Back from OEDEM 2009

During last weekend I was in Cambridge, UK where OEDEM 2009 took place. This time it was organized by Phil Blundell from Reciva company (they make nice Internet radio devices, new ones do also FM and DAB).

I travelled by Berlin and Stansted due to fact that at those days there are no flights Londyn — Szczecin on Friday and Sunday. That gave opportunity to meet Henning and Robert in Berlin and discuss misc things during travel.

Friday evening was spent in Red Lion pub in Histon. Nice, tasty English beers and interesting place. Both ways with taxi because of raining and price was comparable to public transport.

On Saturday we walked to OEDEM place using Phil’s notes and got there with just one short cut missed (we found it next day).

What was discussed during meeting? Many things, we had also OE e.V. meeting during which we voted for few new members, chosen new board, decided on sponsoring and selected Robert Schuster for PR guy.

So what was on topic:

  • OE e.V. meeting (minutes)
  • Establishment of technical steering committee (summary)
  • OE and Poky (summary)
  • Software development for OE derived distributions (summary)
  • Learning to love distro flags, or, What’s a distro for? (summary)
  • State of the art in package management (summary)
  • Splitting the recipes tree (summary)
  • Future plans for stable branch(es) (summary)
  • Bugtracker Discussion (summary)
  • Hosting arrangements (summary)
  • Death to checksums.ini? (summary)
  • BitBake Future Roadmap (summary)
  • OE Core Changes (summary)

Each entry was already summarized so I provided links for those who did not read OpenEmbedded development mailing list. Discussion was hot, many subjects had different opinions from audience and it was great.

As usual it was nice to meet friends from OE in person and for few of them connect face to name. And again I did not had any spare time to look around the city of OEDEM — too many things in small amount of time. But maybe another time 🙂

OEDEM 2009

This year OEDEM will take place in Cambridge, UK during second weekend of November (7-8th). People who wants to arrive there are requested to inform Phil Blundell by mail.

We did not decided on agenda yet but we are at gathering ideas now.

original mail

And if you want to join me I will fly from Berlin Schönefeld airport on Friday 6th November by Ryanair to London Stansted and then by train.

Next events

Some people asked me which events I plan to attend in next months. Currently there are two of them: OEDEM and FOSDEM.

OEDEM is not yet decided when and where it will be. There was suggestion from OpenBossa conference organizers to make it there but it would costs us too much (travels, hotels). We are considering Berlin (as all previous meetings were there) but we lack place for it. And I suggested Szczecin, Poland. But where and when? Not decided yet.

FOSDEM will be in Brussels, Belgium like it was always. Probably it will be 21-22 February 2009 and I hope that it will get confirmed soon so I will be able to buy cheap plane tickets for BerlinBrussels flights (today it would be EasyJet with 52EUR for total cost). OE developers not decided yet which hotel will get our blessing so I did not yet checked this.

Will I attempt other events? It depends on when and where they will be as this generate costs which I have to care about.

OEDEM 2007: day 4

Today we have 4th day of OEDEM. Discussed OE Foundation, BitBake development, OE development. Uli Luckas from ROAD company brought their ROAD S101 phone (running Qtopia 2.x as UI). After playing with it I can say that this is interesting device.

Today’s dinner will be sponsored by Tarent, a German company that uses OpenEmbedded. And this time it will be German restaurant not Mexican, Italian or Patagonian.

OEDEM 2007: day 3

Today we have 3rd day of OpenEmbedded Developers European Meeting. This year we have not only European developers but also Rodrigo Vivi from Brasil and Philip Balister from USA. After weekend with misc stuff (when most visible was Gumstix hacking) we finally started technical discussions.

There are many things on agenda and they are changing so better check them on OE wiki.

My OpenEmbedded related trips

Yesterday during evening talk I found out one funny thing — all my trips related to OpenEmbedded was to cities which name starts with “B” letter.

First it was Berlin — first OEDEM (in 2006). Then it was FOSDEM 2007 in Brussels. Latest one was GUADEC 2007 in Birmingham. Next one will be OEDEM 2007 — Berlin again.

Before or after OEDEM I will probably also attend Bromley to visit OpenedHand office but this does not rather count as Bromley is part of London.

OpenZaurus time is over – long live Ã…ngström

Some time ago new kernel hacker joined team of people working on 2.6 kernel for Zaurus machines — Thomas Kunze gave us SD/MMC driver for collie and works on other subsystems to get this machine working. As result collie got added into list of Ã…ngström supported devices and test images were generated.

Also during last time people were asking Koen Kooi when Ångström is going to be released. He usually answered that it depends on OpenZaurus release plans (OZ first).

But we lack developers to work on two distros in one time. Release of OpenZaurus 3.5.4/3.5.4.1 took me few months of work as I had to organize beta testing program, build images, fix bugs, find someone to work on documentation, build feeds. Then due to limited access to main mirror I had to work on upgrades feeds. Those tasks will be split to more people in Ångström.

As a result I was going to tell world that there will be no new OpenZaurus releases ever. But I did not wanted to sound like dictator — I asked other developers on openzaurus-devel ML what they think. There were 3 options:

  1. we release OpenZaurus 3.5.5 for all Zaurus models
  2. we release OpenZaurus 3.5.5 for Collie/2.4 only
  3. we close OpenZaurus history and switch to Ångström

During week twelve persons replied — no one chosen option 1st or 2nd…

So Ã…ngström is a future for our machines — and many others already supported in OpenEmbedded. End of OpenZaurus does not mean that Zaurus models are obsolete or that users need to switch to pdaXrom or Cacko.

It needs work to create nicely working distribution which will use up-to-date technologies, will base on current software etc. Personally I do not even plan to look at 2.4 kernel for Zaurus any more — it was ‘created’ in such bad way that… no comment

What does OpenZaurus meant to me?

For me it was really nice to have OpenZaurus on each Zaurus model which I had in my hands. It started with SL-5500 collie which I bought for quite big amount of cash (about 2/3 of my month salary), then was C760 donated by Richard Jackson. Later I got SL-5600 and SL-6000 donated by anonymous donor from USA. During OEDEM I got SL-C3000 from Mickeyl and gave him SL-5600 instead. Now SL-C3000 is in Rolf Leggewie hands and SL-6000 waits for developer which would like to work on improving support for it (SL-5600/6000/C3000 are OpenEmbedded project devices).

Thanks to OpenZaurus I started to use OpenEmbedded. First as stupid novice, then advanced user finally one of core developers. Without playing with those systems I would not be the person which I am today. Since I left my previous work as PHP programmer I finally do what I like to do (and I am paid for it).

Without playing with it I would not have all those gadgets/toys which I have here.

I would like to thanks for some persons:

  • Chris ‘kergoth’ Larson for starting work on OpenZaurus distro
  • Michael ‘mickeyl’ Lauer for maintaining OZ
  • Richard ‘rp’ Purdie for maintaining Linux-2.6 for all Zaurus models
  • John Lenz for starting work on getting Linux-2.6 working on collie
  • Dirk Opfer for Tosa part
  • Graeme ‘xora’ Gregory for being one of most active Zaurus developers
  • Koen Kooi for maintaining Ã…ngström distro
  • Scott Bronson and Simon ‘lardman’ Pickering for work on OpenZaurus documentation
  • Thomas Kunze for work on SD/MMC driver for collie
  • all other OpenZaurus hackers

For all time which they spend on getting Zaurus machines supported.

OEDEM 2006

During “weekend” (Thursday — Sunday) I was in Berlin, Germany where OEDEM took place. It was nice to finally meet people whom I know via Internet for years.

OEDEM 2006 people

From left to right:

  • Richard `RP’ Purdie from OpenedHand
  • Tomas Frydrych from OpenedHand
  • I
  • Michael `Mickey’ Lauer
  • Koen Kooi
  • Florian Boor from Kernel concepts
  • Holger `Zecke’ Freyther

We had many discussions about important OpenEmbedded things like problems, policies, creating some kind of OpenEmbedded Foundation for managing domains, trademarks, donations etc. Some of results are already happening:

  • removal of MAINTAINER fields (which we are going to replace with /MAINTAINERS file)
  • switching to task-base instead of the old one task-bootstrap to get clean images with just needed packages
  • removal of ipaq-pxa270 machines in favour of hx4700, hx2000 machines
  • new mailing lists got created:

    openembedded-issues with information from bugtracker — openembedded-users for all normal users which are not ready yet for openembedded-devel list — openembedded-announce for announcing

More stuff will follow soon. I’m going to write documentation about task-base stuff, how to switch distro/machine to use it etc.

One step closer to OEDEM

Train tickets bought. I will arrive in Berlin at 13:05 in Thursday 2006-10-05 and will leave on 12:40 on Sunday.

I plan to look around (never was in Berlin before), then meet Holger and then OEDEM evening meeting…

UPDATE: Some people asked me what is OEDEM. Let quote Michael ‘Mickeyl’ Lauer post:

OEDEM’06 (Open Embedded Developers European Meeting) in Berlin — it’s the first (of hopefully an annual series) conference about the BitBake Task Executor and the OpenEmbedded MetaData Repository, both in combination enabling to build Embedded Linux Distributions from scratch.

I will host two sessions there:

  • OE Survey Discussion
  • OE PR Launch for 2007 (with Mickeyl)

More information about OEDEM.