There's a lot of interesting projects going on with the Linux on POWER and OpenPower initiatives this year and into next year. But first, a brief introduction of myself..
My name is David A. Desrosiers (no, not THAT David Desrosiers, make sure you use the "A." in the middle if you Google me), and I've been working with Linux and Open Source since 1992/1993 and AIX before that. Several years ago, I used to work for Linuxcare in their Research group with some brilliant and very well-known Open Source developers. Now, several years later, I work for IBM with the title of "Linux on POWER Developer Program Manager".
I'm also the maintainer of a few embedded projects you might know about. pilot-link is probably the most well-known out there. Its the glue between your PalmOS handheld and your PIM data. Lots of projects rely upon the code in pilot-link to function.
Plucker is another one I contribute to heavily (as well as hosting and designing the website, cvs and other facilities). There are 9 of us in the core team, distributed worldwide.
Developing in very constrained environments such as handhelds and PDAs is a stark contrast to developing on something as vast and "virtual" as POWER.
My focus within IBM is to help bridge the gap between the Open Source development community and the IBM development process. Some of my tasks include helping to provide remote access to POWER-based hardware for developers (and budding developers) to use to learn, test, debug and develop new or existing applications on the POWER platform. There are some subtle differences and having access to real hardware is important. I'll go into some detail on that a bit later...
If you're interested in checking out what the POWER systems actually feel like under the hood, you can log in remotely to one of the University systems we've set up at the University of Augsburg and Peking University. Create an account, pull over some source code from your favorite projects and try building and testing it under the POWER architecture. Each server offers its own configuration and options with your remote (non-root) shell account.
University of Augsburg, in Augsburg Germany (Debian Testing/Unstable)
Peking University, Peking China (SuSE 9.1)
There's quite a few other things going on that I'll elaborate on later. I'm doing my best to learn as much as I can about the POWER architecture (its new to me too!), and splitting my duties between being an interpretor for the Open Source community and for IBM as well. Its all great fun
Feel free to comment or ask me any questions you might have about how you can get involved, and I'll do what I can to get you the answer, or point you to the right people who can get you the answer.
Interesting times are ahead..!
Highlights for Linux on POWER
As you are probably aware, IBM spends a lot of time and money on working with our commerical software partners. What many people do not realize is there is a lot of energy put into finding ways to better support and foster a self-sustaining Open Source developer community for Linux on POWER.
BTW - "Linux on POWER" is an umbrella marketing term used w/in IBM to cover Linux running on a number of PowerPC and POWER-based systems, spanning embedded to the largest POWER5-based servers. I tend to think of Linux across the broader range processors from IBM and our competitors as LinuxPPC or LinuxPPC64. That seems to be more broadly understood in the community.
Some of the ongoing community programs include...
As mentioned in an earlier post, we are working w/ Universities world-wide to enable them to contribute and engage more with the development community by hosting POWER5-based servers available to anyone that wants to use them for Open Source Projects that meet the Universities acceptable use policy. The Open Source Development Lab also has 3 OpenPOower 720, so be sure to ask to be able to use those when working there.
We have run a couple of contests now. These have generated a lot of interest and provided a resaon for developers to get hands on experience w/ LinuxPPC. For those interested enough to successfully port specific applications, they have been awarded w/ PowerPC-based workstations and other prizes with which they can continue to exlore LinuxPPC. And yes, the contests have had some warts, but we try to make them as interesting as possible.
A number of the more popular community distributions are now providing support for POWER5 including Gentoo and Debian with others to follow through collaberative work IBM has done with them. Gentoo is now hosting their entire CVS tree on an OpenPower system.
IBM has worked closely w/ internal and external technical content providers to supply high quality and and easy access to the kinds of information developers need. there is a lot of good quality information on developerWorks and another one of my favorite sites is PenguinPPC.org.
These are a few of the programs focusing IBMs attention on the LinuxPPC development community. As the strategist trying to develop these programs, I am always listening for and trying to generate new ideas/ways for us to get involved. If you have any, I'd love to hear them.[Read More]
lopblogger 270000WWDS 472 Visits
Hey! Just wanted to do a quick introduction and encourage you to comment on our blogs. We encourage the input!
If you are a Linux enthusiast I would like to suggest that you visit OpenPowerproject.com. This site allows Linux users and developers to test and port applications through remote access to OpenPower servers. Have some fun!
Talk to you soon![Read More]
lopblogger 270000WWDS 289 Visits
I am currently at the pSeries Tech University in Florida..with no hurricanes in site. I find it quite interesting that the number of sessions on Linux on POWER is now in the majority. But even more so, it the attendance. We have some great speakers and great topics, but the attendance in these sessions if very high..all of them.
The people are no longer asking "what is Linux", but they are asking more "how do I do ....." kinds of questions and my company is doing Linux on POWER and what else can we look forward to in the future.
This trend is encouraging that the message and value of Linux on POWER is being understood. One question today was when should I use POWER when "good enough" is what I want? I said it all depends on the application. If you need to run a Firewall or DNS server, POWER is great but well beyond good enough. However if you are running a mission critical DB or Web app server, good enough servers may not be what you want..get a real server, get POWER.
at least that's my opinion..[Read More]
lopblogger 270000WWDS 306 Visits
If you look at the Novell site http://www.novell.com/products/linuxenterpriseserver/powerpromo.html
it tries to tell you that SUSE is better the RH for Linux on POWER...why? Price and licensing. That is kind of true for sure, but is not why it is better for POWER..unless you think Price is the main driver. Also on the site is a paper by an analyst that is also kind of high level and content free.
Isn;t it about time that someone just points out that the base kernel is the same but there are differences like RAS support, default performance setting (for those who never bother to change the defaults and run slower than they can), admin tools, maintenacne techniques, switching costs,and support! These should be explained in a table with RH and SUSE as the columns..then we would have something.
.....and I might just do that..but the lawyers would go nutz and RH and SUSE would claim foul...wonder what we should do to get a valid comparison??
at least that is my opinion.[Read More]