OpenStack @ Ubuntu Developer Summit

Last week I attended the Ubuntu Developer Summit for Oneiric in Budapest. This was the first time I attended UDS as an upstream representative rather than as a Canonical employee. I very much enjoyed it: not being a track lead or a busy technical lead actually gives you desirable flexibility in your agenda :)

First of all, a quick comment on the big announcement of the week, which the Twittersphere is not done retweeting yet: "Ubuntu switching from Eucalyptus to OpenStack". I think it would be more accurate to say that Ubuntu chose to use OpenStack as its default cloud stack for future versions. Comparing Eucalyptus and OpenStack is like comparing apples to apple trees: OpenStack provides several cloud infrastructure pieces (of which only OpenStack Compute -Nova- covers the same space as Eucalyptus). I suspect the wide scope of the project played a role in OpenStack being selected as the default stack for the future. Eucalyptus and OpenStack Nova should both be present as deployment options from 11.10 on.

On the UDS format itself, I'd say that the "one blueprint = one hour" format does not scale that well. The numbers of hours in the week is fixed, so when the project grows you end up having too many sessions going on at the same time. Lots of blueprints do not require one hour of discussion, but rather a quick presentation of plan, feedback from interested parties and Q&A. That's what we do for our own Design Summits, but I'd admit it makes scheduling a bit more complex. On the good side, having the floor plan inside our UDS badges was a really good idea, especially with confusing room names :)

The Launchpad and bzr guys were very present during the week, attentive and reactive to the wishes of upstream projects. They have great improvements and features coming up, including finer-grained bugmail and dramatic speed improvements in bzr handling of large repos.

Last week also saw the rise of creampiesourcing: motivation of groups of developers over bets ("if the number of critical bugs for Launchpad goes to 0 by June 27, I'll take a creampiein the face"). Seems to work better than karma points.

Finally, Rackspace Hosting was co-sponsoring the "meet and greet" event on the Monday night, promoting OpenStack. I think offering cool T-shirts, like we did at the previous UDS in Orlando, was more efficient in spreading the word and making the project "visible" over time: in Budapest you could see a lot of people wearing the OpenStack T-shirts we offered back then !