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Fri, 12 Nov 2004
OSAF Anniversary

This past Tuesday was my one year anniversary at OSAF. It has been a great experience for me, not only in the technical dimension but in the community dimension. Most of my involvement in the open source community was due to XML/Java stuff that I did at the ASF, and perhaps a little bit due to my involvement with pyblosxom. In the past year, I feel that I'm branching out into the Python community, and I'm looking forward to meeting lots more people as Chandler reaches a state of usability.

Last week when I was in the office, I had my review (it's nice to do that sort of thing in person). I only want to make one comment about the review (other than the fact that I'm not fired ;-)). The word blog/blogging appeared twice in my written review. This was both a surprise and not a surprise to me. Content from the blog occasionally comes up in discussion with folks in the office, and I do occasionally write about OSAF happenings. However, blogging per se, is not really a direct part of my job responsibilities. It is true that OSAF's organization culture places a high value on transparency (I mean, what other organization is posting its management level meeting minutes on a public wiki?), and the my blogging is a personal reflection of that value. But I'm not an OSAF blogger in the sense that Scoble is for Microsoft or Jeremy Zawodny has become for Yahoo. Since I do have some responsibilities for helping to incubate a Chandler community, it's not surprising that blogging might be viewed as a component of that, which it was. The other place where blogging appeared was in the part of the review where you get evaluated on learning about new technologies and keeping up in the field. This occurrence was the one that was surprising. Abstracting away from me, I think it's interesting that the contents of your blog could be used as input for your review, particularly for this sort of criteria. It's not like the blog is a daily diary of the work that I actually did (although from time to time I contemplate starting a second blog at OSAF to record some of that stuff -- right now we use wiki pages). I wonder what other ways blogging will be integrated into the natural flow of people's jobs.

In response to the semi-(in)famous description of life at Electronic Arts, Charles Miller posted a list of ways to create a good working environment for a programmer:

• An office with a door
• …and no phone
• A culture of asynchronous communication
• A fast workstation
• …and two monitors. You wouldn’t believe how much difference a second monitor makes
• …and their operating system of choice
• Good development tools.
• A fast Internet connection
• Snacks and drinks they don’t need to leave the office for
• A good-natured working environment
• Flexible working hours
• Tasks appropriate to their ability
• … and if at all possible, that they find interesting
• Investment (emotional or financial) in the end-product

According to this list, I'm doing pretty good. I have an office with a door, but I do have a phone (and an iSight). OSAF does have a culture of asynchronous communication - couldn't do open source any other way. I don't have a fast workstation, but that's because PowerBook G5's don't exist. But, I do have two displays and Mac OS X, my current workstation OS of choice. I have the best tools that you can get for dealing with Python, and a shiny new fast connection. I have 3 meals a day in the office (at home) and the OSAF San Francisco offices are the best in my career for snacks/drinks, etc. Working hours are flexible, the tasks are doable and interesting, and I have a bunch of investment in both the final product, the organization and its culture, and my co-workers.

Not bad for my first year.

[23:59] | [computers/open_source/osaf] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

Today I needed to change the CVSROOT for a repository that has a bunch of modified files in it. Most of the time when this has happened to me I've just checked out a copy from the new server and left it at that. This time, it was going to be too painful. I started to write a script, but fortunately, I got to Google before I started typing. It turns out that CVS's contrib section contain a script to switch roots. I had to Google for it though - it didn't show up in the Debian packages for cvs either.

[23:28] | [computers/programming] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
An apt proxy for Bittorrent

While I'm not having problems with downloading Debian packages (I have a cron job that downloads updated packages daily), I think that additional uses for bittorrent is a good thing. apt-torrent is a proxy for apt that uses bittorrent as the transport.

[00:03] | [computers/operating_systems/linux/debian] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

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I work at the Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF).
The opinions expressed here are entirely my own, not those of my employer.

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