Kommandeering Developers Everywhere

Friday, July 28, 2006

SabayonLinux interview

This week, an interview with Sabayon (previously RR4/RR64 - a distro with a lot of recent attention) was posted on the Dot. Whereas I've done the previous interviews, this one was done by Henrik Nordin.

I bring up this article for two reasons. First, I hope that readers are finding the interviews enjoyable and that the interviews are mutually beneficial (for both readers and distros). Please remember that the interviews stand on their own, but they are also initial steps in a larger strategy of relationship management that the Marketing Team is working on. More on that later.

Second, thanks to Henrik for his ongoing work. He's been very helpful and consistent in planning and working together on these activities with us. Because some individuals aren't as visible on blogs and mailing lists (and I'm sure many of you wish that I'd be *less* visible), they may not be recognizable names to many - but they're still being productive. Thanks Henrik!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Relative triathlon success

Last Saturday, triathlon day, it hit 100 F. Brutal. I've never tried to run in such temperatures, let alone as hard as I can. 2,800 participants were signed up for various courses (that's massive), and the event was filmed and will be televised (to be shown on NBC 7/29).

Brief recap: Even though I got no sleep due to nerves, had to wake up at 5:30am to go sign-up and check in, and had to wait nearly 3 hours to start, I felt pretty decent on race day.

The swim was tougher than I expected, I rocked the bike (came in 23nd overall), and the run was just painful. Plenty of fire trucks and ambulances helping people who just couldn't make it. In fact, many ended up walking much of the running course.

Some hi-res photos show me feeling good at the start, but after the finish, I'm wondering why the hell I didn't stay in bed and watch cartoons that morning. Overall, I finished 80th (out of 1,100 on the sprint course).

Some inspirational stories involve an 88-year old woman doing the triathlon with her son, and differently-abled athletes out in force.

Dumb enough to try this again? You bet. Next triathlon is on July 30th.

Monday, July 17, 2006

ODF chugging along nicely

As I wrote earlier in a blog entry, I was crossing my fingers for more Google involvement with ODF as they build out online productivity offerings. Since the Google halo effect is still fully functional and the could make Disco popular again by endorsing it.

Just referenced in an LXer article link and elsewhere, Google is indeed moving forward with ODF support and participation. Let's hope for continued success for ODF, especially with KOffice (and notably KFormula in this release) helping to lead the charge.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

12 hours

In 12 hours, I begin the Life Time Triathlon. What will the weather be like? See for yourself.

Good times. It's going to take more than a positive attitude and a cheerful disposition.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Kicking and screaming

Part 1: I'd bet we've all witnessed it: some mother trying to drag a child (hopefully her own child :)) into a grocery store or shopping mall. And the child is crying the entire way, more interested in playing or taking a nap. No one, including other shoppers, is happy and the mom just wants to get the ordeal over with.

Part 2: Being a U.S. citizen, I get an interesting perspective on U.S. diplomacy over the years. As military prowess and economic reach expands (translation: as we fluctuate between global cop and global bully in an attempt to bolster our gluttonous economy based on consumption), the U.S. negotiation tactics have been whittled down to: "What would you rather we send to your capitol? 2 million copies of Kangaroo Jack DVDs or several Tomahawk missiles?"

By gaining muscle, we've lost elegance. Our diplomacy boils down to the most base of barter: economic stimulus or physical threats. Good times.

Putting it all together: Of course, I'm talking about Microsoft. As the line blurs between U.S. economic behemoth and the U.S. "Bull in the China Shop" government, MS has put together yet another banner week. They have finally realize that the ostrich approach (burying their hand in the proprietary format sand) will not work with ODF. It's not going away, and their stalling isn't working and their own format is as useful as 5 pounds of crap in a two pound bag. Further, they fumble, bumble and stumble through creating/copying an initial ODF plug-in. Then Bill absolutely puts his foot down and resolutely states that after 5+ years of focus, Vista will absolutely, positively, probably pretty-much be done in January.

And of course, what week would be complete without pissing off a government? In a story covered everywhere, Microsoft receives a relatively large slap on the wallet. Best quote (from many to choose from)?

Despite these fines, Microsoft remains totally committed to full compliance with the Commission’s 2004 decision. We will continue to do whatever the Commission asks to comply with its decision as these issues are considered by the courts.

One small catch: the fines are *because* of the failure to comply. Of course, their antics have completely made any such weekly security issues boring and uninteresting.

As Geoffrey Moore will tell you, all such behavior is just to be expected of a juggernaut on its last breath. Long gone are any illusions of technical leadership. Crippling size and lethargy. They going to get dragged to the grocery store (competitive market - get it?) no matter how much they cry. And when they can't use the "Might makes Right" tactic, they're completely baffled on how to play nicely with others. The EU sensibly asked, "Why should we take 5 million euro in bribes when we can take 280 million in fines?"

Unrelated note: I just trampled over a good blog by Zack on the KDE Planet. Scroll down and read it.

Red Flag Linux and regional thoughts

The other day, I posted a brief introductory interview with Huang JianZhong of Red Flag Linux to the Dot.

What are good signs that people have a lot of curiosity about the Linux/KDE/China/Red Flag combination? First, within 24 hours the interview was on the front page of digg.com, an extremely popular site (millions of users) where stories are driven by user voting. Second, plenty of comments in the Dot story forum were looking for more details and more insight.

It's hard not to be impressed and interested in any Distro that annually distributes (yes, put your pinky to your mouth like Dr. Evil) one million copies.

In addition to Red Flag in China, we will also be reaching out to other Asian distros such as Berry, Turbolinux, Haansoft and Tomahawk computers.

If that weren't enough, we recently had Eva and others at LinuxWorld in Korea.

Still not enough? Pradeepto Bhattacharya of India recently joined the eV posse and has been doing great work for a while now. Community building continues to gain momentum in India.

What to make from all of this? Well, hopefully people will be discussing these very topics at the upcoming aKademy (you have registered, right?).

From technical topics such as fonts in Qt, to cultural topics on how to approach relationships, there's a lot to cover and a lot to learn. The spike in interest on digg for the Red Flag interview reinforces my belief that plenty of people are curious about Asia and Open Source. Exciting stuff!

Monday, July 10, 2006

GUADEC results

I'd like to congratulate our friends at GNOME for their recent GUADEC conference. I've heard nothing but great things about the planning and execution of their event. It's funny how their blog site has just completed the standard cycle of 1) Getting excited to travel 2) This is awesome/funny photos 3) This sucks, not looking forward to travel back home 4) Silence/recuperation 5) Recaps 6) Right back to technical posts.

Note on 5) above, all the gnome bloggers were dead on target when discussing how it's all about the community and attendees - the family atmosphere. You're hearing the same message from KDE Core Four attendees. I can't wait to see how Tink, Marcus Furlong and associates get aKademy ready for us. I'm registered attendee #31. Do you have your number yet?

Update: Speaking of GNOME, here's a recent article posted on LXer that I read. If you persevere and can actually get through the 12,000 blinking page advertisements, you'll find Rule #2 applies here. Finally, media outlets are starting to get it and reporting on proper marketing/strategy: Open source initiatives aren't competing with each other. It makes a great news story, but not much more. We're collaborating: competing with/offering alternatives to a traditional (and somewhat broken) OS delivery model. Thanks to LXer for posting a story that points this fact out.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Less than 2 weeks

I'm starting to get nervous about my upcoming triathlon for some reason.

I've put in months and months of training, but I may be on the verge of overtraining and my body hasn't been performing well as of late. What's worse, rest only seems to make me tired and stiff and set me back more. I guess I just force through it all at this point. In other words, there isn't a clear "taper phase" plan of action for me yet.

Is it ever a good sign when you plan to do your first trial open water swim at the triathlon site and the same day someone drowns in the lake? No, I didn't think so either.

But, being the brave/stupid soul that I am, I did go with another participant and swim at ground zero this weekend, and I biked the course this morning.

Like an Escher drawing, I agree that I finish biking where I start, but the entire course seems uphill. Hmm...maybe this is the route my parents walked to school every morning that they tell me about?

The biggest variable will of course be the weather; last year it was 95 F, sunny and humid. I'm hoping for Mother Nature to behave a bit more this year.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Have a fun trip - and don't forget to write!

I'm sure everyones' parents have said that at some point, whether you're going on vacation, heading off to school, or heading off to the Norwegian woods to work on KDE libraries. Dear old mom will always put an extra serving of love in the apple pie she's mailing to you if she knows her children are properly implementing facade and decorator patterns. Oh mom!

So don't forget why you're there (to churn out great code and that top secret intervention for sansiego), but also don't forget those not lucky enough to attend. The blogs are starting off quite well, keep it up!

One last word of caution: As is the case with most dignitaries and embassadors, top levels officials do not fly or stay together, for fear of losing too much knowledge in the event of an accident/attack. Heck, even at Accenture while I was there, this policy was in place. So, with so much KDE mindshare in one location, please try to refrain from causing an international crisis or blowing each other up with home made explosives. Thanks in advance.