Posts from January 2011

Simian: Mac OS X package deployment via App Engine

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Administration of software packages on the Mac platform can often be daunting. Google’s Mac Operations and Security teams evaluated several solutions for OS X package deployment, but unfortunately none of them met all of our required features. We decided to build our own solution to do the following:
  • Deploy new or updated software by targeting a single Mac or tens of thousands.
  • Push security patches, whether the Mac is on an internal network/VPN or not.
  • Force mandatory installation of some packages, while allowing others to be optional.
  • Tightly manage Apple-provided updates.
  • Scale without deploying and maintaining additional server infrastructure.
  • Obtain reports on all of this and the fleet overall.
Today we are open-sourcing Simian, our solution to enterprise-class Mac OS X package deployment. Simian uses App Engine-based hosting to scale with the needs of your growing enterprise, and a Munki-based client which will continue to evolve through the outstanding work of Greg Neagle and the Munki community. We hope this to be the first of many announcements in sharing Google's unique IT approach with the larger community.

For more information, please visit our Simian project page, join the discussion list, and download the code. For more information about Munki, please visit its project page.

By John Randolph and Justin McWilliams, Google Corporate Platforms Engineering Team

Google Summer of Code Announced at LCA

Monday, January 24, 2011

Despite the recent devastating floods in Australia, the open source community is converging on Brisbane this week for the annual (LCA). The LCA team “encourages everyone to still come to Brisbane and support local business and the community - we need your support.” Monday during the introductory session at LCA, Carol Smith, member of the Google Open Source Programs Office, proudly announced Google Summer of Code 2011.

This will be the 7th year for Google Summer of Code, an innovative program dedicated to introducing students from colleges and universities around the world to open source software development. The program offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source projects with the help of mentoring organizations from all around the globe. Over the past 6 years Google Summer of Code has had 4,500 students from over 85 countries complete the program. We are excited to announce that we will extend the scope of the program this year by targeting a 25% increase in accepted student applications as well as accepting a larger number of mentoring organizations. Our goal is to help these students pursue academic challenges over the summer break while they create and release open source code for the benefit of all.

Spread the word to your friends! If you know of a university student that would be interested in working on open source projects this summer, or if you know of an organization that might want to mentor students to work on their open source projects, please direct them to our Google Summer of Code 2011 website where they can find our timeline along with the FAQs. And stay tuned for more details coming soon!

By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Team

Googlers Down Under

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Despite the recent flooding in Brisbane, Australia, (lca) will proceed from January 24th to 29th, and Googlers from across the company will be there. LCA is a community-run technical conference for free and open source software enthusiasts, featuring but not limited to Linux. In addition to the many Googlers who will be attending, several Googlers will also be presenting at the conference.
The conference starts on Monday the 24th with a day of miniconfs, and Nóirín Shirley from Google’s Zurich office will be presenting “Open Source: Saving the World” as part of the Haecksen track.

Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf will start the day on Tuesday the 25th with his keynote presentation, and later that morning he will present “In Search of Transmission Capacity - a Multicore Dilemma.” On Tuesday afternoon, Google Summer of Code Administrator Carol Smith will give a "Google Summer of Code Update" at the FOSS in Research and Student Innovation Miniconf.

On Wednesday January 26th, Google staff engineer and Linux kernel committer Ted Ts'o will explain “Making file systems scale: A case study using ext4.”

Andrew Gerrand and Nigel Tao of the Go team will give attendees “A Tour of Go” on Thursday the 27th, and Nóirín will present “Baby Steps into Open Source - Incubation and Mentoring at Apache,” which is based on her experience at the Apache Software Foundation.

On Friday the 28th, Carol will present her talk, “The 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective Project Managers” in the morning. A little later in the day, Daniel Bentley and Daniel Nadasi of the open source and Geo teams respectively will talk about “Opening a Closed World,” followed by Marc MERLIN, who works on infrastructure at Google. Marc will discuss “Saving Money with Misterhouse: Running Your Lights and HVAC System. Scaring your cat off the kitchen counter is just a bonus :)

LCA always closes with Open Day, a free day-long event where the general public can learn about open source, open data - all things “open.” The Open Day is on Saturday the 29th, and Cat Allman of the Open Source Programs Office will be presenting her talk, “What is Open Source?” there.
Come learn more about the latest happenings in open source, and join us in showing support for Brisbane’s recovery. We hope to see you there!

By Ellen Ko, Open Source Team

Make quick fixes quicker on Google Project Hosting

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Have you ever noticed a bug or typo in your code but not been in a position to fix it? Perhaps you were browsing the code online from your Cr-48, or perhaps you just didn’t have Subversion or Mercurial handy. Today the Google Project Hosting team is announcing a new feature for you: the ability to edit your source code files directly in the browser, in our online editor powered by CodeMirror. Just look for the “edit file” link on files in the online source browser:

As you edit, you can preview the diff of your changes, so you know exactly what you are committing:
And if you don’t have commit privileges to the project? No problem. Instead of committing your changes, you can file your changes as a patch in the project’s issue tracker.

By lowering the barrier to entry for everyone — project members and users alike — we hope to make it easier for projects to grow and improve. Enjoy!

By Jacob Lee, Google Project Hosting Team

OSUOSL’s Code-in results are in!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Oregon State University Open Source Lab (OSL) participated for the first time in the Google Code-in contest, and we're pleased to report that the results of the contest were incredibly valuable for us. We had eight students actively working with us during the contest, from as far afield as Australia and Poland. Of these eight students, two have let us know they plan to keep working on projects with the OSL and one even let us know that he's hoping to attend Oregon State University so he can learn even more about open source and help out at the lab.

We had a total of 42 tasks completed, all improvements to Ganeti Web Manager, a homegrown project of the OSL. For those who aren't familiar with the project, it's a Django based web application that helps administrators better manage their Ganeti-based clusters. Our students completed a total of 42 tasks: 23 coding tasks, 18 user interface tasks, and one outreach task (logo design). We were especially excited that our students found several unknown bugs in our code base and proceeded to send us fixes for them. You can take a look at all of the tasks proposed by the Lab and all those completed by our students on the contest website.

As a result of participating in Google Code-in, several major features were implemented in Ganeti Web Manager, including:

HTML5 VNC Support
Creating a Status Dashboard for Administrators and Users
Creating an Object Change Log

Of all these major features, creating the status dashboard was the most difficult of our tasks. We required a very concise layout for the feature and the student working on the task was not a native English speaker, but he did an outstanding job. In fact, if you'd like to get to know the student who worked on the dashboard, we've already published an interview with Piotr for your reading pleasure.

Overall, we were incredibly excited to be a part of Google Code-in and extremely pleased with our results. We certainly hope to continue mentoring for the contest, assuming Google chooses to run it once again. Many thanks to all of our students for their great work and many thanks to Google for doing awesome work to promote student involvement in open source! A full post about the OSL’s experience with Google Code-in is available on the OSL blog.

By Leslie Hawthorn, OSUOSL Open Source Outreach Manager

Chrome enables open innovation

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Earlier this week, Google announced that Chrome’s HTML5 <video> support will change to match codecs supported by the open source Chromium project. Chrome will support the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and support for the H.264 codec will be removed so that resources can be directed completely towards open codec technologies. This is in line with Google’s continued support of the open web.

For more information, check out the original post.

By Ellen Ko, Open Source Team

Google Code-in Wrapup

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This was a great year for Google Code-In. We had a total of 361 students complete at least one task during our contest period. We are still compiling the statistics on our participants and plan to post a follow-up once we are done reviewing tasks soon. We are quite proud of the participation in the contest this year and hope many of our student participants will go on to continue contributing to the organizations for which they completed tasks.

Grand prize winners will be announced on February 14. Stay tuned to this blog for the announcement!

Thank you to all our organization administrations, mentors, and students for your participation this year!