a damn shame

Yeah, I’ve been slacking pretty hard on this web-log front. Lots of reasons, none of them very good. I’m hoping to get back on the horse a little bit now — I had, in fact, hoped to do so yesterday — so we’ll see if I have any readers left!

Some stuff I’d like to write about over the next week or so: * Lightning, a project I’m leading to stick Sunbird and Thunderbird in some sort of rigorously engineered software blender. * My work to make Mono talk to XPCOM, recently landed in the Mozilla tree in hopes of tricking roc into largely taking it over. * Some upcoming speaking engagements, confirmed and tentative, so that you can figure out where to catch a nap at various exciting conferences. * Some thoughts on software security, user protection, code auditing and “blame management” which will likely reveal how naive I continue to be about these things. * How you should properly observe my upcoming birthday, regardless of geography or relationship. * My most excellent Christmas vacation. * Why I’m going to the Game Developers Conference again this year, even though nobody has ever paid me a dime to work on a game, and won’t in the foreseeable future. (It’s probably not what you think.)

Or, you know, I could just disappear again, under the weight of my own mounting ambition and inability to manage my time. Were I you, I’d place bets very carefully, if at all.

get your fix

I’m going to be speaking about web futures at the Desktop Developers Conference on Tuesday, if people find themselves in Ottawa and want to waste an hour of their lives listening to me. (Actually, I think it’ll be a pretty good talk; Brendan and I are both quite keen to get into this discussion with the rest of the open-desktop community, and there’s a lot of interesting stuff to discuss.)

After that, on August 6th, I’ll be speaking at the Mozilla Developer Day about Mozilla 2.0: what we need to do, what we know we’re not going to do, what we’re still trying to figure out, and how we’re going about making these decisions. If you’re in the Bay Area, it’ll be well worth your $25 to come and talk with us about this, or listen to the other talks. I hear the Googleplex is pretty sweet, too.


I had a hard time getting the network from the Ximian/Novell offices to play nicely with the Oracle VPN, but I did manage to fix two bugs that were threatening to slip the Mozilla 1.7 release. It’s good to be back!

time and materials

I’m in Montreal today, talking about calendar protocols with some Oracle co-workers and Lisa from OSAF. I don’t know a lot about calendaring, but I know a little bit about what makes adoption easier or harder for open source clients, and I’m learning a fair bit here.

After a nice long meeting, which in turn followed a 7:30 AM flight, I was starting to flag a bit, so Lisa and I took a nice hike on the mountain and talked about the joys of open-source project management.

Now, to dinner.


I finally got my offer package today, and Tyla helpfully Purolatored it off to the processing centre in California — Jeremy’s advice was “send it exactly as it says; don’t fight with The Process” — so I’m a small amount of paperwork from being an official Oracle employee. I’m pretty psyched.

Beltzner and I celebrated with champagne and wings, after a start-of-season Ultimate clinic, and before joining some other friends in the viewing of a pretty-mediocre Angel episode.

Then I bit my tongue harder than I’ve ever bit it before, and now have a bruise about the size of a dime. Or, perhaps, the size of a molar.

spinning the chamber

< dria> we should so totally rule the world
< phik> if we'd just stop playing russian roulette with each others' careers

This Friday, as some of you are aware, is my last day with CFS. I’m not going into the whys and wherefores of the decision right now, if ever, but your guesses are probably not all that far off the mark. It was a very fun ride, and I learned a tremendous amount, which is basically the sum of my success conditions for a job; I wish the CFS crew nothing but the best, of course.

I am presently entangled in a mutual courtship with a large software vendor who is looking for a strong open source strategist and technologist to lead their nascent efforts in the whole “open desktop space”. None were available, apparently, so they’re talking to me.


The aforementioned dissonance has been resolved, in a number of ways, and I thank everyone for their support and concern. I’m not going to write much more now, because I think I’m going to be writing a lot about work things in the next few weeks/months, and I’m on vacation now.

One of the strangest vacations of my life, in fact, but that’s a story for another day.

twilight zone

Ever get totally kicked in the teeth by a comment (or short email) from someone which reveals an enormous gap between how you percieve something and how they percieve something? Ever have that happen a few dozen hours after the last conversation with that person, in which it very much seemed that everything was well-aligned, and things were proceeding well?

Yeah, me too.

(Honestly, this is the biggest “what the hell?” moment I’ve had in quite some time, and it’s not like my professional life has been devoid of this sort of disconnect over the last year or two. I’m flabbergasted.)


Madhava came over yesterday and I showed him the interface for the web tool I’m working on. He didn’t “throw up”:http://www.blackjackinc.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=173 even a little, at least while he was still here. We had quite a productive chat about the data I need to present and what my constraints are — number one with a bullet: web tool, usable in at least Mozilla + IE, probably Safari as well — and he brought me “an outrageously cool book”:http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0964692503 chock full of blurbs on different, well, information graphics. Soon I’ll be able to talk like a real interface devotee, and not just someone scrambling against the clock to produce anything usable.

please sir, can I have some more

I’ve been working on Lustre recovery for quite some time. Probably a year and a half, I guess, and there was some good work done in there. Not all of the work was good, mind you, but I’m not totally ashamed of what I accomplished. After a few false-starts at the process, though, responsibility for that subsystem — some people would consider it an “aspect”:http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/java/library/j-aspectj/?dwzone=java because it cuts across so many otherwise well-layered subsystems, I suppose — has passed on to one of my co-workers. He’d assisted me a fair bit in the past, and I think he’ll do a fine job. Which means I won’t have to, at least as far as recovery is concerned, so I’m pretty psyched.

Instead, I have taken over responsibility for a few other Lustrey things. Don’t worry, I”m not hurting for things to do. (more…)

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