In the year 2000, I started to work for SuSE Linux. In the beginning, I ported Linux to the PowerPC-based iSeries, a platform formerly known as AS/400 -- and I wrote major parts of an IBM redbook about Linux on iSeries. IBM hackers had ported the Linux kernel, and I had adapted the rest to this very particular environment. "SuSE Linux on iSeries -- the spicy solution! Have a lot of fun" ;-) You still find it via Google.

After so many years, it is hard to remember what one has been doing all the time. Heck, recently somebody told me, that when porting to iSeries, we were the first ones doing installations over VNC - remote, but still graphical. I was stunned to hear that, really, I invented this?? That's kind of cool.

For a number of years, maintenance of everything related to Apache, OpenSSL, and DHCP was among my responsibilities. There were more packages than I can count that I have been maintaining one time or the other. When I handed over the OpenSSL package, I counted that I had submitted 173 package submissions to the build system, with updates, backported security fixes, backports, updates. An amazing number. Due to the enterprise products that SuSE supported for sustained periods, there were three (?) versions of OpenSSL, so sometimes security fixes needed to be backported to 0.9.8, 0.9.7, 0.9.6, 0.9.5 even.

For a while I built my own PPC SuSE Linux derivate, because this platform was abandoned by SuSE; I had the fixed idea to get hard disk (audio) recording running on my old Macs, for the purpose of producing music. So this, and extensive packaging history, make it seem logical that I jumped on the Build Service train right when it started. I stopped using my own build system at once, when I heard that we do PPC again, and have this thing called build service. Since there was no tool or program to use it yet -- everything was more or less an idea with a rudimentary, proof-of-concept web frontend -- I wrote a 20 lines script to upload files to it. This script quickly evolved into osc, the command line client of the build service.

When I joined the team working on the build service, it became apparent that the download infrastructure was pushed to its very limits by it. I rewrote the redirecting download server and mirror handling, initially in a group effort with colleagues, later by myself. This project became a general-purpose mirror infrastructure, which is called MirrorBrain. See here.

And that's what I still work on most; bringing forward the openSUSE infrastructure, in particularly taking care of the the mirroring framework. I am researching ways to improve the content delivery network and implementing them in MirrorBrain; implementing a reliable download client for openSUSE; researching ways for finer mirror selection; working on Metalinks, a key technology for reliable downloads.

You can find me on freenode as "poeml".

Working.Working.