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  • jzb 2:49 am on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: contributors,   

    Marketing is not a spectator sport… 

    fmag-ribbonA piece over on Fedora Magazine, following a talk I did at Flock this summer. The short version: open source projects need all the help they can get spreading the word. Fedora, Apache projects, GNU projects, Debian, etc., all depend on word of mouth to reach users. By reaching users, we find new contributors, and it’s the new contributors that help keep projects going and reaching new users. We don’t have megabucks to throw at ad campaigns, but we have millions of users–and the impact would be enormous if even 10% of those users spent a little time spreading the word about Fedora (or other project).

    More users means more contributors. More contributors equals better projects. Better projects mean more users, and fewer people choosing proprietary solutions. Don’t wait for somebody else to spread the word, jump in and lend a hand.

    The marketing group was a bit disorganized in the F23 cycle, and we can do much better. I hope to do more in the F24 cycle, but I can’t do it alone, and don’t really want to! So if you want to see Fedora succeed wildly, I hope you’ll find a way to join our efforts. Read the full piece on Fedora Magazine, and feel free to ask if you need help jumping in!

     
  • jzb 10:45 pm on November 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Fedora 23 Released 

    cloud-logo-mainThe big news today (at least in my circles) is the Fedora 23 release. Check out the release announcement and then head over to GetFedora.org to grab the bits.

    You might also want to peruse the What’s New in Fedora 23 Workstation piece on Fedora Magazine to learn about some of the changes on the Fedora desktop.

    There’s a slight bug with the Atomic Docker when using root bind mounts, but this should be addressed shortly with the two-week Atomic builds (expected to roll out mid-November).

     
  • jzb 1:32 pm on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Just what is “open,” anyway? 

    Here’s something I spend a lot of time thinking about: What constitutes “real” open source? Not just the license, I think the OSI has done just fine in defining an open source license. (And the GNU/FSF folks have done just fine in defining a Free software license as well.)

    I’m asking, what constitutes a real open source project? What are the specific things you need to say “yep, this is a genuine open source project that really deserves the title”?

    Curious what other folks think. It probably comes as no surprise that I don’t consider a project “open” just because there’s a public repository with code that is under an OSI-approved license.

    Also curious of any bodies like the OSI have working definition. So many projects and companies lay claim to open source, but I see very little of it in practice.

     
    • Ben Cotton 3:31 pm on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I believe the OSI only passes judgement on licenses. To my knowledge, there’s no standard for what makes a project open. It’s something that came up during my M.S. defense, but I’ve never sat down to come up with criteria. It’s definitely an interesting question, though.

    • Jason Brooks 4:26 pm on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      An open license is enough, at least, to allow a project to be forked and be managed “openly-as-defined-by-person-X.”

  • jzb 6:59 pm on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    The evils of top-posting… 

    email-icon-post Answer: Because it makes it hard to follow conversations in email.

    Question: Why is top-posting evil?

    I know I’m fighting a losing battle here, but I occasionally feel compelled to remind people just how inefficient top-posting is for multiple-participant conversations. This is doubly true for people added after the conversation is started.

    It takes a little longer, but it’s so much nicer if you can read an email thread from top to bottom rather than having to scroll to the bottom, read, scroll backward, read, scroll backward, read, etc. Yes, it’s the easiest way to reply to a message, but it’s an enemy of comprehension for recipients.

     
    • kOoLiNuS 6:08 am on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I feel your pain man.
      But since EVERY smartphone maker now has this as the default we’re going to fail in our quest …

      Sigh

      • jzb 1:16 pm on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        To quote Angel “if nothing we do matters… then all that matters is what we do.” I’ll keep fighting the good fight even if it’s doomed.

        • Carol Fontano 2:09 am on April 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

          We ought not ask ourselves what we have the right to do , but the right thing to do.

  • jzb 1:56 pm on October 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    What good is open source nobody knows about? 

    old-school-twitter-ad-thumb Here’s a pet peeve of mine, because I see it time and time again: Folks work on software or projects, put in a ton of effort, and then do nothing to promote the project or release. (And, for bonus points, complain that they don’t understand why the project isn’t getting more attention!)

    This doesn’t mean developers have to do double-duty as marketeers and public relations folks. Well, not if they can pass the torch onto interested contributors who are happy to do it for them, anyway. It requires a little coordination and effort, but why put all the work into a project and then not get the attention of the users (and potential contributors) you’re trying to reach?

    Additionally, it really helps to blog, tweet, and otherwise spread the word about projects while they’re in process. If you want people to collaborate, they really need to know that you’re doing something.

    This isn’t necessarily intuitive for folks, I understand. But it is absolutely, vitally, necessary. Maybe, occasionally, a project is just so darn awesome that somebody happens to stumble on it via GitHub or whatever and word of mouth makes it a success – but typically, things get out into the world via consistent updates and communications to the right channels to get the word out.

     
    • Larry Cafiero 2:09 pm on October 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Good blog, and I share your pet peeve, especially since there are many of us out there who are not programmers, but we do have skills in the communications realm that could benefit a project. Some projects are more welcoming than others, to their benefit.

    • Arun 5:31 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Please check out and spread google-cli:
      https://github.com/jarun/google-cli

      It was accepted in Arch User Repo and is quite flexible with lots of useful features. Admittedly, I do not have enough time to spread it… got a regular job and contribute to other open source projects too.

  • jzb 12:46 pm on October 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , MUA,   

    Is that the right mailing list? Is that the right audience? 

    email-icon-postQuick thought for the day: are you sending that message to the right mailing list?

    If you work in open source, odds are you spend a lot of time working with people via email. At Red Hat we have internal mailing lists for developers that work on projects, and external mailing lists for projects, as well as internal lists for specific groups, topics, etc. I’m also, less than I’d like these days, involved in the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) and it has user lists and developer lists for projects, announce lists, and a variety of private lists for projects and specifically for members, fundraising, and so on.

    I could write volumes about what’s good and bad about various Mail User Agents (MUAs) and mailing list software. But this is not about that–this is about bad habits that people fall into when opening and conducting discussions on mailing lists. Specifically, whether they’re going to the right place.

    All too often, I see people opting to go for the least-public list when opening discussions. Part of this, I think, is just human laziness. You get into a routine, and stick with it. This is doubly hard to overcome when an initiative starts “behind the firewall” and then moves into the public.

    Part of this is a tendency to stay with a familiar group. It can be “scary” to expose your ideas, commentary, plans, or whatever to a large audience. It can also, honestly, be annoying. Everybody has an opinion, and filtering through all the opinions and commentary can be a royal pain in the posterior. Separating the wheat from the chaff can be tricky when you do opt for openness and then have to filter through all of the digressions, uninformed opinions, and (occasionally) dissent to come to a decision.

    I could probably write volumes on this topic, but I promised a quick thought. So, in a nutshell: Think before you start a conversation on a mailing list. Are you sending it to a private list to avoid discussion or exposure, or is there a good reason the conversation needs to be private? (Alternately, are you sure of the audience you’re sending to? Are you sending anything group/company confidential to too wide an audience? It happens infrequently, but it can be a big problem when it does.) If not, then break the habit and opt for openness. You might just be surprised how effective that can be, so give it a shot.

     
  • jzb 12:14 pm on October 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Docker   

    Looking for a Community Lead for Project Atomic 

    PA-Logo-Solid-Vertical.svg One of the most exciting projects I’m getting to work with these days is Project Atomic. It touches on the full stack–from OS development to storage, to networking, containers, application development, and pretty much everything in between. Red Hat is working hard on the tools to develop, deploy, and manage containerized applications.

    As part of that effort, I’m looking to find a lead for community efforts around Project Atomic and our container tools. (Job description on the Red Hat Jobs site.)

    Ideally, we’ll find someone with some experience using Linux, Docker, Kubernetes, and so on. Also looking for someone with strong community background, able to work in the open and manage a number of open conversations across projects. Experience with the Fedora and CentOS projects a major plus.

    There’s a ton of work to do, and things are moving really fast–so it’s definitely going to require someone well-organized and eager to stay on the leading edge of technology while the container ecosystem continues to move at a crazy pace. But, you’ll have the chance to work with a great team full of smart, friendly folks who are seriously passionate about open source.

    Know somebody who’d be fantastic? Drop me a note. Username is jzb, and I work for Red Hat – shoot me an email with a resume! You can also find me on Twitter and occasionally on Freenode if you have any questions.

     
  • jzb 12:03 pm on October 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Add an “Archive” button in KMail 

    I love the “archive” button in Thunderbird (which was adopted from GMail, I think…) and (so far) am enjoying KMail. However, I was missing the “read it, don’t need to do anything further with this email – so put it in my 2015 folder.”

    A quick trip to the googles brought up a helpful post on Superuser.com that walks through the steps quite handily to set up a filter that you can apply manually. Probably obvious to folks who’ve been using KMail for a long time, but there ya go.

     
  • jzb 1:40 pm on October 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    On to Fedora 23 and New Tools 

    Even though Fedora 23 isn’t quite out the door yet, officially, I have been poking at the alpha and beta because… that’s what you do. Well, it’s what I do, anyway. Call it a form of desktop wanderlust, I am always itching to see what’s next and what might be new and fun around the corner. (This also has the benefit of hitting bugs before folks who feel slightly less adventurous.)

    I’ve put Fedora 23 onto a ThinkPad T430s and decided to go with KDE rather than GNOME this time around, and to experiment with different mail clients as well.

    Right now, I’m tinkering with KMail – past attempts at KMail have resulted in dissatisfaction, but I’m giving it another go. Thunderbird has been disappointing lately, and I’m curious whether I can adopt the whole KDE PIM / KOrganizer suite. With any luck it’ll go smoothly and I can blog about that. Or it may fail spectacularly and I can try to find time to blog about that, we’ll see.

    It’s been a while since I used KDE for any amount of time. If you have some KDE tips and tricks, please share!

     
  • jzb 12:15 pm on July 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , OSCON, Portland,   

    Headed to OSCON 

    oscon-logoOnce again, time for the annual trek to Portland, Oregon for OSCON — perhaps for the last time!

    Next year, OSCON is going to be in Austin, TX — which seems like a bit of a mistake to me. Portland and OSCON go together like milk and cookies.

    If you’re going to be at OSCON, make sure to drop by Open Cloud Day on Tuesday, and come by the Red Hat booth to say hello!

     
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