September 2006

Conferences Ahead

I enjoy going to conferences. When I was younger, I really loathed travelling. Now that I am much more open minded, I’m having fun seeing other towns and countries and meeting people from all over the planet.

Currently I’m looking forward to attending two important conferences next month:

  1. OEDEM’06 (Open Embedded Developers European Meeting) in Berlin — it’s the first (of hopefully an annual series) conference about the BitBake Task Executor and the OpenEmbedded MetaData Repository, both in combination enabling to build Embedded Linux Distributions from scratch. Since I’m the co-founder of this project I have the honor to host a couple of sessions. I’m especially happy to meet the OE developer and OpenZaurus maintainer Marcin ‚Hrw‘ Juszkiewicz for the first time.
  2. Trolltech Dev’Days’06 in Munich — a developer conference with a lot of interesting sessions about Qt, Qtopia, and related products. Despite my ambivalent relationship to the Trolltech Brisbane developer group, I’m glad for the opportunity of attending a conference with an advanced technical program — especially because Opie veteran Holger ‚Zecke‘ Freyther will join me.

Nearby… since I need to work during travelling, I have just ordered a Lenovo Thinkpad X60s — crossing fingers that it will arrive before the first conference is due.

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Thesis Submitted

Today I have submitted my Ph.D. thesis „Component-based adaptive Middleware for mobile distributed systems“ to the examination office!

My thesis shows how the encapsulation of distributed systems middleware functionality into components can lead to an adaptive middleware system that — by the means of a reflective architecture — features dynamic adaptation to changing application requirements and to changing environmental conditions. Using the developed µMiddle architecture, you can add and modify

  • application interfaces (e.g. RPC, Message Passing, Tuple Space),
  • marshalling strategies (e.g. ASCII, Binary, XMLRPC, SOAP),
  • stream operations (e.g. compression, encryption),
  • transport protocols (e.g. TCP, UDP, ATP),
  • service discovery modules (e.g. SDP),
  • context awareness modules (battery, environmental lighting, CPUload),

and more directly within a running middleware system using a highly abstracted graph-based Meta-Object-Protocol that guarantees safe and consistent changes.
This kind of capability is of increasing importance for next generation mobile distributed systems and leads to more flexible middleware and application architectures.
Subject to the agreement of the board, I will get an appointment for the public defense of my thesis — hopefully not later than December this year.
I want to acknowledge all of you who supported and believed in me in the past 5 years — thanks!

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The Trouble with NDAs

NDAs are pretty common in freelance work projects. The acronym NDA stands for „Non Disclosure Agreement“, which basically means that you are not allowed to talk about anything related to clients, vendors, hardware or software specifications, market strategics, etc.

While I understand (and of course respect) the origins and purposes of NDAs, sometimes they’re troublesome anyway. For instance, I am working on a really really cool project that is eventually going to be Open Source and have an important impact there, because… I would love to tell you more, but I’m not allowed to 🙂

This is a difference between academics and businesses I will have to live with.

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