[Xenomai] Xenomai community meeting 2018, meeting minutes

Karim Yaghmour karim.yaghmour at opersys.com
Fri Feb 9 18:14:20 CET 2018

Hi Wolfgang,

On 02/09/2018 11:45 AM, Wolfgang Denk wrote:
> Dear Karim,
> In message <71b1c406-6eb5-8c62-36e6-c48341bafa75 at opersys.com> you wrote:
>>>>     - usage stats could be extracted from our website, downloads,
>>>>       mailinglists
>>> We have to be very careful here.  German law is pretty strict about
>>> what you can (or rather must not) do with such data...
>> I'm obviously not in a position to provide any sort of legal advice nor
>> would I recommend violating any laws. However, it would probably be
>> worth getting some specifics on this instead of just shying away because
>> of an unspecified potential issue. The point is, it's my understanding
>> that there would be no selling nor advertising of this nor use for any
>> commercial purpose. The only purpose here is to get a better
>> understanding of who is using Xenomai and where they are physically
>> located to plan activities accordingly and provide a more accurate
>> picture to the larger open source community as to the composition of the
>> Xenomai user-base.
> This is not intended to "shy away" anybody.  But the laws are really
> strict. Yes,we can easily generate information like numners of
> downloads or such, without problems.  But just storing accessing IP
> addresses (even whenyou never ever disclose these to anybody) means
> you are storing pesonal information, and you might require
> permission from the accessing user.  So for exmaple trying to
> evaluate accessing domain names to generate statistics about the
> number of companies who are interested in Xenomai would be something
> which I would not do without prior legal clearance.

Understood. FWIW, I don't have access to any of this myself. Just trying 
to help.

>>> I doubt this will actually work.  In my experience, there is a
>>> pretty large base of users who intentionally do NOT advertise their
>>> use of Xenomai.
>> That's a good point. Still, Xenomai has historically suffered from
>> having a primarily "anonymous" user base. Yet, that user base is
>> hampered by the lack of seeming traction given that few are willing to
>> "endorse" the project.
> This is only natural, I think. We are not one of the classic open
> source communities like Linux of U-Boot have.  You don't run Xenomai
> on your toy project to scratch some private itches.  Xenomai is
> intended for and primarily applied in industrial environments.
> The overwhelming majority of Xenomai users known to me don't do this
> for fun, but for business. And many of them are not permitted to
> disclose any details of their work, often not even the name of the
> company.  This has not much to do with being willing or not, but
> with being permitted.

That makes sense. I wouldn't say most people using U-Boot are doing it 
for toy projects, but I get what you mean. Being a Linux or U-Boot user 
may be more anonymizing that declaring that you use Xenomai.

>> That's the core issue. If no one is going to show public and strong
>> support for this project, it's going to be close to impossible to show
>> the value of the project to the wider open source community, especially
>> the Linux kernel developers. The project's value can only be argued for
>> so long simply based on logical arguments when compared to other approaches.
> This problem is as old as Xenomai.  We tried before to overcome
> this, for example with the first (and so far only, sic!) Xenomai
> User's Meeting of 2009 where we were actually able to find a few
> companies willing to publicly confirm their use of Xenomai ([1]).
> We did a number of projects based on Xenomai since, and please
> don't assume that we did not try to get more such publicity.
> I really don't want to discourage you, but please don't hold your
> breath!

True, this is an old problem. But it's going to have to be solved at 
some point. Because it's those very users who depend on Xenomai who are 
ultimately going to pay the price if it ceases to be maintainable.

The idea was that by having regular meetings at a proper location, 
possibly co-located with another event such as ELC or ELCE, then people 
could show up "uncommitted" to an adjunct event. Yet, still, this would 
foster at least some form of community around the project.


Karim Yaghmour
CEO - Opersys inc. / www.opersys.com

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