Preview: I, Quaid
I, Quaid - LiveJournal.com
Last Build Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 20:59:25 GMT
Moving to iquaid.org
Mon, 12 Nov 2007 20:59:25 GMT
Although I'll keep the account, this is my last blog post from my Live Journal account
. It's a great service, and I appreciated the serendipity it has brought me. I'm consolidating my activities under one domain, iquaid.org
. Ironically, it was the fact that my preferred nick 'quaid' was taken on Live Journal that led the invention of "i, quaid" as a blog name.
Following this post, I'll be having my feed on the Fedora Planet
updated to the "Fedora" category
at iquaid.org. After that, I can post as much as I want in other categories and not have it all appear on the Fedora Planet. :)
If for some strange reason you are watching my blog individually, go ahead and change your feed
One reason for radio silence from this blog for so long is I have been busy building up the developer content portal at Red Hat, called Dev Fu
. We are just beginning to pull the veil off that project. It is also run in a blog format, using Lyceum
, which is developed in sync with WordPress
. I now run the same blog engine for my personal and work writing.
From a writer standpoint, I've been incubating and preparing to be writing a lot
more. Somehow it seemed necessary to go quiet in my blog for a while, then start off the unveiling of Dev Fu
with a change in my personal blogging.
From an editor-in-chief standpoint, the fun is just beginning. Check out the first article we published, Continuing the Conversation -- Understanding Seam Nested Conversations
Wow, I really am fat and talk too fast
Thu, 16 Aug 2007 16:17:16 GMT
When speaking in public, I have to make a conscious effort to slow down when I speak. Mostly I fail, but trying makes somewhat of a difference. Somewhere in the middle of making this video
with Matt Domsch
and Jack Aboutboul
, I realized I was yammering at a parsec a second; I tried to slow down, but it was too late. Jack, at least, comes across coherently.
The full blog post about the Dell crew adventures at LinuxWorld San Francisco 2007 is found here
As for the fat part, well, it's true. But in that video, with my five-minute-out-of-the-wrapper Fedora t-shirt hanging over my belt, I look about 250 pounds and ready to Weeble(TM)-wobble
over Jack and Matt. Especially at the end where I transfer the mic to Jack and have to stand close because the wireless rig was hooked to my belt.
Anyway, the video definitely makes me look heavier than I am, but it doesn't lie. A friend is going to pass me an Xtracycle
, which just needs a new (used
) pair of forks. I do lots of walking and eat a great diet, but getting heart hammering and fat burning aerobic exercise is too rare -- new bike just for me should help with that. Cross those chubby fingers!
Where are my West Coast Fedorans?
Thu, 09 Aug 2007 18:32:25 GMT
Just curious what is going on with Ambassadors and Fedora friends, users, and developers out here on the West Coast?
Are there many of you? What would get you to come to LinuxWorld San Francisco to contribute to the Fedora presence? How about OSCON
This year the booth is better than ever (OGG video of the booth
). We are co-operating with Creative Commons, and it's nice to have such excellent booth mates.
But the sum total of Fedorans staffing this booth is two: Jack and me. It's cozy, but we have more room. There is lots to talk about. I've answered more OLPC questions than anything, so it doesn't even require technical expertise. Just enthusiasm and a wee bit of patience.
CC Live Content and other fun stuff [Live from LinuxWorld]
Tue, 07 Aug 2007 23:47:38 GMT
Creative Commons Live CDA few weeks ago I got to hear about the CC Live Content CD we're presenting here at LinuxWorld. It is a Fedora-based distribution that includes tools for creating and sharing content. Lots of attention here at the booth. I got some video of the developer who put the Live CD together form a technical side, and I'm going to hit the content people a bit later. I'm really interested in that side of thing personally. When I get something edited out of those, I'll post at least the Fedora-specific remix.Here is some raw video of the Fedora/Creative Commons booth. This video is under the CC BY-SA, and if you want to convert it into an OGG, please do so. Send me a copy (or a link to one), and I'll host and post about it. Darn slow connection at LinuxWorld makes it hard to 'yum install' a video encoder.http://iquaid.org/LWCE-SF-2007-media/Fedora-CC-booth-LWCE-SF-2007.aviWe're all in some pretty distinguished company. :)Matt Domsch and the Dell Linux Video BlogMatt, who is a fellow Fedora Project Board and a Dell Linux architect, was cruising around with a cameraman, and still managing to keep it real on the Dell Linux blog. He stopped Jack and I, and we talked about the strides Fedora has made as an open project. I personally talked about translate.fedoraproject.org, Transifex, and the Fedora Localization (L10N) project in general. These are projects that comprise the Localization Feature of Fedora 8. All of this is happening as part of Fedora's participation in the Google Summer of Code.Jack then talked about Fedora's focus on open build tools and live media creation, and talked in some detail about the CC Live Content CD.General Show ImpressionI've definitely seen it more packed, but it is still pretty busy and a premier show. Always a mix of new and old users; some people need basic explanations of what open source is or what Fedora is; some people have very advanced questions and ideas. That is the way at the Fedora booth. Fewer apologies for past mistakes to make this year, but there are no new apologies for current situations.When I got here this morning, there was a cluster of people in the central area, and then many folks outside of that. The central area is right inside the main doors, and all the BIG VENDORS who spend BIG BUCKS have their booths there. That is where Red Hat used to be before we decided to focus our attention on the next generation through Red Hat Summit and FUDCons.In that core, the ratio of booth workers to attendees was pretty good. I'd guess about 1.5 attendees for every booth staffer. Out on the fringes a bit, and the situation changes a bit. The smaller players have a lot of staffers, and not as many attendees. That was around 11 am this morning.In the .Org Pavilion, which is strangely curtained off, the ratio of attendees is far greater than booth staffers; probably around 3:1, depending.It still feels as if having a booth at LinuxWorld makes a vendor relevant to a whole group of people. Is that the only group there is? What does a vendor lose not being here? I'm curious if others who attend LWCE think that Red Hat should be here, or maybe we should push our Fedora presence even more.[...]
Understanding the differences between the Fedora Board and FESCo
Sun, 24 Jun 2007 00:16:36 GMT
There is a lot of traffic in Fedora blogs
these weeks about the upcoming elections for the Fedora Project Board (FPB)
and the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo)
. As a newly about-to-be-inducted FPB member, and someone who runs an equivalent steering committee (FDSCo
), I can help shed some light on the differences between the bodies.
My objectives -- to make clear the distinction between these bodies; to interest some of you to run for election in one or both groups; to convince all of you to vote and care.
The Board sets the direction and strategic goals. FESCo oversees the implementation of those goals.JoshBoyer
had an example on #fedora-devel the other morning:
< jwb> ... board says "we need to put Fedora on cell phones". FESCo goes and oversees the adaptation required for that
An actual historical example was when the Board decided, "We need to get Core out of RHT internal build and merge it with Extras in an external, free-for-all build environment anyone can contribute to." FESCo made that happen -- defined tactically how it was to be done, then did it.
Who might be interested in running for which position?
* FESCo -- anyone who wants to influence the direction of how
Fedora moves forward
* FPB -- anyone who wants to influence the direction of where
Fedora chooses to move forward to
Another example -- the Board is Thomas Jefferson, while FESCo are Lewis and Clark.
Enough? Nominate yourself for FPB
Took a while to grow on me ...
Fri, 22 Jun 2007 22:55:22 GMT
Fact: I'm typically not
an early adopter
, except in the sense that my entire life is in early adopter mode. What I really mean is, although I exist in a world of visionaries creating new and returning old methodologies, I often wait for things to mature a bit before I commit to a change. Bit of a fogey in that way.
It's no surprise that I haven't taken to the new range of social software, mainly for a whole bunch of reasons. So much to manage with so little benefit, unless I have the gobs of time of a teenager or bored office worker. Coincidentally, I think these are the same problems that Mugshot
set out to avoid or solve (or both.) And I'm finding it is working for me.
Maybe it's just that I waited for it all to mature a bit. :)
It makes me happy that it's so easy to mash together
a feed from Pandora
and make it pop up on karstenwade.com
. Mugshot really is doing the job I need it to; helping me to pull together my stuff and other people's stuff in a way that is above (meta) the common feed-ing rabble.
Getting a Pandora music feed into Mugshot
Fri, 22 Jun 2007 11:02:02 GMT
The hack with Mugshot
is to create a new group, and use that to group feeds together. I guess I have a classical view of a group as "something you invite people to", and I suppose I _am_ inviting people to view this content, so it can be a grouping. Whatever.
It hasn't worked entirely right, yet anyway. I created a new group "I, Quaid"
, for the sole purpose of getting it to appear in my Mugshot page stacker
. It also appears in my Mini Mugshot
. Instant home page, thanks.
I started this because I wanted to give out a feed of some great songs I'm listening to, without overwhelming by giving a continuous feed. *yawn* Pandora lets me bookmark a song or artist as I'm listening to it, and I added those as feeds into the new group. So far, my Mugshot client stacker is working fine, as is the one on my Mugshot page. The mini/badge isn't picking up the songs yet, but I'm hopeful. :)
End of "I didn't know about that change!?!" for Fedora development (?)
Wed, 13 Jun 2007 20:38:11 GMT
Yes, my subject is quite certain that maybe possibly it could be the end of some of the squabbling and misunderstandings amongst Fedora's developers and packagers. Because I have so much trust in my fellow humans, I can say with something almost like sureness that we'll see this problem addressed ... in our lifetime ...
But anyway, Warren Togami
announced a good step in the right direction:Fedora-Devel-Announce is Now Open
. Especially if you have ever missed a small or large change in Fedora development that mattered to you. If this list
fails to announce something in the future, just think of all the ground for grievance you'll have!
Social networking, fear it!
Mon, 11 Jun 2007 21:27:18 GMT
An article by Michael Geist
, Facing up to Facebook fears
, discusses the current trend in government and education to react negatively to Facebook and other social networking sites. The crux of Geist's argument is that these attempts to block social networking are misguided, miss opportunities for important social and civics lessons for all, and further isolate government officials and workers from their constituents. Social networks "are simply the internet generation's equivalent of the town hall."
In my own experience, I live in a small neighborhood that has a history of strong community action, especially when faced with criminal and social issues. We have a mailing list where community leaders are active in discussing issues and ideas, and regular (monthly) meetings. Because of the history of the group, which started in response to cleaning up neighborhood crime, there is a strong connection with the local police.
In fact, on the mailing list are the sergeant in charge of community relations, the lieutenant who oversees the beat cops who patrol our neighborhood, several current and former city council members/mayors, and multiple city staff who oversee services affecting our neighborhood.
This situation is very helpful for all. The police get a chance to educate us on how and when to contact them, to encourage us to keep calling in criminal activity to draw police attention to it, and so forth. City officials and staff get a first-hand knowledge of situations as they are arising, and can provide answers or steer questions. All involved get a chance to hear the concerns of civic leaders before anyone has to march in the streets. :)
This has been put to the test many times, and the value of this combination of citizens and civil servants is powerful and useful.
quaid no like finances, ugh!
Thu, 07 Jun 2007 15:40:23 GMT
One blissful time I returned from a business trip, sat down, and did my travel expenses right away. One time. Every other time, I have procrastinated through to minor or major pain. Ouch. Why do I keep doing this to myself?
So, yeah, here I am again. As usual, there is a good reason I was distracted for so long -- my wife has been in a Crohns flare-up for the last nine, ten weeks. That one started because we made continuous mistakes in yogurt production, leaving un-fermented lactose, which fed bad bacteria, which the body reacted to, and flare away! So began a bleary-eyed last two months, where I worked full-time except for a few weeks where the back-and-forth to the hospital and medical stuff was too much (so I took a few sick days), took care of Debbie, and homeschooled my daughters. Nothing quite like doing 3x the usual duties to distract myself.
Now that we are starting to come out of this situation (there is nothing like an antibiotic to solve a problem that was caused by another antibiotic), we've been looking around and trying to clean up some of the nastiness that has formed in the corners of our life. And I unearthed a small stack of bills from Bank of America, all for travel expenses incurred on the corporate credit card. For some stupid
reason, I thought Red Hat paid these bills and I just had to get my expenses in; so I thought I was in arrears to Red Hat for getting my travel expenses turned in very late. Oh, no. Now I'm in hot water with everyone. :(
Is there such as thing as Financial Idiots Anonymous, a twelve-step program for people addicted to doing stupid things with money? Because frankly, every time I sit down to do expenses, my brain freezes, I get sweaty palms, and I don't get through. Meaning it is waiting for me again the next day. And the next. And the next. And now it's today.
FWN -- now with more whoopass
Mon, 04 Jun 2007 19:54:16 GMT
A few months ago, FWN writer/editor/do-it-all Thomas Chung
, a founder of the venerable Fedora News
, brought the production of Fedora Weekly News
into the formal Fedora Project itself.
Since that time, a small but active group of contributors has greatly increase the quantity and quality of content. Beat writers now cover various sub-project mailing lists as the main way of covering what is happening in those projects. For example, the latest issue, FWN Issue 90
, has extensive coverage on the heated discussions from fedora-devel-list
last week. The summary is thorough, even-handed, and not a single bit boring.
Writing about technical issues for a wide audience of diverse interests is very challenging. The latest evolution of FWN is a great example of both growth in meeting that challenge and the advantages that an open collaboration bring to any endeavor.
For me, a great side-effect of editing FWN each week is actually knowing what is going on in all the projects. If you have news you want to contribute, send email to fedora-news-list
, or go ahead and join the project
Release the Content
Thu, 31 May 2007 10:54:11 GMT
As Paul wrote about earlier
, lots of content that has been lining up got published tonight:
This release marks the first time that all content work was done in Fedora CVS (cvs.fedoraproject.org
). Even with that switch in the middle, requiring translators to get new accounts and learn a few new processes, we were able to maintain the same amount of translation, over-all. In fact, we got translated to one additional language, compared to FC-6. This is with even more content than before.
When you hear that all of Fedora is now external and open to the community
, know that the entire content creation and translation process is included in that.
Just a moment ago, I sent off the US English version of the release announcement. It's in the queue of fedora-announce-list
, waiting to get released at zero-hour. We hope you enjoy it, it was a blast to write.
Not sure how this experiment is going to work out, but this release we asked Fedora Ambassadors and other native-language speakers to write their own release announcement
. They are not translating something untranslateable, as our colloquial English release announcements usually are. This is good, because then we can be as creative as we want in our native language, not worrying about avoiding idioms for translators. These contributors are instead following a simple process
that uses a list of talking points
I also jammed this F7 release summary
page together, just copying the introduction from the release notes. It could use something more, most likely.
Agreed that we need to give the overview page
some content clean-up.
All-in-all, I am very happy
with the performance, the quality, and the quantity of work done by the content writers and translators of Fedora. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.
Naturally, we don't get to sit still very long. We are continuing work on the Fedora User Guide
, the Fedora Administration Guide
, and merging the Software Management Guide
into those two other guides, retiring that title. In addition, we're going to be directly in the middle of four Summer of Code
projects dealing with content editing, publishing, upstreaming, etc.
Spank that webpage, it's been born again
Fri, 25 May 2007 04:27:32 GMT
Breathing new life into this URL:http://fedoraproject.org
In anticipation of heavy server loads during the upcoming Fedora 7 release, we decided to post a series of lightweight, static HTML pages as the front of fedoraproject.org
. Those pages quietly went live today.
This also lets us try out a new style, and decide how much of it we want to roll into the upcoming Plone
The whole history is mainly on fedora-websites-list
, and many people contributed to make the pages happen. In particular, Ricky Zhou
and Máirín Duffy
(design and CSS), Thomas Chung
(content control), and Mike McGrath
(Mr. Fixit) really pushed to make it happen. From the peanut gallery on fedora-websites-list, Bart, Craig, Paulo, Rahul, John B., Nicu, Adam, Damien, John P., Wilmer -- thanks for the CSS fixes, design and content tweaks, and support throughout.
Karsten sucks ...
Tue, 22 May 2007 07:42:42 GMT
... and life is a flamefest.
That is all.
(Post-script update -- sorry for the confusion, I was trying to make an inside joke for Red Hatters who read a recent love-a-thon flame-fest on an internal list about stuff that sucks. No worries about me! Thanks to mis amigos for their concern. Carry on ...)
Wed, 16 May 2007 17:48:46 GMT
Last night, just as we finished The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
, my cell phone rang with an unknown number in the CallerID. Surprise! It was Dimitris Glezos
, on his way up Highway 1
from San Diego and the Red Hat Summit 2007
Of course I had a few minutes, so Dimitris and Alex put my house in their navigation system, and a few minutes later we were all in front of my little node, shaking hands for the first time. Very cool for me, since one of my biggest regrets at not making the Summit this year was not getting to meet Dimitris. Although I'm sure there were other people I wanted to meet IRL, he was one in particular.
Dimitris -- thanks for taking the time to drop by. Hope you found somewhere good for dinner, Santa Cruz has waaaayyyyy too many choices. BTW, forgot to ask, everyone in my family thought Alex is your brother. Is that so?
Ah, there's my Red Hat Summit Mugshot group, thanks
Mon, 07 May 2007 03:23:38 GMT
Last year at the Red Hat Summit 2006
, we introduced the very rad Mugshot
. Along with that, the Red Hat Summit 2006 Mugshot group
was created. It was a cool thing at the next morning's keynote when people throughout the audience were using Mugshot and the new group to web swarm
about the speaker and his topics.
Since I'm not going to be at the Red Hat Summit this year, I wanted to join a Mugshot group to keep track of what is going on, while it is happening. One quick search later, and I am now a member of the (open) Red Hat Summit 2007 Mugshot group
. Just like I wanted.
 We got our time (OGG
) last year
at the Summit to announce 108
. A year later, I am still focusing on developers through 108, Fedora, and other online services. Unfortunately for me, there are more Red Hat developers talking at the Summit this year than there are attending. So, if I want to go spin my yarn in 2008, I have to make it a goal to get the % of developers attending 2008's Summit to be bigger. Maybe if I can double the numbers, I'll get a talk accepted. :)
Chat today about new JBoss strategy (26 April at 1700 UTC) on #108
Thu, 26 Apr 2007 13:54:03 GMT
This week, Red Hat announced
an updated strategy for JBoss around community interaction and the future development direction of JBoss middleware/SOA components. I think this is interesting for people inside and outside of Java communities, and its a direction I'm really happy to see.
Today at 1700 UTC (1300 EDT), I'll be assisting in the background on a chat with Sacha Labourey, CTO of JBoss, a division of Red Hat. Moderating the chat is the product manager, Shaun Connolly. The chat is on #108 on irc.freenode.net, and we'll be taking questions in #108-questions, then feeding those back to the main (moderated) channel. How-to pointers for the IRC-impaired can be found at https://www.108.redhat.com/docs/irc-how-to.html
The chat topics are around the new jboss.org
and improvements in the user, committer, and contributor experience. Also on the deck are the new Red Hat Developer Studio, the new Red Hat Developer Program, and Developer Subscriptions that support your team from prototyping to development to production. Overall, we'll be taking any questions on the open source-into-product processes around JBoss Enterprise Middleware platforms and frameworks.
Also, I'm curious how this chat format is going to work out. To find out if it is useful for developers. Since chats are a very easy way to interact live with a global audience, we might want to host more of these.
When it is all over, I'll get busy with irclog2html.py
and post the resulting Q/A from #108.
If Teaching Methods Were Patentable - Why Care About Software Patents
Wed, 25 Apr 2007 01:34:35 GMT
Had to digg
Written by Alfred H. Essa, an Associate Vice Chancellor and Deputy CIO for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, this article presents a hypothetical parallel reality where teaching methods were patentable. With this example, he demonstrates to educators the dangers in idea (software) patents.
The article basically ends with a call to arms to Education to embrace open source and collaboration as a means to protecting itself from having the fundamentals of open education be patentable. Citing the case of Blackboard Inc. v. Desire2Learn Inc.
, Essa draws a connection to the similarity between the ideas Blackboard has patented and teaching or administrative methods used in an educational institution. The suggestion is directly drawn from the Open Invention Network
Good article to pass on for any professors or administrators you know who don't understand why they should care about software patents. Also note -- it is licensed under the CC BY
, which I find an interesting choice. Wonder why not the additional protection of shared perpetuity of the CC BY-SA
Your turn at release notes?
Sun, 22 Apr 2007 10:08:45 GMT
Since Fedora took over the release notes, their production has fallen mainly on the shoulders of Rahul Sundaram, Paul W. Frields, and myself. Truly, there are many, many of us
who have worked these notes, providing content, editing the Wiki, helping with conversion to XML, wrangling content from developers, etc. But a majority of the work has been on us three. And when an all-day conversion is called for (thanks again, Paul, for getting the changes between test4 and final in today) ... or a late night of final editing (it's almost 3 am here in California, with the rain beating the Pacific's rhythm) ... well, it's a fairly easy guess who those folks are going to be.
There are two problems with this. The first is, we're getting burned out. I cannot read minds, but I sense from Rahul that he is tired of being the single source for so much content. I know how I feel, and I have a fair idea how Paul is feeling because we are sympatico
The second problem is, having to handle such labor intensive tasks multiple times during a release is distracting us from other things we could be doing. The three of us have Fedora leadership roles (both of those cats are on the Fedora Project Board, and I hold reins for Fedora Documentation). In general, when you find that your leaders are having to roll up sleeves each and every single time, that is a symptom of a deeper problem.
The results are, the content is suffering -- it feels to me like there could be more, better. The release notes beats
are working fairly well as a concept (and reality), but only a portion of the power of the idea has been tapped. There is useful content going unwritten or unincluded.
Starting tomorrow in our weekly steering committee meeting
, we'll discuss this briefly, and begin to consider how we can increase involvement in the release notes. They are still the best Linux release notes ever
, but they are going to lose that distinction soon if we don't keep the fires fueled.
Looking for good mailing list/forum software
Sat, 31 Mar 2007 14:35:49 GMT
Oh, I'm a fan of the venerable Mailman
for open collaboration lists. But what to use when you need something more than gluing on yet another list server instance and calling it "project collaboration"?
Do you know any good integrated mailing list/Web-based forum application? Must be 100% FLOSS and run on Fedora or RHEL. :) Should stand-alone, rather than require a monolithic application around it. If you do, email me
Many modern collaborative Web-based tools include forums with a Web user interface (WUI). Over the last year, as I've been researching and talking with developers, one thing has come clear about that trend -- they suck. No one prefers a WUI over a mail client. The forums are useful for interacting with customers/users, but for highly interactive, distributed collaboration, mailing lists are still the best tool.
Wouldn't it be great to have that WUI forum interface connect directly into the mailing list? The customer/user-types who want to post a question and read responses on a Web forum, let them. The developer-types who are going to answer, discuss, and collaborate on a mailing list, let them.
There are plenty of tools to look through, and I'm doing that but not finding this combination yet. If you know of one or several that match that description, let me know
Thanks lazyweb! Many minds make for better research.