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  • jzb 2:01 pm on January 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Administrivia   

    Changing up a bit 

    Decided to try out the P2 Mercury theme and start channeling some micro-blogging energy into my actual blog instead of Twitter. Suggestions for fast-posting to WordPress welcome!

  • jzb 1:15 pm on August 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Communication Anti-Patterns 

    Let’s get this out of the way: Yes, I’m old and grumpy. I have more than a few “get off my lawn!” moments. But sometimes… sometimes, they’re justified. Especially when confronted with some of the common communication anti-patterns I run into day after day when working with distributed communities/workers. Here’s a few things you shouldn’t do, or stop doing if you do them.

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  • jzb 12:45 pm on August 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Microsoft   

    More Open Source is Good Open Source 

    A few days ago, Microsoft announced that it has released PowerShell under the MIT license for Linux (and Mac OS X). Perhaps surprisingly, this has brought a number of folks out of the woodwork to gripe about Microsoft… releasing something as open source.

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  • jzb 12:54 pm on January 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android, , Project Fi   

    Project Fi and replacement phones: Android could learn from Fedora… 

    nexus2cee_project_fi_hero_thumbI’ve had really good luck with smartphones (/me knocks on wood) over the years. I’ve dropped phones a number of times, but other than a few scuffs and scratches, no permanent damage. (My first-generation iPhone did have an unfortunate encounter with a softball years ago, but since then – smooth sailing.) This weekend, though, I biffed the Nexus 6 just wrong on the tile floor and the screen got the worst of it.
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  • jzb 1:48 pm on January 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Happy New Year! (Foiled by DDoS…) 

    So – one of the resolutions I was kicking around for 2016 was to blog more often, perhaps daily. I got up bright and early on January 1st… ok, that’s a lie. I got up around 8 a.m. after the cat batted my nose repeatedly. But I got up, and after the morning ritual of feeding the cats, thought I would log into the blog and write a little something.

    Unfortunately, my hosting provider (Linode) was suffering a DDoS and connecting to my server between 1 January and yesterday proved difficult if not impossible. Here’s hoping the rest of 2016 goes a little smoother!

  • jzb 10:58 pm on December 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Running for Fedora Council 

    fedora-ambassador-mentor Fedora elections are upon us once again, starting tomorrow. There’s one Fedora Council seat open, and I’ve decided to throw my, er, hat into the ring. I’ve put up the platform questions on the Fedora Community Blog, but also wanted to chime in here.

    I’m not stumping for votes, but I did want to take a minute to encourage folks to participate in this election and think about how you’ll participate in the next release cycle. Whether you vote for me or the other candidate for Council (that’d be Robert Mayr aka robyduck – who is awesome) I hope you’ll also be thinking about how you might contribute a few extra cycles to the Fedora 24 release and the project in general.

    In particular, for the Fedora 24 cycle I hope to see more folks helping in the marketing group (as I’ve mentioned before), and we can use more hands in the Cloud SIG as well. We have a lot of opportunity ahead, but we need many more hands to reach our full potential.

  • jzb 2:03 pm on November 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

    More trip photos – polar bears galore! 

    The story behind the first four – when bears wander into the wrong areas, they can be tranquilized and held for up to 30 days before being released. This is to discourage the bears from wandering into human territory. Then they’re airlifted back to their area.


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  • jzb 12:24 pm on November 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

    Polar madness – bears everywhere! 

    Still in vacation mode, but wanted to share a few quick photos from the trip. Enjoy!

    Bear following polar rover

    A lone bear following the polar rover in Churchill, Canada.

    Bear pausing to check out her surroundings

    Bear pausing to check out her surroundings

  • jzb 11:46 pm on November 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    On vacation: And acting like it! 

    Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, We can work almost anywhere, anytime. That’s… probably unhealthy. I mean, it’s great when you’re supposed to be working. As long as you have a solid Internet connection(*) and a quiet room (and electricity), you can be productive anywhere.

    Which leads to temptation to … work from anywhere. Even when you’re on vacation. (This phrase may be less applicable outside the United States. Insert joke here about European vs. American vacation response messages.) This has certainly been true for me, when I’m on vacation I have generally felt compelled to check in on email, which leads to responding to email, which leads to… not so much really feeling like I’m on vacation.

    This week I’m going to be in Churchill, Canada to observe polar bears, Northern Lights, and generally take a breather. While I occasionally grab a day or two of PTO here and there, I’ve not done much proper vacationing. For many years I was freelancing and… I was never very good at feeling that I could step away for a week or three to vacation when I was being paid by the piece or stipend. So, I’m going to do my best to make it stick and actually not do any work while away.

    () Don’t make your co-workers put up with lousy connectivity. Sometimes it’s unavoidable (e.g., during conference travel) but if you can’t count on reliable connectivity and quiet surroundings… maybe re-think whether working from a cafe is *really workable.

  • jzb 5:42 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , IRC, Pondering, Slack   

    Proprietary tools for FOSS projects 

    slackMy position on free and open source software is somewhere in the spectrum between hard-core FSF/GNU position on Free Software, and the corporate open source pragmatism that looks at open source as being great for some things but really not a goal in and of itself. I don’t eschew all proprietary software, and I’m not going to knock people for using tools and devices that fit their needs rather than sticking only to FOSS.

    At the same time, I think it’s important that we trend towards everything being open, and I find myself troubled by the increasing acceptance of proprietary tools and services by FOSS developers/projects. It shouldn’t be the end of the world for a FOSS developer, advocate, project, or company to use proprietary tools if necessary. Sometimes the FOSS tools aren’t a good fit, and the need for something right now overrides the luxury of choosing a tool just based on licensing preference. And, of course, there’s a big difference between having that discussion for a project like Fedora, or an Apache podling/TLP, or a company that works with open source.

    Fedora is generally averse to adopting anything proprietary, even using things like YouTube or Twitter to promote Fedora tends to generate discussion and questions about whether it’s proper to use proprietary services. Grudgingly, though, most folks have accepted that to promote Fedora you have to go where the people are–even if that means using non-FOSS services. Apache has been more willing to adopt non-free services (e.g., Jira) where acceptable FOSS services exist. Not surprising, because Apache’s culture is more “use open source because it’s pragmatic” rather than driven by ideology. (That is painting with a very broad brush, and I think you can find a diverse set of opinions within Apache, including mine.)

    Generally, though, I worry about making too many concessions to non-free software. I worry that we’ve gone too far towards business concerns, and too far away from wanting to change the world for the better. There’s a balance to be struck, I think, where we put food on the table, build successful companies and successful and sustainable communities. Where we use tools we’ve built to do our work, and tools we can improve, but don’t rake people over the coals because of the tools they choose or make bad business decisions out of a desire for purity.

    This post asking people not to use Slack really resonates with me. I see this as a wholly unnecessary adoption of proprietary software where there’s a reasonable and serviceable alternative. The good news, I think, is that Slack seems to be spurring some development of better IRC alternatives that might not have developed without Slack. And it’s spurred more people thinking about the tools they use, and whether they’re open, and what that means. Full disclosure, I have a personal Slack account. I’ll use it to chat with friends, just like I’ll use Facebook or Google Hangouts. But I don’t see recommending it for an official channel for, say, Project Atomic.

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