For those who are flying into Boston and then taking the FUDBus up to FUDCon I have crash space literally down the block from where the FUDBus is picking us up. I have two couches and an Areo Bed for anyone who needs it. Get in touch with me on IRC.[read this post in: ar de es fr it ja ko pt ru zh-CN ]
November 24, 2009
November 23, 2009
With FUDCon being only two weeks away, I’ve been polishing up my presentation and looking into what is in store for the future of Fedora’s Infrastructure. My main focus has been adding “push” capabilities throughout our infrastructure via the use of the AMQP protocol and qpid servers.
So why do we care about push messaging?
One can think of messaging as a conversation between two people. Poll messaging goes something like this:
Push on the other hand is a bit less chatty:
By eliminating the need to poll to know when an event has happened within Fedora’s Infrastucture, and making it easy for services to push out events in an easy fire and forget manner, we open up the door to a number of interesting possibilities. For instance, instead of implementing mail notification functionality in every service we simply create a mail notification service that listens for events and sends e-mails to people who what them. Do you want to get a notification on your desktop when your build is done instead? This makes it possible to provide that functionality without bogging down the Koji build service.
Human consumable notifications isn’t the only advantage of adding push messaging to our infrastructure. Because the data is first formatted for services to consume, notifications can be used for things like automation and synchronization. For instance someone could write a script that listens for new git checkins at fedorahosted.org and tries to package it into a private repo for personal testing.
What do we need to discuss at FUDCon?
Though this change is minimally invasive and you can ignore it if you don’t need to work with notifications, it is never the less a large undertaking. Some of the things we need to discuss are:
- Usecases – where can we benefit by adding notifications? How do we envision the notifications will be consumed?
- Payload format – what are the pros and cons of the different ways we can encode and decode data
- Standardization – even though we have a routing protocol we still need to standardize on the type of data to expect
- Libraries – we need to make it dirt easy for infrastructure developers to add notifications to their service
- Performance and security concerns – AMQP is pretty complex so we will need to make sure all of our bases are covered when deploying the QPID servers
AMQP Sessions at FUDCon
There are a couple of talks planned and a hackfest. Come to the talks to get a deeper understanding of AMQP and how we envision using it within Fedora and then attend the hackfest to help us map out the future of the Fedora Messaging Infrastructure.
- AMQP Messaging for Fedora Developers – come to my session to find out the basics of AMQP messaging and how it is relevant to Fedora’s infrastructure
- AMQP/Qpid on Fedora – The definitive guide – get a more in-depth view of AMQP in Rajith Attapattu session. He will show you how to setup and configure the Qpid server on Fedora, use the client APIs, and where to go to find help when using AMQP.
Sunday and/or Monday:
- Get on the (Message) BUS Hackfest! – come to Jesse Keating’s hackfest to work out details and hack on the messaging infrastructure.
November 20, 2009
Having followed its development for a long time now and used other video editing software I can say that PiTiVi is an awesome app that is only going to get better. Sure it isn’t perfect yet but that is software development for you. It takes time to get all the features in and make them solid.
One of the great parts of Open Source Software is you get to see it develop and grow. It is also one of the biggest misunderstood aspects of such software. In a world where people are gripped by the next best thing – a collective psychosis of product ADD – where patience is no longer a virtue but an outdated notion of an age long gone, evolution is about as exciting as watching paint dry. Just a reminder that even products that seem to just appear overnight, in reality had long periods of closed development to receive polish (and even then they aren’t always great but for some reason people tend to forgive shortcomings in something they bought as opposed to something they got for free).
Knowing the drive behind the developers working on PiTiVi I am confident that in time PiTiVi will become one of the prime examples of FOSS development. For now it is useful enough for some my basic editing needs and every time I try a new version it just gets that much more useful. Keep up the hard work!!![read this post in: ar de es fr it ja ko pt ru zh-CN ]
November 9, 2009
For various reasons I am staying out of government politics these days but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stay away from a bit of controversy when it comes to my beloved Open Source crowd.
I remember at one Boston Summit, being held at the MIT Stata Center, where Luis Villa, our much appreciated lawyer in training (or is he an actual lawyer yet and more importantly can we start cracking lawyer jokes?), was holding a Marketing BOF. In this BOF we ended up listing things that GNOME didn’t do well in which someone who was not part of the GNOME community but rather an invited guest took the session to mean that GNOME was in serious trouble and was folding in on itself.
What this person failed to realize is that self introspection and acknowledging ones weaknesses is the first step to becoming stronger. In our case it was the first steps to becoming a stronger community.
It is with this in mind that I read Henri Bergius’ great synopsis on the Apple MagicMouse vs the Open Office mouse design. It illustrates one of Open Source’s short comings with mitigating complexity. To stereotype us collectively a bit, we are like Sheldon from the show the Big Bang Theory. Sheldon can solve complex theoretical physics questions in his sleep but ask him to engage in simple social interaction and he hides behind condescension and excuses the interaction as unimportant.
Similarly, ask us to solve a complex computer problem and we will do it but ask us to make it easy to use, something the masses would go out and spend money on, and the same indignant statement seems to permeate every discussion about it – “that’s not something I would want to use”. Ok, so the analogy isn’t fair because as a group we are as diverse as any other but from the amazing things that we have produced it is clear that collectively we have a hard time hiding the complexity of it all. For some reason Apple is able to promote ease of use and they get praised for it but when we try to promote it we hit a wall of cynicism – “You’ll have to pry my user interface from my cold dead hands!”
So the question is will we ever learn how to mitigate complexity or will we just leave that for others to add as a competitive advantage? Is our end goal to just be a building block of modern technology or will we be the finished product itself? I don’t have that answer but I do know it is something we need to introspect on. We need to ask ourselves these hard questions, not as acknowledgement of failure but as acknowledgement of the fact that we can always do better by honestly and without cynicism, examine our weakest points. As other parts of the industry learn from our successes in development and internally implement changes based off of the Open Source model, we too need to look at their successes in the mass market and see what we learn from them.[read this post in: ar de es fr it ja ko pt ru zh-CN ]
November 5, 2009
Will over at the Miro project, that super cool Open Source media player, sent me a link today of their Miro Community site. It is a video aggregation site that allows for communities to collect all of their video in one place even if they were originally posted elsewhere. To that effect he has also set up a GNOME Miro Community site. I know we have a bunch of great videos talking about GNOME and showing off its features. This is a shout out to people who have great GNOME related video content to go ahead and start aggregating those videos so others can find them. Let’s start building a community of open video showcasing our favorite open desktop!!![read this post in: ar de es fr it ja ko pt ru zh-CN ]
November 4, 2009
I popped down to Boston today to see Litl’s internet computer and catch up with friends who now work for Litl. Unfortunately I did not see Havoc there (probably release partying too much or more likely coding) but a number of GNOME folk and others who I worked with at OLPC did show up. (I’m not going to name names because I will inevitably leave someone out).
In any case the Litl webbook looks promising. Finally someone has looked at what a target group of consumers wanted and designed a simplified interface around services instead of just dropping a Linux distribution in and saying here you go. Did they hit the mark, only time can tell but for Linux on devices to win in this area we need this sort of targeted design instead of chasing the windows generic computing market. It is how Apple won with the iPod and iPhone. Anyone who reads my blog should know my stance on this issue so I won’t beat it to death.
Some key innovative features here are
- Browser centric design
- Easel mode in which the UI accommodates the device’s configuration
- Instant sharing and mobile configs – if one breaks you can log in from another and continue whatever you were doing
- Almost zero maintenance and setup (you still need to tell it who your friends are)
Sure we have some of these features being developed in GNOME (it doesn’t come as a surprise since a lot of the UI is based on work done in GNOME and other GNOME related projects like the OLPC) but this is the first complete commercial offering which brings those features into one consumer friendly device with a laptop form factor.
As someone who is proud of GNOME’s accomplishments I wish Litl the best of luck and thank them for the code they have contributed back to the community. As a Foundation member I hope to see even more collaboration between them and the foundation in the future. Keep up the awesome work!!![read this post in: ar de es fr it ja ko pt ru zh-CN ]
November 2, 2009
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License
Above is a song I was writing for my sister’s wedding. Unfortunately I never finished it and logistics got in the way of me bringing a guitar to Italy (namely I didn’t want to lug a guitar all around Italy). I thought I would record it using my Cannon PowerShot camera and edit it with Jokosher and PiTiVi to see how far our tools have gone.
I have to say it was fairly easy but I still ran into issues. As far as UI Goes PiTiVi is much easier to use than Jokosher in terms of organizing what I wanted to do. I really only needed Jokosher to tweak the sound a bit but it was still a bit of trial and error to get something decent. I used the high and low pass filters to filter out background noise and echo from my room. Jokosher lacks a basic noise filter effect which can be implemented manually in most other editors by taking a sample of the ambient noise and phase shifting it 180 degrees so the ambient noise is canceled out. Unfortunately the solid bar UI which departs from the usual wave graph makes it impossible to do this by hand. In any case the low and high pass filters worked fairly well to get the most annoying twangs and hisses out.
Another issue is not being able to mark cutin and cutout points and have PiTiVi sync the video with these point. I essentially had to do minimal processing in Jokosher so I could easily sync the video to the edited sound in PiTiVi. It would have been nice to trim the audio in Jokosher and when I imported it into PiTiVi, had it sync up to the correct points in the video. Manually doing that in PiTiVi is hard because of the timeline scale and the fact that it is exclusively drag and drop. It would be nice to be able to enter exact values or load markup metadata so I could snap to my cuts. Once the audio is in PiTiVi we are stuck with PiTiVi’s audio tools which will never be as complete as Jokosher’s (assuming Jokosher gets some development love). It would be nice to be able to jump back and forth between the two.
All that being said, once I planned out what I wanted to do it took no time at all to do it for a video as simple as this. It might not be all roses and honey yet but it is much better than it has been. The next step is to start multi-tracking in Jokosher and syncing it to a video. We shall see.[read this post in: ar de es fr it ja ko pt ru zh-CN ]