April 6th, 2004

(no subject)

It's been a long time since I've said anything. I'm not sure why; probably a combination of factors. Not everything really needs to be said to the whole world. Also, I'm having a hard time finding a balance between talking about what is going on personally, interesting technical goings on, and musings about where I want to go with my life. Saying nothing is the wrong answer, but it is easier than solving the problem. So I'll give a brief update and hope to fill in with something more interesting in the coming days.

Netzah has reached that point in the small business cycle where we have potential projects under negotiation but we don't have money to keep going. The set of projects is different than the last time I talked about Netzah. We seem to have lost focus. If things come together and we get interesting projects, we can probably regain it. IT might be possible to try and regain the focus even while we are just working on negotiations; I'm not sure that is worth the costs. If it would improve our chances of closing a deal, it would probably be worth it. However the lack of focus seems to matter more in terms of long term planning and morale, and is Chuck is fond of pointing out, once you're starting to talk about morale at a company,you already have a problem. But that problem isn't going to go away until the funding situation gets better, no matter what we do about focus.

Netzah will likely fail; most small businesses do. But we still seem to have a shot, and certainly the news from yesterday was interesting. Nothing I've learned has caused me to significantly question the fundamental viability of what we are trying to do; the problems have all been our ability to close sales and limited initial capitalization. But we knew these risks going in.

Kerberos goes well. It's exciting to be involved in protocol work that people actually use. It's exciting 9 to see that I've made positive contributions and that I've gained a reputation as someone worth listening too. Another draft approved (draft-ietf-krb-wg-gssapi-cfx); I'm one of the authors on that one. This will be my first IETF publication and second publication overall.

Over the last two weeks I've actually gotten interested in Debian again. I've continued to do my job within Debian over the past few months, but I had lost the time necessary to follow the project and to feel connected with its goings on. Having to interact with people about some PAM problems caused me to start following things enough to feel connected again. Debian will always be a love-hate relationship;I like many aspects of the project and what we're trying to do, but it seems that for most metrics it's easy for Debian to get an 80% or 90% solution, while the last 10% is impossible. Individual preferences of maintainers, limited time, squabbling within the project, and the distributed nature of our work may have inherent limits on what we can achieve. And the things Debian does right just make the problems that much more painful.

March trip to Austin was short and enjoyable. The proceeding February trip was not as pleasant. I hope to write up some thoughts on that. I had cause to spend a lot of time thinking about balancing fairness and doing what is right against causing pointless pain. Traditionally I've been bad at such tradeoffs; this may have been yet another example.