open source

Dec 07 2008

Puppy FUD

Dries commented on Seth reporting about the puppyfud some proprietary company not understanding open source was uttering.

It was a pretty lousy comparison actually .. they compared Open Source software to a Free Puppy.. it looks nice and cheap at first but it will cost you anyhow as it needs food and shots etc so it isn't really free after all.

Now the fact is that with the proprietary stuff they are trying to shove down their customers throats, their CMS's also need configuration, updates, and styling left and right, probably just as much as the Open Source alternative out there.
Now as they have a proprietary platform the chance that they have an equally big expert group around their product is small, people don't just buy software to learn it, however they will download a piece of interesting open source software to get aquanted with it.. There probably won't be that much free examples and tips and hints a round, or even free themes to base a site on ..

So no the purebred puppy really isn't the better alternative it's going to cost you equally in maintenance and you have to pay the high cost to actually be able to play with it .. or did you think it would be your software after you payed the pricetag ?

Now there's more bad news for the purebred software buyer. He isn't free to go to any vet, no , he has to go to a specialized one in his breed, actually if he doesn't do so once.. he risks never to be helped by another one in the future either.
And no choosing which food to buy for the puppy, no ther's just 1 brand that works, or maybe 2 .. but the prices have been set .. and it won't be cheap.

So what do you want .. the freedom to go to any vet you like, and to buy dogfood where you want , or even give them some of your own leftovers. Or the heavy pricetag, AND the limited choice in vets and food.

Dec 06 2008

The Eclipse of Sun

If you've been reading this blog for a while you'll know that
for the past decade I've had a love-hate relation ship with Sun.

Sun has done a lot of good things in their open source journey such as MySQL, openOffice , Virtualbox and opensourcing Java. But on the other hand they had troubles with creating really organic opensource.

I've always wondered why a company that bought StarDivision because it was cheaper than buying the MS Office license keeps wasting money on building it's own operating systems, albeit in a pretty open model, but with zero to no relevant community.

Yes I've ranted on their marketing boys and girls when they polluted forums I liked. But no I don't want this to happen. (Slicing up Sun)

However I`m in fear it actually might happen, the funny thing is that I already mentioned the same idea in offline conversations during the last couple of months.

My Advice to Sun. : Stop putting money in things you can co-create with other organisations, if there's only 2 features in your product that count for some people, contribute those 2 features to something bigger.
(That's D-Trace and ZFS and the Linux Kernel I`m talking about in case you didn't realise) Why keep throwing money down the drain ?

Also let Google, Percona and others contribute to MySQL, don't keep it as closed as it is today. As after al it's more Free software than it is Open Source, but it has a great community which I love to be part of .. and I hope for a long time to come..

I`m going to try to keep my mouth shut on this for a while.. as I think Jonathan is listening anyhow. If he was, he would have known that at some point in time when you step out of the shower and there is too much hair dropping from your skull every morning, it's time to cut off the ponytail.. , not opensource it. I did that years ago.. and it's growing much thicker again now.

My hair that is ..

Dec 01 2008

Upgrading to Fedora 10

As some of you know I run Fedora on my main Laptop, and Ubuntu on my EEE and my office Desktop. My Ubuntu installs were pretty fresh, but my fedora was long due for an upgrade. As after years of abuse (--force --nodeps) it usually is impossible to do a regular upgrade, so my best way out was a quick and fresh install on an isolated root partition. (my /home/ etc live on separate volumes)

Johan tricked me into installing a FC10 x86-64 setup which required some more work than usual, but I`m back in the same state as I was before I started the upgrade. We'll almost .. as I expect I`ll be reinstalling packages I don't daily use on a frequent basis over the next couple of weeks.

I'll dig a bit deeper in my x86_64 struggles later but first I had to tackle the problems I had with stepping my Evolution to a fresh and hopefully more stable version.

Evolution fails to recognise the fact that I have multiple calendars, or got confused.. anyway .. my calendar was empty and I had to recreate them all and import them again one by one.
Luckily the content was still available in .ics

Also Evolution partly forgot about all my email accounts , it remembered their passwords after recreating them, but not their settings.. well. that is if I managed to recreate them all :)
(If I`m not replying to a mail you sent me sinc last thursday.. I might just have forgotten about that email address ..

On to the x86_64 stuff then. Bort pointed me to the
Adobe Labs site that had a working flash plugin. The right symlink in my .mozilla/plugins and the first problem was solved.

There's 2 apps from Google that I sometimes abuse, I don't know why I still use Picasa, there must be plenty of good open source alternatives out there .. however for Google Earth I don't really have a good alternative. bot work (unlike previous Fedora/Googl Earth combinations)

The only thing that annoyed me was Google Earth and selinux , I had to run some chcon s to solve the problems.

  1. chcon -t textrel_shlib_t '/opt/google-earth/'
  2. chcon -t textrel_shlib_t '/opt/google-earth/'
  3. chcon -t textrel_shlib_t '/opt/google-earth/'
  4. chcon -t textrel_shlib_t '/opt/google-earth/'
  5. chcon -t textrel_shlib_t '/opt/google-earth/lib*'
  6. chcon -t textrel_shlib_t '/opt/google-earth/'
  7. chcon -t textrel_shlib_t '/opt/google-earth/'
  8. chcon -t textrel_shlib_t '/opt/google-earth/'
  9. chcon -t textrel_shlib_t '/opt/google-earth/'
  10. chcon -t textrel_shlib_t '/opt/google-earth/'
  11. chcon -t textrel_shlib_t '/opt/googleearth/'
  12. chcon -t textrel_shlib_t '/opt/googleearth/'
  13. chcon -t textrel_shlib_t '/opt/google-earth/'

A couple of more frustrations later and the SELinux config got changed. Afterall .. Life is to short for SELinux.

A must, if you used too have Livna , or FreshRPMS is RPMFusion a merger of the old repositories

Skype seemed to be a bit more difficult. I tried installing the rpm at first but I failed , then I read some tips which suggested to use yum localinstall skype*.rpm

As I`m more of an apt-get user (yes even on CentOS etc) I don't usually try installing packages that way .. but it worked like a charm. Skype started, I could connect to the servers , however a test call reveals no input sound. Maybe if I try again with a headset later.

Anyway, I`m pretty satisfied so far ...

Next step is to get that skype chat integrated in pidgin.. or hope people will realize they have to drop that proprietary tool one day..

Nov 18 2008

Do we want an Open Source MySQL Monitoring tool ?

Matt Reid wants to know what we want in an Open Source MySQL monitoring solution ?

He is working on the second incarnation of Monolith and wants input from the MySQL community.

Now for me the bigger question is if we want an isolated tool that runs stand alone, or a tool which we can integrate it in something we already have.

To me there is a difference between a tool that I want to use to debug my environment, such as Mytop or MySQL Activity Report, in that case I need some tool that quickly installs with little dependencies and little impact.

On the other side I want a tool that is constantly there, that tells me about trends and performance history. But there I don't want an isolated toool, I want something fully integrated where I can correlate different measurements from disk io, memory usage etc , that tool should also tell me about the things that go

We did some research earlier this year to figure out the current state of Open Source monitoring tools. Different tools have a different audience.. some go for the network layer, others take the os level and other even try to go deep inside the applications.

Given that knowledge we even had the idea to refocus that research comparing different monitoring tools such as Zabbix, Zenoss, Hyperic and Nagios again but this time with a focus on monitoring MySQL and submit that as an abstract for the upcoming MySQL conference, we didn't .. maybe next time.

There's plenty of frameworks already that will allow you to send alerts on all of the occasions you list, or allow you to graph all the values you want. And yes we want to see those values too.

But do we want yet another tool , yet another URL to browse to or do we want those alerts and graphs integrated in an existing tool such as Zabbix, Zenoss or
Hyperic .. I guess I prefer the integrated approach.

Nov 02 2008

Defining Open Source

Bart wonders why my definition of Open Source is.

The Open Source Definition pretty much defines what Open Source is to me.

But it's mostly because of that definition that you get a lot of other things for free.

It gives you freedom to learn, to improve, it gives you an ecosystem in which you can solve problems rather than having to tell your customer that your hands are tied and you can't help them

It also gives you a platform on which you can continue to build rather than having to reinvent the wheel over and over again.

A couple of months ago there was a big discussion about Organic vs Non Organic Open Source, and I strongly believe that the better projects out there need to have a big user and contributing community.

And all of that means open source to me.

But when it comes down to defining Open Source, OSI did a pretty good job for us already.

Nov 01 2008

The Want to be Social Network

Kaj wrote about using Dopplr to keep track of where colegues and friends are traveling and finding out about accidental meetups. (I even use it to track where one of the Inuits collegues work plans)
Now I have never met Giuseppe , but we shared slides before so I'd love to meet him one day .. connecting to him via Dopplr gives me that opportunity .. who knows one day Dopplr will tell me we have matching travel schedules.

Earlier this week LinkedIn announced Tripit as one of their first integrated applications, I was a bit dissapointed I use Tripit to let Dopplr learn about my trips , but I really prefer Dopplr over Tripit.

Now there are 2 things I would like to acoomplish with these kind of tools.
First of all I don't mind giving all of my LinkedIn contacts, so my whole addresbook, access to my upcoming travel plans so I can meet up with them again if our plans happen to match. On the other hand I use LinkedIn as my addressbook, so it only contains people I've met, or collaborated with (sometimes even over a decade ago) . And there are a bunch of people out there that I haven't met yet but that I'd love to meet one day and buy some beers or even dinner/lunch. I'd love to connect to them on Dopplr to make that happen but I don't want to have them connected on LinkedIn (yet).

So when Dopplr integrates with LinkedIn I hope they think about this kind of scenario ..

Oh and btw.. Xaprb rocks !

Oct 31 2008

This was not a Cloudcamp ! :)

This was not a CloudCamp !

Don't get me wrong, it was a great event and I met lots of interesting people , but it was not a *camp.
The idea was there to have an unconference after the formal sessions, but the formal sessions ran out and there was no time because of food and bar duties.

The event was a mixture of regular Belgian Campers, Virtualization geeks, Open Source folks , obviously there were a couple of "lost" americans , and the crowd from up North :)

The location was weird to say the least, what if the boat hat floated off on the river :)

It's obvious the world doesn't have a fixed definition for "Cloud Computing" yet , Tarry really made a safe bet by cut and pasting the definition from WikiPedia but the thing that really worried me was that when Raph asked if the audience could define Open Source they couldn't either.

Given the audience it's really hard to understand why they couldn't explain what Open Source is .. they should be able to. As the biggest chunk of Cloud Infrastructure is based on Open Source , the audience of a CloudCamp should be able to define Open Source, but then again there was quite a number of suits around that weren't expected to understand what it is all about :)

The fact is that a the cloud today still is a bit of undefined, different marketeers are grabbing the opportunity to rebrand their longtime existing product as fresh and hot cloud.

The interesting part of the Cloud to me is the mix of Virtualization, Scalability, Automation , Large Scale Deployment , playing the puppetmaster, and High Availability ..

It's stuff I have been doing for ages , it's the stuff this blog has been covering since the beginning ... but I don't plan on renaming my blog .. as afterall the whole cloud issue is just a Freaking DNS Problem

Pictures of the event are here

Oct 31 2008

How Sun Will be rescued

I probably ranted a bit too much on the marketing push that Sun has been trying to make into the Open Source community.
The economical situation isn't really perfect so Sun does deserve some credit too.

Yesterday Techcrunch published an exclusive interview with Jonathan Schwartz on the future of Sun and how Sun will be rescued .

[YouTube Movie Embedded]

More details are here

Oct 27 2008

The Little 4 are back, John interviews Matt about openQRM,

I didn't even have time to finish my post about the Puppet Podcast and DevMinistration before John had already posted his chat with Matt as recorded yesterday in Eindhoven.

I'm glad I could bring these guys together ! Great stuff !

Oct 27 2008

T-Dose 2008 is over

It was fun, the good part about T-Dose is that is small enough to actually be able to speak with everybody you want to .. well almost .. there were still some people around I wanted to talk to but I didn't get the chance to . Specially Ber Kessels and Roy Scholten who filled in the gaps in the Drupal track. After my own talk I had to run to the other track so I could answer the tricky questions in our other talk about Open Source Monitoring Tools. And I never really made it back to the Drupal room. So Ber, Roy , next time you run into me I`ll buy you a Beer !

Anyway Pics are up (so Geert now finally has pictures of himself on stage)

Social event pic is also up ..

Slides (Drupal/ Virtualization) were already up

Somehow I had problems seeing al the sessions I wanted to see this year. lots of interesting things happening at the same time and therefore forcing me to choose for specific sessions. JP and Jeroen already announced they will be there again next year .. I just hope to have a better planned Drupal track then ...

T-Dose kind of concluded my current scheduled list of talks , I`m looking for new interesting conference venues to visit .. specially in southern Europe .. so if anybody has ideas :)