Archive Page 2

I’ll be at the Free Software & Technology Expo in St Louis, MO on Saturday

I’ll be speaking at the Free Software & Technology Expo tomorrow May 9th.
My talk will cover:
* What’s new in Jaunty, including the Ubuntu Enterprise cloud
* Hints of what might come in Karmic, and a UDS preview
* Observations from the front line (or What it’s like to work for Canonical, and the furious pace of our 6 month release cycle

If you are in or around St Louis, stop by and say hello. I’d love to talk to you!

Exchange Proxy Anyone?

At UDS, there was talk (mostly from Dan Shearer) about using Openchange to provide a mapi proxy to MS Exchange.  I find this interesting.  If Dovecot/Postfix could use it, it would allow *NIX clients to talk to Exchange without turning on OWA.  This would delight sys admins on both sides of the fence.  Of course, Outlook clients could also talk straight mapi to the proxy as well.

I like the idea of abstracting MS Exchange, because once we have all the clients talking to us instead of MS Exchange, it makes it much easier to replace exchange.

The Openchange folks have made an announcement.

UDS Intrepid

With UDS over it’s time to start the difficult job of deciding what we can actually accomplish for Intrepid.  A partial list of things that might make it in to the Server Edition:

  • J2EE App Server (Full stack or just servlet container remains in question)
  • OpenLDAP based AD proxy
  • Enterprise Management integration
  • Easy LDAP server setup
  • Improved community testing

Some pictures:

Mathiaz enjoying himself at XT3

Howard Chu playing with the Ubuntu All-Stars

Finally Free!!! (to contribute)

I spent the last decade working in the IT departments of large multi-national corporations. Over that decade I have seen the view of F/OSS slowly change from one of misunderstanding and fear to one of acceptance and appreciation. While most large companies now use F/OSS, very few give back anything. In fact, most go one step further, and make all employees sign very restrictive agreements giving the company complete ownership of any ideas, copywritable works, or inventions produced by the employees during their tenure with the company. This pretty much precludes the employees from participating in any F/OSS project without permission from their employer. Any unapproved participation could put an encumbrance on the project and potential subject it to litigation.

My last employer was very enthusiastic about using F/OSS, even repeating the mantra, “Is an open source alternative available?”, anytime a software purchase was suggested. When it came time to give back, however, requests fell on deaf ears. It’s not that the IT management did not want to give back to the community. In fact, they realized the great benefit that they were getting and wanted to support F/OSS, but were always overridden by the legal department. The legal department does not understand/trust the GPL, so it always says no. No lawyer will ever be fired for saying no to to potential liability.

This all boils down to a couple of big problems for F/OSS: There are many improvements and changes being made to the software that are not being added back and the needs and ideas of a very large group of users are missing from the community. F/OSS ends up directing a larger portion of their development efforts to college students, gamers, and hackers running servers in their basements (I am now the later).

Why is this all important enough for this rambling diatribe? Because, I want the F/OSS revolution to succeed, and we need all the community involved or we become marginalized. The Ubuntu Linux distribution is a step in the right direction, but we have farther to go. It involves educating lawyers, and listening to users that aren’t part of the cool crowd. I’ve thought this for years, but finally I’m free to speak, and free to contribute.

New Job; New Career

Hurray! I started at Canonical Ltd. as Technical Lead for the Ubuntu Server team last Thursday. Kiss the corporate world goodbye, hello open source.