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by jonrosenberg on August 10, 2007 11:45am
Just a brief update to my OSCON blog post. Today we started the ball rolling on the submission of our Shared Source licenses to the OSI approval process. We are submitting two licenses, the Microsoft Permissive License (MS-PL) and Microsoft Community License (MS-CL). Thank you to both Russ Nelson and Michael Tiemann for the guidance and informed opinions as we worked through this process.
The first step in the submission process was to post the licenses in HTML format on a web site. We’ve done that and you can see them here. We’ve also provided the license approval committee with our analysis of how these new submissions contribute to the body of OSI approved licenses. In addition we’ve sent an e-mail to the license-discuss alias, describing the submission.
We look forward to some lively discussion on license-discuss over the next week. After that, I personally look forward to two weeks of vacation, during which time any activity involving a computer will be considered by my family to be a serious infringement of vacation terms. I will be picking up the discussion thread again after Labor Day and look forward to continuing the journey.
by MichaelF on August 13, 2007 03:10pm
I had the opportunity to present at both OSCON in Portland and at LinuxWorld in San Francisco in the last three weeks – both O’Reilly and IDG were gracious enough to grant me a session on the work that Microsoft is doing with Novell, XenSource, and others on Linux and Windows interoperability.
Overall our focus is on three critical technology areas for the next-generation datacenter: virtualization, systems management, and identity. Identity in particular spans enterprise datacenters and web user experiences, so it’s critical that everyone shares a strong commitment to cross-platform cooperation.
Here are the slides as I presented them, with some words about each to give context, but few enough to make this post readable overall. I skipped the intro slides about the Open Source Software Lab since most Port 25 readers know who we are and what we do.
The market for heterogeneous solutions is growing rapidly. One visible sign of this is virtualization, an “indicator technology,” which by its nature promotes heterogeneity. Virtualization has become one of the most important trends in the computing industry today. According to leading analysts, enterprise spending on virtualization will reach $15B worldwide by 2009, at which point more than 50% of all servers sold will include virtualization-enabled processors. Most of this investment will manifest itself on production servers running business critical workloads.
Given the ever improving x86 economics, companies are continuing to migrate off UNIX and specialty hardware down to Windows and Linux on commodity processors.
So, why now?
First, customers are insisting on support for interoperable, heterogeneous solutions. At Microsoft, we run a customer-led product business. One year ago, we established our Interoperability Executive Customer Council, a group of Global CIOs from 30 top global companies and governments – from Goldman Sachs to Aetna to NATO to the UN. On the Microsoft side, this council is run by Bob Muglia, the senior vice president of our server software and developer tools division. The purpose of this is to get consistent input on where customers need us to improve interoperability between our platforms and others – like Linux, Eclipse, and Java. They gave us clear direction: “we are picking both Windows and Linux for our datacenters, and will continue to do so. We need you to make them work better together.”
Second, MS and Novell have established a technical collaboration agreement that allows us to combine our engineering resources to address specific interoperability issues.
As part of this broader interoperability collaboration, Microsoft and Novell technical experts are architecting and testing cross-platform virtualization for Linux and Windows and developing the tools and infrastructure necessary to manage and secure these heterogeneous environments.
I am often asked, “Why is the agreement so long?” as well as “Why is the agreement so short?” The Novell-Microsoft TCA is 5 years mutual commitment. To put this in context, 5 years from now (2012) is two full releases of Windows Server and 20 Linux kernel updates (given the 2.5 month cycle we’ve seen for the last few years). This is an eternity in technology. What’s important to me is that it’s a multi-product commitment to building and improving interoperability between the flagship products of two major technology companies. This means we can build the practices to sustain great interoperable software over the long term as our industry and customer needs continue to evolve.
This talk covers two major components of the future of Linux and Windows interoperability: Virtualization and Web Services protocols.
On the Metal focuses on the virtualization interoperability work being done between Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server virtualization, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Xen.
On the Wire covers the details and challenges of implementing standards specifications, such as WS-Federation and WS-Management; and how protocol interoperability will enable effective and secure virtualization deployment and management.
These are the key components required for the next-generation datacenter. We know the datacenters of today are mixtures of Windows, Linux, and Unix, x86, x64 and RISC architectures, and a range of storage and networking gear. Virtualization is required to enable server consolidation and dynamic IT; it must be cross-platform. Once applications from multiple platforms are running on a single server, they need to be managed – ideally from a single console. Finally, they must still meet the demands of security and auditability, so regardless of OS they must be accessible by the right users at the right levels of privilege. Hence, cross-platform virtualization demands cross-platform management and identity.
In non-virtualized environments, a single operating system is in direct control of the hardware. In a virtualized environment a Virtual Machine Monitor manages one or more guest operating systems that are in “virtual” control of the hardware, each independent of the other.
A hypervisor is a special implementation of a Virtual Machine Monitor. It is software that provides a level of abstraction between a system’s hardware and one or more operating systems running on the platform.
Virtualization optimizations enable better performance by taking advantage of “knowing” when an OS is a host running on HW or a guest running on a virtual machine.
Paravirtualization , as it applies to Xen and Linux, is an open API between a hypervisor and Linux and a set of optimizations that together, in keeping with the open source philosophy, encourage development of open-source hypervisors and device drivers.
Enlightenment is an API and a set of optimizations designed specifically to enhance the performance of Windows Server in a Windows virtualized environment.
Hardware manfuacturers are interested in virtualization as well. Intel and AMD have independently developed virtualization extensions to the x86 architecture. They are not directly compatible with each other, but serve largely the same functions. Either will allow a hypervisor to run an unmodified guest operating system without incurring significant performance penalties.
Intel's virtualization extension for 32-bit and 64-bit x86 architecture is named IVT (short for Intel Virtualization Technology). The 32-bit or IA-32 IVT extensions are referred to as VT-x. Intel has also published specifications for IVT for the IA-64 (Itanium) processors which are referred to as VT-i; .
AMD's virtualization extensions to the 64-bit x86 architecture is named AMD Virtualization, abbreviated AMD-V.
There are three Virtual Machine Monitor models.
A type 2 Virtual Machine Monitor runs within a host operating system. It operates at a level above the host OS and all guest environments operate at a level above that. Examples of these guest environments include the Java Virtual Machine and Microsoft’s Common Language Runtime, which runs as part of the .NET environment and is a “managed execution environment” that allows object-oriented classes to be shared among applications.
The hybrid model, shown in the middle of the diagram has been used to implement Virtual PC, Virtual Server and VMWare GSX. These rely on a host operating system that shares control of the hardware with the virtual machine monitor.
A type 1 Virtual Machine Monitor employs a hypervisor to control the hardware with all operating systems run at a level above it. Windows Server virtualization (WSv) and Xen are examples of type 1 hypervisor implementations.
Development of Xen and the Linux hypervisor API paravirt_ops began prior to release of Intel and AMD’s virtualized hardware and were designed, in part, to solve the problems inherent in running a virtualized environment on non-virtualization-assisted hardware. They continue to support both virtualization-assisted and non-virtualization-assisted hardware. These approaches are distinct from KVM, or the Kernel-based Virtual Machine, supports only virtualization-assisted hardware; this approach uses the Linux kernel as the hypervisor and QEMU to set up virtual environments for Linux guest OS partitions.
In keeping with the open source community’s philosophy of encouraging development of open source code, the paravirt_ops API is designed to support open-source hypervisors. Earlier this year VMware’s VMI was added to the kernel as was Xen. Paravirt_ops is in effect a function table that enables different hypervisors – Xen, VMware, WSv – to provide implementation of a standard hypercall interface, including a default set of functions that write to the hardware normally.
Windows Server 2008 enlightenments have been designed to allow WS 2008 to run in either a virtualized or non-virtualized environment *unmodified*. WS 2008 recognizes when it is running as a guest on top of WSv and dynamically applies the enlightenment optimizations in such instances.
In addition to a hypercall interface and a synthethic device model, memory management and the WS 2008 scheduler are designed with optimizations for when the OS runs as a virtual machine.
The WSv architecture is designed so that a parent partition provides services to the child partitions that run as guests in the virtual environment. From left to right:
Native WSv Components:
Like the WSv architecture, the Xen architecture is designed so that a special partition, in this case Dom 0, provides services to guest partitions that run in a virtual environment.
Native Xen Components:
The slide says it all… I couldn’t figure out a way to put this one in a graphic. ;)
Virtualization interoperability testing is very challenging. While the architecture may look similar at a high level, the devil is in the details – down at the API and ABI level, the technologies are quite different.
From a personnel standpoint, the expertise required to debug OS kernels is hard to find, let alone software engineers with these skills who are focused on writing test code. Microsoft has established a role known as “Software Design Engineer in Test” or “SDE/T” which describes the combination of skills and attitude required to test large-scale complex software rigorously through automated white-box test development.
The problem of testing Linux and Windows OSes across WSv and Xen requires these kernel-level skills, but on both operating systems. It’s a non-trivial challenge.
Next is the technical issue of the test matrix:
To put this in context, we need a minimum of 40 server chassis to test this matrix – for each operating system.
On top of this, the software components that must be tested include:
Since Windows and Linux are general-purpose operating systems, these components must be tested across a range of workloads which will guarantee consistent, high-performance operation regardless of usage (file serving, web serving, compute-intensive operations, networking, etc.).
Finally – and no less a challenge than the skills and technology aspects – is that of building a shared culture between two very different and mature engineering culture. What is the definition of a “Severity 1” or “Priority 1” designation for a defect? How do these defects compete for the core product engineering teams’ attention? How are defects tracked, escalated, processed, and closed across two different test organizations’ software tools? Most importantly, what is the quality of the professional relationships between engineers and engineering management of the two organizations? These are the critical issues to make the work happen at high quality and with consistency over the long term.
WS-Management is an industry standard protocol managed by the DMTF (Distributed Management Taskforce), whose working group members include HP, IBM, Sun, BEA, CA, Intel, and Microsoft among others. The purpose is to bring a unified cross-platform management backplane to the industry, enabling customers to implement heterogeneous datacenters without having separate management systems for each platform.
All Microsoft server products ship with extensive instrumentation, known as WMI. A great way to see the breadth of this management surface is to download Hyperic (an open source management tool) and attach it to a Windows server – all of the different events and instrumentation will show up in the interface, typically several screen pages long.
It is not surprising that the management tools vendors are collaborating on this work – and it’s essential to have not just hardware, OS, and management providers but application layer vendors like BEA as well – but to me the most important aspect of the work is the open source interoperability.
In the Microsoft-Novell Joint Interoperability Lab, we are testing the Microsoft implementation of WS-Management (WinRM) against the openwsman and wiseman open source stacks. This matters because the availability of proven, interoperable open source implementations will make it relatively easy for all types of providers of both management software and managed endpoints to adopt a technology that works together with existing systems out of the box. Regardless of development or licensing model, commercial and community software will be able to connect and be well-managed in customer environments.
So what does this all mean? We’ll see end-to-end interoperability, where any compliant console can manage any conforming infrastructure – and since the specification and the code are open, the barriers to entry are very low. It’s important that this capability extends to virtualized environments (which is non-trivial) so that customers can get the full potential of the benefits of virtualization – not just reducing servers at the cost of increased management effort.
Sometimes people challenge me with the statement “if you would just build software to the specification, you wouldn’t need to all this interoperability engineering!” This is in fact a mistaken understanding of interoperability engineering. Once you’ve read through a specification – tens to hundreds of pages of technical detail – and written an implementation that matches the specification, then the real work begins. Real-world interoperability is not about matching what’s on paper, but what’s on the wire. This is why it’s essential to have dedicated engineering, comprehensive automated testing, and multiple products and projects working together. A good example of this is the engineering process for Microsoft’s Web Services stack. The specifications (all 36 of them) are open, and licensed under the OSP (Open Specification Promise). In the engineering process, Microsoft tests the Windows Web Services implementation against the IBM and the Apache Axis implementations according to the WS-I Basic profile. A successful pass against all these tests is “ship criteria” for Microsoft, meaning we won’t ship our implementation unless it passes.
In the messy world of systems management, where multiple generations of technologies at a wide range of ontological levels (devices, motherboards, networking gear, operating systems, databases, middleware, applications, event aggregators, and so on) testing is complex. Adding virtualization into this mix adds another layer of complexity, necessitating methodical and disciplined testing.
Open ID is a distributed single sign-on system, primarily for websites. It’s supported by a range of technology providers including AOL, LiveJournal, and Microsoft.
WS-Federation is the identity federation web services standard which allows different identity providers to work together to exchange or negotiate information about user identity. It is layered on top of other Web Services specifications including WS-Trust, WS-Security, and WS-SecurityPolicy – many of which are lacking an open source implementation today.
ADFS is Active Directory Federation Services, a mechanism for identity federation built into Microsoft Active Directory.
Cardspace is an identity metasystem, used to secure user information and unify identity management across any internet site.
Project Higgins is an Eclipse project intended to develop open source implementations of the WS-Federation protocol stack as well as other identity technologies including OpenID and SAML.
Samba is a Linux/Unix implementation of Microsoft’s SMB/CIFS protocols for file sharing and access control information. It is widely deployed in Linux-based appliances and devices, and ships in every popular distribution of Linux as well as with Apple’s OS X.
This work is still in early phases, and you can expect more details here in the future. Mike Milinkovich of Eclipse has been a champion for improving the interoperability of Eclipse and Microsoft technologies, especially Higgins. Separately the Bandit Project has made significant progress in building technologies which support CardSpace. I appreciate the work of these teams and look forward to more progress here.
The slide says it all here. We’re committed to long term development and delivery of customer-grade interoperability solutions for Windows and Linux, and we’ll do it in a transparent manner. Tom Hanrahan, the Director of the Microsoft-Novell Joint Interoperability Lab, brings many years of experience in running projects where the open source community is a primary participant. I and my colleagues at Microsoft are excited to learn from him as he puts his experiences at the OSDL/Linux Foundation and at IBM’s Linux Technology Center into practice guiding the work of the lab.
You can expect regular updates from us on the progress and plans for our technical work, and I expect you to hold me and Tom accountable for this promise.
I hope you found the presentation valuable. I felt it was important to get this material out broadly since it will impact many people and essential to be clear about what we are building together with Novell, XenSource, and the open source community.
by hanrahat on August 23, 2007 04:02pm
I’ve been a regular attendee of the O’Reilly Open Source Conference in Portland and Linux World Expo – San Francisco for several years, but this is the first time I represented Microsoft at them. Between the two conferences, I met a lot of people with whom I’ve worked for many years. I appreciate the encouraging words I received from many of them and I respect the concerns others expressed regarding my decision to join Microsoft. A lot of our conversations were about what I thought I could accomplish by making the change.
One observation I’ve made while working with companies involved in open source is that every one of them wrestles with the balance of working within the community for the better good and reserving value for their own need to compete successfully for business. There are few, if any, companies that are purely open-source directed. There are also few that are purely proprietary. Microsoft is in the spectrum of balance between proprietary and open source just like everyone else.
Clearly Microsoft’s balance tends toward the proprietary, but we demonstrated at both conferences that we take participation as a member of the open source community seriously and announced several significant actions. One of these announcements was that Microsoft is submitting both its permissive (MSPL) and community (MSCL) licenses to OSI for certification. Another was John Lam’s announcement of release of Iron Ruby and Iron Python as open source projects and that these are both open to community contributions. Both of these efforts reflect serious attempts by Microsoft to participate in the development of truly open source software.
What’s also interesting is that the role of individual developers is changing, too. In his presentation at OSCON, “Current State of the Linux Kernel,” Greg Kroah-Hartman made the point that the largest group of contributors to the kernel is composed of “Unknown Individuals” who have no affiliation to a company with respect to their contributions. Roughly 18% of contributions come from this group, and 13% come from another group called “Amateurs.” But, a member of the audience pointed out that this means the work of nearly 70% of contributors is being sponsored by industry. Of those 70% few are employed to be purely open-source contributors; most have responsibilities to their individual companies to ensure that some value is retained for their own business purposes.
We’re all finding our balance, companies and individuals alike, and that balance is rarely stationary. It frequently changes as we assess our roles in the software development industry. One of the things I want to accomplish is to find ways that Microsoft can adopt open source methodologies and can contribute to the greater good. Two areas I will concentrate on for now are interoperability, through the work we’re beginning with Novell in the areas of virtualization and web services management, and engagement with the SAMBA community to help ensure the quality of interaction between SAMBA and Microsoft products. I hope to attend the CIFS Workshop at Google next month to see where Microsoft can work with the SAMBA community beyond our current level of sharing bug and test data.
One of the first activities I engaged in when I joined Microsoft was to help draft the mission of Microsoft’s Open Source Software Lab. Here in a nutshell is what I hope to accomplish at Microsoft.
Produce mutual respect and understanding between Microsoft and the Open Source community such that both act responsibly together for the sake of better software and human potential & inclusion.
Produce mutual respect and understanding between Microsoft and the Open Source community such that both act responsibly together for the sake of better software and human potential & inclusion.
I invite those of you I have worked with over the years and all of you I spoke with at OSCON and LWE to make this our common goal and to join me in the effort.
by jcannon on August 24, 2007 03:58pm
Heading into a long (and quiet) weekend for many folks in the US, I thought I would highlight some useful open source and shared source projects on Codeplex, particularly after reading eWeek's gallery of the Top 25 Most Active Open Source Projects on Codeplex. There's some practical tools in the article - including an open source blogging engine, SQL sample applications and a cool mapping application. What many folks may not know is that there are over 2,000 projects available on Codeplex. Check out, among others:
IronRuby also released last month (it lives on RubyForge) - John Lam has more details here. If you're interested in learning more, I would also recommend checking out our Sourceforge landing page that highlights open source projects and programs at Microsoft. While you're on Sourceforge, we have some interesting projects over there as well - including the WiX Toolset and the OpenXML/ODF Translator.
Enjoy the weekend (and the downloads). -Jamie
by Sam Ramji on August 30, 2007 05:57pm
On the day before OSCON officially kicked off I was heading back from the Oregon Convention Center to downtown and ended up standing on the MAX next to someone who caught my attention for two reasons. First, he was the first person to tell me about the Tim O'Reilly/Eben Moglen conversation from earlier in the morning which I had missed. Second he had a cool flash memory microphone that he used to record podcasts on the fly. Turns out it was Baron George (http://www.blogs.sun.com/barton808/), Group Manager, Free and Open Source Software from Sun.
I had a nice chat with Barton (and we helped each other navigate the heavily under construction Portland downtown) and little did I know he also had a conversation with Sam Ramji that day. The podcast has been posted and you can download it here. Enjoy.
From Barton's Blog:
"Topics: Where the Open Source Software Lab fits within Microsoft; How big is Sam's group; When software technologies compete, you win; What reaction does he get when he turns up at FOSS events; Debating Eben Moglen at OSBC -- no one wants patent Armageddon; Is there a Wubuntu in the works?."
by jcannon on September 16, 2008 03:24pm
From our very own Sara Ford, word comes of Codeplex now offering server support for SvnBridge. SvnBridge enables TortoiseSVN to talk to Team Foundation Server. From Sara, "Support for Subversion has been our number one requested feature, and by hosting SvnBridge, our users can now use their favorite Subversion client with any project." Read the full blog here.
A picture says a thousand words:
by Sam Ramji on September 05, 2007 08:45am
For those of you who have met Miguel de Icaza, you know right away what I mean when I say that he is one of the most energetic people I’ve ever met. Clearly, the whole Moonlight team (whom I haven’t met) would also qualify for this appellation – in roughly 21 days between May and June, they collectively built an alpha implementation of Silverlight on Linux, based on many pieces of the Mono codebase.
After a great deal of work between the Moonlight and .NET teams, we’re ready to formally announce that we (Microsoft and Novell) will be bringing Silverlight to Linux, fully supported and including application and media codec compatibility.
The expansion of the existing work between Microsoft and Novell to include support for Silverlight on all Linux platforms is a major step in the journey of interoperability that we are on. We’ve heard clearly from the community that a full cross-platform web development solution is not only Windows and Macintosh, but must include Linux. I think this is a big deal. While we’ve licensed media codecs before, this represents a fully heterogeneous implementation of a strategic client technology.
Here’s to a better web and support for all users. Hopefully this will help breed further productive conversations about what developers and users need, and in someone else’s famous words, we can all “just get along.”
by hanrahat on September 12, 2007 12:19pm
We’ve announced this week the opening of the Microsoft and Novell Interoperability Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. With this announcement we can now talk about the work that’s been underway at the lab since the beginning of summer.
The lab itself is well equipped. It consists of 2500 square feet and contains over 80 servers. The servers are x86-based, dual-core and quad-core systems with hardware virtualization technology enabled and our storage area network has terabytes of capacity. Here’s a look at the lab layout.
For now, we’re focused on testing three areas of interoperability. The first is virtualization, where we’re intent on validating the interoperability of SLES running on Windows Server virtualization and Windows Server 2008 running on Xen. This is a development lab, so we’re running current bits from the development organizations at both Microsoft and Novell. We’re part of the integrated development teams at both companies and are actively involved in the testing process for pre-released software.
Our second area of focus is web-services management. We are currently working with the development teams at both Microsoft and Novell to identify the test cases we want to use to validate client-server implementations of the web-services management protocol from both companies. Our third area of interest is identity federation where our planning for the lab is just now getting underway.
Those of us who work at the lab have strived over the past few months to create an environment that is not strictly Microsoft and not strictly Novell. We’ve successfully created a unique entity, a development lab, at which there resides a single team of engineers whose individuals are involved in and supportive of each others’ work. We’ve pushed both companies to share resources and pushed their boundaries of openness. I’m excited to be part of this team. I look forward to working with my colleagues at the lab and to identify more areas of common interest for us to pursue.
by jcannon on September 24, 2007 06:01pm
Just about one year ago, Bill Hilf announced Zend and Microsoft's partnership to enhance PHP performance on Windows Server's IIS web server. This technical collaboration has focused on enhancing the reliability and performance of PHP on Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008. As part of this collaboration, the IIS product group has been working on a new component for IIS6 and IIS7 called FastCGI Extension which will enable IIS to much more effectively host PHP applications.
Today, we're excited to announce the release of the Go Live version of Microsoft FastCGI Extension for IIS 5.1/6.0 (FastCGI Extension) as a free download. There's a ton more information on various community sites, so let's get right to it:
Would like to hear feedback from our community on this release and will ensure it is routed back to the OSSL and the IIS product team.
by jcannon on September 28, 2007 03:09pm
Frequent visitors to Port 25 may be familiar with Paula Bach’s HCI and ICT work from her blogging over the summer. What may not be familiar to many is the collaborative work we’ve done with Tracy Kennedy at the University of Toronto around the intersection of technology and communities. Open source is clearly a manifestation of this intersection.
Tracy’s work is impressive, and while her doctoral thesis examines the integration of the Internet into Canadian households, and how pervasive household internet use has led to its domestication – she does find time for lighter fare. One such example – the ‘Geekus Unixus Microsoftus’ (pdf) was published by Tracy in March of 2007. Through humor, Tracy uses primary research and empirical data obtained through interviews with employees to examine the culture of a UNIX expert working at Microsoft - and how they relate to other technology 'clans'. An excerpt follows:
“In uninhabited areas of web a new clan of hybrid technologists have been spotted: the Geekus Unixus Microsoftus (GUM). As the prevalence of interoperability between platforms and between commercial and open source software continues to grow, this report provides a socio-cultural overview of the GUM clan – a hybrid group of UNIX individuals working at Microsoft. An investigation of cultural habits, social customs, and personal experiences in a previously uncharted terrain is documented. It is hoped that technologists (from whatever platform) may better understand this new clan and endeavor to co-exist peacefully with them so that we can all benefit from their initiatives.”
We're excited to post it for Port 25 readers to enjoy. We welcome people's thoughts on the paper & we'll certainly invite Tracy to join the discusson. - Jamie.
More About Tracy Kennedy: Tracy Kennedy is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at the University of Toronto. Her doctoral thesis examines the integration of the internet into Canadian households, and how pervasive household internet use has led to its domestication. Tracy is also a research consultant in virtual and physical worlds. She has organized several virtual world events such as the 2007 Second Life Conference for the Communication & Information Technology section of the American Sociology Association, and a blended reality event at Vancouver’s Centre for Digital Media in British Columbia that featured an Open House for the new campus in both worlds. Tracy recently returned from an internship with Microsoft in Redmond, Washington where she worked closely with the Community Technologies Group and Games User Research Group to examine gaming networks, women’s online gaming experiences on Xbox Live, and the issues the industry faces in attracting non-traditional gamers. Tracy is also a lecturer at Brock University and the University of Toronto on the subjects of media, culture, ICTs, gaming & virtual environments, higher education and gender. Check out Tracy’s blog: http://netwomen.ca/Blog/
by jcannon on October 03, 2007 07:47pm
Some news from Scott Guthrie's blog this morning - we'll get more from the .NET and Shared Source team over the next few months:
"One of the things my team has been working to enable has been the ability for .NET developers to download and browse the source code of the .NET Framework libraries, and to easily enable debugging support in them.
Today I'm excited to announce that we'll be providing this with the .NET 3.5 and VS 2008 release later this year.
We'll begin by offering the source code (with source file comments included) for the .NET Base Class Libraries (System, System.IO, System.Collections, System.Configuration, System.Threading, System.Net, System.Security, System.Runtime, System.Text, etc), ASP.NET (System.Web), Windows Forms (System.Windows.Forms), ADO.NET (System.Data), XML (System.Xml), and WPF (System.Windows). We'll then be adding more libraries in the months ahead (including WCF, Workflow, and LINQ). The source code will be released under the Microsoft Reference License (MS-RL).
You'll be able to download the .NET Framework source libraries via a standalone install (allowing you to use any text editor to browse it locally). We will also provide integrated debugging support of it within VS 2008.
Integrated Visual Studio 2008 Debugging Support The final release of VS 2008 will support the ability to configure the debugger to dynamically download the .NET Framework debugger symbols (and corresponding source code) from a web server hosted by Microsoft. You'll be able to configure the .NET Framework symbols to be downloaded all in one shot, or manually retrieved on demand:
Read the rest of the post at Scott Guthrie's Blog….
by jonrosenberg on October 16, 2007 01:37pm
This morning, we were excited to learn that two of Microsoft’s Shared Source licenses have been approved by the OSI. It’s been an interesting and educational couple of months since we submitted these licenses (we announced our intent in July, and submitted on August 10th.) I personally enjoyed hearing the wide diversity of opinions from the community, including the legal professionals who weighed in on the discussion.
During the discussion period, we were pleased to respond to the communities requests for additional clarity in the licenses by renaming them to the Microsoft Public License and the Microsoft Reciprocal License. In the process of the license discussion, we also heard additional calls for more clarity in our communication regarding the wide range of Shared Source licensing options available from Microsoft. Some Shared Source licenses clearly meet the open source definition and others do not. In the future, we will continue to solicit feedback from the community to ensure crisp delineation of these different license types on our website.
As we continue to work with the open source community, we look forward to ongoing feedback on how to improve our participation and provide greater transparency to all of our customers and partners. I’d like to thank Russ Nelson and Michael Tiemann for their guidance throughout this process and I would like to thank all the members of the community who contributed to this discussion on the license-discuss alias. I think you’re going to see a lot of great code come out under these two open source licenses and we are happy to be able to call them, “OSI Approved.”
I look forward to continued vibrant discussion with the Open Source community, Jon
by jcannon on October 23, 2007 01:41pm
A quick note to let our community know that Virtual Machine Additions for Linux 2.0 has been released - bringing the version number up to 2.0. For those unfamiliar with Virtual Machine Additions for Linux, it is technology layer designed to improve the usability and interoperability of running Linux operating systems as guests or virtual machines inside of Virtual Server. From the release notes, it looks like this version adds support for SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 10. You can find additional information on running Linux as a guest operating system with Virtual Server on TechNet.
Qualified distributions now include:
Check out download details here.
by kishi on November 06, 2007 03:21pm
I have been working as a Senior Program Manager with the Open Source Software Lab since the fall of 2005. After spending two of the most eye-opening and fantastic years here, sadly, time has come for me to move on. I am taking on a role in a different division inside of Microsoft but having been attached to Port25 for such a long time, I didn’t want to leave without writing my parting thoughts. You see, when I started my work with the Open Source Software Lab, I had no idea who Bill Hilf was or his role at Microsoft. So when I first came to speak to him about this opportunity, I was driven purely by the job description, the first line of which read “Everything is connected”. After talking to Bill, when I came back and searched for his name/credentials on the web, needless to say, I felt like a total idiot. Here was someone, who was literally the Linux and Open Source “guy” within Microsoft and I had no clue about his background whatsoever....taught me that I should have done better homework . After going through the interview loops and meeting up w/ some sharp minds in OSSL, I was very attracted to the opportunity and came on board.
Anyway, I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing people on this time, Sam Ramji, Hank Janssen, Michael Francisco, Steve Zarkos, Tom Hanrahan, John Kew, Anandeep Pannu to name a few. In the process of understanding and learning about Linux and Open Source technologies, I also learnt a whole lot about driving change through people, technology and especially practices (Sam – Thank you!). In my two years with the OSSL, I got the opportunity to REALLY push the boundaries of conventional or deep-rooted thinking. I was able to work on my pet projects/areas of interest such as Systems Manageability and IT Operations. I spent this past summer building the Interop Lab in Cambridge, MA – something I enjoyed whole-heartedly. I got face time with thought leaders like Miguel De Icaza and rubbed shoulders with creative thinkers like Tom Hanrahan. The experience that I am walking away with is quite profound at many levels. Let me explain why: You see, this team is so unique in what it does, that it’s perhaps one of the few places which has the ability to drive change inward and outward. In my experience here, I have not only seen the ground shift beneath my feet but have also tremendous progress towards community involvement and understanding as it relates to Linux and Open Source. The wisdom I am walking away with can best be captured by something Margaret Mead wrote “Never under estimate the power of a few committed people to change the world “. I say that with the utmost passion because the intellectual horsepower, pure passion and pace that I have witnessed in this group is hard to ignore or imitate.
Some other thoughts that I am taking with me are how much effort goes into simply undoing misconceptions and misunderstandings. Working in this group and watching Bill, Sam, Hank and all these guys work – I realized how committed we are to building bridges and doing a great job of listening as well as being understood. So, after working with Open Source enthusiasts and Windows professionals side-by-side, I whole heartedly endorse something F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a while ago “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function“
In conclusion, I would urge the Open Source Community to really look at how far we have come in the past two years alone. Don’t take my word for it, see for yourself the work done on Port25 and http://www.microsoft.com/opensource
As always, your thoughts and comments are ALWAYS welcome…………….. Alvidaa (That’s urdu for Farewell)
by Paula Bach on November 07, 2007 02:22pm
I’ve been on the road..
In September, I went to Limerick, Ireland for the 10th European Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (ECSCW) conference. Computer-supported cooperative work is a sub-sub-discipline of computerscience and a sub-discipline of Human Computer Interaction (HCI). CSCW researchers look at groupware, how people collaborate, and tools that support collaboration. They also do ethnographies to find out how people collaborate. Jonathan Grudin in MSR has researched extensively in CSCW and came up with an early idea called critical mass, which refers to the success of groupware. One of the tenets for groupware to succeed is for it to reach critical mass. This means that many people use the system. If only a few people use the groupware system, after a while, it will fail.
I participated in the doctoral colloquium. This venue is a common event at academic conferences where graduate students get informal feedback about their research from established researchers in the field. I received helpful feedback including advice about characterizing the HCI and OSS communities and finding out what the different members of OSS communities think usability is. The nice thing is that I have this information in the OSS survey data.
I had not been to Ireland before, and have not been in Europe since 1989. Limerick and Ireland in general are experiencing an economic boom, mostly because of the IT industry. Young folks have nice clothes, nice cars, and do lots of drinking. The conference dinner was held at at the Bunratty Castle. It was really nice and full of history.
I had an interesting conversation with Volker Wulf. He has written two books that are interesting for my work, but in the conversation I had with him, I was describing my research to him and he asked me about the tool that I will be designing for CodePlex. I mentioned that the project is sponsored by Microsoft and is a joint effort with CodePlex and MSR. He said, and I quote, “Micosoft doesn’t do open source.” And I emphatically replied, “yes they do!” I talked about CodePlex, Port25 and the open source website.
Now Europe knows.
Last week I was at the Free Open Source Software Symposium in Toronto, Canada. I like visiting the homeland, even though I am from the other side of Canada. The annual symposium is an effort put on by Seneca College School of Computer Studies in the greater Toronto area. The applied program offers courses in open source software development. The courses are in partnership with the Mozilla Foundation. Several Mozilla developers come to the college to talk about open source. Because of this partnership and because of their focus on open technologies, they have established a niche program dedicated to open systems. Bryan Kirschner (of Port25 fame), Mike Beltzner (of Firefox User Experience fame), Bob Young (of Red Hat fame), and many other key players in open source were there. I presented some findings from my open source survey and received good feedback. It was the first timeI had looked at the data in a while and there are some interesting things going on. One is that it appears that most of the people who responded to the survey call themselves usability advocates. It will be interesting to see how advocacy plays out in terms of usability expertise.
I interviewed Mike Beltzner and a couple of people from the Fluid Project. I got some more names of people to interview and after I get my dissertation proposal written and defend it, I will go full steam ahead with interviewing. I can’t wait. I am in consultation with a couple of statisticians for ways to analyze the survey data from both the Microsoft and OSS surveys. I am working with some other graduate students to look at the role of usability expertise in Microsoft, using the data from the internal studies. This will be interesting to see the difference between the two software development environments with respect to the role of usability expertise.
Well that’s the news from Penn State.