Cars are so last century … but, so is Linux, right?

This past weekend, I attended the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. I’m not a huge car buff. I do think that BMW’s are the bomb, and I like Honda’s common sense vehicles, but really, I am NOT a car guy. However, I thought this was an interesting chance to take a look at an industry that, in my opinion, isn’t all that different than the one I’m in.

Now, that may surprise some. Its pretty easy to think that I work for a super advanced company that has started a revolution and sits on the bleeding edge of innovation. I mean, at Canonical, we’re doing all kinds of amazing stuff with “the cloud” and building software that makes peoples’ jaw drop when they see it in action sometimes. Continue reading

Drizzle7 Beta Released! now with MySQL migration! « LinuxJedis /dev/null

Drizzle7 Beta Released! now with MySQL migration! « LinuxJedis /dev/null.

Drizzle is a project that is near and dear to my heart.

To sum it up, Drizzle took all that was really good in MySQL, cut out all that was mediocre, and replaced some of it with really good stuff. The end product is, I think, something that is leaner, should be more stable, and definitely more flexible.

So go check out the beta! I guess I should use Andrew’s migration tool and see if I can migrate this blog to drizzle. :)

Love for my sponsors

No not New Deal Tobacco & Candy Company, nor Nike or Pepsi (though, I can’t wait forever guys, come on!)

No, I’m talking about my Debian and Ubuntu sponsors. Without you, all of my hard work would be sitting in a queue somewhere with no love.

You see, just because I work for Canonical, doesn’t mean I get an automatic berth in the Ubuntu Developer community, nor does it give me any clout with the Debian Developers. The beauty of the open source community, is that it is and probably always will be, a meritocracy. What have you done? What is your level of commitment? How well you can answer those questions at any given time defines how much people trust you, and therefore, your level of autonomy and leadership.

So, folks like me who have just entered the fray in Ubuntu, and who only dabbled in Debian, must prove ourselves. And, to whom will we prove ourselves? Why, sponsor developers.

So, without further ado, These are a few of the sponsors who have made sure that my work has gotten out there in the past few weeks and months, and a few who have made sure that my * shoddy* work has not. THANKS GUYS!

  • Chuck Short (zul) – Ubuntu uploads of bug fixes and warranted critiques of half-assed PHP solutions.
  • Dustin Kirkland (kirkland) – Ubuntu uploads of bug fixes.
  • Scott Moser (smoser) – merging changes for cloud-utils and uploading to Ubuntu
  • Chris Cheney (ccheney) – Upload of gearman-interface source package into Debian (my first debian upload!)
  • Bernd Zeimetz (bzed) – Reviewed first gearman-interface package and convinced me to upload a proper gearman-interface package w/ swig bindings
  • Piotr Ożarowski (POX) – Educated me on finer points of Debian Python Policy
  • Thierry Carrez (ttx) – Upload of various bug fixes into Ubuntu, and sparing me “The look”
  • Matt Zimmerman (mdz) – Instruction on proper maintainer script procedures for memcached
  • Mathias Gug (mathiaz) – Endless attention to detail while reviewing my merge proposals, and “SNAILS!”
  • Thomas Goirand – Responsiveness on crusty old packages like libdbi
  • Kees Cook (kees) – MIR reviews for Ubuntu, and convincing me to get on the metro back to the hotel instead of face the Prague deluge with my little 100Kč (about $5 US) umbrella
  • The people I’ve missed – I can’t remember everyone, but thank you if you helped me and Ubuntu, and Debian out!

I’ll try to do this more often, but I don’t know if I can really single everyone out. Its amazing how many people work together so smoothly, despite the group above being spread out over, by my count, at least 7 countries and 5 time zones.

Embedding libraries makes packagers sad pandas!

STOP THE INSANITY!

So, in my role at Canonical, I’ve been asked to package some of the hotter “web 2.0″ and “cloud” server technologies for Ubuntu‘s next release, 10.10, aka “Maverick Meerkat”.

While working on this, I’ve discovered something very frustrating from a packaging point of view thats been going on with fast moving open source projects. It would seem that rather than produce stable API’s that do not change, there is a preference to dump feature after feature into libraries and software products Continue reading

Gearman K.O.’s mysql to solr replication

Ding ding ding.. in this corner, wearing black shorts and a giant schema, we have over 11 million records in MySQL with a complex set of rules governing which must be searchable and which must not be. And in that corner, we have the contender, a kid from the back streets, outweighed and out reached by all his opponents, but still victorious in the queue shootout, with just open source, and 12 patch releases.. written in C, its gearman!


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Bromine and Selenium – second and third most useful elements behind Oxygen

If you’re an engineer, you hate testing. Seriously, who likes doing what those mere mortal “users” do? We’re POWER users and we don’t need to use all those silly features on all those sites. Just look at Craigslist, clearly an engineer’s dream tool.

For web apps, testing actually isn’t *that* hard. The client program (the browser) is readily available on every platform known to man, and they generally don’t do much more than store and retrieve data in clever ways. So, its not like we have to fire up a Large Hadron Collider to observe the effects of our web app. Continue reading

SSH brute force protection – Its almost always already written

Every time I get my logwatch report and see the 20 – 40 daily brute force attempts on it, I cringe. I’ve locked it down to a point, but ultimately I prefer convenience on some level. Limiting any one IP to 2 ssh connections every 5 minutes has annoyed me as many times as it has probably saved me. Preventing root from logging in is nice too.

Ultimately though, I wanted a way to fight back against the brute forcers.. to get a step ahead of them. From seeing the success of projects like SpamHAUS and Project HoneyPot, I know that massive group collaboration works. Of course I started thinking how I’d write it in my head. Every time… for months.

Well, once I let go of my egotistical desire to write it, I found this great project, DenyHosts, which does the same thing for the brute force scanners. I just installed it, and already it has added a few IPs to hosts.deny. Go download it, run it, and stop the annoying scanners!

OpenOffice’s achilles heel

Anybody who is in IT in America, has probably experienced that sinking feeling when somebody somehow introduces the latest version of Microsoft Office into their organization. It usually comes in like some corporate ninja while you’re not looking. Whether its an application that your accounting department writes with the new version of Access, or that Outlook plugin that somebody locked in to, you have to deal with it.

The most frustrating part of this for me is never that people are going to use Office. Its not a bad product. Whats frustrating, is that every 3 or 4 years, Microsoft somehow gets people to pay $300-$400 per user. Continue reading