touch with fame as Bradley M. Kuhn joined our group and we talked, among other things, about Star Wars memorabilia. Geek, me?

First keynote was held by Jim Zemlin, Executive Director at The Linux Foundation, justifiably. He welcomed us, and talked about the State of the Linux Union. He told us about the reasons why Linux is so successful, but reminded us about the challenges the ecosystem faces too. As a funny sideline he showed us a video comparison of Steve Jobs describing the iPad: “wonderful, amazing, magical, easy” and beloved RMS describing GNU/Linux: free, freedom, freedoms, be a good neighbour…

I think one of the biggest reasons Linux is becoming more and more successful is the omnipresence of electrical and information technology related equipment. Even if personal computers might be running Windows or OS X or other non-Linux operating systems, there’s plenty of appliances, mobile phones, networking hardware, cars and DVR’s around.

laptop lid
The biggest problem with the heterogeneity of the open source community and projects – especially those who are responsible to the paradigm shift of computing infrastructure from locally owned and operated hardware/software combinations to computing as a service industry – is that there has to be extra vigilance to fit and finish what has been started and not lull into complacency with releases of half-baked services. This problem can be addressed with proper management of the project, setting targets, tasks, having testing at the heart of things and making quality assurance a top priority. [video]

Following Jim’s presentation, Daniel Frye with his IBM keynote discussed the lessons the company has learned through their decades of commitment to Linux and open source development. I found this presentation probably the most interesting of the morning sessions and enjoyed the view to the history of the IBM participation. One of the most important points that can be seen in retrospect are that it’s a lot easier to join an existing community than to create a totally new one, and that code drops are a difficult and dangerous way of participation; incremental edits for delivering change is usually better! [video]

The last presentation before lunch break was a panel about cloud computing. To my great disappointment Mark Shuttleworth wasn’t at the conference and didn’t take part in the discussion (although there were plenty of Canonical employees, including Pete Graner). I’m not a great connoisseur of cloud computing, but there were couple of points I managed to catch up: There’s vendor lock-in with the different cloud providers! I hadn’t really thought of that before, and it surprised me a bit. This makes it a bit risky business to trust your stuff to cloud services, but an idea of smaller vendors to create a standard by sharing code and infrastructure sounds mighty good to me. I’ll definitely need to add cloud computing to one of the subjects I need to read more about! [video]

After lunch Ari walked on the podium wearing a Maemo shirt to give his keynote about MeeGo, the free and standard Linux for the mobile industry. As we know, MeeGo is the result of the recent co-operation incentive of Nokia’s Maemo and Intel’s Moblin. There’s great hopes for this one, but I have been more or less out of touch of the real ideas behind MeeGo since I happened to be very, very sick on the week the new project was announced.

Ari Jaaksi about Meego Having been watching the Maemo development from close range for quite some many years, the fact that MeeGo is aimed at not only smartphones but also TVs, tablets, car systems (and trains, planes etc) and netbooks requires some mental adjustment. MeeGo will be using Qt, Telepathy, WebKit, Fennec, RPM and GNOME, so there are some changes to Maemo. I’ve looked at the community response and the change to RPM has been the hardest to digest so far by the people.

Linux Foundation hosts the some work under MeeGo workgroup and there’s already considerable amount of collaboration going on with the platform, as Acer, Asus, BMW, Cisco, Careland, CS2C, Ericsson, DeviceVM, Gameloft, EA, Kingsoft, Linpus, Mandriva, Metasys, MontaSys, Neusoft, Novell, PixArt, Red Flag and others have already joined the MeeGo community. In the meantime first release of MeeGo has already been done in form of a code dump. It’s not really usable yet as it doesn’t have a GUI yet. N900 is the first reference device for MeeGo though, so there’s some hopes for the “older” devices :-P [slides, video]

The kernel panel was mainly uneventful. The new kernel will have better SSD support and some other new features such as a Linux equivalent of DTrace. Even if there are new features in kernel, the kernel developers keep getting older and there might not be as many new contributors to it as there has been in the past. Part of the problem is that the it’s not regarded as cool to be a kernel developer as it used to be. The code the old developers are writing into the kernel is so specialized and done by long time experts that it might be hard to understand and get used to by newer contributors. Long time contributors are well motivated and dedicated to their work on the kernel though – partly because most of them are employed to develop the kernel – so perhaps all isn’t lost after all. [video]

Imad Sousou of Intel and MeeGo technical steering group spoke after the kernel panel. He started off by mentioning his wish that since Ari had talked earlier and covered most of the topics he had in his presentation, perhaps he wouldn’t be asked the hard questions since Ari had already answered them. (This wish the audience later broke, by asking hard questions about proprietary blobs Maemo has had in the past. Ari answered them as diplomatically as possible, telling that while the project itself aims to be 100% open source, there might be proprietary components, such as device drivers, Skype etc. distributed by the vendors of the devices. Nokia will be one of the vendors, so, there will be proprietary components in the devices Nokia ships. This didn’t come as a surprise to me.)

What Imad stressed in his talk is that MeeGo plans to work very closely to the upstream.

If you want a kernel patch into MeeGo, send it to kernel upstream instead of MeeGo. If you want a Qt patch into MeeGo, send it to Qt.

MeeGo will also have a six month release cycle. First one is going to be released really soon (hopefully) as the schedule is aiming to release every May and November. [slides, video]

Why Your Life Might Depend on Your Code from the DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung (that’s the German Air Traffic Control) was mind-boggling. I’ve not watched the video yet, but I know it includes the video they showed us, and instead of yapping about too much about what the presentation was about, I suggest that you watch the video of the presentation. I can’t make justice to it by trying to condensate the points. [slides, video]

The presentation about how to prevent communities and co-operation was hilarious. Josh Berkus engaged the audience with his Over The Wall presentation. He had condensed how to stop global warming in a few easy steps that make sure you’ve built a wall between your developers and the community and stop contributions. The first premise you need to apply to the rest is that your developers do not take part in the community and all the releases are done in code drops, as thrown over the wall.

Ingredients include: difficult tools, preferably proprietary, homegrown, outdated or non-gui stuff, going all the way from CVS to CMS, via buildsystems and bugtrackers. The team needs to be overworked, and you need to make sure it’s kept that way: otherwise they’ll be babbling with the community! To make sure no communication happens, meetings need to be closed too – teleconferences make things hard, but make stuff impossible by having closed meetings. If you have a means of communication, obscure it as much as you can, and feed the trolls to make the community work against itself. Leave everything to be managed by one person, one person for webpages, mailing lists, etc. Use legalese everywhere where possible, but if you really want to tick people off, just be silent. [slides, video]

Chris diBona used Josh’s slides backwards to tell how Google does Open Source. Basically everything is in reverse! But in the end, Chris started using his own slides. Mootpoint was, that Google has released so far 915 projects as open source, and that more than 200 Google employees are patching and contributing to upstream projects. The message that also was included was that looking for enemies within the Linux and open source community isn’t beneficial. For Android to succeed MeeGo doesn’t have to fail, and indeed, in Android there’s plenty of stuff that has been originally contributed by Nokia employees. At the end of his presentation Chris won over the hearts and souls of the audience by giving every attendee a free Nexus One! [slides, video]

The first day of the event was brilliant, and we moved to a Japanese restaurant to an afterparty. I was getting tired after waking up at five o’clock and left the party around eight o’clock, to recuperate from the day to be ready for the next day. That’s up in my next blog post, coming up soon on this same bat channel! If you want to read a more accurate description of both the first and second day of Linux Collaboration Summit 2010, I highly recommend reading this Qaiku thread, written by Henri Bergius.

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