Just got back from Fudcon Blacksburg. As always, it was a great time. Arrived after driving down (10 hrs) Thursday evening and crashed quickly after checking into my accommodations (The Inn at Virginia Tech). Friday, the first day, was hackfests, I attended the Fedora Infrastructure meeting and held a few sessions around Aeolus where I talked with passer by's about the project, my Snap subproject and what people were looking for out of an open source IaaS cloud abstraction platform. Specifically at FUDCon I aimed to find out how people wanted to interface w/ the cloud on the Fedora desktop and how they wanted to use the Aeolus stack. We ended up modifying Snap a little to add some command line options and began
messing around w/ mycloud a c level cloud computing API I started throwing together to meet people's needs. Dinner that night was at a good indian place.
The second day was the barcamp sessions, I volunteered to do another session on Aeolus, which went well, there were plenty of newcomers interested in the projects and I was able to share what was in development and upcoming things on the platform. After lunch several of us from the ruby-sig met to hold the now traditional ruby-sig meeting at FUDCon (we held one in Toronto, one was held in Milan, and now this was the third at Blacksburg). We got alot done including:
- tested out the new Ruby 1.9.3 repository (messed around w/ getting Aeolus working on MRI 1.9.3)
- discussed updates to the new packaging guidelines, and updates to the the ruby stack
- looked into possibly using macros to assist w/ building gems for multiple ruby interpreters on Fedora (jeroen volunteered to start investigating thing one, this would be a feature coming furthur down the pipeline)
- discussed the rvm / bundler ecosystems, and again how to drive and market the Fedora philosophy of a single supported stack while delivering the ultimate development platform for the ruby-community
- looked into continuing building tools and applications which to enhance the Ruby experience on Fedora, I volunteered to build a isitfedoraruby website (akin to itisruby19.org) to demo and highlight fedora on ruby and to start reaching out to the cloud-sig and other Fedora communities to promote and highlight the product/platform.
- continuing to extend / expand / improve gem2rpm, polisher, and other gem/rpm interoperability tools
Next I attended the session on OpenStack, a popular build-your-own-cloud platform (one of the platforms supported by deltacloud) and learned a bit more about the internals and how it is constructed. Finally the lightning talks session was the last on Saturday, and a must for any FUDCon attendee. There were many pitches, including several for new fedora components including hosted instances of mock infra apps, a discussion on what motivates and how to drive open source contributions, a demonstration on how to inject code into running Python processes using "parasite" by lmacken, an overview of foss@rit by remmy dekaukusburg and the narcissus web visualizations by ralph bean. I ended up pitching mycloud and snap again as well as my own Nethack Encyclopedia project, inviting fellow explorers of the mazes of menace to bring the guide :-)
FUDPub was fun, as always a good time, featuring bowling and lots of tastey food and held at the Blacksburg student center this time around.
I'm writing this from my hotel room Sunday morning as I pack up and prepare for the 10hr drive hack. Overall a great time, have plenty to keep me busy going forward, and am looking forward to the next FUDCon!
The Fedora Ruby SIG is in the process of updating the main Ruby package in Fedora to Ruby 1.9. We hope to get it in by Fedora 17, while shipping a Ruby 1.8 compatability package for those who wish to continue using the older version (though more and more upstream projects are phasing this out). Alternatively, since JRuby is now in Fedora, end-users may opt to utilize that interpreter for both Ruby 1.8 and 1.9 support.
The Ruby 1.9 effort is being led by Vit Ondruch who has done alot of the packaging work and submitted the initial guidelines draft, which we are currently discussing/revising on the mailing lists. They are largely an extension of the existing guidelines to better nail things down and cover various issues that have come up over the years, but all are welcome to join the discussion and share their comments / opinions on the best way to move forward.
A Ruby 1.9.3 testing repository has been setup for those who wish to try the new packages out. Feel free to share any feedback or issues on list.
Having finished my long trek through Anathem a little while back, I was left craving for another epic sci-fi tale. Living up to his previous classic, Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson's Anathem is an amazing thrill-ride, full of intense action, profound philosophy (drawing on thousands of years of mathematics, science, and metaphysics), and overall an unbelievable story. Stephenson is truly a remarkable author, and while he deals with very-deep topics, there is a good chance that anyone will be able to find at least one of his worlds that draws them in. Surprisingly I couldn't get into Cryptonomicon when I tried not too long ago, but admittedly I didn't get terribly far into it before I gave up and might have to give it another go. There are plenty of reviews of Anathem online, so I will leave it up to my readers to read more about it through those, but needless to say I highly recommend the novel.
I ordered two books with relatively good reviews off of Amazon, Hyperion (a space opera) and the second being Altered Carbon by Richard K Morgan, a nitty gritty cyberpunk tale similar to Snow Crash. I tried the former first, but again try as I might I could not get into it, so I decided to give Altered Carbon a go, and was very pleasantly surprised.
Altered Carbon is the tale of Takeshi Kovacs as he investigates the 'murder' of Laurens Bancroft, a very rich and powerful business magnate in futuristic San Francisco, now called Bay City. By this point in time, actual real deaths are fairly uncommon, as it is a widespread practice to store one's identity, memories, and conscience 'on stack', which is able to be downloaded into temporary bodies known as 'sleeves' at any point in time after. Morgan's vivid and rich imagery paints a world that lives up to any cyberpunk setting portrayed to date, including perhaps the ultimate cyberpunk novel, Neuromancer by William Gibson. Chalk full of concepts such as virtual-realities, technology based augmentations, drug induced psychological and physiological alterations, interstellar travel, conspiring artificial intelligences, oriental philosophy, intense martial arts action, and much more, Kovacs' investigation keeps the reader glued to the edge of his/her seat and makes it hard to put the book down even for a second.
The novel is a good read, not so challenging that it will be lost on anyone (unlike Anathem and Snow Crash which are complete mind-benders), but also not too simplistic that it will bore. The chapters are fairly short and to the point, making for a good airplane or subway read, while the overall story fits together and flows nicely. Without spoiling any more, I highly suggest it to anyone that is into the genre, it won't disappoint!