Tuesday, May 18, 2010

In the News

As I lay here. Recovering from UbuFlu in the midst of my UDS Hangover, I ran across a news story about Fedora 13 being pushed back due to a Grub bug. The story i saw is: http://blog.internetnews.com/skerner/2010/05/fedora-13-delay-fixes-linux-gr.html

Some folks have asked me today if I thought this was a failure on the part of Fedora. Of course not. We all want to put out good software, and Fedora is no different. Understanding that this wasn't the only bug that caused them to hold off releasing, I applaud them for explaining the situation a bit and working to put out the best software possible.

Just my thought today.

Being sick really sucks,


Monday, May 17, 2010

New Words to use

OK, this made me laugh for a while today.

UDS Hangover

Boy, they weren't kidding. There really is such a thing as a 'UDS Hangover'. I calculate that, from the time I hit the bed Saturday night at 11:30PM until I woke up this morning, I have slept over 24 hours and I still feel as if I have been beaten repeatedly.

The flight back was uninteresting from a volcanic point of view. No Delay, No changed course. Just a long flight and the usual dehydration to deal with. One would think they would consider putting in a humidification system for planes to keep you from feeling as if you'd had sandpaper installed in your nostrils while you weren't looking.

Both flights were staffed by excellent attendants and I continue to have my research reinforced as to dealing with them and ticketing/gate agents. Ever since I began this job and travelling so much, I've taken the approach of always smiling and being cheerful when interacting with them. I've never had a problem. This includes dealings with TSA agents at security checks. I generally find that I have less of a difficult time as long as I am seemingly happy. And just to neutralize the obvious thought that I am always happy or that I never have troublesome items and/or times. I can assure you that I don't always feel like putting up this image of complete happiness, and I have had several situations where I had crazy baggage issues.

It all just seems to work out when you do everything you can to make their jobs a bit easier. :-)

In the words of undacuvabrutha "Peace, Love and Soul" and I'll add to that Rock-nRoll. ;-)


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Of AllStars and Southern Rock

The All Stars Jam was a night not to be forgotten. The band was in the groove and the crowd was participating.

I tend to think I was up there way too long, but what can you do when influenced by alcohol and the overpowering draw of classic southern music.

I sincerely hope that there was no one recording the whole proceedings, but I am not naive enough to believe that there wasn't. I do know that after we finished up our planned set list we started taking requests, so apparently the crowd was still with us.

Claire Newman asked us to play Waterloo by Abba, and I am sorry to say we failed her. I am, however, hopeful that we can make it up to her by either learning it or finding someone who knows it for the next Jam. :) After all, I promised.

I thoroughly enjoyed singing with Jono on Tuesday's Gone and Turn The Page. I can't wait until next UDS. :-)

Keep on Rockin in the Free World!


UDS Day 5

Well, we have finally arrived. The last day of UDS. It seems like we have been here a month. The sessions have been so full of technical detail and collaboration that I feel like I will have to sleep a week to recover. Thankfully I don't think I will actually have to.

My cold has plagued me all week, but I have been able to keep it mostly at bay with the judicious application of throat lozenges, plenty of water and sleep. I slept over 16 hours on 2 days of this week and I think that helped immensely.

Today, like the others began with the kernel roundtable then moved to my session concerning the plans that i have for bug handling improvements in Maverick. Needless to say, there are quite a number of things that I and the team hope to accomplish during this cycle. It is an aggressive plan, but I hope it will provide us with a tremendous amount of success. More on that later.

Next was a session on Colin King's plan to conduct automated BIOS testing for troubleshooting failures on suspend/resume. Much of the plan for his work is to help ODM and OEM to find faults in their BIOS logic before chips and configurations are completed and shipped. This will cause us to spend less time quirking for those bugs and more time on kernel stability and improvement. I had originally planned to use a portion of Colin's talk to discuss the planned daily testing ISO that we want to build for use by LoCo teams during Global Jam days to give us early testing and data to fix the most affected bugs prior to release, but this was not to be. :-) Much as I suspected, Colin's talk was well attended and went the whole time plus. no matter, we have plenty to do in this regard, so we will move ahead with those plans and do an After Action Review next cycle.

Next, I was pulled out to prepare the equipment for the All Stars Jam happening Friday night during the wrap up dinner. We set up and practiced a bit before heading to the evenings session on Miscellaneous topics that weren't covered in the previous days. Thankfully, it didn't take the whole of the allotted time and we got a chance to sit and chat for a bit before the wrap up meeting in the auditorium.

What a week! I am glad I was here. I see now more of how a distribution is planned and I understand now that it takes an army of people working together to bring it all together. What a great team I work with. :-)

Time to sleep now.


UDS Day 4

Day 4 began, as usual, with the Kernel Roundtable. Afterward, I attended the combined meeting to discuss the planned kernel version to be used in the Maverick release along with planned kernel versions across several other release topic branches. This was followed up by the Ubuntu Kernel Delta review where Leann worked with the other members of the team to determine what patches were ready to be removed due to upstreamed stable patches or superseded by other patches. After this was a discussion surrounding support for backporting the Maverick kernel to be supported on the server version of the OS. This is a brand new thing that we are trying so that server gets the latest server support in the LTS release. It should be very interesting.

Another nice lunch was had and then plenary sessions with the Debian Project Leader, as session entitled "What's this bit do? Ghosts of plumbing past, present and future" which was quite informative, followed by a group photo.

The evening's session that I was mainly interested in was the Launchpad/Kernel bug improvement session which I had requested earlier in the week to get the team together with launchpad to further define our requests with regard to items we'd like to see in the tool. My thanks go to Jono Lange for his input on this session from a Launchpad point of view and to Matt Zimmerman for helping to identify the needs of the specific requests as we discussed them.

Todo items as a result of the day's sessions:
* Too numerous to mention, but captured in gobby documents :-)

More tomorrow,


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

UDS Day 3

Well, I feel pretty tired today. I am not yet convinced that this is the "UbuFlu" That I have heard about. I suspect it is more like a product of the pace and intensity of the sessions I have been a part of. I'll know more tomorrow. :-)

The Kernel Roundtable was first on the agenda as per normal. We discussed the things we all attended the day before and discussed work items that came about as a result.

The first session I attended today was about making Harvest more useable. This is a really useful tool that I am hoping to add to the items I use on a daily basis. I provided feedback where I could but this was only the second time I had seen it (a situation that was entirely my fault as it was on my TODO list).

Next was a private Kernel meeting to discuss a few topics followed by a very well attended session on multitouch support and its place in the next release. This was a packed house and I got a great deal out of the current support level versus what is expected to be ready for inclusion in Maverick. I hope they moved the follow on session to a bigger room. I was unable to attend the follow on.

Lunch was as normal, great selection with fantastic desserts. :-)

Plenaries covered the forward work planned for ARM followed by a quick look at Lucid workflow success and the Maverick Development plan as it stands now (more on this later). and lastly was a brief chat about translations (what a great group of people!) and an overview of the new font layout from the foundry. Very Exciting.

After Plenaries I was part of a session on Kernel Wiki 'gardening' which I hope will aid our community in finding information more easily as we move forward. Some relevant topics were, how to break out information on a per-release basis so that even as releases occur and information gets updated, our community will have access to relevant legacy information. This will also help us narrow the triage scope for specific subsystems community members are interested in and help us provide a better bug interaction. All big wins for the community as well as the bug reporters. I was also able to chat briefly about an idea that Steve Conklin had concerning the subsystems and triagers that focused specifically on subsystem bugs. The hope is to provide them with specific training from the triaging experts in these systems to allow us to not only grow their understanding of the specific sections of kernel work, but to also allow them to gain a foothold in kernel debug. The consensus was that this was a great idea and that the first iteration should be conducted electronically so that we can see the initial benefits without interrupting schedules of community members. This would also help us to live triage of specific bugs with an expert looking on and coaching. A side-effect that I hope we see is an expansion of the subsystem focused wiki pages that will come about as a result of the learning that occurs. I hope to use this as a model going forward for community based training that will eventually elevate current triagers into subsystem hackers and eventually kernel devs if they are interested. I guess you can sense my excitement. :-) More on this to come.

Next was a block of 2 hours devoted to kernel config which I opted to miss so that I could get a break and hopefully recover some energy for the final sessions of the day. The first was on Patch Review. Here again the Kernel Team is a bit different, but i took the time to try and understand how the other packages use it. The session was very informative. I now know exactly how the kernel patches deviate from this model and I understand more of the why. The last session I attended was apport and its possible use to gather information on installation failures. I always enjoy hearing the thought process that Colin Watson uses when determining what he needs to do to address an issue and this was a perfect opportunity to listen in. I was also mainly interested in what this might mean for kernel installation failures that might occur. i suspect I will be getting pinged by Colin should he encounter any of those in the testing. I look forward to it.

I've foregone dinner in the hope that rest will replenish me a bit more for tomorrow. We are 3 days down and 2 to go. :-)

Take aways from today's sessions:
*Read up on Harvest and pull the branch so that I can provide more feedback from a user perspective.
* Work with Andy to define the first needs of the wiki reorg
* Work the list of 10 for the initial foray into wiki updates
* Get arsenal scripts that pull bugs that have upstream SHA1 commits in them and generate a readable/clickable report for use in verifying that they either need to be or are in the latest kernel.
* develop a plan for the first 'triager summit' and announce intent to team list.
* Put the new Bug call plan in place and plan to start it one week from Monday the 17th of May.
* Work out a better bug report and have it update automatically through the day.
* Identify easily distinguishable bug tags to effectively break out the bugs as to what subsystem is affected (i.e. kernel-sound, kernel-suspend, etc.)
* Work up automated scripts to identify and tag as such above.
* roll triage wiki with links to the bug lists as broken out by the tags above.
* Determine best practice to expire bugs appropriately and work with Brad Figg to implement appropriately. (I have halted running the expire script until we have this down and i have reviewed all currently expired bugs)
* Work with Brad to identify the process arsenal scripts should use and document it.
* Rewrite arsenal scripts as needed due to the above.
* Identify Python training to attend over the cycle.

More tomorrow. :-)


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

UDS Day 2

I feel much better today having slept 16 hours straight and only changing position once over the course of that time. :-)

Today started right in with sessions so I attended the Kernel Roundtable where we went over the sessions members attended from the day before. Steve has had an awesome idea to conduct a Kernel Triager summit for those triagers we have who are great at getting specific subsets of bugs to a state for work. I'll be proposing a session on this before the end of the week.

Next I attended the ARM toolchain session which was excellent, but a bit higher than I could reach with my current knowledge of ARM. i suspect this will be of more benefit as time goes on. :)

Next was an excellent session on btrfs, which I am looking forward to, wherein the conversation centered around what needs to be done to add this as an install option during installation of Maverick. The features of btrfs that were discussed make it sound imminently preferable to an EXT fs.

Next was a session about Ubuntu boot performance where there was an in-depth chat about what can be done to improve the boot performance in Maverick. There was some excellent information here on what currently causes delays in boot and what work is in progress to address this going forward. Very interesting stuff... if you are a geek like me.

Lunch was, again, delicious. It was followed by a riveting session on Diffamation which is an animated diff viewer. I think I shall be using it soon.

Next was a session on sounds which highlighted for me the methods used to change and identify sound changes for the next release. It was something that I was not familiar with that really helped me understand the process involved. The team is very focused on making the soundscape unique among the distributions.

I got a great deal out of the Tracking Regressions across Releases session. There are a great many things I need to look into as a result. This session was again hijacked by myself and the special needs nature of the kernel team and it's bugs. Fortunately, I recieved a ton of useful information in the way of apport and scripts that help highlight the relevant information in a bug from Matt Zimmerman. I plan to become fully conversant in apport before the end of the next cycle.

The final session of the day was on Permissive mounts of removable devices. There was a lively discussion surrounding expected behavior versus how it currently works.
Given the level of removable media issues I have seen reported, I felt like this was a great discussion to have.

Things to do as a result of today:

* Setup a Kernel Triage summit session to discuss the possibility of having this type of meeting.
* Meet briefly with JK to work out the HWE process for their bug going forward.
* Attend session with ogasawara, apw et Al to discuss further 'wiki gardening'.
* meet with BDMurray about greasemonkey, arsenal and apport.
* Reenable greasemonkey scripts and install arsenal.
* Read information send by Matt to start the apport learning. :-)

More tomorrow. :-)


UDS Day 1

It was all a bit hazy... :-) but here is the relevant information from my first day at my first UDS.

The hotel is nice (given that it was apparently an IBM campus in the past). I missed the initial Kernel roundtable due to my intense need to conduct some personal hygiene(my plane arrived in Brussels at 8AM and the keynote occurred at 10AM) I arrived just in time to catch the entire keynote, but I opted for a shower, etc. before continuing the day. :-)

The first session I was able to attend was a workgroup on configuration managers and their interaction with conf files as it should stand regardless of what is managing the files. it was a great discussion and it was high enough over my head that I remained interested and was able to assimilate a good bit based on my SA background.

Next was a nice lunch followed by a plenary talk by the design team, a chat on Qt and a brief discussion of maverick and developers. Great sessions but difficult for me to stay awake in due to my 36 hour jaunt of awakeness.

The next session was a meeting to discuss the +patches view in Launchpad and to see what, if any improvements needed to be made. Being the special case that it is, I put the kernel's needs forward to see if there was anything that could be done to help me (purely selfish ;) )

After that was a rousing session on bugs by the same folks as the patches chat. Sadly, I almost hijacked this session with some of the more serious issues that affect kernel bugs in Launchpad. I put forward the thoughts of the team along with issues encountered by the kernel upstream maintainers like Ted T'so. The issues were well received and the subsequent discussion by the Kernel Team led to the need for a separate Kernel/Launchpad session which I will try to organize before the end of the week.

I ended the day in a Kernel Team private meeting.

Key things I need to do now:

* Determine who from LP were in the bugs chat and see if they are open to a kernel bugs session(bryceh, jml, , )
* I missed the UEFI talk that Colin King had, but I'd like to chat with him for a few moments about whether to postponbe my UEFI work on the testing ISOs until later.
* I need to flesh out my idea to the team of focused weeks for specific areas of kernel bugs (sound, graphics, wireless)

More later on Day 2. :-)


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Leaving on a jet plane...

Well, I was, but it seems I am to wait until tomorrow to finish my journey to the land of Trappist Ale and chocolate.

I had a great chicken parmesan at a place called Shoeless Joe's next door to the hotel I am in. There was some great Abita Purple Haze beer too, which I am very fond of.

Hopefully I will make it the rest of the way tomorrow as it seems other travelers have only met with delays so far this evening. I'm also hoping to blog some more during the afternoons at UDS about the sessions I am attending. This will hopefully make up for the lack of blogging here recently.

At any rate, I am tired, so I leave you with Stan Lee's famous closing line.