[PLUG] Fwd: A very nice POSUG meet :)

Sriram Narayanan sriramnrn at gmail.com
Sat Jul 21 16:19:26 IST 2007


We had the POSUG meet today. Here's some text on what happened.

-- Sriram
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sriram Narayanan <sriramnrn at gmail.com>
Date: Jul 21, 2007 4:13 PM
Subject: A very nice POSUG meet :)
To: POSUG <ug-posug at opensolaris.org>

A very nice POSUG meet !

We'd all never met before. And we left very interested in continuing
to meet, and to learn from each other !

The attendees were:

Vaibhav (referred by Amit Karpe)
Path (referred by Amit Karpe)

We didn't have more attendeed - partly because I didn't post earlier
to CSLUG, and didn't post to PLUG, GEEP Linux at all.

We met at the Thoughtworks' office at Yerwada. It's quite some
distance for some members. And COEP too could be a possible venue.

We started of with telling each other about how we each got involved
with Solaris, and what we do during the day.

Being a member of the BOSUG (Bangalore Open Solaris UG), I gave some
news about the BOSUG. (The BOSUG folks are conducting a pkgbuild
hackathon in August where participants will help each other create
pkgbuild spec files for various software).

We then spoke about Zones. Apart from Siddath, who has used Branded
Zones in Solaris to run Linux within Solaris, and Chaitanya, who's
explored Zones a bit, no one else had really made use of zones. But
that didn't deter us, and we quickly decided to all just pitch in as
needed. Chaitanya gave a nice explanation of how Zones work, and of
how the Solaris kernel is shared between the various Zones. I then
spoke about Branded Zones, and about how folks use DTrace to analyze
linux apps that are running within a Branded Zone on Solaris.

Arindam gave some very interesting news. He, Ameya and another
colleague (all three from Symantec/Veritas) had put together an amd 64
miniroot for Solaris remote booting. The rest of us felt this to be
very exciting news and are all eager to learn more about this work.
Arindam intends to start posting about this, and if all goes well in
terms of preparation

Chaitanya then gave us a brief introduction to Xen. I was pleasantly
surprised to learn that given certain conditions, Xen now lets us run
Windows from within a Xen enabled host. We all also discusssed the
various "rings of execution", as I understand it, when Xen starts up
and runs kernels.

Parth spoke about wanting to migrating some Fox pro apps to Linux. We
couldn't recollect the name of a free xbase compiler (I only recalled
that it was related in meaning to navigation/the stars/the sea). A bit
of googling while typing this statement, and I chanced upon Flagship.

Abhishek reminded us that we needed to discuss the new POSUG site.
There's a post by Jim to the POSUG, and we've decided that we need to
get in touch with Gokul and Ameya (the POSUG founders) and also with
Jim on going ahead with the web site

Some links to provide more context:

I brought up something that I've been rather concerned about :
OpenSolaris without Sun ! We had a look at my journal post on this
topic :
I stated that I did get the answers to some of my questions later on
(but hadn't updated my journal on this topic).
We discussed this in the context of the Caldera + SCO fiasco, and
accepted that some risk did exist.

We also decided that we're going to encourage various people to
participate and to present their ideas. For e.g., Vaibhav had worked
on some very interesting (to me) networking project during his B.E.
Arindam has some application package building experience, and looks
forward to show casing this topic to list members.

We all also discussed further course of action:
1. Meet once a month.
2. Meet on Sundays, since Saturday may be a problem for Chaitanya.
3. Meet at other venues too (COEP, for e.g.) since Yerwada is a bit
far away for some list members.
4. Follow up with Gokul, Ameya and Jim Grisanzio on the new POSUG site.
        Whom do we expect to contact to get the site up and running ?
5. Post about today's meet with all of us writing in about our experiences.
6. Showcase our ideas and technical development in meets later.

What I liked about today's session:
1. Zero crticism.
        There was this moment when, after Arindam finished talking about the
miniroot, I was in a daze. I was wondering aloud about whether we
could have a Solaris zone start up a PXE boot environment which would
then download the mini root. My goal was to find out whether one could
start a PXE boot from within a zone, and then make use of it. Perhaps
even DTrace it to learn more about PXEBoot. My description of this
thought was very nonsensical, but we all had a good laugh over it :)
        We identified this easy acceptance of mistakes, and the absence of a
criticism culture as being some of the essential guiding rules at

2. A room full of skilled people all sharing some common goals and interests.
        We had today a device driver author, a Solaris application developer,
another C/C++ programmer, two consultants who implement Open Source
Solutions, a student and an application developer.

3. Lots of learning despite the lack of a formal and strictly followed agenda
        Since this was the first meet, we didn't really have a strict agenda,
though we did have in mind that certain topics needed to be discussed.
Nevertheless, the discussion was free ranging, informative, and there
was much learning all around.

4. Group presentation !
        Since we all knew various topics at varying degrees of understanding,
we decided to just get started with presenting a topic, and that
others would pitch in as needed. This worked very well.

So there you have it! THe first POSUG meet happened, and we're all
eager to meet regularly :)

If you wish to attend, just monitor this list, and learn about next
month's meet date. Feel free to ask questions. Various list members
can help provide DVDs so get along a blank, and one of us could burn a
Solaris DVD for you !

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