Archive for May, 2011

Meeting at HP Discover Las Vegas

2011/05/31

The week of the 5th of June will be quite intense on my side. Departing the 5th afternoon to start working at the EMEA Red Hat Partner Summit during 3 days. Then even before the end of it, flying to Las Vegas on the 8th of June to be at the end of that day at the HP Discover event. I’ll then deliver a session on our Migration Roadmap from RISC to Linux on Thursday. And on Friday I’ll go on with 2 sessions, one on our joint HP+Intel+Red Hat Open Source Solutions Initiative and one on MondoRescue.

Even if it’ll be dense, as I also have additional meetings planed around, I’d be happy to meet with anyone wanting to discuss Linux at HP, Open Source in general, some of the projects I’m involved in, or early music 😉 But you’ll have to do that before Saturday as I’m leaving back to Europe.

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Project-Builder.org 0.11.3 is published

2011/05/27

I recently queried users of project-builder.org to know would they would consider important to get before we could tag it as version 1.0. Of course, the community being very small, I didn’t get answers for that. So either the tool is perfect and they don’t need anything, or there is so much to do that we’re far from that point 😉

Well I think we’re in the middle of the road here. Most of what *I* wanted to have for a 1.0 version is mostly there. What remains to do is a better support of signatures (especially with my GPG agent on deb packages with debsign which timeouts :-(), some fixes (especially #93 for MondoRescue and #99 for better gentoo support with test versions). Not sure about HP-UX support, or other OSes, as that could come later.

However, as I had a couple of fixes in my tree, I thought that it would be useful to publish Project-Builder.org 0.11.3 in order to have a better version around. Hopefully, will get some more users and/or feedback that will allow me to know if I continue on this 0.x track or if other do think that we reached something nearer from 1.0.

Meeting at the Red Hat EMEA Partner Summit

2011/05/20

For those of you around at the Red Hat EMEA Partner Summit in Dublin 5-8th of June, HP will be Gold sponsor of the event ! And thus I’ll be around to present what we are doing in term of RISC to HP ProLiant/Xeon/RHEL migrations, and also to explain a customer reference in a KVM Virtualization Data Center context.

So you may meet with me on the HP/Intel booth to speak of that, or MondoRescue, Project-Builder.org, , LinuxCOE, FOSSology or whatever Open Source and/or HP related topic you would like to discuss !

Hope to see you there soon. The next opportunity will be for US folks during the HP Discover event, the same week, in Las vegas. But that’s another story coming later on 😉

Third day at Solutions Linux 2011

2011/05/19

Solutions Linux 2011 is now over ! The last day was again full of various meetings, including a very interesting one with Charles Schulz (The Document Foundation) where I learnt a lot around LibreOffice future that I can not disclose 😉 or maybe later on. And I lead the System Administration track, which was extremely successfull this year with more than 130 people in the room !! I’m glad to see that the new model of free conferences is allowig the event to have more attendees.

We had the following presentations:

Open Source alternative to deploy ITIL by Erwan Taloch (Combodo)

A very interesting presentation that takes over the boring parts of ITIL to show how beneficial, once correctly tooled with iTop ITIL can be ! Impressive. And the tool is looking very professional, efficient and quick, even if it’s high degree of parametrization requires appropriate knowledge to set it up. But Value is at that price no ?

iTop has been made by 3 persons Denis Flaven, Erwan Taloc, Romain Quetiez when in charge of Outsourcing at HP.
Thousands of customers to manage. One tool was missing to manage work processes, contacts, SLA, …
Developed their own tool to replace Word/Excel docs.
2006: Development of iTop
2009: first version on sf.net
2010: Creation of Combodo to provide professional support
2011: 15000 downloads for iTop 1.1

Goal is to solve IT mastering.
IT is critical for every company (they all have Internet access, CRM, ERP, …) and is becoming more and more complex
So specialization is required, so multiple actors are involved, so complexity increases ! And of course, they need to do more with less.

Each team has its own reference of documents to manage the environment. It leads to excessive time to solve issues.
ITIL is one method to solve these problems. Often judged too expensive and too heavy .
But ITIL well used is a pragmatic way to manage IT. You need to choose parts that are useful. Not theoritically but practically. That’s what iTop is made for. And at the Center of iTop, they have the CMDB. It is the common reference point.

Demo of the Configuration Management of iTop. Erwan explained the notion of Configuration Items, and showed the powerful links between a business solution and a mail server e.g. He also demonstraed how to import existing data from Excel/OpenOffice content files into iTop to build part of the CMDB. Also the traceability that the tool is bringing.

He also explained how to keep in sync iTop with data coming from other tools such as GLPi, OCS, FusionInventory, … He used Talend to manage the extraction of OCS and update of iTop. All in a couple of clicks.

Challenge is to make this info live along time. The only way for tat is to use the information.

Erwan further showed how iTOP materializes the diagram of dependency and also the diagram of impact (these are generated from the data in the CMDB). They made a plugin for the event with Nagios. Alarms in Nagios can be linked to Incidents in iTop.

In ITIL the most important aspect is Services management. there are 2 support parts in iTop: Service catalog (including SLA with TTO, TTR), Contracts (linking CIs, SLA). iTop provides a vision for IT and another one for the users (including feedback forms).

Link is also possible with lots of external tools Archipel, Zabbix, FusionInventory, Puppet, …

IT Asset management with GLPI Walid Nouh/Gonéri Le Bouder (TecLib) / David Durieu (SiProSSII)

GLPI users: IT managers View on park, Helpdesk people, Users (to create and follow tickets), Management for reports, Purchasing department (in relationship with budgets and assets management)
Architecure: Web application (PHP based) with install wizard and very few dependencies.
Does it scale ? It is used on park with more than 130000 machines and 90000 users.
More than 1million of users declared. (first political action of support) on the Web site.

Information management: how to enter info in GLPi ?
– computers/smartphones use an agent (FusionInventory Agent)
– network equipment (no agent install possible): uses SNMP to collect information
– printers (no agent install possible either)

Integration with other tools (managing licenses, financial, technical information) is possible through webservice interface, API for plugins (managed on the forge) or CSV import/export mecanisms.

GLPI differentiate from OTRS, RT, due to the inventory associated and the history around. It allows stats production.
For authentication, it proposes an LDAP integration (AD, OpenLDAP) or pop3/IMAP or WebSSO/CAS.
Notions of entities and rights + profiles + rules based system.

Gonéri then took an example with lots of people profiles and showed how profiles are managed accordingly.
Helpdesk is ITIL v1 compliant (SLA, user satisfaction, Incident management, business rules, notifications).
There are multiple interfaces depending on the nature of the profile (end user, support technician, smartphones)
Another communication mean is through webservices or mails.

GLPI is managed by a french 1901 rules association (Indepnet).
2 independant leaders Julien Dombre, Jean-Mathieu Doléans, and lots of contributors/translators/…
There is the notion of Business Partners, which sponsor the project.

FusionInventory created by GLPI community members to extend the features and have a complete platform.
Walid then made a demo covering the park management on computers, network switches, android phones as well as the ticketing part.

iTop and GLPI are in fact more complementary than in competition. Especially the inventory part and park management of GLPI with the rest of iTOP features. Of course, on some others they proved similar features. but each tool allow you to choose in it the modules you like the most, and are open enough of course to dialog with the rest of the ecosystem. Hopefully we will soon see an integrtaion of the 2.

these 2 presentations were extremely successfull and gathered more than 130 people.

Shinken by Jean Gabes (Lectra)

State of monitoring in 2011: since the last 10 years new needs on performace, availability, increased number of abstraction including virtualization, have arisen. We also have to manage an Increased number of system due to dev, pre-prod, prod so also a large set of systems to monitor. We are moving from a technical IT to a business IT.

One of the goal of a good monitoring is to get pertinent alerts.
Historical monitoring tools are not adpated anymore. Including Nagios.
Multiple Nagios do not interoperate. But it’s needed so it creates problems of configuration management and of architecture/performance.
We do have remote sites, virtualization security through FW, … which is complex for Nagios to manage.
Nagios still has strength: modularity through modules and its community.

Shinken was created to bring the new concepts to Nagios but was not accepted by Nagios authors so evolved into a separate project.
Nagios configuration, monitoring agents, interfaces (CGI, Centreon, Ninja, Thruk, …), everything is kept, but performances are multiplied by 2.
Split of features into small daemons. One for configuration management. One tfor scheduling. One to launch monitoring agents. One for passive info management. One for alerts. One for information agregation/presentation.
Advantage of the architecture: redundancy is embedded, and no limit to the number of daemons but a single configuration and a single DB. Linear scalability is embedded. It also solves remote/secured sites problems.

What about slow remote sites, and multi customers ? Cloud of monitoring should be distincts and shinken provides the notion of realm to support it. Realms are separate, but it still keeps a single configuration (with the arbitor daemon outside of the realms) and even a single data storage (or not ! as you want)

Shinken is already better architectured than Nagios. However, this is not sufficient: Monitoring should also bring added value. Importance of correlation, and bringing back only the correct information. Separation of the source of the problem from the impact. Shinken provides a smart alert filter to support this. On top, we need to concentrate on solving the *important* source issues. So there is a need of criticity level. Criticity should be managed recursively from the application level to the individual elements.

Shinken also manages impact of dependencies from the Hypervisor to the guests, and knows the association of guests on hosts. Same impact for N-tier solutions with redundancy: is the app still running ? is the only intreseting question. Aggregation information should be at the heart of the tool. It’s called business rules in shinken.

Shinken provides some other bonus: discovery module and configuration creation (configuration is Nagios like so still complex as powerful), including VMWare VMs. Notification and dependencies system simplified. Tool developed in python, so works on LInux/Windows/Android !

What is the current status:
Tool was developed 2 years ago. Architecture is in place as well as principles.
Need to document more. Tutorial.
Need to support newcomers.
Integration of Behavior driven monitoring methiods with the cucumber module.
Managing Consoles in a better way using profiles and views (Thruk)

jean made a very lively presentation to a 80 people audience, and this project is defeinitely to be looked at closely for all of you interested in monitoring.

SystemTap by Adrien Kunysz (Acunu)

Acunu is specialized in Cloud Storage/Big Data: just a more performant Cassandra.
What is SystemTap:An iInfrastructure to simplify gathering of information about the running Linux system. It allows to observe a running system.

It works by writing a script describing what to observe. The stap command transforms it into a kernel module, loaded and executed.
SystemTap executes actions when code passes by probe points. E.g. syscall.read (each time you call read), …

It supports metachar (whatever function of the moduule Y, or the socket interface, …) or static (every 200 ms, when the VM free space). Can also be userland (each time we enter ls, each time we call a function containing malloc in glibc,…). SystemTap reuses the dtrace entry points for PostgreSQL. Can also work on Java functions or python ones… Cf: man stapprobes

Syntax similar to the C language with awk spirit. For each pattern doing something. It provides hashes, easy stats (sum, avg, min, max, …) and lots of functions.Most commonly used functions: pid(), uid(), execname(), tid (thread), probefunc (in which function or we). Cf: man stapfuncs

Options of stap:
-x trace a specific PID (instead of whole system by default)
-c trace only the command and childs
-L list all probe points of the context
-g guru mode 😉

Adrien then went on showing an example where each executable launched by the stystem is printed.
Could be powerfull to help support team debugging problems.
Adrien then showed an example based on SIGKILL analysis, another example on file watching (/etc/passwd)

SystemTap is integrated in RHEL5+, Fedora, CentOS. utrace patch required for tracing in user space.

Other languages can also be handled if the runtime has been instrumented.
There are security mecanisms at language level, and execution level. However there is the -g mode 😉

Adrien really had fun demonstrated all the features of SystemTap, and we finished late as there was lots of interest in the room on this subject, even if we had less people around for this more technical subject.

Considerations on Mondorescue packaging for Mageia

2011/05/16

There has been a recent discussion on the Mageia mailing list on the mondo package which is one of the last having a non-coherent version schema with the one in Mandriva, thus blocking the update.

I was annoyed by this, so took the opportunity I was at Solution Linux to discuss about it with Anne Nicolas and Erwan Velu to try to find the best solution. Well, in that case, it seems there is no 😦

Upstream has move 5 years ago to fix a discrepency: renaming versions that were 2.04,2.05 into 2.0.4, 2.0.5 especially in order to facilitate life of distributions. But Mandriva was already at that time with 2.05. And now, when upstream is at 2.2.9.x, Mandriva is still at 2.29.x. And nobody really understand today why there is a mismatch between Mandriva and upstream.

So I think that Mageia should not suffer from that, even if it means that upgrade from Mandriva to Mageia won’t work out of the box for mondo. Well, in fact, people will keep the mandriva package (2.29 being higher than 2.2.9). So the receipe is, when you’ll upgrade from Mandriva to Mageia around the 1st of June, you’ll have to remove manually the mondo package to reinstall it afterwards. Not too complicated, and will avoid packagers to maintain an Epoch for the rest of Mageia, when the distribution is just started. Note that it just affect the mondo package. All the others are already sane.

All other attempts we tried to evoke had other drawbacks, and as much as I hate having exceptions in process, for once, I think this will be much less painful afterwards. Also not everybody will upgrade. Some will directly install and won’t see anything. A small price to pay to be clean for the future (after all it’s what Mageia is all about no ?) !!

Second day at Solutions Linux 2011

2011/05/12

I attended in the morning the round table on Governance lead by ALexandre Zapolsky (Linagora)

3 companies were represented:

Alterway (created in 2006) Р10 MEUR Р120 people (Represented by V̩ronique Torner)
Activities: Consulting – Hosting – Training
Governance for large enterprise (Open CIO Summit)

Smile (created in 1991) – 33 MEUR – 10 years on FLOSS – 540 people (Represented by Patrice Bertrand)
Activities: FLOSS integration, Web site/Intranet development,
Leading the FLOSS Working Group at Syntec Numérique.

Linagora (created in 2000) – 13 MEUR – 130 people (Represented by Michel Marie Maudet)
Activities: SW Editor (OBM) – OSSA – Consulting

Véronique said that 3 years ago in the CIO Summit, CIOs thought they had no Open Source.
This year, they have representatives from Safran, Ministère de la Justice, PriceMinistère, Nature et Découverte, La Poste, Auchan. Hidden before at infra level. Now seen at CIO level. So will to control and govern.

Patrice said 3 years ago that Gartner revealed the presence of FLOSS in the enterprise.
Contacts were performed with Carrefour, Véolia, EDF. Enterprises do not see how to do Contributions.
Purchasingdepartment is one of the entities interested by the governance aspects. CIOs want to rationalize.

Michel-Marie mentioned that Linagora worked with Carrefour, Air France, Renault on these topics.
CIOs have to mitigate risks wrt Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, IBM (MISO) which represent 80% of their budgets and thusthey have a policy of diversification and of cost reduction.

Véronique mentioned that the recent crisis revealed Open Source and allowed to dialog with CEOs on the topic. FLOSS was considered as an entry level/low cost solution before. It’s now considered for its true qualities, creating value in the enterprise.

Patrice reported that studies put quality before price, even if price remains in the scope.
Price reduction is coming from the packaged offered proposed by the various actors. Cost reduction is done due to the economy of scale (when deploying hundreds, thousands of SW).

Véronique underlined that in the infrastructure space, FLOSS has been key for deployment. On some other areas (apps like CMS), the cost difference may be less important. Sharepoint may be at 0EUR inside a large enterprise, so what is the benefit of a drupal there. This has to be worked in other ways. Some customers said that Red Hat is sometimes more expensice than a proprietary solution.

Michel-Marie asked what is the value here: lots of SW are deployed but 80% of its functions is unused. CIOs today consider more the value brought. In the management/monitoring area, the BMC/IBM offerings are like Christmas trees but stick less to customer needs. The right term is to be cost effective. Some customers say today that they have more problems to find competencies around commercial solutions than on FLOSS ones, because engineer schools have adopted massively FLOSS technos. It’s now the reverse of what it was still 5 years ago.

La Poste Governance representative precised that the goal is to work on technical cost reduction (Nagios praised), but they realized rapidly that they should work on value analysis more precisely, and that the value is in the people (more agile), so cost is similar to proprietary solutions, but FLOSS gives much less problems on the long run (open formats, archiving constraints, …)

Alexandre then orientated the discussion now around the Governance aspects themselves, and what policy to put in place.

Patrice said that FLOSS governance consists of writing in a document what the enterprise want in term of FLOSS adoption, derived in term of support, RH, contributions, … Maturity is not there on his side in France.

Véronique has seen organizational models in place, with people dedicated to FLOSS governance (La Poste is precisely an example with a FLOSS IT central group + dedicated teams recommending solutions + a small legal aspect). In the Société Général Bank, there is no split, it’s handled as commercial products. Safran has on his side a more formal legal approach on FLOSS.

Michel-Marie mentioned a methodology that has been developed to help CIOs. Around 10 weeks of assessment (20 architects of Air France e.g. were met and interviewed) to summarize needs, what worked, what didin’t and which FLOSS Solutions could be involved. Recommandations from other customers are shared and expected. Second step is to benchmark per vertical, size of company, usage models (simple user or OEM providers such as ALU). Third step is to build the governance (technology program, policy doc, solution reference architectures). Bouygues Telecom has positioned Oracle for critical DBs, and FLOSS ones (PostgreSQL) for non-critical ones. Then there is a need to measure, during time, FLOSS adoption. They recommend to put in place a FLOSS Center of Expertise (ALU has 150 persons for that).

Commercial SW vendors do the evangelization by meeting refgularly with customers to present new versions, evolutions, … in the FLOSS area, enterprise sneed to put in place a specific team to monitor the FLOSS ecosystem, create reference architecture and also to support themselves (or not) and deal with it. Véronique presents that CIOs hope to give the support to a single actor, and also fear the lack of an editor behind the Software.

Smile teamed up with OpenLogic to solve the support aspects for enterprises (L1-2,5 done by Smile and L3 by OpenLogic – having commiters in a large set of communities).
Patrice also mentioned the importance of the inventory with tools (such as Black Duck, FOSSology), and new models of FLOSS development (mutualized development with FLOSS such as GENIVI or OPEES)

Michel-Marie precised that they specify reference architectures with customers, creating a base of a large number of components and work on the support as a single point of contact (Note that HP and Linagora have partnered in France to use this model for customers). Re-insurance and patch reversion to the communities/editors is then handled by that actor in charge of support. Currently OSSA offering from Linagora is used by 50 customers. Air France created a “Blue Hat” base.

Véronique has around 10 customers for support, and some other more specific contracts. Patrice mentioned 10 customers as well with a starting offering.
Véronique also insisted on industrialization of FLOSS, with their experience around PHP. Voyage-SNCF is one of the customers benefiting from their work in that area.

Patrice mentioned that this is an area (customer developing Software) where governance on FLOSS is key. There are legal constraints, licenses and IP to respect, training to be performed up to the developer.
Michel-Marie explained that there is a need to guide developers with Software Engineering frameworks, e.g. pointing to the right versions of libraries, forcing a ticket for evolution.
Véronique thought that there is a lack of knowledge of FLOSS usage in the enterprise. They miss “geeks” and legal background.

Guillaume Rousseau (Antelink) made a testimony of what leaded INRIA to identify IP rights on their SW base (660000 bricks). What is the tooling to put in place to manage hundreds of thousands of components ? Patrice indicated that putting in place a central repository is a goal of the governance process, but it creates frustration at developer level by controling them tightly (pre-dev control), or pass tools that control a posteriori (afterwards) the conformity to rules (in a continuous build chain). Véronique mentions that another approach is to integrate developers to the governance program, in order to gain adoption.

Michel-Marie mentioned they have a much smaller base (300) that they are monitoring, but consider they have the one really used by their customers. Only a small part of customers embed FLOSS in their products and need more fine control. Others are users of bricks, more well-known and less risky.

Question from the audience on how to Open Source an internally developed SW. Recommandations from Patrice are that there is a need to be pro-active on the topic (Case of EDF). Véronique had requests from ISVs, more on a marketing aspect. They can help around the development aspects, quality aspects, licensing aspects.

Then some conferences where made:

Open Source Cartouche by Philippe-Arnaud Haranger (Atos Origin – Team Pascal Pujo)

Study made around an Aerospatial customer.
9 years of devs, and strong willingness to use FLOSS components.
Study showed incompatible licenses. Copy/Paste of code in 2000+ bricks.
Quote: “My God ! What have been done ?”

Licensing wasn’t a priority (they already didn’t document)
Code contamination is made on purpose, because they need it, and is due to local teams, outsourcing, and external application maintenance.
Consequences: licenses not respected, proprietary code tainted (PI loss)
Open Source was favoured, but in reality they created risks.

Solutons: Strong governance (creates too many constraints in general) or Tooling (cost, but efficient) or Manual Audit (cost, complex, impact) or take risk (costs and impact) or open source the SW (anyway conformity required, but impact as irreversible).
The earlier it’s done the less it costs.

Solution is Open Source Cartouche (what is around the Pharaon) – derived from QSOS.
Identify licenses and the recursivity of components integrated
It’s a structural approach beforehands, instead of scan afterwards (even if this is also required)
Put more trust in the FLOSS, Avoid contamination and protect community works.
Presenter asked the possibility of using this formalism in FOSSology ?

Some Remarks on my side:
I asked the question: What is the position vs SPDX ? I think they are probably in competition, and that they forget to consider it before launching something on their side. What is important is to have a standard adopted. The answer was that there is a fear of Blackduck that may create problems for communities. Their standard proposal is simpler than SPDX so more pragmatic, and thus propably easier to adopt by FLOSS projects. And the team is open to make required adaptations. However, it won’t work as a franco-french stuff !! I think we need an SPDX lite if we aim at being adopted by FLOSS projects, as the current status of the project is just only understandable by lawyers. I’ll try to generate some discussions around that on the SPDX ML.

Thinking about all this I think it would be valuable as well to lauch a new initiative to create the CERT/CVE base of licenses violations, working on the same model (disclosure after problem is solved).

Governance deployment return of experience by Guillaume Degroisse (Consulting Lead Linagora)

Goal Today: being independant from MISO.
Quality and Interoperability are considered before price.
Problems of adoption: Using standards of the market. Lack of performant FLOSS solution on some specific areas.

Bouygues has 150 own persons developing using Agile methods with lots of FLOSS components (not outsourced, and localized in France)
CIOs have to consider organisation, competence management, purchasing, legal and providers aspects. All these topics ar part of the FLOSS governance plan he has to put in place.
Guillaume also detailed what was covered during the round table around LInagora’s approach (Assessment, OSSA, CoE)

FOSSOlogy by … Bruno Cornec (HP)
25′ around the reasons of its creation/open sourcing, features and focus on upcoming 1.4.0

Return of experience on mutualization by David Duquenne (OpenWide Technology)

Enterprise have to deal with apps modernization.
Presentation focused on value creation at apps dev.

From innovation to industrialization: Technology assessment, R&D, Architecture and Integration, method and tools for industrialization. These leads to a framework definition
The goal is to share that Java Framework (Improve Foundations) across enterprises (having an Open Source base and community driven, and specificities intergated as components in this framework).
He insisted on the lack of java competencies. They deliver some Cobol to java trainings, espeically in-house.

Alliance Informatique has developed 100+ apps using Improve Foundation.
RSI wanted to fusion different IT systems.
Renault looked at homogeneize hundreds of projects (International). More interested to contribute. Renault will help Open Wide to develop the framework at international level
Atos Origin is also using it for 3000 screnn migrations

Gains: integration of non-java devs. and mobility of resources is key.

Passed the rest of the day discussing with various people. Had in particular a long and very interesting discussion with Erwan Velu who work at Zodiac, where they are developing a SIT (Seat Integrated Technology) all based on FLOSS (Linux/Debian, vlc, webkit, ELF, …) and have done an impressive job at making a nice looking, very responsive interface. I just hope that most companies I’m traveling with will adopt it soon ! And good news: they’re hiring 🙂 So if you want to work in a interesting area, way to go !

And they’re not the only one trying to recruit. I know that Wallix and Linagora at least are looking for good profile. All good news for our sector, which show indirectly the wealth of FLOSS !

First day at Solutions Linux 2011

2011/05/12

Summary of my first day at Solution Linux 2011. I was in charge of co-leading the community track with Anne Nicolas. We hosted the following sessions for which I took some notes:

Mageia
Mickael Scherer (Mageia) presented “a Fork of a distribution: Mageia derived from Mandriva”
(He made an interesting relationship between Forks and Catholicism vs Protestantism as an historical reference)
Reason of fork => community vs entreprise
History of relationships:

  • 2000: cooker: R&D opened from Mandrake/Mandriva and idea of foundation considered
  • 2003/2004: resources sharing (compile cluster)
  • 2005: conspiracy@zarb.org sharing problems met.
  • 2006: Steering committee between employees and contributors.
  • 2007: Foundation mentioned at RMLLs – fondation@zarb.org
  • 2008: AUFML – Assoc of users.
  • 2009: Assembly to followup on
  • 2010: Mageia created to avoid Mandriva closure. Going further than a distro.

Mageia details:
More open governance – Association created + contributors (not creating a company as unfair wrt Mandriva) – Model based on a Council + Board. Renewed by 1/3
Mickael then mentioned some issues:

  • Pb1: Infrastructure: Not starting from nothing. Want to reuse and be at a high level from scratch.
    Code reuse is easy. Bugs reused is more complex (Customized bugzilla under Mandriva control).
    Hosting ? Gandi, Lost Oasis, Dedibox helped a lot.
  • Pb2: Brand management: Audit of code to remove mandriva – manual, underestimated.
  • Pb3: Comm: with original project. Even if angry vs some people, it’s better to avoid hostility. Split of identity (contributing to Mageia vs Mandriva) – Press contact is required for a distro
  • Pb4: Community. Feedback was important – 1100 mails just the first week ! Managing the enthusiasm. => Split tasks – People want to change everything ! DO a planning. Avoid the Vaporware effect (as said by LWN that will need to review that)
  • Pb5: Details management.

Logo: guidelines posted. Process to listen and need of transparency. Even if their choice is not chosen, they know why and get explanations. No blund choice.

OPEES
Presentation made by Gael Blondelle. Works for Obeo (Obeo is Strategic member of Eclipse) – OPEES Project Lead

OPEES goal is Open Source for long life cycle projects.
It’s an Open Platform for thre Engineering of Embedded systems

Ensure the long term availability of FLOSS tools for Critical systems (life impact, very high costs).
Example: A300 Airbus life cycle: 35 Years. Support = 78 years
(1972 project started -2007 production stopped) – Support till 2050
On board software development for very long life cycle products.

Ericsson: Base station for mobile – General life cycle of 30/40 years (electro-mecanical telephony centrals created in 1920 and still used in 1980)

Will FLOSS bring success is not yet known. But what is known is that commercial SW failed (example: Verilog made Geode, then bought by Telelogic, then bought and killed by IBM) Not counting the change of support contracts, costs, …

Decision by Airbus and Aerospace Valley in 2004: Adopting FLOSS with Topcased
(UML modelers and code generation). Used since 2008 to write code in A350 (next generation).
In 2009 the main Topcased contributor was bought, and TopCased devs stopped there. But thanks to the FLOSS approach, other contributors were found to lead the project.

Problem: How to create a community ?

In a classical commercial world: 20% of requests from customers accepted, control in editors hands.
Industrial users have specific constraints. So creating a FLOSS community made of individuals, companies, VARs, vendors should allow to cover 80% of users needs in a generic fashion. The 20% remaining implemented as specific devs.
OPEES is coming from a traditional industrial world, not even a SW world. But they come to the FLOSS approach based on the 4 liberty of the GPL.
It also helps manage IP issues.
Open Code and Open Formats enable migration, interoperability, extensibility, and protect from vendors lock-in.
But FLOSS isn’t sufficient. There are needs for:

  • Community management
  • Ecosystem dev
  • Very Long Time support (10+ years) – Virtualization is a possibility
  • Need to have technology vendors oriented towards industrial users

OPEES mission is to ensure cross users company ecosystem (not one for Airbus, one for Thalès, …)
Governance near from Eclipse one. In Eclipse 1,5 years of maintenance. LTS support added (7/8 Years).
What adds OPEES: maturity assessment, industry oriented governance, labels, certification process enablement, Very Long Time SUpport
OPEES: ITEA research center 35 EMEA members РAdaCore, Obeo, Airbus, Inria, E///, CNES, EADS Astrium, Linagora, Atos, Thal̬s, + Universities

Next steps:
Have a legal entity to sustain the effort after 2012 (end of ITEA project).
Grow the community (transportation – rail, cars, energy – nuclear, …) made of researchers and employees, not individuals

Coclico

Convergence of the FLOSS forges communities.
Re-dynamising SW forges (Minalogic and Systematic support)
Coordination by Bull + Orange Labs, Xerox, Inria.

Forge: collaborative platform for sw dev (born in 1999 with sf.net). Means both the service and the SW itself
Partners: Codendi (Xerox), FusionForge (ex GForge), Novaforge (Bull)

Problems to solve: Identity management (SSO + roles), interoperability (with other forges – avoids data locking – not the first concern), tracability of specs, continuous integration, use SCRUMM method, work station integration (Eclipse plugin addition)
Specificities of the forges:

  • Codendi: Application Life cycle management (sf.net fork in 2001) GPLv2, 25000 users, 4000 projects, on http://www.codendi.org Fully opened 2 years ago => increased download numbers.
  • NovaForge: TM of BULL. Based on lots of FLOSS bricks (SVN, Mantis, PHPBB, Hudson, ExoPLatform) AGPL. Focus on data project confidentiality (due to BULL work activities). Migration of OW2 ongoing. Bull business model is around services (internal tool open sourced)
  • FusionForge: Fork os sf.net named GForge. Lack of evolutions around GForge after some years. Some french admins created FusionForge in 2009. Integration of extensions. More EMEA contributions (Germany), mediawiki integration, incr”easing # of commits.

Community of Xchanges: PlanetForge.org (Wiki, ML, planet, µ-blogs)
Organisation of forgers meetings 😉

Mainly convergence between Codendi and FusionFOrge (common plugins, projects models). Problems to sync release cycles between company supported ones vs community based ones (evolution of projects vs customer needs).

OSLC-CM (Open Services for Life Cycle – Change Management): interoperability standard and ontology used for forges interoperability (coclico, trac, redmine)
OSLC + Eclipse/Mylyn for work station dev/forge integration
Exchanges with Qualipso and Helios. Contributions to ForgePlucker (based on E. Raymond rant originally, and now sustained by coclico) and Mailman.

Following these 3 presentations, I animated a round table to cover the topic of this track: 2011, year of the forks. We had various natures of speakers Rodrigue Le Gall from BonitaSoft and Julien Mathis from Merethis who where representing Open Source projects having a strong relationship with their respective company, Charles Schulz representing the Open Document Foundation, and Jean-Marc Fontaine for the AFUP, french association of PHP users, both of them representing direct communities.
We were able to cover various topics, from animation of communities, relationship of companies with the ommunity around the underlying projects, reason of forks, support from tools to maintain communities, brand management impact, the LibreOffice vs OpenOffice latest news, I found it very lively and interesting in content, and I hope visitors enjoyed it as I did.

Rest of the day was passed evoking Mageia evolutions, and discussing with various relationships that I can meet only once per year during this event. In particular I had a long chat with Guillaume Rousseau from Antelink, which is the firm behind Antepedia, database gathering more than 660 000 projects for reference. (too bad mine are not in it :-)) Among other things we discussed of governance, market needs, and I tried of course to convince him to open source his product in order to ease the integration in forges, and allow its easy adoption by large corporation who are the natural consumers of such a product, in the line of FOSSology. Of course, this is always more difficult for a young and starting company, especially on a niche market but some others already showed it was possible.

This week at Solutions Linux Paris

2011/05/09

For those attending Solutions Linux this week in Paris (12-12th May CNIT), I’ll be around driving sessions (System Administration and Communities, with my friend Ennael) as well as presenting FOSSology during the Governance track.

So you may meet with me during the traclks or probably near the the HP pod on the Linagora booth to speak of that, or MondoRescue, Project-Builder.org, , LinuxCOE, or whatever Open Source and/or HP related topic you would like to discuss !

Hope to see you there soon. The next opportunity will be during the Red Hat EMEA Summit in Dublin or HP Discover in Las Vegas.