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Preview: journal zen - par Vincent

mon journal - par Vincent



mon journal - par Vincent



Published: Sat, 22 Jul 2017 02:44:37 +0000

 



SUSE Ruling the Stack in Vancouver

Tue, 26 May 2015 00:58:00 +0200

Last week during the the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, Intel organized a Rule the Stack contest. That's the third one, after Atlanta a year ago and Paris six months ago. In case you missed earlier episodes, SUSE won the two previous contests with Dirk being pretty fast in Atlanta and Adam completing the HA challenge so we could keep the crown. So of course, we had to try again! For this contest, the rules came with a list of penalties and bonuses which made it easier for people to participate. And indeed, there were quite a number of participants with the schedule for booking slots being nearly full. While deploying Kilo was a goal, you could go with older releases getting a 10 minutes penalty per release (so +10 minutes for Juno, +20 minutes for Icehouse, and so on). In a similar way, the organizers wanted to see some upgrade and encouraged that with a bonus that could significantly impact the results (-40 minutes) — nobody tried that, though. And guess what? SUSE kept the crown again. But we also went ahead with a new challenge: outperforming everyone else not just once, but twice, with two totally different methods. For the super-fast approach, Dirk built again an appliance that has everything pre-installed and that configures the software on boot. This is actually not too difficult thanks to the amazing Kiwi tool and all the knowledge we have accumulated through the years at SUSE about building appliances, and also the small scripts we use for the CI of our OpenStack packages. Still, it required some work to adapt the setup to the contest and also to make sure that our Kilo packages (that were brand new and without much testing) were fully working. The clock result was 9 minutes and 6 seconds, resulting in a negative time of minus 10 minutes and 54 seconds (yes, the text in the picture is wrong) after the bonuses. Pretty impressive. But we also wanted to show that our product would fare well, so Adam and I started looking at this. We knew it couldn't be faster than the way Dirk picked, and from the start, we targetted the second position. For this approach, there was not much to do since this was similar to what he did in Paris, and there was work to update our SUSE OpenStack Cloud Admin appliance recently. Our first attempt failed miserably due to a nasty bug (which was actually caused by some unicode character in the ID of the USB stick we were using to install the OS... we fixed that bug later in the night). The second attempt went smoother and was actually much faster than we had anticipated: SUSE OpenStack Cloud deployed everything in 23 minutes and 17 seconds, which resulted in a final time of 10 minutes and 17 seconds after bonuses/penalties. And this was with a 10 minutes penalty due to the use of Juno (as well as a couple of minutes lost debugging some setup issue that was just mispreparation on our side). A key contributor to this result is our use of Crowbar, which we've kept improving over time, and that really makes it easy and fast to deploy OpenStack. Wall-clock time for SUSE OpenStack Cloud These two results wouldn't have been possible without the help of Tom and Ralf, but also without the whole SUSE OpenStack Cloud team that works on a daily basis on our product to improve it and to adapt it to the needs of our customers. We really have an awesome team (and btw, we're hiring)! For reference, three other contestants succeeded in deploying OpenStack, with the fastest of them ending at 58 minutes after bonuses/penalties. And as I mentioned earlier, there were even more contestants (including some who are not vendors of an OpenStack distribution), which is really good to see. I hope we'll see even more in Tokyo! Results of the Rule the Stack contest Also thanks to Intel for organizing this; I'm sure every contestant had fun and there was quite a good mood in the area reserved for the contest. Update: See also the summary of the contest from the organizers.[...]



Deploying Docker for OpenStack with Crowbar

Tue, 12 May 2015 10:41:00 +0200

A couple of months ago, I was meeting colleagues of mine working on Docker and discussing about how much effort it would be to add support for it to SUSE OpenStack Cloud. It's been something that had been requested for a long time by quite a number of people and we never really had time to look into it. To find out how difficult it would be, I started looking at it on the evening; the README confirmed it shouldn't be too hard. But of course, we use Crowbar as our deployment framework, and the manual way of setting it up is not really something we'd want to recommend. Now would it be "not too hard" or just "easy"? There was only way to know that... And guess what happened next?

It took a couple of hours (and two patches) to get this working, including the time for packaging the missing dependencies and for testing. That's one of the nice things we benefit from using Crowbar: adding new features like this is relatively straight-forward, and so we can enable people to deploy a full cloud with all of these nice small features, without requiring them to learn about all the technologies and how to deploy them. Of course this was just a first pass (using the Juno code, btw).

Fast-forward a bit, and we decided to integrate this work. Since it was not a simple proof of concept anymore, we went ahead with some more serious testing. This resulted in us backporting patches for the Juno branch, but also making Nova behave a bit better since it wasn't aware of Docker as an hypervisor. This last point is a major problem if people want to use Docker as well as KVM, Xen, VMware or Hyper-V — the multi-hypervisor support is something that really matters to us, and this issue was actually the first one that got reported to us ;-) To validate all our work, we of course asked tempest to help us and the results are pretty good (we still have some failures, but they're related to missing features like volume support).

All in all, the integration went really smoothly :-)

Oh, I forgot to mention: there's also a docker plugin for heat. It's now available with our heat packages now in the Build Service as openstack-heat-plugin-heat_docker (Kilo, Juno); I haven't played with it yet, but this post should be a good start for anyone who's curious about this plugin.




Stepping down as openSUSE Board Chairman

Thu, 17 Jul 2014 16:40:00 +0200

Two years ago, I got appointed as chairman of the openSUSE Board. I was very excited about this opportunity, especially as it allowed me to keep contributing to openSUSE, after having moved to work on the cloud a few months before. I remember how I wanted to find new ways to participate in the project, and this was just a fantastic match for this. I had been on the GNOME Foundation board for a long time, so I knew it would not be easy and always fun, but I also knew I would pretty much enjoy it. And I did.

Fast-forward to today: I'm still deeply caring about the project and I'm still excited about what we do in the openSUSE board. However, some happy event to come in a couple of months means that I'll have much less time to dedicate to openSUSE (and other projects). Therefore I decided a couple of months ago that I would step down before the end of the summer, after we'd have prepared the plan for the transition. Not an easy decision, but the right one, I feel.

And here we are now, with the official news out: I'm no longer the chairman :-) (See also this thread) Of course I'll still stay around and contribute to openSUSE, no worry about that! But as mentioned above, I'll have less time for that as offline life will be more "busy".

(image)

openSUSE Board Chairman at oSC14

Since I mentioned that we were working on a transition... First, knowing the current board, I have no doubt everything will be kept pushed in the right direction. But on top of that, my good friend Richard Brown has been appointed as the new chairman. Richard knows the project pretty well and he has been on the board for some time now, so is aware of everything that's going on. I've been able to watch his passion for the project, and that's why I'm 100% confident that he will rock!




From Thessaloniki with love -- openSUSE Conference 2013

Sun, 28 Jul 2013 19:35:00 +0200

Last week-end I was in Greece, in Thessaloniki, enjoying the openSUSE Conference 2013. If I had to summarize the event in one word, that would be: wow! It was the first time we had this event in another city than Nuremberg and Prague (two places where SUSE has offices), and it was the first time the organization was fully lead by the community. I was quite confident that things couldn't go wrong since, after all, what matters is that we're all in the same place. But I was amazed that the whole event went so smoothly! This was really a great job from a whole team of volunteers: Just to give an example of the hard work that was accomplished: most (all?) talks were successfully streamed, and the recordings are already online! Stella and Kostas definitely deserve credits for the overall success, as they kept leading the organization in the right direction since last year, and the event wouldn't have been possible without their dedication. Our sponsors also helped make all this happen, so many thanks to SUSE, ARM, DevHdR and Oracle! Having people from all over the world was once again an opportunity to meet up with old and new friends, who were coming from Brazil (Izabel, Carlos), the US, all over Europe obviously, but also India (Manu, Saurabh) and China as well as Taiwan (Sunny, Max, David, etc.)... The conference is the global event of the openSUSE community, without any doubt. With 250 attendees, there were a lot of hallway chats and informal meetings; I'm sure the GNOME couch tradition that we initiated with Dominique and Richard will stay over the years ;-) Unsurprisingly, the openSUSE Board took opportunity of having so many community members to discuss several topics with as many people as possible. The board also organized for the first time a session about team reports. Even though several teams didn't participate to that session (generally because no team members was there), we had more than ten teams joining the party on stage, and this was probably one of the best way to see how broad our community really is and to learn the latest developments in various areas of the project. We also had our usual town hall meeting which went rather nicely, with useful feedback to the board. The bad thing for me is that I had to stay only for a few days due to work, but there's already a next opportunity to meet with the community: this will be the openSUSE Summit in Orlando next November. And if you cannot make it, then I can only recommending making sure that you will join us next year, for the openSUSE Conference in Dubrovnik! [...]



OpenStack Rhône-Alpes Meet-up #1

Mon, 01 Jul 2013 21:24:00 +0200

Last Thursday was the first meet-up of the OpenStack Rhône-Alpes group, in Grenoble. The idea of organizing such a meet-up came up just one month ago, at Solutions Linux; having such an OpenStack meet-up in Rhône-Alpes feels so natural, given the amount of people we have in the area (we can even include Geneva ;-)). Dave did a great job with the organization, and HP provided a pretty nice venue (and sponsored food!).

(image)

We managed to attract around 25 people to this event, and given that it was our first and that we did nearly no noise about it, it's not too bad :-) We had people attending from HP, Bull, Red Hat, SUSE and more, and four of us delivered quick talks about XLcloud (by Patrick Petit, from Bull), oVirt (by Dave Neary, from Red Hat), HP's public cloud (by Gavin Brebner, from HP) and Crowbar (by yours truly). I must admit that Gavin Brebner's presentation about abusing HP's public cloud was extremely interesting; there's a lot of cool stuff happening to keep a public cloud running.

Of course, we enjoyed some nice food afterwards and stayed chatting a bit longer about OpenStack and other technical bits. And best of all: we celebrated OpenStack's third birthday a bit early:

(image)

If everything goes well, the next meet-up of the group will be in Lyon, in September, stay tuned! And we'll make more noise, so we hope more people will join!




openSUSE 12.3 is out, with OpenStack love

Wed, 13 Mar 2013 19:02:00 +0100

Have you heard about it? openSUSE 12.3 is out! I did an upgrade earlier today on my main laptop (with a simple zypper dup after having updated the repos configuration, which went surprisingly fast), and this release looks great! But the best part: it comes with OpenStack love! Enjoy Folsom! For the first time, an openSUSE release provides a fully working set of OpenStack packages. We had some OpenStack packages in the previous release, but they were not in such a great shape and some components were even missing (although we fixed that later on with packages in the build service). With 12.3, you can finally enjoy OpenStack with the Folsom release in a very straight-forward way, and therefore you can easily deploy your own cloud. The packages that we provide are built from the stable/folsom branch, and there's an online update coming soon so you can enjoy the stable/folsom code as of end of last week. To help people who might not want to learn everything needed to properly deploy OpenStack, we also have a small openstack-quickstart package, that comes with a script that can be used to deploy everything locally. It is obviously not recommended to run this on your main computer (I usually run this in a virtual machine), but it gets you quickly to the point where you can play with OpenStack. Dashboard of an OpenStack cloud running on openSUSE 12.3 Play today with Grizzly! Of course, Folsom is relatively old at this point and the new version, Grizzly, is to be released in three weeks. But don't be sad! We've been working on Grizzly packages for some time now: you can grab them from the Cloud:OpenStack:Master project in the build service (hey, look, it's even building packages for SLE and openSUSE 12.2! the build service is a rather convenient tool!). I guess we'll properly move them to Cloud:OpenStack:Grizzly once Grizzly is officially released. Develop with DevStack! I mentioned a few months ago that I had finished porting DevStack to openSUSE 12.2, and I wrote some small documentation on how to use it. It's really a neat tool, both for playing with OpenStack and for developing for it. However, I realized earlier this week that I had never double-checked everything was still okay for 12.3. It turns out there's a small issue that completely breaks it, oops ;-) But once the fix is checked in, DevStack will be usable on the latest openSUSE. I'll do some more tests before marking this version of openSUSE as supported in DevStack, but that shouldn't block anyone from using DevStack on 12.3. Join us! We're pretty open about how we develop OpenStack in openSUSE. Andreas wrote a post about all this a few days ago. We've opened up (or rather, revived) a mailing list dedicated to the cloud recently, which developers, packagers and users can all use to discuss OpenStack. And unsurprisingly, we also have an #opensuse-cloud channel on Freenode. But most importantly, we've worked on making public the infrastructure we use to build OpenStack for openSUSE. I think the important bit on this is that everybody is able, and welcome, to join this effort. It's not just about being able to say "see, we have OpenStack"; it's about building a rock-solid experience for OpenStack, and enjoying doing that! Now, let's celebrate the release: party time! :-)[...]



Next stop: FOSDEM 2013

Fri, 01 Feb 2013 10:41:00 +0100

In a couple of hours, I'll be taking the train and heading to Brussels for FOSDEM. I've lost counts of how many FOSDEM I've attended, which is probably a good indication of how great the event is!

(image)

As usual, this will be a good place to catch up with friends, but also to talk with tons of different people about so many topics. If you want to chat about OpenStack, SUSE Cloud, openSUSE or GNOME, I'll be glad to join you.

The schedule is quite packed, but from what I can tell so far, I'll be sitting in the cloud devroom on Sunday (don't hesitate to join in order to learn about what's happening in the OpenStack world!). Oh, I'll also give a talk in Janson about challenges that the GNOME project is facing, just before the closing keynote.

And no, I won't have my blue hat, so you'll need to find another way to catch me (hint: I have a SUSE backpack nowadays) ;-)




And here comes a gnome-panel fork...

Fri, 25 Jan 2013 15:07:00 +0100

Last week-end, just before leaving for some travel, I became aware that gnome-panel was being forked into consort-panel (btw, I commented on that post, but I guess it was a bit too late since it's stuck in the moderation queue). Now, let me start by stating clearly that I have nothing against forks: people are free to go this way, and that's cool with me. However, I quickly got confused for three reasons: I thought it was clear that volunteers are welcome to maintain gnome-panel, I thought I had explained to Ikey in June 2012 why some changes would be blocked from entering fallback mode but could hopefully happen in a not-too-distant future, and I'm getting explicitly blamed here and there for putting roadblocks. I usually don't mind being blamed, but I prefer when it's for good reasons ;-) Of course, as a maintainer, I reject patches. There are usually good reasons, including the fact that there's a design philosophy that a module like gnome-panel had to follow since it was fully part of GNOME. Rejecting patches is part of the maintainer job. It doesn't mean that contributions are not welcome, but I guess it can be perceived as such... Another task of a maintainer is to enable people to keep the code alive, and in the case of gnome-panel, it was clear to me that having the fallback mode as part of GNOME 3 was a blocker to do so. It took more time than I would have liked, but this is something that got fixed when the fallback mode got dropped of GNOME 3. With this in mind, and to clarify why I got confused by the fork announcement, here's a quick timeline of events in 2012, related to the fate of gnome-panel, covering what I was aware of until the blog post from a few days ago: June 24th & 25th: I get a mail from Ikey about some patches he wrote to revert changes that were done in gnome-panel 3.x. I answer that this can't get in at the moment, due to the fact that the fallback mode is an official part of GNOME 3 and has to work the GNOME 3 way. I also mention that this direction of gnome-panel could change if the fallback mode is dropped from GNOME (and that I would step down as maintainer if gnome-panel becomes actively developed again). As far as I know, this mail discussion (six mails) is the only time I've interacted with Ikey until I commented on his blog post a few days ago (no other mail, nothing in bugzilla; there might have been some irc chat, but I don't keep irc logs). June 25th: I start a thread on desktop-devel-list to see if we still need to keep the fallback mode as part of GNOME 3.6, and I invite Ikey to participate in the thread (in the private mail discussion mentioned above). A decision is taken, and it's to keep the fallback mode for now. end of August: I start the DropOrFixFallbackMode feature page for GNOME 3.8, because I feel the fallback mode in GNOME is not getting enough love. This feature page explicitly mentions that some people would like to improve components of the fallback mode to work differently, and that dropping the fallback mode would enable these people to step up and push for what they'd like to do. November 9th: the release team announces that the fallback mode is being dropped from 3.8. November 21st: I blog about the fallback mode being dropped, and invite people to become maintainers. December 5th: I send a mail to a small group of people who I know might be interested in keeping some fallback components maintained, to help them start on their work. Clearly, I failed to include Ikey in the discussion, but only because I had forgotten about our discussion from June. The ironic point here, at least to me, is that it's Ikey's mail that triggered my push for the fallback mode to be dropped from official GNOME so people could work on gnome-panel with more freedom. Which is what seems to be wanted. Anyway, let me take this as an opportunity to remind everyone that pe[...]



DevStack on openSUSE, or how to quickly setup OpenStack on openSUSE

Fri, 21 Dec 2012 13:02:00 +0100

One of the first things I did when I joined the Cloud team at SUSE was to start porting DevStack to openSUSE. DevStack is a set of shell scripts to build complete OpenStack development environments. It is useful to create a small OpenStack environment that will be used for hacking, testing, etc. and is therefore primarily used for upstream development. Getting this to work on openSUSE seemed like a logical first step before doing more OpenStack work. I got things working pretty quickly, but for various reasons, this all stayed in a personal branch of mine (except for a few preliminary patches).

A few weeks ago, I got time for DevStack again. So I rebased my branch, cleaned up everything, and started submitting the patches. After reviews from Sean Dague and Dean Troyer (and some patch rewriting to address the issues that were raised), the openSUSE support landed in master. A few other people tested it, and nobody has been hitting any major issue, so yesterday, I finally submitted the patch to make openSUSE 12.2 a supported distribution. Now you can play with DevStack on openSUSE!

I wrote some documentation for DevStack on openSUSE if you want to get more details on how to use it. But I guess it wouldn't hurt to show how easy it is to setup your own OpenStack environment this way...

I'm shamelessly stealing instructions from the single VM DevStack guide to show you the very short version. Just run the following in an openSUSE virtual machine (do not run this on your main system unless you're 100% sure it's what you want: DevStack is a little bit too invasive right now; see Daniel's analysis on this topic):

zypper in git-core
git clone https://github.com/openstack-dev/devstack.git
cd devstack
echo ADMIN_PASSWORD=password > localrc
echo MYSQL_PASSWORD=password >> localrc
echo RABBIT_PASSWORD=password >> localrc
echo SERVICE_PASSWORD=password >> localrc
echo SERVICE_TOKEN=tokentoken >> localrc
echo FLAT_INTERFACE=br100 >> localrc
./stack.sh

(You'll actually need to call FORCE=yes ./stack.sh until the patch mentioned above gets in.)

And there you go, you have OpenStack running! That was quite easy, right? :-) You can connect to the web dashboard (horizon) or use the command line tools (hint: source openrc will setup the proper environment variables for you). Here's a few commands you can use to get started:

source openrc
glance image-list # find out which image is available
nova boot --image cirros-0.3.0-x86_64-uec --flavor m1.tiny cirros-test # start an instance of one specific image
nova list # see what instances are in the cloud

So go ahead, read the documentation, play with all this, and enjoy DevStack on openSUSE!




JDLL and Mini-DebConf Paris 2012

Tue, 27 Nov 2012 23:15:00 +0100

During the last two week-ends, I went to two different events. That's part of my end-of-year sprint where I travel too much: SUSEcon and openSUSE Summit in September, OpenStack Summit and openSUSE Conference in October (oops, didn't find time to write about these events), two weeks vacation in Thailand in October/November (yes, we enjoyed the time there!), one week of team meeting in Prague right now, and two other trips to Paris during those few months... Crazy planning! I attended these events with my advocate hat to deliver GNOME-related talks (and also to chat with people a bit about openSUSE, and of course to meet good friends of mine ;-)). I feel there's a big need on GNOME's side to communicate more and clarify our direction and opinions, and on top of that, there's a lot of mis-informed statements around that people blindly trust and that need to be debunked. My talks were simply part of my local contribution towards that goal. And apparently, that's something that seems to be most welcome! The Journées du Logiciel Libre (or JDLL) is an event that occurs every year in Lyon. Lyon being close to home, it's an event I can attend quite easily and this is not something I can complain about ;-) We did have some great people at the event this year, including a french-turned-british-turned-french-again guy. When I got asked to give a talk about GNOME this year, I wasn't sure I would have anything really interesting to tell, so I suggested an interactive session around the recent hot topics in GNOME (you know, GNOME OS, systemd, fallback mode, etc.). In the end, even though I had many slides ready, we simply discussed the questions that were raised by the audience, and I believe that this session proved to be very useful for the attendees. So a good experience, and a format I'll likely use again. I also had the opportunity to play a bit with Firefox OS. I've been following the project for quite some time but never took time to really try it, so I was really glad to be able to take a long look at it. There's still some work to do, and, hrm, well, that was visible ;-) I managed to crash things without even trying to be nasty. I hope it will take off, though: there's a need for an alternative closer to our ideals. The Debian France team organized a Mini-DebConf in Paris, and I was invited for a slot. I chose to talk about GNOME vs downstreams, and discuss the love/hate relationship we have, and how the future direction can be good/bad for different downstreams. The idea was simply to get out some information out about what GNOME is doing, and to clarify where the project is heading, as this has some pretty big impact on our downstream friends. Obviously not everything is perfect in GNOME but I feel that the project is, overall, doing okay as an upstream. (I'm kind of sad to discover an ABI breakage in glib after I told to Stefano and Lucas that we were not breaking ABI in our platform; oh well). This Mini-DebConf was a pleasant surprise, as there were quite a number of attendees, and the whole event went quite smoothly (well, at least for the day I was there). It was also interesting to hear about the different opinions with regards to the Debian release cycle (got some pretty good food for thoughts), and I enjoyed Sylvestre's talk about making Debian compiler agnostic. The event had many other great talks — definitely an event I'd recommend attending, even to non-Debian people.[...]



No fallback mode in GNOME 3.8, future of gnome-panel

Wed, 21 Nov 2012 14:40:00 +0100

No fallback mode in GNOME 3.8 As announced by the release team two weeks ago, the fallback mode will be gone in GNOME 3.8. The decision was taken after some discussion on the mailing list back in June and in October, as well as some discussion during Boston Summit 2012. We also have a wiki page detailing the discussion arguments. In my opinion, the biggest issue we had with the fallback mode is that, with only a few cycles, it quickly became clearly not tested enough, and lacked manpower for proper evolution along with other GNOME 3 changes. This resulted in a much lower quality than what we expect from GNOME. Moreover, several applications actually started requiring Clutter, and therefore didn't work anymore in a real fallback manner (ie, where you have no proper 3D acceleration); this means the fallback mode, when really used as a fallback, was not offering a fully usable desktop, and would be considered more like an alternative shell than a fallback mode. Where does this leave us?, you might ask. Well, for a start, GNOME 3.x had several iterative cycles to bring tons of improvements. Many users who were using the fallback mode because they didn't like the GNOME Shell experience are now happy with 3.6. But we're going an extra step starting with the next version: there is an explicit goal of having the project provide a set of extensions to help even more people preferring the fallback mode experience. The tentative list of what the extensions would provide is classic alt-tab, task bar, minimize/maximize buttons, and a main menu. This effort is being publicly tracked, so everyone can participate: if you're interested in contributing to these extensions, don't hesitate, I have no doubt help will be welcomed! Update: this topic is being discussed on desktop-devel-list right now! There will also be work on improving GNOME 3 when running with software rendering. Of course, llvmpipe was a good start, and llvmpipe itself is getting better and better. But in addition, there are plans to offer a reduced resources mode, with fewer animations, that would be used in different circumstances, including when using software rendering. This should really improve the performances under llvmpipe. There might be cases where these improvements will not be good enough in 3.8 (or with the Mesa and llvmpipe versions available at that time), resulting in a GNOME version that people might not consider acceptable in terms of performance or hardware support. Things will improve with time, obviously, and 3.10 will solve more and more issues; hence I would recommend to people hitting such issues to stay with 3.6 for a few more months. All in all, the community is working on having future versions of GNOME, starting with GNOME 3.8, offer an improved alternative to the fallback mode. Future of gnome-panel (and other fallback components) Of course, this raises the question of what happens to the components of the fallback mode: gnome-applets, gnome-panel, gnome-screensaver, metacity, notification-daemon, polkit-gnome, etc. These components don't necessarily have to go away: they're just not part of what the GNOME project officially releases, and people are welcome to keep working on them. It's really up to each maintainer. As for myself, I do not intend to keep maintaining gnome-panel after 3.6.x. I did a 3.6.2 release a few days ago, and it might well be what I consider my final release. If there's a strong push for some patches, there could be a 3.6.3 tarball... So, if you want to keep gnome-panel alive, contact me and you can become maintainer. As long as I either know you, or I can see that you have some minimal coding abilities, you'll get the maintainer hat for free :-) Now, I believe a group of people could well adopt all the fallback components an[...]



Chairing the openSUSE Board, SUSEcon & openSUSE Summit

Sat, 13 Oct 2012 19:16:00 +0200

I'm supposed to be flying over the Atlantic right now to attend the OpenStack Summit, but British Airways had other plans for me: I'm stuck in London for a few hours, and will head towards New York tonight, before going to the west coast. But since I have Internet access, I guess it's a good opportunity to write about something that happened last month: I joined the openSUSE Board as chairman! (And if you were wondering: I'm still part of the SUSE Cloud team, and the chairman position simply comes on top. The fact that I'm heading to the OpenStack Summit should have given you a hint already ;-)) For those who don't know about the governance structure of openSUSE, the openSUSE Board is a group of six people that exists to serve and guide the community. This includes working on legal and financial topics, talking to our different sponsors, etc., but it specifically does not deal with the technical side of the project. The Board is made of six members: five who are elected by the community, and one (the chairman) who is appointed by SUSE. The new openSUSE Board Chairman. Picture by Andreas Jaeger Until recently, Alan Clark was the chairman, but he recently got elected chairman of the OpenStack Foundation. I was surprised when I got asked if I'd be willing to step up, but that was a pleasant surprise: I was actually considering running for the next board elections, so it didn't take me too much thinking to accept :-) I got interviewed twice about this new position. This is quite cool, as it shows how much people are interested in what's going on in the openSUSE world. I do believe there's a lot the Board can do to help the project, and there are many ideas I'd like to push, a lot of them coming from my experience at the GNOME Foundation. But the way I (and I hope, many others) see it, the chairman is just one member among others; of course, the chairman should be a bit more proactive in pushing the others, but that's the main difference. It's therefore important to have great people in the Board, like we do today. But guess what, we also have elections coming in a few weeks, so if you feel you can make a difference, consider running! If you don't want to run but have ideas to share, don't hesitate to mail the board or me to send us your input. Because of this new position, I went last month to Orlando, in order to attend SUSEcon and the openSUSE Summit that was organized just after SUSEcon. This was really a last minute decision: I booked my flights three days before leaving... Both were amazing events, especially when you think that this was the first year for both events. SUSEcon Of course, it was a great opportunity for me to chat about openSUSE and the Board with many people, including Ralf Flaxa (VP of Engineering at SUSE) and Michael Miller (VP of Global Alliances & Marketing at SUSE) who both care a lot about openSUSE. It turns out they simply told me, when I asked if they were expecting anything special from the chairman: do what's good for the project! Pretty cool to hear :-) It was no surprise, but there was quite some discussion about the cloud during SUSEcon. And actually, I was surprised at how much interest there was from everyone. I was helping on the SUSE Cloud booth, and many people came in — some to just learn about the field in general, while others had some pretty deep questions about the technologies. Everyone was mentioning OpenStack during the keynotes, and the SUSE Cloud product was deployed live during the closing keynote to show how easy it is to deal with. SUSE also produced some fun videos about the cloud. SUSE's birthday cake. Picture by Andreas Jaeger Since SUSE is 20 years old now, SUSEcon was also the perfect time to celebrate SUSE's birthday. Some kernel hackers[...]



cups-pk-helper & desktop-file-utils releases

Fri, 12 Oct 2012 15:05:00 +0200

In the last two weeks, I took some time to review patches submitted for cups-pk-helper and desktop-file-utils, and worked a bit on the code. This means new releases, which keeps me on track for the "two releases a year" schedule followed for those software :-) cups-pk-helper 0.2.3 0.2.4 It is recommended to update to the 0.2.3 version of cups-pk-helper, due to a security flaw in the old code (CVE-2012-4510). I found it while fixing a compiler warning about a return value being ignored; re-reading that old code, I realized that it was, hrm, not really solid, that it was not checking permissions, and that it could actually be abused to overwrite any file (among other issues)... Thankfully, this can only be exploited if the user explicitly approves the action since it's protected with polkit authentication (using the admin password). So this is not as severe as it could have been. I want to thank Sebastian Krahmer from the SUSE Security Team, who was really helpful in reviewing my iterative fixes. The other changes are build-time compatibility with cups 1.6, some additional paranoid processing of the input we get via dbus, and updated translations (thanks to transifex). Update: the 0.2.3 tarball had a small bug when detecting the cups version, try 0.2.4 instead ;-) desktop-file-utils 0.21 The 0.21 release of desktop-file-utils is mainly about an update of the validator to deal with several recent (and not so recent) changes in the XDG Menu specification: a main category is not required anymore (although still recommended if one main category makes sense for the application), Science is now a main category, and new categories have been registered (including the Spirituality one, that has been discussed years ago). The validator now also correctly handles the new values for the AutostartCondition field used by GNOME 3, and features some experimental hints in the output for .desktop files that could possibly be improved. Those hints are experimental since I'm unsure if they will really help, or just annoy people (note that they can be ignored with the --no-hints option). At the moment, they only deal with categories, but I guess it shouldn't be hard to find more hints to add (such as hey, you're missing an icon!). Of course, while working on desktop-file-utils, I took a look at some patches and issues that were recently discussed on the xdg mailing list, and pushed some changes to the menu specification. I'm a bit sad about the fact that nearly nobody is actively working on most specs (blaming myself too, since I look at patches/issues only a few times a year) and that feedback about the proposed changes is rare (these days, I'd say getting two or more people to approve a change is an exception). It'd be great to have a few people step up and bring new energy to this effort![...]



SUSE Cloud 1.0

Mon, 03 Sep 2012 17:57:00 +0200

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The last few weeks were a bit crazy, but there was a good reason for this: the team I've joined a couple of months ago has been focusing on polishing SUSE Cloud for its first stable release. We had some long working days, but we did it: SUSE Cloud 1.0 went out last week! There's been some positive noise in the online media, which is always good to see :-)

With this first milestone now reached, I've looked back a bit at the switch to my new position. It was a bit of a slow start because of hardware failures (try getting a full development and testing environment for some cloud stuff on one laptop with 2GB of RAM; possible, but painful) and because there was a lot to learn; it was actually quite frustrating to feel useless for so long.

However, it seems I found the highway after coming back from GUADEC and everything is going very smoothly now. Of course, doing something completely different was a bit of a challenge for me, and I didn't know how I'd react to playing nearly full-time with OpenStack and Crowbar (a tool created by Dell to ease OpenStack deployments that we adopted). It turns out I'm enjoying it! On top of that, the SUSE Cloud team is really great, with a good mix of fun and work. The only missing bit is that we haven't properly celebrated the SUSE Cloud release with ice cream — I'll have to get this fixed ;-)




Month of birthdays

Fri, 17 Aug 2012 14:41:00 +0200

August is a busy month for birthdays!

This all starts with openSUSE, on August 9th. Seven years ago, the development of SUSE Linux opened up and openSUSE was born. The openSUSE project is actually pretty young, compared to the other projects delivering distributions. But it has 20-years old roots... I joined the project in February 2008, and I've seen the community grow and become more and more involved and, more importantly to me, in charge.

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On August 15th, we celebrate the birthday of the GNOME project. Miguel announced the GNU Network Object Model Environment Desktop project fifteen years ago. I'm happy the letters in GNOME don't stand for anything anymore ;-) It's been a long ride, with the great GNOME 1.0 release in 1999 (let's be honest, it was crappy by today's standards — I tried GNOME back then, and quickly gave up), the GNOME 2.0 release in 2002 (I joined the project around that time, I still remember the excitement in the community) and the recent GNOME 3.0 release in 2011 (I can't believe I wrote the 3.0 plan more than three years ago already...). Even though I'm less involved nowadays, GNOME is my family.

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And finally, on August 16th, Debian reaches a new milestone. In 1993, the imminent release of the first version was announced, which makes the project nineteen years old now. I've always loved Debian, and I've long wondered whether I should become a Debian Developer, but I never made the jump as I chose to focus on upstream activities instead for my free time. And then I joined openSUSE. But it's never too late, so who knows, maybe one day...

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I use what those three projects deliver daily, literally. Many thanks to everyone who made and still make this possible!




GUADEC, here I come

Wed, 25 Jul 2012 12:56:00 +0200

I'm leaving for the airport in a few minutes: GUADEC is my next stop!

Like a few other people, I'll land just before midnight, and hopefully there'll still be people hanging around in the lobby with the pre-registration event. Will be good to see old friends and discuss crazy things :-)

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Moving on to something completely different

Thu, 19 Jul 2012 10:50:00 +0200

Last month, I got a new job! After three years in the openSUSE Boosters team, I joined the SUSE Cloud team. I'm now working on OpenStack and on SUSE Cloud itself. Quite a big change!

I had planned a long time ago that the release of GNOME 3.0 would be a good time for me to look at what's next. When it went out, I actually took a few months to cool down a bit (it was pretty much needed), and also have some good fun with openSUSE. But after a while, this desire of trying something new came back: I had been working on the desktop for nearly ten years, and on a distribution for four years. Those were exciting years, but at the end, it started to feel like, you know, work. I wanted to stay involved in GNOME, in the free desktop in general, in openSUSE, in cross-distro collaboration: this is not just work and this should not be just work. I didn't want to slowly move to doing stuff while not caring anymore. This is how I found out that I needed to go back to the early days and contribute in my free time again :-)

There was still the question of, well, work. I started looking around, and I had some good discussions with several people about what to do next (thanks to everyone who took some time for this!). i must admit I changed my mind several times. I was not necessarily looking for a developer position (quite the contrary, actually), as I knew that for me to be motivated for a new project as a developer, the project had to be one that I could care about, one that has a free software community around it and one that would get me out of my comfort zone (so not on the desktop nor on a distro) — yeah, not easy :-) But at some point, SUSE had this cool developer position related to OpenStack. Good timing. (Btw, we're still hiring!)

It's been great so far; of course, you need to ignore the buzz words ;-) I wanted a new challenge and I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, I got served: new project, new community, new code, etc. It didn't help that the hard disk in my laptop decided it was the perfect moment to die, and that Lenovo took weeks to send me a replacement disk (finally got it yesterday). But now I'm all set, so let's have fun!




GUADEC 2012 program is published!

Wed, 11 Jul 2012 10:32:00 +0200

The program for GUADEC 2012 got published yesterday! Okay, it has been online for a week already, but there were some small adjustments to force the layout of the talks (due to some Indico bug, or maybe some misconfiguration on our side).

If you were still wondering if you should come, now you have no more excuse: great talks and cool keynotes (The History of GNOME will surely be full of fun stories!) during the core days, two slots of lightning talks, the Foundation AGM to get the latest update on the Foundation, our now traditional sport games (football, but possibly other sports too), and several BoF and hackfests... GUADEC will be quite busy!

So go check out the full GUADEC program! And many thanks to the sponsors who help us make this event happen: Canonical, Collabora, Google, Igalia, OpenShine, Open Innovation Network and the Linux Foundation.




In Geneva for the RMLL

Tue, 10 Jul 2012 18:02:00 +0200

I arrived this morning in Geneva, for the RMLL 2012, the biggest french-speaking community-oriented event every year. It's the first time the RMLL move out of France, and it's also my first time where I actually stay in Switzerland for a few days instead of being there just for a flight connection. Good to go to foreign countries and still speak French, but it'd be even better if we could use euro to pay ;-)

This year again, I'm co-chairing a Communities track with Michael Scherer. We wanted to restrict the track to two days, but we had to add a third day to accept all talks we wanted to see in. In this track, we obviously have talks related to several french-speaking-specific organizations or projects, but we also have talks about communities and freedom in general, as well as talks presenting some theoretical approaches to communities.

The first day is nearly over, and I'm pleasantly surprised by the content: it's even more interesting than what I expected, and there is good discussion between the audience and the various speakers. Some highlights:

  • The presentation about Sigmah, for instance, showed some fascinating work in the world of NGOs.
  • Learning more about the challenges faced by LinuxFr.org (very popular free software news website) was also eye-opening, as it reflects on the evolution of the free software community in general: difficulties to get people to contribute, people getting older, social issues, etc.
  • I was also interested in what EnVenteLibre is doing: sharing the infrastructure needed for online shopping so that free software organizations don't have to each reinvent the wheel can make a big difference for those organizations.

Unfortunately, co-chairing a track has a side-effect: much less time to chat with people or stay in booths. If you want to discuss GNOME or openSUSE, though, just come and say hi!

Oh, and thanks to SUSE for letting me go to this event: it's really amazing to have an employer willing to help you contribute to the community world!




Some news about GUADEC 2012 content

Thu, 10 May 2012 14:00:00 +0200

Notification to speakers

The GUADEC 2012 programme committee took a bit more time than first anticipated to evaluate all talk submissions, but it's now all done: this morning, we finally sent the notification to speakers. Thanks to everyone who submitted a talk: it looks like we'll have a great GUADEC :-) Of course, we still need to create the schedule, but that should be trivial, right? (hmm...)

If you submitted a talk and didn't get a positive or negative answer by mail, please first check your spam folder: mail is from guadec-papers, and contains Your talk at GUADEC 2012 in the subject. If you don't find anything, feel free to ping me.

Help organize the lightning talks!

Next step is the call for lightning talks and for BoFs! I guess this will happen in the next few days. I don't think we have anyone in charge of this yet, so if that's something you'd like to help with, just drop us a quick mail on guadec-list and we'll happily give you a I'm fantastic: I'm helping organize GUADEC badge ;-)