A brief report from the 2007 eZ Conference & Awards

I’ll go right ahead and start with the conclusion: from my perspective, the conference was both a huge success and a very pleasant experience.

It was a huge success because my presentation (slides in PDF format) was well attended and well received (partly thanks to VG‘s Jo Christian Oterhals, who during his Friday morning keynote not only promoted Varnish as an essential component of their “extended LAMP stack” but also encouraged his audience to attend my presentation. There were so many questions from the audience that my 45-minute slot stretched into a 75-minute marathon, after which I was besieged in the hall and at the lunch buffet by attendees who wanted additional details and advice on how to deploy Varnish. After a quick lunch, I went straight into an hour-long meeting with eZ Systems developers and admins to discuss integration issues between eZ Publish and Varnish. Happily, rather than take offense at my pointing out cacheability-reducing flaws in eZ Publish during my presentation, they took it as an opportunity to learn something and improve their product. This attitude (and their amazing community-building efforts) is probably part of why their product is so successful.

It was also a pleasure, for a number of reasons. It was of course a great opportunity to connect with interesting people, such as Telenor R&I senior researcher Hilde Lovett or Mozilla Foundation Ombudslizard Zak Greant, both of whom I hope to meet again. It was also a pleasure to meet such helpful and professional eZ staff members as Shezmeen Hudani and Kendra Penrose, who took very good care of me from the moment I reached the conference venue on Thursday morning until the moment I left on Friday evening. I know it’s their job, but it’s still very nice to have every little technical wrinkle ironed out within minutes and feel entirely confident that everything will work perfectly when I step up to the podium. If only every event I attend took as good care of their speakers! Continue reading “A brief report from the 2007 eZ Conference & Awards”

Revision confusion

This blog post by Códice Software (developers of Plastic SCM) discusses a recent talk by Linus Torvalds (no introduction needed) where he (in his usual style) lambasts all version control systems that are not Git, with particular attention to Subversion (for having the temerity to use “CVS done right” as a slogan).

The author of the post criticizes Linus for tooting his own (or Git’s) horn, then promptly upstages him by displaying his ignorance of every version control system that is not Plastic SCM (except perhaps SourceSafe) and lambasting them all.

You have to wonder about the qualifications of a developer who sells a product named “Plastic SCM” which isn’t a software configuration manager at all. As far as I can tell from reading their marketing materials and watching their screencasts, it’s a plain version control system (or revision control system, if you prefer) with no configuration management features whatsoever

Back to the drawing board, Pablo!

The end of SourceForge as we know it

I got a nasty surprise on Friday while putting the finishing touches on Varnish 1.0.4.

I was updating package metadata and simultaneously working on the release engineering documentation, which includes instructions for generating and testing packages. As usual when writing documentation, I wanted to verify that every command line I included in the text worked as expected. This meant I needed access to a system that runs a RedHat-based distribution to test the rpmbuild command line. Naturally, I thouhgt of SourceForge‘s compile farm. Continue reading “The end of SourceForge as we know it”

Hasta la vista, Vista

OK, so I’m probably the ten-millionth blogger to make this lame pun, but whatever, it was that or try to think of something original.

I try to have an open mind, so when I got a new laptop at work today, with Vista preinstalled, I decided to just shrink the NTFS partition and install Feisty Fawn in the free space. I didn’t expect I’d use Vista much, but it’s the company’s laptop, and someone else might.

To my surprise, neither Ubiquity nor GParted succeeded in resizing the NTFS partition, even though it was nearly empty. The only explanation I could think of was that the partition was fragmented, so I decided to boot Vista, defragment the drive, and try again. Continue reading “Hasta la vista, Vista”