Way back in 2008 I started to use twitter as a dump of my command line. Well, 23 thousand tweets later, most of them being something as boring as q ref, I've stopped the experiment. Turns out just seeing one side of the conversation (what I type) and not the output, is a pretty boring thing.

That being said, 155 people did find it amusing enough to follow, and for that, I am totally amazed. True, 150 of them are probably bots, I sure hope their scripts enjoyed the show. Twitter also started to rate limit me after the first few months, in a silent manner. The server would say it accepted the message, yet it would never show up anywhere.

The good thing out of this, was the tool, bti, which lots of people seem to be using as it provides an easy way to pipe output to twitter-like services. It has also grown way beyond my initial expectations, now providing the ability to read messages, and lots of other things (readline? Yeah, readline, the GPL trojen horse, is now supported, I need to work on making it so that readline doesn't force a GPLv3 change to the codebase.)

So, it's back to normal for twitter and identi.ca for me now, just kernel release announcements and complaints about companies not working well with the kernel community.

posted Tue, 05 Jan 2010 in [/diary]

As others have noticed, I was interviewed by the team at How Software is Built a few weeks ago, and the interview is now posted here.

It was a fun interview, and a long one as well, and I think it turned out very good. If you are interested in how Linux is developed, or the history of the Linux Driver Project, check it out.

And while you are there, take some time to read the other excellent interviews that they have done in the past. I personally liked Dirk Hohndel's discussion about Moblin and Linux and Alexey Rusakov talk about Russia and Free Software as well as ALT-Linux, but there are many, many, more there. Highly recommended.

posted Wed, 25 Nov 2009 in [/diary]

Somehow I got convinced to give a tutorial at LinuxCon this year, and it was originally scheduled to be my normal "Write a Real, Working, Linux Driver" tutorial I've been giving for the past 4 years or so (which happens to be online here, if you are bored and need something to fall asleep to.)

But that's old-hat, as people on 4 major continents have seen it before. So, to try to break up the boredom, I'm please to announce a change:

Write and Submit Your First Kernel Patch

This tutorial will cover the steps necessary to properly compose, describe, and submit a Linux kernel patch. It will cover the basic usage of git, and how that works with the Linux kernel development cycle. As part of the tutorial, every attendee will compose and submit a patch to the Linux kernel that will be included in the main kernel tree.

Every attendee should have a solid grasp of the C language, and know how to build and install, a Linux kernel from scratch (if not, reading the book, Linux Kernel in a Nutshell, free online, ahead of time would be a very good idea.) The latest source tree, from the git repository, of the Linux kernel should be installed on every attendees laptop before they arrive.

Sign up on the tutorial web site if you are going to attend so I get a clue how many people to expect. Right now I have unique material for 100 people to write new patches for, but can come up with more if needed.

See you all at LinuxCon, should be a fun time. I'm also giving a few other talks there as well, so come and heckle.

posted Fri, 11 Sep 2009 in [/diary]

As many people have pointed out to me, the posting of the Linux Plumbers Conference keynote on Google Video makes it kind of hard to watch using "free" software. So I tried to work out how to convert the original file to .OGG format.

And I failed.

So, any hints? Someone did this last time around for me for my talk at Google, which can be seen in the fancy new "media" directory on kernel.org right here. I'll be glad to put up the keynote talk, and some other videos that I have of talks if I can get them converted.

Update: Lots of people have pointed me to the excellent ffmpeg2theora tool, which I'm now using to convert the videos. Thanks for all of the help, I really appreciate it. I'll have copies of the videos up soon...

posted Wed, 24 Sep 2008 in [/diary]

The Linux Plumbers Conference has announced that registration is now open, and the call for papers has also gone out.

This conference was created by a bunch of Linux people living in Portland, Oregon with the goal of having a technical conference in the US that deals with the low-level "plumbing" issues relating to the whole Linux system. This includes the kernel, udev, HAL, dbus, xorg, pulse audio, and other related things.

It's a non-profit conference, with all of the money raised for it from registration fees and sponserships going directly into the conference itself to try to provide a good experience.

I'm running one of the "microconference" tracks dealing with the fun around the Linux kernel/userspace interface issues. If you are interested in presenting a talk about this issue, be sure to let me know.

posted Wed, 18 Jun 2008 in [/diary]

I've been watching twitter for a while now, amused at the ability for it to keep people appraised of what you are doing at the moment, if they really care. I didn't think it was really worth it.

Until I read this post last night which was linked off of some site that I forgot (probably reddit but I did think it was from the every wonderful Arachaia, which if you are a programmer, you should be paying attention to.)

I just couldn't resist...

So, if you want to see what I am doing, RIGHT NOW (well what I just did, it waits for the command to complete before sending it off to twitter), you can follow along right here.

I'm only enabling it on a few of my terminal windows for now, watching me constantly run mutt and offlineimap would get a bit boring.

I wonder how long it's going to be before I type in my password accidentally to this thing. Or until twitter bans me. Any odds on which is going to happen first?

I pity anyone who subscribes to this twit feed, they are going to start hating me very quickly, like the Portland, Oregon local feed already has...

posted Wed, 14 May 2008 in [/diary]

Back in July last year, I wrote a paper for the Linux Symposium about who was doing the actual work in the Linux kernel. Today the Linux Foundation has released a new version of it that contains new data, as well as a lot better writing thanks to Jon Corbet of lwn.net and Amanda McPherson of the Linux Foundation.

The paper was released in both html form, and a PDF version for those who like the pretty graphs to be a bit bigger.

It seems that the trade press has picked this up already, with reviews by the 451 group, internetnews.com, cnet, and infoworld, as well as lwn.net.

Funny note, companies are now emailing me complaining that we aren't counting their contributions properly. Hey, the numbers don't lie, take a look at the tools and logs I used to create all of this if you don't believe them.

To be fair to one company, Google, we were incorrectly counting their representation, keeping Andrew Morton in the "Linux Foundation" bucket instead of the "Google" bucket. That will change the list of top companies placing Google somewhere between 10 and 13, I haven't re-run the numbers yet to get the exact placement.

posted Tue, 01 Apr 2008 in [/diary]

I've been carting the "big wall of kernel developers" poster around the world with me for the past 6 months, getting it signed by as many kernel developers as I could find.

First off was the Ottawa Linux Symposium, where the poster was unleashed apon an unsuspecting crowd of people. They mostly just laughed at it, and I had to update a few names by hand for some late patches that slipped in:

click for big

At that conference, which had around 600 attendees, I collected 101 different signatures. That ment that 1 out of every 6 people attending that conference, had gotten a patch into the last kernel version that had just come out (2.6.22 at the time.) That's quite a high concentration all in one spot.

I then displayed it at 2007 OSCON. While a fun conference, it is not very kernel oriented at all, and so, I picked up a few more signatures, mostly from Ubuntu people who happened to be attending due to a recent conference.

After that, it was a jump over the pond to the 2007 Linux kernel summit in Cambridge. I collected a few more signatures there, after having to clear off one whole wall of the conference room, much to the hotel's dismay.

Then, it was a few more plane rides, having it get lost by the airline between London and Hamburg, a train ride to Nuremburg, and then a bus ride to the Czech countryside for a SuSE Labs conference. Once again, the hotel staff looked at me strange, but they eventually found a way to set it up, and a few more signatures were aquired.

In the end, I collected 165 signatures, and the poster traveled with me to five different countries.

But today, I finally said goodbye to it. I sent it off in the mail to linux.conf.au, where it is to be raffled off for charity, after collecting a few more signatures that it is missing.

If you see it, say hello, for after lugging it on more airlines that I want to recall, and having to explain it to more airport security people than should have been necessary, it feels strange to not have to tote it after me anymore.

click for big

Maybe I'll go create a new poster for all of the work that happened in 2007 in the kernel, that one should only run about 50 meters long and give me something new to lug around the world again...

posted Sat, 19 Jan 2008 in [/diary]

Just a few random things I wanted to get out about this year's Linux Symposium.

My big "wall of kernel developers" turned out very well, with lots of different people taking pictures of it. I wanted to get everyone who had a patch to sign the thing, and I counted 105 signatures at the end of the week. So, since the attendance was somewhere around 700 people or so, 1/7 of the attendees had gotten a kernel patch into the Linux kernel within the past 2 months.

That is a pretty concentrated number of kernel developers for any type of conference.

I'll be dragging the poster around to different places through the year (OSCON is next), and eventually take it, or send it to linux.conf.au where it will be raffled off for charity.

If you are somewhere you think a lot of kernel developers are going to be, and want me to send you the poster so you can get their signatures, just let me know.

My talk went really well, despite being misquoted about the fact the size of the Linux kernel is growing both with number of individual developers as well as the overall code size. My paper explaining all of this can be found here, and the slides I used for the talk can be found here for people who want to see the real numbers and information provided.

The scripts used to create this information can be found in the paper, and I'll be updating them later in the week, along with the scripts I used to create the big posters too.

Papers you should read if you have not already:

That last one about RT makes me not so afraid of the whole -rt kernel patchset and it even looks kind of fun to me now...

Heck, go read them all, they are all great papers and you will learn something by just browsing through them.

Overall, the conference was great. I had a blast and James's final keynote was great, talking about evolutionary theory, obsolete computer architectures, and how to embrace the myrad of forks we all generate everyday within the Linux communities. What more could anyone want out of a week?

posted Wed, 11 Jul 2007 in [/diary]

Spoken at the final party at this years Linux Symposium by a kernel developer working for a Linux distribution that will not be named:

So the problems started happening when we added the 7th wireless stack to the kernel...

posted Sun, 01 Jul 2007 in [/diary]

So Pete thinks I just do "big announcements" here, so I'll try to stop that and do more frequent little things.

I just got the printed out version of the 2.6.22 kernel developer chart from the printer before flying out to the Linux Symposium and it's amazingly large in person:

click for big pictures

Over 40 feet long, hopefully I can find a wall that long for people to be able to look at the thing...

I also uploaded the PDF files if others want to try their hand at printing this monstrosity out.

posted Mon, 25 Jun 2007 in [/diary]

I've been working on the graphics for my Linux Symposium talk and it turns out that the graph of Linux kernel developers and their relationship is a bit larger and more complex than I originally guessed.

I wanted to create a single big poster that showed the whole Signed-off-by: path for the past year or so, but when I finally got it rendered it turned out to be over 165 feet long by 3 feet tall...

Needless to say, that's a bit impractical, so I'm having to resort to graphing each individual release, but they are still turning out quite large, over 40 feet long for some of these.

I've put up some sample renderings if people want to take a look at them:

click for directory of big pictures

Be forwarned that they are very large and might crash your browser.

Also ran into the problem that the local Kinkos (an American copy/printing company) can not handle images this big. The PDF version of the file crashes Acrobat Reader, even the professional version, and Illustrator can not handle single images this large. Somehow I need to figure out how to get these banners printed out in time for my plane ride to Ottawa next week.

After spending all week using Inkscape to create these images all I have to say is "it rocks!". I used to use Illustrator a lot a long time ago (the result of a number of college classes in graphic design) and Inkscape does all that, and handles images this large in size with absolutely no problems.

posted Sat, 23 Jun 2007 in [/diary]

Ugh, I've been traveling way too much lately, here's a summary of my trips in the past 2 months:

  • Nuremberg for work related meeting
  • San Francisco for some meeting I can't remember now.
  • Stanford for talk to students
  • Prague for training of Linux kernel developers
  • Los Angles for FreedomHEC
  • Tokyo for LinuxWorld Japan
  • San Francisco for driver related meeting.

Remember, I live in Portland, not Germany, as many people seem to be surprised when they meet me for the first time. Don't get fooled by my .de email address...

The last two trips happened this week, with me spending only about 48 hours in Tokyo. It was a lot of fun there, but not much time. However, in that span I did get to do the following:

  • Give a talk about Linux kernel development based on a mashup of last year's OLS talk and this upcoming year's talk. People actually asked questions, which I am told is very rare for an audience at this kind of event, so I was happy.
  • Signed more copies of my O'Reilly driver book, the Japanese translation, than I have for the English version.
  • Went to the Tokyo Linux developer meeting (sorry, can't find link, I know they must have one), along with Tony Luck and gave the same talk again. Tony is the ia64 kernel maintainer and remarked that this is one of the few developer audiences that actually like Itanium. I was really impressed by the meeting, there are a lot of good Linux kernel people in Tokyo, it was nice to see some familiar faces and got to meet a lot of new ones. Hopefully I will see some of them at OLS this year.
  • Found some neat USB toys to hack on.
  • Drooled over the tiny, 1kg dual core laptops and some ultra-mobile machines that I would love to get Linux running on. The future of ultra-mobile devices is looking very good, I can't wait to get one of them soon.

Then the driver meeting in San Francisco sponsored by O'Reilly. Not as many people showed up as expected (only nvidia, IBM and O'Reilly were there), but I think it was very productive. I'll wrote more about this next week, along with a summary of FreedomHEC.

Oh, and now I'm stuck in the SFO airport due to fog, still trying to get home to PDX and have not slept in almost 48 hours. Travel can be fun at times, but other times it's just a major grind to get through...

Time to go play some Lumines, my new addiction...

posted Fri, 01 Jun 2007 in [/diary]

Google has just opened up a patent search service that is going to put a number of research companies out of business soon, bringing the ability for anyone to easily search the US patent database.

For example, here's the two patents with my name on them (no, I am not proud...)

And here's a few that my father did (real inventions, not process patent crap mine above...)

But for more fun, here's one from Microsoft where they site a message on the Linux kernel mailing list in their publication list.

And this list should give people a pause when they think that no one is out there doing patents on Linux kernel things.

But this patent looks like my favorite one right now as I'm sure Dave Jones would agree.

posted Thu, 14 Dec 2006 in [/diary]


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