The book

Are French farmers a bunch of mean-spirited creeps? Are all nerds courageous, and laziness a virtue? Why did Stephen King leave a horror story unfinished? What business models survived the Internet bubble? Among the many entertaining and thought-provoking ideas presented in Open Life, ants screw up, and Harry Potter even casts his spell in German.

The hot topics in information technology (IT) right now are Linux and Open Source. But what does Open Source offer those, who may not see their computer as a matter of life and death? Open Life: The Philosophy of Open Source spotlights the people, businesses, values and practices of the Open Source world. In assessing its development Open Life recounts over 60 case-study-like stories that illuminate exactly what is so miraculous and wonderful in this new paradigm for producing software.

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Creating Impress.js presentations in colored JSON with Highlight.js

Last month I wrote about impress.js, and how I've started using it for my presentations. This has been going well, and during the past month I've actually given 2 more presentations using impress.js:

Dreams and fears of a database consultant
MongoDB and GIS

(You really have to click those links, embedding these presentations wouldn't make them justice!)

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My son responded to the EU consultation on Freedom of Panorama

Yesterday I helped my 8 year old son submit a response (PDF) to the EU Commission's consultation on whether it is a good idea to require permission/payment for the right to photographs buildings and statues in public spaces (aka Freedom of Panorama). Our kids had heard about this issue from a discussion on a dinner table, and quickly became interested:

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Upgrading to more impressive presentations: impress.js

In terms of using an open source desktop, Sun releasing OpenOffice some 15 (?) years ago was an important milestone, comparable to Mozilla finally managing to produce a working browser in Firefox. It provided essentially feature parity with Microsoft office, and most importantly, decent compatibility with Microsoft's own proprietary file formats.

I've used OpenOffice, and now LibreOffice, for lots of non-trivial tasks, including writing a complete book. Sure, the UI toolkit was stuck in the 90's, and Sun wasn't really a good steward in pushing the code base into this century, but it did work.

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Moving to MongoDB Engineering

It will soon be 3 years that I've been with MongoDB. I joined the company amidst a strong growth spurt, and 5 months later the HR website told me that I had now been in the company longer than 50% of my colleagues.

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4 modifications for Raft consensus

A month ago I published a quasi-academic paper, proposing 3 modifications to the Raft replication algorithm. I got some great review and feedback on the Raft mailing list. So based on that I have now updated the paper, hopefully to be much clearer than the first iteration.

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3 modifications to the Raft consensus algorithm (paper)

Update: This version of my paper is superceded by a new version: 4 modifications to Raft consensus. Please read it instead.

August is usually a slower month as a lot of people are on vacations. I try to take advantage of that to work on tasks that require a bit more deliberation and quiet time. This Summer I returned to re-reading the paper on the Raft algorithm, in particular my colleagues in New York pointed out that the PhD thesis that extends on the original paper was now complete, and contains some additional details.

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Slides and video of my CLS and Oscon talks 2015

A month ago I did an exciting journey to Portland, to present two talks in the field of Open Source business strategy. One at OSCON, and the other was a keynote session at the Community Leadership Summit.

O'Reilly does an awesome job recording all the talks in Oscon, and they let the speakers download and share a copy of their own talk. Thank you O'Reilly! The CLS talk was also recorded, but I haven't seen it published yet. The Kaltura guys do all of the filming and post production on the side of their day jobs, which is a respectable amount of work to do for the community. I'll update this post when the video does become available.

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