You've probably read about this on Slashdot and other places already,
but I thought I'd say a few words about the company I'm starting
and what it is that we'll be doing. As you've probably already read,
we're working on a commercial version of Debian called Progeny.
Our initial focus is the technical market, and our work will be in
such areas as integration of large networks of workstations and
interoperability with other platforms. We will be doing some very
exciting and innovative things with Debian in the coming months.
Of course, other companies are already basing commercial systems on
Debian. One of the ways we hope to differentiate ourselves is in how
we approach this. Our goal is to take not just Debian but also the
dynamic behind it and extend them both into the commercial world. To
take one without the other loses something in the transition. This
company will be committed to technical excellence, to community
involvement, to hacker ideals, to cooperation and sharing, to free
software. We want to take our proper place in the community that
makes Debian what it is, and we want to do our part to help make it
better, to help it grow and prosper, to help take it to new places.
At the same time, we want to maintain an appropriate degree of
separation. I kept Debian separate from commercial interests from
the beginning, and I wouldn't ever want it any other way.
Many of you have been asking what I've been up to these past few
years. I've been at the University of Arizona since 1997, doing
research in operating systems and storage systems. My primary project
has been Swarm, a Linux-based storage system that provides scalable,
reliable, and cost-effective data storage through its use of
clustering, commodity hardware, and log-based striping. We've built
some very cool things using Swarm, including a log-structured network
file system for Linux called Sting, and a compatibility layer that
makes Swarm look like an ordinary Linux block device, allowing us to
run existing file systems like ext2fs on our Swarm cluster. We hope
to make a public release of Swarm sometime next spring. I've also
worked on Scout, an operating system for network appliances, and have
done some work on software fault isolation and its use in application-
driven specialization of operating system services. On a more
personal note, Debra and I have been happily married for over five
years now, and we're going to be parents for the first time in early
March. As you might imagine, we're absolutely tickled about that.
Anyway, that's it for now. I'm not going to say much more than I
already have now, because actions speak louder than words, and I
have a lot of work to do. Still, I'm more than happy to talk about
what we're doing with any of you, so if you have any concerns,
questions, suggestions or anything at all you'd like to talk about,
please don't hesitate to contact me.