I was in Karlsruhe for Linux tag on Thursday and Friday. Even if it may sound a bit silly to drive 1200km for just 2 days there I still think it was worth it. I didn't had that much time to wander around, I was in a day long meeting organized by the iDABC the first day, did a presentation on Xen the second day for the Fedora Conference and worked a bit on the Red Hat booth. The GNOME booth was well-staffed, nice to see Murray, Swen and the volunteers showing 2.10 to visitors, but we need Fedora based bootable CD (not DVD) to be able to demo and give away on a large scale, Ubuntu is nearly getting a monopoly at this point. Oh and the CD duplication machine was amazing, whoever managed to get that machine lent to us, THANKS to you and the volunteers ! Notably missing at the expo was Novell, it was a bit strange, I also could not spot a booth dedicated to Debian, though there was for sure a lot of Debian logos and Tee-Shirt around.
the European Union iDABC
The acronym hides the fact that this is a program from the European Commision about electronic governement services. The ABC mean Administration Businesses and Citizens, i.e. the scope is relatively wide, though they are really providing guidelines to Public Administrations. Of course the deployement and development of Open Source software is a hot topic, if not a hot potato, for them. I was invited by Barbara Held to participate, as the topic was about how software developped within the EU should be made open source (or developped in an open fashion). There interesting discussions about building sourceforge like collaborative site for european administrations, and also on a draft of a new OSS License, apparently the existing ones don't really match the needs of the governements, yes it's annoying to get yet another License, but the mismatch seems to have been blocking existing efforts toward open-sourcing exitsing code bases so this is really needed. The very positive point is that the language of the License is understandable by mere mortals and very clear/well structured, I just asked for a specific provision against submarine patents. It was interesting to discuss with some of the Brussels and various local governement representative, and to see Intel/Sun/IBM/Microsoft doing their lobbying parade. Good to see we had some real OSS advocates like Leon Shirman and Anne Østergaard around too. The burning hot potato of open office document formats wasn't discussed, at least not in the main track, but this a domain iDABC has been working on of course.
You can learn more about the iDABC online, they also have a special section dedicated to Open Source with a number of resources and case studies (and are looking for more case studies so if you have OSS adoption examples in the european public sector to share please contact them).
On a related note the City of Munich has an Open Source page related to their migration, and with various documents. This is of course watched closely by a lot of public sector administrations.
Xen and Linux virtualization
My talk on the second day was about Xen the OS virtualization layer and its inclusion in Fedora Core. Unfortunately my talk started 30mn before the published schedule so a lot of people rushed in in the middle of the presentation, sorry for those who misssed the beginning, but the slides are online. The room was fully packed at the end, obviously people are eager to learn about Xen, and Xen has the potential to change a lot of things, to take Daniel Glazman's terms this is a Disruptive Innovation, not virtualization in itself as it's a well known and deployed technology in the mainframe world for decade, but the fact it comes nearly without price to the standard and cheap PC platform. Moreover their recent work on migrating VM between machines within a cluster opens the door to a number of changes in the way we do computing, this is very exciting and since we are only at the beginning of the deployment phase this is a domain where new comers have an opportunity to get involved in something exciting and make a difference. But to learn more about this I really suggest people go look and read the most recent publications from the Xen group in Cambridge research lab especially those about Xen-3.0 roadmap and about live migration of VMs, it's IMHO amazing !
Congratulations to Damien and Jonita, and enjoy your vacations !
and a burial ?
Condoleance to our friends in Iran, I don't know how we will be able to help, I just hope it won't have too much of an impact. What I really don't understand is how this can happen in a country where women have the right to vote, is there vote statistics available to try to understand town vs. countryside, sex, age influence on people's vote. Of course those who didn't vote deserve the right to be ignored (I had to go vote for Chirac in the last presidential election here to block the ultra right wing, and still feel bitter about this but this is democracy rules).
I'm on vacations until Friday, the goal is to clean some of the backlogs of bugs I have on libxml2, libxslt and make new releases as people have been asking and waiting for those. Weather forecast is 37C in Grenoble on Tuesday, I refuse to install aircon on principles ground but this is gonna be nasty. Lot of sweat ahead ...