Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 19th Jul 2007 21:57 UTC
Novell and Ximian "Last month, Novell decided to push the limits of developer empowerment and perform an elaborate experiment in innovation by liberating the company's entire Linux engineering team for one full week of free hacking. During Novell Hack Week, hundreds of skilled developers employed by Novell at various facilities around the world worked together on open-source projects of their choice. Driven by creativity and passion instead of deadlines, instructions, and executive decisions, Novell's best and brightest created impressive new software and added innovative improvements to existing programs."
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Google
by samad on Thu 19th Jul 2007 23:05 UTC
samad
Member since:
2006-03-31

Isn't this idea similar to Google giving their engineers one day out of the week to work on whatever they want?

Reply Score: 4

No deadline ?
by ElCabri on Thu 19th Jul 2007 23:15 UTC
ElCabri
Member since:
2006-11-28

They HAD a deadline since the recess lasted for no more than a week.

Reply Score: 1

RE: No deadline ?
by NxStY on Fri 20th Jul 2007 10:04 UTC in reply to "No deadline ?"
NxStY Member since:
2005-11-12

But they didn't have to finish their project by then.

Reply Score: 3

And the end result was....?
by petera on Thu 19th Jul 2007 23:17 UTC
petera
Member since:
2006-04-22

"During Novell Hack Week, hundreds of skilled developers employed by Novell at various facilities around the world worked together on open-source projects of their choice."

All well and fine, but did anyone's work actually do any good for OpenSUSE or open source software in general?

In other words, does anyone know of any projects that got a boost by this "Hack Week"?

Reply Score: 0

RE: And the end result was....?
by Sodki on Thu 19th Jul 2007 23:35 UTC in reply to "And the end result was....?"
Sodki Member since:
2005-11-10

The article has multiple pages, just read them all. The last one is very interesting.

Reply Score: 4

Interesting ideas
by Knuckles on Thu 19th Jul 2007 23:37 UTC
Knuckles
Member since:
2005-06-29

There were lots of interesting ideas and concepts.

Official website is at http://idea.opensuse.org/content/ if you want to check out the ideas and code.

My favourites are:
- Giver, a very simple file sharing system, would be very useful when you're on the road and "just need" to send a file, instead of having to rely on flashdrives
http://idea.opensuse.org/content/ideas/easy-file-sharing
- Yast as a web-service
http://idea.opensuse.org/content/ideas/yast-as-a-webservice
- Desktop status awareness, in which you schedule tasks to run when you're out (downloads, updates, etc)
http://idea.opensuse.org/content/ideas/desktop-status-awareness

Reply Score: 5

Whatever
by fsckit on Fri 20th Jul 2007 00:16 UTC
fsckit
Member since:
2006-09-24

Is anyone else not suprised they wasted their week working on a bunch of mono crap that nobody really cares about? Yay, they reimplemented gdesklets in mono. How bout spending that week creating useful desklets instead of reinventing what already works in a crap language?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Whatever
by butters on Fri 20th Jul 2007 03:00 UTC in reply to "Whatever"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Well, your anti-Mono bias aside, have you ever considered that maybe the problem with existing desktop widget frameworks is that the development barriers are too high? These little apps are supposed to be so easy to make that a power user can throw one together on a whim. But none of the existing systems have approached that level of ease.

One approach is to continually reimplement the idea as newer and high-level development technologies emerge. Maybe the bar will drop just low enough that a real widget ecosystem can flourish. Moonlight is extremely new technology, and nobody really knows what it's good for just yet. Maybe it's the programming tool that finally empowers a community of widget programmers.

We'll never know if we don't try.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Whatever
by Almindor on Fri 20th Jul 2007 07:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Whatever"
Almindor Member since:
2006-01-16

I wouldn't be surprised if this move wasn't all so "altruistic". Unsurprisingly, it's Novell who has most interest in Mono's survival, and the best way to ensure this is to make people depend on mono (microsoft strategy).

I see this as a particularly directed effort to spread mono dependencies with a nice coat on it.

NO COMPANY DOES ALTRUISTIC THINGS.. EVER! If you believe for a second that Novell did anything out of good heart, you are more naive than my mom (and that's a big naive there)

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Whatever
by butters on Fri 20th Jul 2007 11:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Whatever"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

I can't stand people who dismiss good ideas simply because they come from someone they don't like. The free software community will naturally select the most promising and successful technologies regardless of who invented them. That's the foundation of meritocracy.

Novell has made some dumb and disastrous decisions. But supporting the development of a free software implementation of a well-designed high-level runtime environment is not one of them. Practical cross-platform compatibility may not be achievable without Microsoft's cooperation. But even so, advanced runtime environments are essential to the technical evolution of free software. It's a logical extension of a broad strategy of powerful abstractions that also includes virtualization technologies.

Maybe Java is the better way to go, especially if the free software community can enhance its dynamic language support. Maybe Parrot can emerge from the Perl project as a promising cross-language runtime. But at this moment, most unbiased experts would agree that the CLR/DLR is most advanced high-level runtime. In the spirit of free software, let's allow the best solution to emerge on its technical and practical merits.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Whatever
by shapeshifter on Fri 20th Jul 2007 13:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Whatever"
shapeshifter Member since:
2006-09-19

Taking good ideas is fine.
Taking Trojan Hoarses is bad.
Mono is a Trojan Horse.
Microsoft will never cooperate with Linux.
So Mono is useless.
Better put resources into Java or something that's not tied to Microsoft.
Don't sleep with the enemy.
Plain and simple.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Whatever
by antik on Fri 20th Jul 2007 18:48 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Whatever"
antik Member since:
2006-05-19

Taking good ideas is fine.
Taking Trojan Hoarses is bad.
Mono is a Trojan Horse.
Microsoft will never cooperate with Linux.
So Mono is useless.
Better put resources into Java or something that's not tied to Microsoft.
Don't sleep with the enemy.
Plain and simple.


OpenSource==GOOD
Mono==OpenSource

conlcusion: Mono==GOOD

/me ducks

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Whatever
by Almafeta on Fri 20th Jul 2007 19:40 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Whatever"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

Microsoft will never cooperate with Linux.


Then why is Microsoft talking about writing Linux kernel code?

The last five years have been a strange time. Now we're dangerously close to Microsoft being just another Linux repackager like Apple, Canonical, Novell, and Red Hat. Heck, they're funding the project I'm working for, and Microsoft's insisting we release the code as open-source.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Whatever
by Almindor on Fri 20th Jul 2007 19:49 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Whatever"
Almindor Member since:
2006-01-16

Even if what you say is true, it's just a step in some elaborate plan of their to get more money ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Whatever
by SamuraiCrow on Sat 21st Jul 2007 03:14 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Whatever"
SamuraiCrow Member since:
2005-11-19

Even if what you say is true, it's just a step in some elaborate plan of their to get more money ;)


Companies exist to make money. Big deal. If they can't do a better job then they should just get out of the way so other people can.

Microsoft may be preparing to get out of the way of the innovators. This may have something to do with Bill Gates getting ready to retire also. He would never stand for such a thing as supporting a free project over a for-profit venture.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Whatever
by snozzberry on Fri 20th Jul 2007 20:43 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Whatever"
snozzberry Member since:
2005-11-14

another Linux repackager like Apple

Yes. BSD is a notorious copy of Linux.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Whatever
by IanSVT on Fri 20th Jul 2007 16:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Whatever"
IanSVT Member since:
2005-07-06

NO COMPANY DOES ALTRUISTIC THINGS.. EVER! If you believe for a second that Novell did anything out of good heart, you are more naive than my mom (and that's a big naive there)


You're absolutely correct. However, the hack week wasn't an act of altruism for the community, it was an act of altruism for Novell's engineers by Novell. While I agree with your comment out of context, within context it's irrelevant to the topic.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Whatever
by sorpigal on Fri 20th Jul 2007 16:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Whatever"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

NO COMPANY DOES ALTRUISTIC THINGS.. EVER! If you believe for a second that Novell did anything out of good heart, you are more naive than my mom (and that's a big naive there)

While it's true that big companies do not, with a few rare exceptions, do anything purely altruistic, it is not necessary to believe that Novell did something altruistic in this instance.

Novell thinks, probably correctly, that moves like this will enhance shareholder value. This will be accomplished by (1) inventing new things which will be useful to customers, (2) making the employees happier, which tends to lead to better productivity, (3) attracting quality employees, and (4) publicity.

Those four things all aid Novell's bottom line and not one of them is particularly sinister. It is not necessary to believe Novell is altruistic to appreciate what they have, in their own self-interest, done. Are the benefits to the Open Source movement and community greater than the benefits to Novell's shareholder's pocket books? Who cares? As long as there is *any* net positive for Open Source I, for one, don't care what other side effects may occur.

(edited to remove typo in closing tag)

Edited 2007-07-20 16:40

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Whatever
by shapeshifter on Fri 20th Jul 2007 07:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Whatever"
shapeshifter Member since:
2006-09-19

Well, your anti-Mono bias aside, have you ever considered that maybe the problem with existing desktop widget frameworks is that the development barriers are too high? These little apps are supposed to be so easy to make that a power user can throw one together on a whim. But none of the existing systems have approached that level of ease.

One approach is to continually reimplement the idea as newer and high-level development technologies emerge. Maybe the bar will drop just low enough that a real widget ecosystem can flourish. Moonlight is extremely new technology, and nobody really knows what it's good for just yet. Maybe it's the programming tool that finally empowers a community of widget programmers.

We'll never know if we don't try.


Bla, bla, bla, you're stating the obvious.
And with Dotnet 4 second graders will be able to write enterprise class applications in one afternoon.

Ofcourse it'll get easier and will take less time.
But Mono is not it. And Novel is not the company that'll make it happen.
Mono is as good as dead. And Novel will always be a mistrusted outsider in the Linux community.
So, try again.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Whatever
by Jondice on Fri 20th Jul 2007 09:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Whatever"
Jondice Member since:
2006-09-20

Why so jaded? Sure, Mono/.Net doesn't attract as much OSS development as Java, but it does have some interesting back end features that Java doesn't have. .Net is a valuable tool for anyone interested in creating a language that can be easily interoperable with many other major languages.

Yeesh, is there a club I can join to hate on Novel or anyone else that ever touched MS? Maybe some parts of Novel's MS strategy are neither smart nor beneficial to OSS, but I wouldn't include Mono in that. Miguel is a smart guy, do you really think he'd spend so much of his time and everyone else's on a project if he thought there was much of a chance of any true legal danger? I remember when Miguel bashing was the hot topic on OSnews and elsewhere....

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Whatever
by Almindor on Fri 20th Jul 2007 14:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Whatever"
Almindor Member since:
2006-01-16

Technologically smart doesn't mean he knows squat about politics ;) I'd say it's usually quite opposite, they are intelligent, but SOOO naive.

The point was made a few posts before tho, do not sleep with your enemy it's that simple.

But you didn't get the point ;) I'm not protesting against mono here (not that I wouldn't), I'm just stating that this "free goody goody thing" everyone so praises might easily be a very smart move by Novell to extend mono as something rooted in modern Linux distros by making people depend on it.

Everyone does it. M.$ (btw why the $ filter in MS?) does it, Sun does it. Everyone who's looking for profit of course. And that's the point ;) End of story for Novell or any other big company is, no matter what they do, they do it for profit (if it comes is another matter).

Edited 2007-07-20 14:57

Reply Score: 2

RE: Whatever
by Soulbender on Fri 20th Jul 2007 03:54 UTC in reply to "Whatever"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Seriously, I'm glad you got your little rant out and picked up a few mod points. Hope that makes you feel better about yourself.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Whatever
by marpaco on Fri 20th Jul 2007 14:12 UTC in reply to "Whatever"
marpaco Member since:
2006-01-01

Mono is not a language. C#, C/C++, Java, BASIC and Pascal are examples of languages.

One suggestion would be for you to get educated and to point out things that are constructive rather than just being an Troll.

The Novell week of hacking is a great example of the incredible metamorphosis that Novell has undergone as a software development enterprise. Very impressive!

Reply Score: 0

RE: Whatever
by dmdavis on Fri 20th Jul 2007 16:33 UTC in reply to "Whatever"
dmdavis Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm rather surprised. Novell has taken the initiative to do something very cool for a) their developers (I'm quite a bit jealous), and b) the open source community, and you're complaining because the devs chose some projects that you wouldn't have had them work on. Wasn't the whole point of it that they get to work on what interests them, not what someone else tells them should interest them?

Reply Score: 1

Negativity
by hibridmatthias on Fri 20th Jul 2007 00:33 UTC
hibridmatthias
Member since:
2007-04-11

I have to say the amount of negativity related to this article is pathetic and disappointing.

It is so rare in our society that we get to flex our creative muscles especially in the mind numbing world of big business that I think this is great.

I am a pharmacist but was given the chance to write a program for aminoglycoside dosing just because the old machine that had the calculations hard coded onto it died. I smile and happily go to work each day knowing that whenever I feel the need, I can bust out my linux laptop at my desk and create and try to learn something new (ie Ruby) while not suffering for it.

The people at Novell are getting the opportunity as well. They also have a light at the end of the tunnel when management says, Hey we can do this in 6 months again..." It motivates, it builds morale, it makes people happy.

I have three friends all that develop for big companies. In each case, they all have a place to go to take breaks from coding: to play role playing or board or card game et cetera..just to let their ideas flow. It isnt just Google that takes this approach. It is kind of like cross training for the brain...

As for ripping on the projects, it is what THEY want to do, not what YOU want. If you want something, either go code it yourself, write to the company, or shut the heck up.

As for the deadline, it doesnt matter; it is adeadlines that give a sense of urgency; it is in the flurry trying to meet that deadline some of us do our best work.

If you want to sit around, complain, and smoke pot all day that is fine, but dont rip on a company for trying to promote creativity or belittle the work people do with that time. It is disrespectful, insolent, and shows short sightedness.

Reply Score: 5

v RE: Negativity
by fsckit on Fri 20th Jul 2007 01:27 UTC in reply to "Negativity"
CrazyDude0
Member since:
2005-07-10

Really 1 week of hack time doesn't look like too much fun to me. Can you really work on a new project in 1 week? Can you really think of something magical in this 1 week?

OTOH I like the ideas by google where they give one day of week to employee, but then they have aggressive work culture so people hardly use the one day to do their own stuff. They mostly work on normal day to day work.

Reply Score: 1

Sodki Member since:
2005-11-10

Have you even read the article? It really is good stuff.

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Really 1 week of hack time doesn't look like too much fun to me. Can you really work on a new project in 1 week? Can you really think of something magical in this 1 week?


Here is something shocking - you do know that some of these people actually work on projects outside their work! I know! surprising - programming to them is a hobby AND occupation. They work what they have to work on at work, and get to 'express' themselves in a project outside their work time.

These people were probably already working on some ideas outside work time and Novell has said, "hey, if you want to work for one week on Novell's time then you can" - what does that mean? it means that for one week opensource projects had THOUSANDS of full time programmers working on these projects for 40+ hours!

I don't know about you, but that is Novell effectively giving each of the projects involved in, $100,000+ free labour! thats pretty damn generous - there are very few companies who are willing to pay employees to work for one week on a project that gives no direct benefits to the company.

Edited 2007-07-20 10:56

Reply Score: 5

working people to the bone != quality
by postmodern on Fri 20th Jul 2007 01:07 UTC
postmodern
Member since:
2006-01-27

It has been historically the managerial view that if you work people hard you get good quality end-results. Sure you can meet deadlines, but you end up wearing people out fast.

Reply Score: 3

Huh...
by Almafeta on Fri 20th Jul 2007 01:39 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

Were it me, I'd probably still work on the company project -- unless commanded to not work on it, in which case, I'd probably have gone home.

I mean, seriously. If I could do my various for-fun projects at work, then what would I use to replace sleep with?

Edited 2007-07-20 01:40

Reply Score: 4

Negativity
by REMF on Fri 20th Jul 2007 07:29 UTC
REMF
Member since:
2006-02-05

"As for ripping on the projects, it is what THEY want to do, not what YOU want. If you want something, either go code it yourself, write to the company, or shut the heck up."

agreed, there are a lot of miserable gimps on osnews.

Reply Score: 1

Nice....
by brostenen on Fri 20th Jul 2007 08:14 UTC
brostenen
Member since:
2007-01-16

Totally nice...
Might this not give novell some hints, on how the organisation could be restructured, if they decide to??

I think of this, as an experiment on how humans interact in the way, that humans work together..
Think it is nice, when u dont consider the codes and programs produced, and only the psycological nature of this.

(sorry for my totally bad english, im from denmark u know).

Edited 2007-07-20 08:15

Reply Score: 1

I think its cool
by Bit_Rapist on Fri 20th Jul 2007 17:15 UTC
Bit_Rapist
Member since:
2005-11-13

I wish the company I worked for would pay me to work on whatever I wanted for a week straight.

Pretty freakin' cool if you ask me.

I don't care WTF they coded personally. They could have all hooked up C64 machines and hammered out an 8-bit game for a dead computing platform for all I care.

Its just cool that the company values their engineers enough to sponsor an event like this and let them get creative just for the fun of it!

Reply Score: 3

One last thing
by Bit_Rapist on Fri 20th Jul 2007 17:16 UTC
Bit_Rapist
Member since:
2005-11-13

Miguel is going to kill linux!

Now this thread is complete ;)

Reply Score: 1