Learning from the mistakes that even big projects make

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The following is a blog post version of a talk presented at pyconau 2018. Slides for the presentation can be found here (as Microsoft powerpoint, or as PDF), and a video of the talk (thanks NextDayVideo!) is below:

 

OpenStack is an orchestration system for setting up virtual machines and associated other virtual resources such as networks and storage on clusters of computers. At a high level, OpenStack is just configuring existing facilities of the host operating system — there isn’t really a lot of difference between OpenStack and a room full of system admins frantically resolving tickets requesting virtual machines be setup. The only real difference is scale and predictability.

To do its job, OpenStack needs to be able to manipulate parts of the operating system which are normally reserved for administrative users. This talk is the story of how OpenStack has done that thing over time, what we learnt along the way, and what I’d do differently if I had my time again. Lots of systems need to do these things, so even if you never use OpenStack hopefully there are things to be learnt here.

Continue reading Learning from the mistakes that even big projects make

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The last week for linux.conf.au 2019 proposals!

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Dear humans of the Internet — there is ONE WEEK LEFT to propose talks for linux.conf.au 2019. LCA is one of the world’s best open source conferences, and we’d love to hear you speak!
 
Unsure what to propose? Not sure if your talk is what the conference would normally take? Just want a chat? You’re welcome to reach out to papers-chair@linux.org.au to talk things through.
 
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pyconau 2018 call for proposals now open

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The pyconau call for proposals is now open, and runs until 28 May. I took my teenagers to pyconau last year and they greatly enjoyed it. I hadn’t been to a pyconau in ages, and ended up really enjoying thinking about things from topic areas I don’t normally need to think about. I think expanding one’s horizons is generally a good idea.

Should I propose something for this year? I am unsure. Some random ideas that immediately spring to mind:

  • something about privsep: I think a generalised way to make privileged calls in unprivileged code is quite interesting, especially in a language which is often used for systems management and integration tasks. That said, perhaps its too OpenStacky given how disinterested in OpenStack talks most python people seem to be.
  • nova-warts: for a long time my hobby has been cleaning up historical mistakes made in OpenStack Nova that wont ever rate as a major feature change. What lessons can other projects learn from a well funded and heavily staffed project that still thought that exec() was a great way to do important work? There’s definitely an overlap with the privsep talk above, but this would be more general.
  • a talk about how I had to manage some code which only worked in python2, and some other code that only worked in python3 and in the end gave up on venvs and decided that Docker containers are like the ultimate venvs. That said, I suspect this is old hat and was obvious to everyone except me.
  • something else I haven’t though of.

Anyways, I’m undecided. Comments welcome.

Also, here’s an image for this post. Its the stone henge we found at Guerilla Bay last weekend. I assume its in frequent use for tiny tiny druids.

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LCA2015 opens its Call for Proposals

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LCA2015 will be in Auckland, New Zealand next year, and the Call for Proposals has just opened! The conference is one of the best venues in Australia and New Zealand to get word out about your Open Source project, as well as learning about the cool things that other people are doing. This is the third time the conference has been in New Zealand, and its looking to be an excellent event.

This one call for proposals covers papers, tutorials, and mini conferences.

For more information about the CFP, checkout http://lca2015.linux.org.au/cfp. Mini conference proposals should go to http://lca2015.linux.org.au/miniconf-cfp.

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Call for presentations for the linux.conf.au 2014 OpenStack mini-conference

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I’ve just emailed this out to the relevant lists, but I figured it can’t hurt to post it here as well…

linux.conf.au will be hosting the second OpenStack mini-conference to
run in Australia. The first one was well attended, and this
mini-conference will be the first OpenStack conference to be held on
Australia’s west coast. The mini-conference is a day long event
focusing on OpenStack development and operations, and is available to
attendees of linux.conf.au.

The mini-conference is therefore calling for proposals for content.
Speakers at the mini-conference must be registered for linux.conf.au
2014 as delegates, or discuss their needs with the mini-conference
organizers if that isn’t possible.

Some examples of talks we’re interested in are: talks from OpenStack
developers about what features they are working on for IceHouse; talks
from deployers of OpenStack about their experiences and how others can
learn from them; talks covering the functionality of OpenStack and how
it can be used in new and interesting ways.

Some important details:

  • linux.conf.au runs from 6 to 10 January 2014 in Perth, Australia at
    the University of Western Australia

  • the mini-conference will be on Tuesday the 7th of January
  • proposals are due to the mini-conference organizer no later than 1 November
  • there are two types of talks — full length (45 minutes) and half
    length (20 minutes)

CFP submissions are made by completing this online form:
CFP submission form

If you have questions about this call for presentations, please
contact Michael Still at openstack-lca2014@lists.stillhq.com for more
details.

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We all know that the LCA2014 CFP is open, right?

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I just want to make sure that everyone knows that the LCA2014 call for proposals is open. There are two calls this time around — a call for proposals and a call for miniconfs. The call for proposals closes on 6 July, so you don’t have heaps of time left to submit something.

So, if you’re interested in speaking at linux.conf.au 2014, in Perth between 6 and 10 January 2014 you should hit up those CFPs now!

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