records are made to be broken, but break them the right way

My favorite hockey player of all time is Dominik Hasek, who currently holds the record for best save percentage in a single season, at 93.66% (1,758 saves on 1,877 shots) and in a career, at 92.23%.

The single season record is on the verge of being broken by a spectacular year from Boston's Tim Thomas. There are 3 games left in his team's season, and he currently has a save percentage of 93.76% (1,638 saves on 1,747 shots).

That 0.1% difference currently equals two goals allowed, over the course of the entire season. It will be very interesting to see if Thomas plays in any of his team's 3 remaining games, or if they keep him out so as to not risk him losing the record, which could happen with one bad, or even average, showing.

Goalies keep getting better. Only 3 times in the past 20 seasons have 10 or more goalies had save percentages of 92% or higher. Those 3 times are in the past 4 seasons, with 12 this year, which is the most ever. When you look at career save percentage, Hasek is the only player in the top 14 who is not active.

This data makes me think that it's only a matter of time until Hasek's records are broken. Save percentages are like the 100m in track. Given enough time, the numbers will always get better.

That said, Thomas should follow in the footsteps fellow Boston athlete Ted Williams, who showed tremendous sportsmanship and respect for the game of baseball by playing until the final day of the 1941 season even when he could have sat out to protect his .400 average. Williams finished that season batting .406, and will probably be the last baseball player to ever achieve that mark.


Congrats to Tim Thomas. He broke the record, and he did it the right way, ending the season with a save percentage of 93.82% (1,699 saves on 1,811 shots).

fedora finance sig update

We held an initial meeting for the Finance Special Interest Group two weeks ago.

I'd like to update the community on what has been happening since then.

* I've got the paperwork for the initial set of three credit cards that we're going to hand to community members in different regions of the world, as a means of simplifying the ability for Fedora's regional support budget to be spent without me or someone on my team being a bottleneck. I'm going to fill that paperwork out as much as I can, and then send it off for final signatures. This is going to lead to a full rewrite of the reimbursements guidelines.

* Quite a large number of regional support tickets (FAmSCo) have been closed. As of today there is only one open ticket that is listed in a "ready for payment" state, and that is being worked on.

* We're getting close to a time during which we're going to have a lot of expenses begin to show up related to the upcoming FUDCon Panama, since travel sponsorships are being approved by the organizing committee, and we'll need to start purchasing plane tickets. I plan to attend the next FUDCon planning meeting so that I can help make sure that the process for getting travel purchased is clear, and that we can start booking tickets for people. I also want to make sure that we have a plan for payment of the expenses that will be incurred on-site, and things like tshirts, social event, etc.

* The budget has been updated based on all of the information that has currently moved through both Fedora's system and Red Hat's finance department. There's going to be quite a bit of post-SXSW budget wrapup that needs to happen, and I have a few other expenses that I need to file as well, including quite a few hotel rooms from FUDCon Tempe that I still need to call the hotel and get.

People have asked me when the next meeting of the Finance SIG will be. My answer right now is "as soon as we have enough of an agenda to make it worth having one". So, what should that agenda be?

my a-bun-dant support for beefy miracle

It is with great relish that I write this blog post. As many of you know, Beefy Miracle is currently in the running to be the codename of Fedora 16. But let's be frank. The naming contest is already a runaway and it will be difficult for other contenders to ketchup.

However, I make you all this pledge:

If Beefy Miracle is the winning name for Fedora 16, I will personally organize a wiener roast at Southeast LinuxFest 2011, complete with appropriate swag and various mustard options.

I will also wear this hat.


sigcse 2011

The SIGCSE (Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education) conference is arguably the most important annual gathering of Computer Science educators.

I first heard about it when I was in college, because several of the professors and lecturers in the CS department all disappeared to it for a few days, and told us a bit about the talks they were giving there, etc.

One of the things that Red Hat's Community Architecture team focuses on is the intersection of The Open Source Way and educators and educational institutions, including the growth of the Teaching Open Source community. Mel leads these initiatives for our team, and she's attending SIGCSE this year, along with Fedora contributor and current Olin undergrad Sebastian.

The collaboration that happens within Teaching Open Source has led to a panel discussion entitled Learning Through Open Source Participation, which is the only session title on the SIGCSE schedule which contains the string "open source". The panel includes Mel, Heidi Ellis, Matt Jadud, and Greg Hislop.

I'm excited that Red Hat and Teaching Open Source are going to be present at SIGCSE, and I want to figure out how collectively we can work to raise the profile of both those organizations for SIGCSE 2012, which just so happens to be in Shadowman's hometown of Raleigh.

I'd also like to send a shout-out to Nick Parlante who certainly doesn't remember the fact that I was one of his students a decade ago, but who is a great teacher and who runs an annual Nifty Assignments session at SIGCSE.

fudcon tempe 2011, day 2

The morning started with the Ambassadors and Fedora Finance session, which was led by Joerg, but included Ambassadors from the USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Germany, and a few other countries. For me, there were several important takeaways:

* FAMSCO must continue to push accountability and decision making as far to the edges as possible. I suggested that each region pick an amount of money -- I suggested $500 USD in NA and asked people to use their judgement in other parts of the world -- for which no Fedora contributor needs to ask permission before spending that money on behalf of Fedora. The only way a global community like Fedora can continue to grow successfully is if we build a culture of trust and action, and continue to ensure we have solid processes that allow people to get reimbursed.

* I've spent a lot of time the past year worrying about the bureaucracy and bottlenecks in Fedora's finance system, and even though I feel like we have a lot of improvement, I had a few conversations this weekend that helped me to realize that we do a lot of things well, and that while we should strive to improve, the currents tate of things is by no means doom and gloom. This was a bit encouraging.

* I reaffirmed my commitment to following up on the idea of getting some regional credit cards in place, with Joerg, John, and Neville volunteering to be the first people to help bring this idea into their regions. The goal here is not for these people to become bottlenecks either, but rather for all contributors in the regions (Ambassadors working on events or anyone working on a FAD or a FUDCon) to know that they have a local contact who has the ability to help get money spent on behalf of the Fedora project. I have given myself a March 1 deadline for this.

Following this session, I did a few other things before making my way back to the airport and back to Raleigh:

* An interview with Amber from Linux New Media regarding Red Hat's Community Architecture team and our focal points of Fedora, education, and providing value to Red Hat's business beyond simply the Linux platform.

* Served once more as Colby's "producer", helping to get a video made with Mike and Jeff, as well as helping to prep David and Chris for their video.

* Made my third trip to In-n-Out en route to the airport.

fudcon tempe 2011, day 1

It was a pleasure to start off FUDCon by having a chance to give the welcome/intro-to-BarCamp speech, and I generally helped out with logistics in the morning, and making sure we were all set for lunch and for tshirt distribution.

I met a bunch of Fedora contibutors for the first time this FUDCon, and it was great to put faces to names and shake some new hands. The person with whom I'd collaborated the most virtually without having ever previously met was Maria, and it was especially nice to finally meet her face to face. I was too shy to ask her to speak to me entirely in Spanish, though. Hopefully next time!

The FUDVan was used frequently on both Saturday and Sunday for the transport of beverages and the acquisition of tremendous amounts of ice. My expense reports will look interesting, as always.

I attended the Fedora Board's goals and strategy session -- which my talk about reducing bureaucracy in Fedora was merged with -- and while I didn't get to talk too much about specific ideas, I did throw out one idea related to the release engineering team, which could also be generalized to apply to other groups within Fedora.

Every time we do a task, each team should strive to appoint a different person as the owner of that task for the particular release or milestone, with novices shadowing before they take accountability, and experts providing both mentoring and backup as novices gain experience. My example (because it was the first to come to mind) was having a different person be the primary doer of the Alpha, Beta, and Gold releases of each version of Fedora. This sort of thing improves both collaboration and documentation, which were two of the Board's high level goals.

I helped Colby out as the "producer" for his video of Jeroen and Christoph, as they talked about the value of FUDCon, as well as how being deeply embedded in both the Fedora and RHEL ecosystems are useful to their dayjobs at Kolab Systems.

FUDPub was a great success. There's a video out there somewhere of me demonstrating some excellent bowling skills, and a second video of me demonstrating some truly abysmal Dance Dance Revolution skills.

It's impossible to give enough thanks to the FUDCon organization team, which really outdid itself. Robyn ran point on the whole operation, Paul was indispensible, Ryan helped out on the ground, Spot helped out with the money end of things by providing a second credit card, and Ian did a truly superb job with the welcome booklets.

fudcon tempe 2011, day 0

I reported for duty on Friday morning as Robyn's last-minute-FUDCon-organization minion, and spent the day doing various things in support of the mission:

* Getting a bunch of hotel rooms at the primary and secondary venue on my credit card, in accordance with our FUDCon sponsorships.

* Scoped out the BarCamp venue, plotted how to avoid the congestion pitfalls of FUDCon Toronto's BarCamp, and made sure I knew how to get to the building where the sessions would be held.

* Went to Wal-Mart with Harish, where he and I purchased a total of 984 cans of soda and 200 bottles of water, which would be used by FUDCon attendees over the next 72 hours. The FUDVan officially became a low-rider following this purchase.

* Made my second trip to In-n-Out.

Friday night was the 1-year anniversary party and FUDCon mixer/mini-game night. We had some pizza, I passed out a bunch of Fedora swag including all of my leftover CDs and DVDs dating back to Fedora Core 5, and played a very humorous game called Red Dragon Inn.

fudcon tempe 2011, days -3, -2, and -1

I arrived in Phoenix on Tuesday afternoon, and picked up my blue (but not Fedora blue) minivan, which I referred to as the FUDVan but which everyone else insisted upon calling the Spevan.

It was really easy to get from the airport to downtown Tempe and to the primary FUDCon hotel. The proximity to Red Hat's Phoenix datacenter made the network connectivity over VPN faster than when I'm sitting in the Red Hat office in Raleigh, and I briefly contemplated remaining in Phoenix for the duration of my Red Hat career.

We drove over to the secondary hotel where we picked up Harish, and then a small group of us walked to a nearby restaurant for an early dinner, followed by final preparations for our two day team meetings and an early night.

It only happens about twice per year that all of the members of the Community Architecture team are able to gather face to face, and we used Wednesday and Thursday to hold our 2011 and Red Hat FY12 initial planning meetings.

External to Red Hat, our team is heavily involved with two communities of practice -- the Fedora Project and the Teaching Open Source community. I'm eager to share the details of our meetings with both of these communities, but that will have to wait until some future blog posts, because I still need to do the work of properly summarzing and recapping the two days of meetings.

Some color, though:

* We met at a collaboration space called Gangplank, which was similar to NextSpace that we met at in Santa Cruz last summer. Sadly, we missed out on the brownbag lunch debate about the GPL, which probably would have been really fun to attend and participate in.

* Our first day's team lunch was a trip to In-n-Out, which was decided in a vote by acclamation.

* Wednesday's dinner was at a Thai restauarant with several other Red Hatters and Fedora contributors. The talk at my end of the table purposefully focused around various cloud-related topics that are ongoing in Red Hat and within the Fedora Project, because it looks increasingly certain that one of Community Architecture's major goals this year will be to assist with Red Hat and Fedora's cloud activities at a greater depth.

* On Thursday evening, a number of us (Red Hatters and Fedora contributors) had dinner at a decent-enough Mexican restaurant, and then Harish, Robyn, Jeroen, and I went to a dueling piano bar. The band there consisted of 4 guys who were all excellent on piano, drums, and guitar. I know some of the other FUDConners made their way to this same bar over the course of the weekend, on our recommendation.

fosdem 2011 talks that i'd like to attend

I haven't written my FUDCon Tempe trip report yet, but I'm heading to Brussels tomorrow, so here is a list of the FOSDEM 2011 talks that I'm hoping to attend:

Jared Smith - Swimming Upstream: How Distributions Help Open Source Communities - Organizational responsibilities prevented me from listening to Jared's talk at FUDCon last week, so I want to make sure I hear his talk in Brussels.

Hans de Goede - A presentation of SPICE an opensource remote virtual desktop protocol - Hans is another of my Red Hat co-workers, and his talk is a subject about which I have much to learn.

Eben Moglen - Why Political Liberty Depends on Software Freedom More Than Ever - I heard Eben Moglen speak at the Red Hat Summit several years ago, and he was a fantastic speaker with a great message.

Lennart Poettering - systemd: Beyond init - systemd has been a big topic in Fedora recently, and I'm interested to hear Lennart talk about its current status.

Michael Meeks - Liberating Open Office Development

Dave Neary - Community Anti-patterns