Dev-Jam 007: Day 1

Today is a travel day for most people, but that also means that we started to gain critical mass early on. Having everyone together does so much for productivity, and we managed to tag and release OpenNMS 1.3.6 (official announcement will come tomorrow).

A lot of progress was made toward getting rid of the dependency on Tomcat for the webUI and replacing it with jetty (although Tomcat can still be used when it is necessary to move the webapp to another server), and we started to lay out the plans for the week (doing more with GWT, getting rid of the SVG 1.2 dependency for maps, etc.)

In other news, one of the more interesting people that I met at OSCON mentioned my talk in his blog. John Willis has been doing this whole network management thing longer than I have, and it was nice to see how much we agreed on what a management platform should be able to do.

Back to Dev-Jam, we took several breaks to play with the Wii:

although I am not very good at it … yet.

Weather issues on the east coast caused some delays, but by dinner time (around 9pm) most everyone had arrived except for Alejandro, who had been stuck in Miami since leaving Venezuela, although he is supposed to be landing soon. We ended up at Sally’s, which worked out well since Sunday nights after 9pm all of the drink specials offered over the week are in force.

It may be a little hard for me to get out of bed in the morning.

Dev-Jam 007: Day 0

We made a massive Sam’s run today. Several cases of soda, a couple cases of Red Bull, coffee, and both salty and sweet snacks. We based a lot of our purchasing decisions on last years conference, so we hope we bought enough this time.

Today both jeffg and ranger showed up. joed’s plane flight got cancelled so he doesn’t make it here until tomorrow, and Alejandro’s flight was also delayed, so instead of getting in around midnight he’ll be here around noon on Sunday. Pretty much everyone else shows up tomorrow as well.

We are hoping to tag 1.3.6 this weekend. All of the C-based JNI code has been excised from the main OpenNMS code, so now jrrd (to support RRDtool files) is optional, iplike (to allow for powerful IP address based matches when querying the database) is optional but highly recommended, and jicmp (which allows for Java to perform pings) is required but provided as a separate package.

What does this mean for OpenNMS? A number of things. First of all the opennms, opennms-webapp and opennms-docs packages are now “noarch”. This will allow us to build and release in a fraction of the time it used to take, and we will be able to provide nightly snapshots. Second, OpenNMS should build on Windows. Now, I didn’t say it would run on Windows, but it should build – which is the first step (we still need to work on any hardcoded file separators).

Since I was responsible for building on the umpteen platforms we support, I at least am ecstatic. We are also setting up some yum repos in addition to the debian/ubuntu repos, so installation should be a breeze.

In other news, OpenNMS has been appearing in a couple of blogs. One of our clients in Europe who we’d hoped could make it to Dev-Jam talks about his experiences with the app, and Coté over at Redmonk links to a post I made in the past about the glory days of OpenView.

He writes “Developers seem to have a diminished role in IT management.” This is very true in the case of OpenNMS. Unlike some other open source management projects, all of us came from a background in enterprise management, and only a few of us were “classically” trained developers. This has meant that getting to a critical mass of developers has taken us a long time, and it has made our annual Dev-Jam conference essential for the success of the project (plus it is a whole lot of fun). Most other open source projects are written by developers for developers.

On the upside, by bringing together network management professionals and not strictly developers, we’ve managed to create a product focused on their needs.

Anyway, tomorrow is the big reunion day. It’s nice being back at UMN. We went out to Big 10 for lunch and one of our favorite waitresses from last year, Meegen, was there. She’s a blast. Having an unusual name myself, we swapped stories. She won. She said that often when she tells someone her name, they don’t believe her (it’s pronounced “Me” vs. “May”), so they often ask her to spell it, as if she spelled it “Megan” they could go “aha! you’re saying it wrong”.

Well, it was funny in the bar.

Dev-Jam 007: Day -1

Friday was a travel day for me. Up at 5am, off to the airport, PDX to ORD, then ORD to MSP. The flight out was delayed but I had enough of a layover in Chicago to make the next flight, and so did my luggage.

Mike picked me up at the airport and we met up with his wife Katie, Matt and Dave at the Wayzata Yacht Club. Mike and Katie are part owners in a sail boat, so we went out on Lake Minnetonka for a couple of hours.

[Me, Matt, Katie, and Cap’n Mike – Dave took the picture]

It was nice. We then got some ice cream and I got some much needed sleep.

And the winner is …

I just got back from the Sourceforge Community Choice Awards party. So without further ado the winner of the Best Project for Sysadmins is:


The winner for Best Project for the Enterprise is:


Oh well. It was nice to be nominated in such fine company. I want to thank everyone who voted for us. It means a lot to me to get such feedback from the community. Also kudos to Ross Turk and company for a nice party, although I didn’t win the iPhone.

In too few hours I will be on my way to Minneapolis for Dev Jam 007. I leave here at 8am and get there about 5pm. Envy me.

March of the Geeks – OSCON

Even in rather bohemian Portland, it is easy to find the Convention Center this week. With Ubuntu Live running for the first two days, and OSCON for the last three, all one has to do is stand on the street, look for a T-shirt with a Linux/Open Source theme (or Tenacious D for that matter) and follow them. Soon you will merge with more long haired, T-shirt wearing laptop luggers as they congregate on the site of the conference.

I haven’t been here long, but in the speaker’s room I ran into Brian Aker and there is a homemade rapid prototype machine build by RepRap as well.

Pretty cool, and looking forward to more.