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Google Summer of Code Mentors Summit 2008 - Day 1

Day 1 - 2008/10/25

  • woke up and headed to the hotel parlour for breakfast
  • met Werner and talked a little bit about Java and Java packaging in openSUSE
  • back in the hotel room shown BuildService to David like I promised; he was interested in packaging, because he wanted to build Tux4Kids packages for OLPC
  • we all took a shuttle to Googleplex

googleplex gsocms2008-1 gsocms2008-2

  • all herded into the largest of the conference rooms called Tunis
  • summit’s opening talk held by Leslie Hawthorn and Chris DiBona, the open source manager at Google
  • learned some details about this year’s Summer of Code, e.g. that the youngest mentor Dmitri Gaskin was only 13 years old! he was unable to attend the Google Highly Open Participation Contest so he decided to do mentoring for Drupal :)
  • we were presented with giant grid where rows represented times and columns conference rooms
  • asked to write the name of the session in the correct cell, if we wanted to host it (learned that this type of conference has its own name and it’s called unconference)
  • decided to give a short presentation of openSUSE Build Service on Sunday
  • to my surprise, after a few minutes the board was actually full and it seemed that we’ll have a very interesting program ahead of us
  • met Zonker, the other openSUSE Mentor and Community Manager, told him I’m having a session on Sunday
  • found out that we’ll be attending completely different sessions :)

  • first session - ‘Monetizing Open Source without Being Evil’ by Mixxx guys
  • pretty good, learned a couple of real-life examples:
    • Firefox - has Google search on home page and in navigation toolbar (paid by Google)
    • Rhytmbox and Amarok - last.fm / Jamendo / Magnatune integration (increases program value and is paid by the studios/companies)
    • Ardour - optional donation 10$/month - has around 120 subscribers (1200$ a month)
  • short session about developing for iPhone by Matt from Adium; more particularly about how GPL and other open source licenses clash with iPhone SDK NDA

  • veeeeery long queue for lunch; agreed with Assaf Raman from Ogre3D that Americans love queues :)
  • everybody is throwing Google colorful frisbees and balls
  • lunch is actually tasty, but I miss warm food, every choice is a cold dish :(

gsocms2008-6 gsocms2008-3

  • going to session called ‘Human Supercomputer Workshop’ held by James from Audacity

  • have no idea what this could be, but sounds like fun
  • 9 people divided into groups of 3; each group has worker, facilitator and observer
  • worker says how he/she would solve the problem and also refines the problem itself
  • facilitator can interrupt worker to prevent preconceptions of the speaker
  • observer notices when the interactions were most effective and is allowed to give feedback only at the end of the session
  • session lasts for around 15 minutes and after that the groups are dissolved and the new ones are created, ideally so that none of the members of the new group is in group with the person he has met before
  • after 3 or 4 sessions, one large group is created and everybody gives feedback
  • totally fascinated how this “architecture” could solve problems in a very short time
  • interesting thing is that human supercomputer is working better when it is “under-clocked”, i.e. when speakers speak more slowly, as compared to CPUs which work better if they are over-clocked

  • rushed to ‘Dynamic Languages’ initiated by Giovanni Corriga from Squeak project

  • seems not to be a one-man show, rather a large debate
  • it would be interesting if there was a way how to translate programs in various dynamic languages to some common intermediate language
  • unfortunately .NET’s CIL is suited for statically typed procedural languages
  • maybe even design a processor that could run this CIL
  • Update (2008/11/05): learned from Anders Hejlsberg’s PDC2008 talk on C# 4.0 that Microsoft is actually planning to implement something like dynamic languages runtime

  • Android lecture by Chris DiBona, Shawn O. Pearce and Brian Swetland

  • learned about architecture of Android, where the code is and how can we contribute
  • lot of this could be found on Android website

  • concluding remarks held again by Leslie and Chris

  • traveled back to hotel
  • lots of chatting in the hotel parlour and around the pool

  • chat with Brian Swetland about Linux kernel changes in Android
  • learned a lot about NTP protocol and its pitfalls from Harlan Stenn
  • talked with VLC guys about Dominique Leuenberger’s great packaging work using Build Service (he uses it also to create VLC upstream packages)

  • dropped into bed, again very tired, but with a very good feeling after the great day

(Photos taken by me, Pınar Yanardağ and Chris DiBona)

Google Summer of Code Mentors Summit 2008 - Day 0

Day 0 - 2008/10/24

In my previous blogpost I described the project I mentored during this year’s Google Summer of Code event. At the end of October I was invited into Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California for Mentors Summit. Here you can find my remarks.

  • arrived at the Wild Palms Hotel at around 3pm and took a short nap
  • Google planned a dinner for us at Amarin Thai restaurant, left the hotel around quarter to six
  • used VTA public bus transport to get there; turned out to be pretty adventurous: one had to request the stop and the stops were not announced; fortunately had a map software in my cellphone so I was able to track my position by looking out of the window and advancing cursor in my mobile map :)
  • arrived to the restaurant; not so many people yet, soon started to change …

  • met Leslie Hawthorn (the official geek herder :)) for the first time
  • sat at the table with Earl Miles and his wife from Drupal, David Wollner from BZFlag and Joel Sherrill from RTEMS project
  • talking about our projects; served with various Thai dishes, some of them were very exotic
  • after an hour or so we headed to the Tied House

  • some snacks and free beer at the Tied House, heeey! :)
  • American beer is not what I’m used to, too thick for me :(
  • went to two tall guys: Matt Handley from Adium and Werner Guttmann mentoring Castor
  • when talking about Czech Republic, Ondrej Certik from Python Software Foundation appeared too
  • heard two people talking about openSUSE Build Service, interested who could it be …
  • mystery solved: Oleksandr Moskalenko from the Scribus team and Lance Albertson from Oregon State University - Scribus is one of the first larger projects that started to build their own packages using Build Service, Lance was mentoring a project which aimed to create packages for various distributions using Gentoo ebuilds
  • noted that the dependencies of the packages are the a big problem, Lance had to admit that I’m right; they actually use database of packages and their dependencies for each distribution, must be huge and hard to maintain!
  • there are two Gentoo mentors here! Donnie Berkholz and Alec Warner
  • short talk with Johannes Schmid from GNOME about Mono
  • approached by Stefan Reinauer from coreboot; learned that he used to work for SUSE once, in the Arch team; he decided to start his own business with LinuxBIOS (or coreboot, like it is called nowadays)
  • short talk with guys from OSSIM project (Pablo Rincón Crespo and Juan Manuel Lorenzo)
  • headed back to the hotel with Brooks Davis from FreeBSD and his wife

  • finally found out who my roommate is! it’s David Bruce from Tux4Kids project
  • we talked a little bit about his work, promised to show him openSUSE Build Service the other day
  • I fell into bed exhausted, but really looking forward for the actual summit and its sessions

Days 1 and 2 will appear tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. I promise to post some photos too :)

Mango - Migration Assistant Next GeneratiOn

This years Google Sumer of Code, student Peter Libič tried to implement an idea of Migrating Assistant. MacOSX contains utility which can import users, application settings and various files from old Macintosh to new one. Idea to port this functionality to Linux is not new. Something similar was created during GSoC two years ago by Ubuntu, but we tried to use different approach (object oriented C++) so the code is better extendable and maintainable.

Application support is not as wide as it probably should be, but because of the clean design, we hope that the number of supported applications will rise in the future. You can try Mango for yourself - packages are ready in BuildService and we are looking forward to feedback from you. See http://en.opensuse.org/Mango for more info and installation instructions …

Mango-gui

Scout finally searches in zypp repositories

I finally implemented very important feature of scout: It is now able to search for binaries in all enabled zypp repositories. SAT-solver files are used for this, so user does not have to install any external index files. I really would like to thank Klaus Kaempf for his exhaustive help with python bindings for satsolver. Another great news are that Werner Fink applied command-not-found patch for bash package, so 11.1 will probably contain this feature working out of the box! Current early implementation has one problem though: it is pretty slow comparing to older use-own-sqlite-database approach (2 seconds compared to 0.2 seconds). But it indexes more repositories at once (I have 14 enabled) and I believe the code could more optimized and thus whole search faster in the (near) future.

Feel free to test the packages from BuildService (follow the instructions on wiki) and tell me what you think of it ! :)

Scout: bash-completion, documentation, python indexes and Java demo

A lot has happened since the public release of scout. Blogpost registered more than 400 hits, Marek Stopka created bash-completion, Thomas Schraitle wrote docbook documentation and Michal Vyskocil prepared module for python and its indexes. Thank you all! I started a wikipage like Thomas suggested and indexed Packman repositories for their binaries.

Michal also prepared small demonstration video about using scout in java wrapper. The wrapper runs java application and greps stderr for exceptions. When NoClassDefFoundError/ClassNotFoundException is detected, the classname is taken to scout, which resolves it to package name, installs the package with zypper and tries to run application again! I like this idea pretty much. Michal is currently working on perl indexes and we will probably index also ruby and pkgconfig files.

Watch mentioned java demonstration video here:

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