We get fan mail

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Wednesday, December 21. 2005 in ASF

Lars and I proposed a Lightning Talk at ApacheCon where we share with the attendees some of the various "fan mail" the ASF gets (via Email and FAX). It didn't get picked, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a great idea. Since the ASF FAX machine is located here in my home office, I get to see them first hand, and I like to bring a handful with me to ApacheCons to share with the rest of the members. They always get a few laughs. Anyway, I'm thinking about actually scanning them all as they come in and having them archived someplace for posterity. A small sampling of them can be found here and here. Before you follow the linkls, note that the language is quite, well... curt. Glad to see all our hard work be so appreciated... <grin>

Back from ApacheCon US 2005

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Thursday, December 15. 2005 in ASF

Late last night (late because, well, it's always late when flying back east from the west coast, unless you want to take the red-eye, and later still since my connecting flight got cancelled), I got back home after spending 3+ days at ApacheCon US 2005. It was a blast. First of all, of course, it was great re-hooking up with people that I simply don't see enough. Not nearly enough. Also, it was great finally meeting people that I've hadn't had the opportunity to do so (like Paul and Jean and Susie!). The sessions I attended (and chaired) were top-notch, and the venue itself (the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina) was, well,... let's put it this way: heads and shoulders above the venue of the last coupla US ApacheCons. Also at ApacheCon, there was the Hackathon, which I thought was pretty productive (code-wise and community-wise), and the ASF Members Meeting, where we added quite a number of new people to the ASF roster (full list to be public once we know who accepts). With the size of the ASF now, organizing the members meeting is getting somewhat difficult, as far as doing the roll call and then counting the votes. This year I tried, for the roll, having myself and other directors mark people's names off as they entered the room. This worked out OK, but I now regret doing it that way. There's a lot to be said for calling people's names out loud, so that others in the room can then match the name and faces... I think I'll go back to the old way. There's other stuff I want to post about re: ACUS 2005, but those will come later.

On Laptop Usage

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Wednesday, December 7. 2005 in Personal

I envy people who are very productive using laptops. I'm not. Don't get me wrong, I love my laptops (a G4 iBook and a Sony Vaio), but try as I might, I find myself using them mostly for things like catching up on my Email, or some very rough coding, or misc. surfing. If I have some "real work" to do, and I am "stuck" with my laptop, I find it takes much more effort to get the same amount of work done, than if I was using my "main" machines. Maybe I'm just old-school, but I seem to need a keyboard that is a nice full size, and that I can move around without affecting the orientation of my display. Laptops make me feel "cramped" and that's never a good thing for productivity. Of course, there's a good, flip side to all this: it enables me to distance myself from work at times, like when I'm in the house sitting on the sofa. By it not being so easy to "get into" work, it's easier for me to find time to do other things, like take a walk, or do some woodworking, spend time with the family, etc... If I was more comfortable using a laptop, I think I would never stop "working." So as much as I love the freedom that laptops provide, I'm kind of glad that, at least for me, they aren't as easy to be majorly productive with.

Linux Format Interview

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Friday, December 2. 2005 in Personal

Previously I posted about how while at OSCON, I was interviewed by Paul Hudson from Linux Format UK. Well, the interview is out, in their Linux Format 74, Christmas/December issue. It's kind of embarrassing :-) First of all, I'm mentioned twice on the cover, then a small snapshot of me in the ToC and then a very nice article with large pictures. And then there's that "Lord Jim" phrase... And I'm thinking to myself, "Who the heck am I that I 'earned' this?" I just consider myself a guy who has some marginal talent and was lucky enough to be at the right places and the right times. There are other "unknown heroes" that I know quite well, who deserve just as much recognition, if not more. Then again, there are also lots of other people who, IMO, don't "deserve" as much as they get, so I guess it all evens out ;-) The interview itself is pretty good, though there are some typos and what appear to be mistakes in transcription. And my kids get a kick out of seeing their old man in a magazine. And my wife likes it when I call her "Lady Eileen." So even though I feel kind of "modest" about the whole thing, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a totally cool blast. So it was a very surprising, but nice, early Christmas present. Thanks again to Paul and LF-UK!

Apache HTTP Server 2.2.0

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Friday, December 2. 2005 in ASF

Lots of stuff to post about, but instead of lumping them all into one, I'll make separate entries. First big news is that we've released v2.2.0 of the Apache HTTP Server ("Apache"). I must admit that I was somewhat concerned about what appeared to be a rush to release, to meet some artificial deadline, but the more I think about it, what's important is getting this release out quickly to many people, so they can use it and provide feedback on it. Even though the 2.1 tree has gotten a serious workout by some very large, big-name sites, now that 2.2 is GA, the codebase will get an even wider user audience. There are a lot of very cool features, and some "older" features have been significantly improved. I'm expecting a lot of people to finally migrate off of 1.3 in favor of 2.2. Much is being made about how 2.2.0 was released 10 years to the day from 1.0.0. Somehow that makes me feel both old and young at the same time. It seems crazy that I've been developing and hacking Apache for over 10 years now. That's a relationship longer than a lot of marriages I know about! During that time it's been my fortunate good luck to have worked with some truly gifted programmers, true artists of the craft. I don't like mentioning names because there are so many, and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but 2 in particular stand out, and I feel comfortable mentioning them because they are no longer actively engaged with the ASF. Robert S. Thau (RST) was crucial in the initial design of the main aspects of what we currently think of as basic Apache concepts (pools, the API, etc...). And Dean Gaudet was a master in going from concept to code, and in optimization of both. I learned much from both. It's also interesting to see how things have changed, and how the basic concept of how the ASF works is constantly being verified by Apache. In the over 10 years since Apache was released, I've seen developers come and go, yet the community remains, and it's the community that develops. I've seen other open source projects whither and die when a "key" developer leaves, yet healthy ASF projects continue to grow, because we've always stressed the community; and time and time again we've seen how right that is, and that people step up, and fill any "voids" that might exist.

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