Tag Archives: Haxx

Going Fosdem 2010

Oh what the heck, we plan to bring every single employee of Haxx over to Fosdem 2010. Yes, that means all two of us!

I hope we’ll manage to join up with fellow Rockbox hackers then and it would be great fun to meet other friends from other projects and open source activities too.

I’ve not been to Fosdem before, and I’ve offered to do a talk there but so far I’ve not gotten a response from the responsible guy in the “embedded dev room”. We’ll see how that ends.

Haxx <<= 1;

Oh yes, I’ve been dreaming of the day when I could use a blog post title with a left shift operator! 😉

HaxxOur growth rate is indeed phenomenal as my brother Björn joins Haxx as employee number two, and we’ve now doubled our size! Well, at least we double the number of full-time Haxxers.

Haxx continues to focus on being highly skilled and experienced consultants within embedded, Linux , networking and open source.

If you need help in your project, or know of anyone else who could use skilled embedded consultants. Give us a beep!

If you, dear readers, are interested in working with or for us, and you think you are a skilled person within one or more of our areas then by all means get in touch! If you’re living and working in Sweden and most preferably in the Stockholm area, it’ll be really cool.

Adapting to being behind

For many years I’ve always kept up to speed with my commitments in my primary open source projects. I’ve managed to set aside enough time to close the bug reports as fast as they have poured in. This, while still having time to work on new features every now and then.

During this last year (or so) however, I’ve come to realize that I no longer can claim to be in that fortunate position and I now find myself seeing the pile of open bugs get bigger and bigger over time. I get more bug reports than I manage to close.

There are of course explanations for this. In both ends of the mix actually. I’ve got slightly less time due my recent decision to go working for Haxx full-time, and how I’ve decided to focus slightly more on paid work which thus leads to me having less time for the unpaid work I’m doing.

Also, I’ve seen activity raise in the curl project, in the libssh2 project and in the c-ares project. All of these projects have the same problem of various degrees: a lack of participating developers working on fixing bugs. Especially bugs reported by someone else.

Since this situation is still fairly new to me, I need to learn on how to adapt to it. How to deal with a stream of issues that is overwhelming and I must select what particular things I care about and what to “let through”. This of course isn’t ideal for the projects but I can’t do much more than proceed to the best of my ability, to try to make people aware of that this is happening and try to get more people involved to help out!

Don’t get fooled by my focus on “time” above. Sometimes I even plainly lack the energy necessary to pull through. It depends a lot on the tone or impression I get from the report or reporter how I feel, but when a reporter is rude or just too “demanding” (like constantly violating the mailing list etiquette or just leaving out details even when asked) I can’t but help to feel that at times working as a developer during my full-day paid hours can make it a bit hard to then work a couple of hours more in the late evening debugging further.

The upside, let’s try to see it as a positive thing, is that now I can actually “punish” those that clearly don’t deserve to get helped since I now focus on the nice people, the good reports, the ones which seem to be written by clever people with an actual interest to see their problems addressed. Those who don’t do their part I’ll just happily ignore until they shape up.

I will deliberately just let issues “slip through” and not get my attention and require that if they are important enough people will either report it again, someone else will step up and help fix them or perhaps someone will even consider paying for the fix.

First month on my own

Yeah, it’s already been a month since I took off and started working for Haxx full time. Starting a company (even though the company already existed in the legal sense) certainly involves a lot of paperwork and talking to banks, insurance companies and getting arrangements with partners etc. A lot of that of course being just an initial phase, but some of it will be a more integrated part of my day now when I don’t have a well-oiled team of admins hired that deal with such matters.

I’m happy to say that I have had a whole slew of good talks with existing and potentially new customers, and I’m already cooperating with a few companies in very constructive ways – so that I can help others succeed with their undertakings. Several things that happened during this month involved open source (although I’m not able to talk about them in public), and I feel really good when my work and my beliefs can go hand in hand!

This said, I’m always ready for more and new missions. If you’re in need, you know where I am!

Going full-time Haxx

I realize noHaxxt a lot of you who read my site or blog are aware of my actual real world day-job situation (nor should you have to care), but I still want to let you guys know that I’m ending my employment at CAG Contactor and my intention is to find my way forward with my own company, Haxx AB, as employee number 1.

Haxx has existed for over ten years already, but we’ve so far only used it for stuff on the side that wasn’t full-time nor competing with our day-jobs. Starting in October, I’ll now instead work only for and with Haxx.

I don’t expect much in my actual day to day business to change much as I intend to continue as a contract developer / consultant / hacker doing embedded, Linux, open source and network development as an expert and senior engineer.

So if you want my help, you can continue to contact me the same way as before, and I can offer my services like before! 😉 The only difference is in my end where I get more freedom and control.

This move on my behalf will affect some of you indirectly: I will move a lot of web and other internet-based services from servers owned and run by Contactor to servers owned by Haxx. So, expect a lot of my sites and contents to get some uptime glitches in the upcoming month in my struggle to get things up on the new place(s).

Haxx for you

So our company is named Haxx and it has been named like this for more than a decade, but the name is considered by some people be a mark of evil or something.

In my closest circle of friends we’ve kind of “always” liked using silly names and we’ve since long had a fascination with double Xes. Once upon the time in the early 90s we teamed up under the name Frexx and we did some funky programs on the Amiga. Most notably a programming language called FPL and the text editor FrexxEd.

When we then during the second half of the 90s needed to start an actual company to easier cater for our “spare time businesses” we wanted a new name but still one in a similar spirit. Being big friends and practitioners of writing “quick hacks” (“hack” in the sense that it is a quickly done program/script that perhaps isn’t always written very solidly or nice but works for the moment) to solve our own problems both at work and at home, we found Haxx to be a perfect name for us – Hack in pluralis, spelled with double-x.

Already at the time we took the name we knew about this bad habit at places that seemed to lump Hackers with Crackers or similar so we knew there would be a risk that some could assume us to be something else based on our name, but what the heck, we liked the name and we are and were hackers and we do and did a lot of hacks. Haxx it was. Haxx it is.

These days we get some minor problems due to this. At some companies (let’s not name any specific but you know the kind) they have black-listed haxx.se web sites (presumably because of the name ‘haxx’ in the domain name), some people get mails from us our the mailing lists we host easier filtered as spam and we get our share of strange suggestions etc.

I guess the upside of it is that we get our chances to whine on people and systems who decide to filter contents purely based on the presence of a single 4-letter word, either in a domain name or in web page or mail contents, and that is actually hilariously stupid.


Open source personal

I participate in a range of different open source projects. Of course I spend more time on some of them and only a very little time in most of them, but I’m currently listed as member of 18 projects on sourceforge and 16 on ohloh and I can easily figure out a bunch more than aren’t listed on either of those sites.

I’m just the kind of guy who tend to actually get the code and write up a patch for problems, and in fact also in many cases I’ll write an fresh application and publish it openly for the world (not that my typical programs get any particularly large audience but still). I’m not saying everyone has to be like this, I’m just describing me here.

It seems this is a troublesome concept for people to grasp.

I get a large amount of private mail where people talk about “your project” (as in a single one that I am supposed to understand which one they’re referring to) and just about all open source-related interview/questionnaire things I’ve filled in tend to assume My One Single Project. In the first case I can often guess which one they refer to by the phrasing of the mail, and in the second case I tend to answer for the project I’m involved the most in.

So I get this feed of private emails on projects I participate in, but I don’t like private emails about open source projects when people request and expect free support and help. If they want free support, I expect the people to post the questions publicly and open to allow others to reply and read both the question and the subsequent answer online, right there at the time they’re asked but also much later when searching for help on the same subject as then the answers will be around in mailing list archives etc.

These days I have a blanket reply form that I bounce back when I get private support mails and I will admit that most people respect that after having been told about the situation. Every now and then of course I get a violent refusal for sympathy and instead I get to learn I’m an arrogant bastard. This is also related to the fact that:

We (Haxx) run and offer commercial support around curl and libcurl, and for that purpose we have a dedicated support email address. Mail there if you’re willing to pay for support. That’s actually quite clearly spelled out everywhere where that address is displayed, but yet people seem to find that a good place to mail random questions and bug reports. Just today I got a very upset mail response after I mentioned the “paid support” part of the deal there expecting us (me?) to instantly fix bugs regardless since I’ve been told about them per email…

All in all, I’m not really complaining since I’m generally getting along fine with everyone and stuff around this.

Just everyone try to keep things apart: the projects, the people and the companies. They’re sometimes intertwined but sometimes not.