Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2000 17:27:17 -0600 (CST)
Subject: [opennms-announce] OpenNMS Update v1.37
Vol 1., Issue 37
In this week's installment...
* Project Status
+ Announcing: Testdrive Release
+ New Release Strategy
+ Coding Projects Underway
* Out and About - Atlanta/Pittsburgh/NYC/Boston
* Have I mentioned Bugzilla?
* The Wish List
Announcing: Testdrive Release:
Go ahead. Get in. Take 'er for a spin!
On behalf of the entire team at OpenNMS, I'm proud to announce
the completion of the "Testdrive" release of the OpenNMS
The "Testdrive" release, aka Version 0.4.0, is the initial cut
at a "single-box solution" that will be shipped (knock wood) on the
upcoming release of one of the major Linux distributions. We worked
hard to pack as much of the functionality from the first scheduled
release (now slated for 1Q01) into this one as we could. Here's a
run-down of the major components that are shipping, what they do,
and what this means to you:
* What: SCM
What it Does: Service Control Manager. It provides a mechanism
to control the start-up, shutdown, and status of some of the
Why You Care: SCM is user-configurable so you can include your
own processes, exclude processes, etc, for your environment. But
basically, the important part is now you have an easy way to start
up the "guts" of OpenNMS
* What: SCMUI
What it Does: Service Control Manager User Interface.
Effectively, this is your "eyes" into the current status of the
background processes. It also provides an easy interface to start
stopped processes, stop started processes, and shutdown the whole
ball of wax if'n ya need to.
Why You Care: Starting and stopping applications and processes
is a good thing.
* What: OpenNMS
What it Does: Basically, this is the user interface. A common
login dialog is presented and depending who you log in as, you
either get a user view of managed devices or an administrator
Why You Care: Once you've got the processes started, it's nice
to be able to both use them as well as configure them.
* What: Help
What it Does: Help is a Beatles' movie from 1965 in which Ringo
is to be the human sacrifice for a cult and the rest of the Fab
Four have to save him. It's also our graphical user interface to
the included documentation.
Why You Care: I don't know about you, but on occasion, I
actually RTFM. And in this case, there are four of them--a User
Administrator Reference, an Overview Manual, and BAM! - A Quick
Start Guide. If you choose to ignore these, at least check out the
Quick Start Guide. It will be 10 minutes well spent.
* What: Various Background Processes
What They Do: Everything you want them to do, and more.
Basically, this is where the work happens, including the processes
responsible for network discovery, capabilities checking, receiving
SNMP trap s, handling events, invoking automation (running scripts
on event receipt, integrating with trouble ticketing and
notification systems, etc), scheduling the next device polls, and
determining which events impact which nodes and which users should
be informed of them.
Why You Care: Basically, if you don't care, you should have
stopped reading before now. Assuming you do, the SCMUI will give
you a good cursory overview of the processes that are running, and
the Admin Guide will give you an overview of what they actually
* What: Other External Requirements
What They Do: Oh, you know, little stuff like a database. We've
built everything in this release to leverage Postgres on a Linux
box, but there shouldn't be much keeping anyone from trying it on
NT, either. Of course, that means that you'd have to WANT to run it
on NT and if so, this might be a handy outlet for your BDSM
Why You Care: Things just don't work without the external
dependencies. For deeper insights into what you need, check out the
Quick Start guide.
With the "Testdrive"/0.4.0 release out of the nest and learning
to fly, we've decided to add a little more method to our madness on
Henceforth and hithermore, we shall release as stable production
releases those with an even minor number (e.g., 0.4.0, 0.6.1,
0.8.3) and all new development will be done in releases with an odd
minor number (e.g., 0.5.0, 0.7.0, etc). This is Linuxy and we like
This should help to add a little clarity to our release
strategy, and we can all use a little clarity now and then.
The "stable" releases will be updated with bug fixes and will be
released as a significant number of fixes are included, but all
true enhancement will be pushed into the development branch and
will be available only from CVS tree nightly snapshots (available
in the Downloads section of the web site) or directly from CVS.
Hope this helps.
Coding Projects Underway:
This week, we get to kind of change things up, as we are in the
transition from the "single box" development target to again
refocusing on our distributed architecture. As such, the list will
reflect specific new efforts going forward and will not mention
* Maji Prelim Work -- Rick is active on the "events" mailing
* MIB Compiler -- Official research underway. Should have a
direction to report next week.
* Distributed Architecture -- As soon as he's done fighting with
home repairs and contractors, Weave will be back on the SOAP
Out and About - Atlanta/Pittsburgh/NYC/Boston
Just a heads-up to those of you in the Atlanta, Pittsburgh, NYC,
and Greater Boston area that we've got some upcoming trips
scheduled to head your way. If you'd like to hook up with us to
discuss the project, potential partnership interests, employment
opportunities, or simply ply us with alcohol, drop a line to either
Luke (firstname.lastname@example.org) or me
(email@example.com) and we'll be glad to share our itineraries
and/or beverage preferences.
Our other goals for these trips are easy: Buy a Penguins jersey
and find out what the hell a Bruin is.
If you would indulge me, I'd like to take a minute to be
Frank: Please download the Testdrive release, try it out, and report
your bugs to Bugzilla.
You: Gee, Frank, that doesn't sound too hard.
Frank: You're right! It's not! But when you find a bug, make sure you
do a search of Bugzilla to make sure someone else hasn't reported
You: That only makes good sense, Frank. But what do I do if I find a
typo or other such glitch in the documentation?
Frank: How very nice of you to ask. We are tracking any defects in the
documentation in Bugzilla as well, but we'd like to have all of
those entered as additional descriptions in Bug #100 in Bugzilla.
You: #100?!? That's easy to remember. Was that number fortuitous, or
did you plan it that way?
Frank: I'd rather be lucky than smart any day.
Shane: Shut up, Frank, you dumbass.
The Wish List
For all of you who offered services testing OpenNMS in your
environment--this is your cue. You're On!
Bug reports are great, bug fixes are better. Enhancement
requests? Take a number like everybody else. And enhancement
requests can be filed in Bugzilla, too. Never underestimate the
power of Bugzilla!
Go, Go Bugzilla!
I've grown so accustomed to using the end of the Update as my
own personal forum that I've decided to give this section a name.
That way, in the future, you'll know when to stop reading...
I was wondering...have any of you ever come across any studies
done that address the value of "maps" in visualizing networks and
solving network-related problems? Here's why I ask...
Personally, I've never been a big fan of maps. In big
environments, they are pretty much unusable and most of the people
I've worked with who I considered good "router jocks", never really
seemed to use the maps anyway. When it came time to fix a problem,
they were driven by the events and then worked with the device.
It seems as if we're in an industry dominated by "mapping"
tools, but no one seems to know why. I've come across one situation
in which maps are almost mandatory, but only one, and it could
probably be addressed with a different visual metaphor.
I'm interested in your feedback. I think there's probably a
dissertation hidden in the answer to this question (or at least the
quest for an answer...). You can send responses directly to me or
post to the "Discuss" list. And thanks for your input.
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