Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 12:24:50 -0600 (CST)
Subject: [opennms-announce] OpenNMS Update v1.38
Vol 1., Issue 38
In this week's installment...
* Project Status
+ Release Notes
+ Interesting Web Resources
+ Coding Projects Underway
* Bugs in Documentation
* The Wish List
So far, the feedback on the 0.4.0 "Testdrive" release has been
good, but limited.
We've noted almost 1000 downloads to date (which we find
encouraging) and numerous bug reports as well as emails back to me
pointing out other "unanticipated behaviors".
If you have any feedback you can provide on the product, please
drop me a line and let me know. Or fill out a bug report. Or email
the "Discussion" list. Anywhere is fine with me, but at this stage,
FEEDBACK IS CRITICAL!
On the list of more "major" bugs, we've already addressed the
following oft reported bugs in CVS, and a 0.4.1 release should be
en route by the end of the week (Watch this space!) The more
significant ones include:
* No "calendar.xml" or "onetime.xml" files
FIX: Get these files from CVS or an earlier release.
* RPM Install throws all kinds of errors about not finding a JDK
FIX: If you are using the IBM JDK, our pattern match to verify
the version was close, but not quite right. It's now fixed and new
RPMs of version 0.4.1 will be available later this week.
* Confusing Install Process
FIX: We're working on better, cleaner documentation and the doc
(including the Quick Start Guide) will be revved in 0.4.1 as well.
Look for more info there, and they are available in CVS as
Interesting Web Resources:
As we get fired back up on building the distributed
architecture, SOAP once again rears its head.
One of our main problems with SOAP (so far) is a distinct vacuum
occuring everywhere you would expect there to be documentation.
While there doesn't appear to be much underway to address this
problem, Doug passed along an interesting link to a new SOAP book
hitting the shelves. I haven't read it yet (but it's on my list of
things to do--maybe), but if any of you have and can provide some
feedback or a review, it would be appreciated.
Still wrapping our brains around the distributed stuff again.
Efforts are underway, specifically around the servlet-based
receivers for some of this stuff, but I haven't made it to the
office yet this week to give you any more details than that (I've
been on the road, not just lazy)...
* Maji Prelim Work -- Rick is a ctive on the "events" mailing
* MIB Compiler -- Things are looking good with the MICA stuff.
Interesting question has been posed about JavaCC and what exactly
is entailed with Metamata's intermediate "license".
* Distributed Architecture -- Weave is back amongst those of us
with a door in that big hole in the back of our homes, and the
contractors have left. Detailed design work is well underway.
Bugs in the Documentation
We are aware of a few points in which our documentation is
either wrong, misleading, confusing, or just weak. We've addressed
most of these, per your input. But I just wanted to call out a few
points for clarification.
Bugzilla is being used to track bugs and enhancement requests as
they are found and registered. We consider typos and documentation
problems to be "bugs" as well, but we've set aside one specific
bug-- Bug #100 -- to track those issues specifically. If you find
one register it there. It helps to keep down the noise-level and
administration overhead for typographical errors, and it keeps our
bug counts manageable when our worst enemy is our own fat fingers.
Thanks for your help in this pursuit.
Next, OpenNMS is building a big product. And a product that is
capable of managing large IT infrastructures is going to be a
fairly complex tool. Thus its configuration can get complex as
well. We've done what we can to simplify the process (and my kudos
to Steve for much of the high-level design that has gone into that
effort). But we DO have a need to address the complexity, and we've
attempted to address it with a barrage of documentation, not the
least of which is the Quick Start guide.
I won't deny anybody the right to bitch if they want, but please
don't complain about the complexity of the product if you obviously
haven't read at least the Quick Start guide. This weapon in our
documentation arsenal goes a long way toward helping you not only
sort out what you need to do, but should provide some insights as
to how the product is actually going to work. It's worth a
Remember, there is very little difference between someone who
won't read and someone who can't.
The Wish List
Testing continues. Keep up the good work!
We've still got some other stuff that we'd like you to consider
as places you might be able to help us along:
* Custom pollers -- You can now see how they are supposed to
work (and do). And you've got some templates for how you can create
your own. Modifying out TCP pollers to check new services is not
brain-surgery, and should be an easy way for you to contribute, as
well as solving needs for your own environment. Some things to
consider might be: ssh, LDAP, Application-specific hooks.
* Migration Tools -- Have access to one of the network
management frameworks proffered by the big boys? You can see their
DB and configs and ours too. How about a series of Perl scripts to
convert things over?
* Alternative User Interfaces -- Want to build a map? How about
a Web interface? VT100? GTK? What's your bag?
* Wildcard -- What don't we have that you want/need?
First off - trip to Pittsburgh is off. So no Penguins
Many thanks for the answers to my "What's a Bruin?" question.
Apparently, it's a male bear, a brown bear, and most importantly,
the Brown University Interactive Language, a language for IBM 360
environment with a PL/1 syntax (I've actually done PL/1, for those
of you that thought this was funny and obscure...it's really
The responses on maps were good and reasonably consistent. Most
of you said "Maps suck", but there were some good arguments on
behalf of maps, most of which argued that with maps you can at
least manage multiple screens, which is impossible trying to manage
from an event browser. Of course, there were the "they make
management happy" reasons too, but for the most part, no real
compelling arguments on the need for a topologically-organized map
vs. another graphical representation. Many thanks to those of you
We've been getting some good press lately, and Network World has
featured us a couple of times (once in an open source article, once
in a Linux editorial), not to mention the rest of the press
coverage around the Testdrive release. Consider all of this
ammunition as you begin to lay the groundwork in your organizations
for deploying OpenNMS to manage your infrastructure. Managers like
to think that they can justify decisions, and articles in trade
rags certainly help them along that path.