The view looks good from up here

Woot! We finally released libview, VMware’s Incredibly Exciting Widgets! This has been very long planned, but it’s finally out. libview consists of many of the useful generic widgets we use inside the VMware Workstation code base. We have 16 widgets and one utility class currently in there, and have a list of widgets we plan to move into libview.

Now, this is not just a code dump, like some other companies have done. We will not be developing these widgets any further inside our own tree at VMware. libview on SourceForge is where the widgets will be developed from now on. They are under the MIT license, so feel free to use them for whatever. We will be setting up a web page and a listserv and stuff in the near future, and will commit some more widgets, bug fixes, and test apps.

Most of the widgets are written in C++ using gtkmm, so most projects won’t be able to take advantage of them as-is. We expect a lot of people will be re-implementing the parts they need for some projects. However, if you’re a project that uses the excellent gtkmm, these should Just Work (TM).

For a description of what’s included, see Philip’s blog, as he went into a bit of detail.

The Linux Desktop: One ISV’s Experience

Philip Langdale, one of the Galeon developers and one of our very talented Linux UI developers at VMware posted a couple of blog entries describing the various problems that we, as an ISV, have had with maintaining compatibility amongst a wide range of Linux distributions, from Red Hat 7.2 to modern-day 64-bit distros. It’s a good read, and explains a bit about why we bundle so much with VMware and why some people have the bugs they have.

Ducky go down the hooooooole

(Subject and pictures courtesy of Walter, one of my co-workers)

Yesterday, while chatting on VMware’s internal IRC server, we got a bit silly and started talking about the wooden ducks somebody places in one of the upper ponds at our building. It was suggested that we should send one of the ducks down the waterfall. We talked about it on and off all day and eventually gathered together to send the duck on its merry way.

Of course, we took pictures 🙂

Everybody’s hiring!

Wow, lots of “We’re looking to hire” posts on Planet GNOME today. So I might as well say, we, as in VMware, are looking to hire too.

I would try to really sell this place and embellish everything, but there’s no need. The company is so much fun to work at, and every manager I have talked to has been friendly, helpful, and without an ego problem. There are lots of little perks. Free snack food all day long, every day, once-a-week catered lunches, video game systems, DDR, weekly sports of several types during work hours, very flexible hours, weekly beer bashes, and company events (such as the company paying for us to see Star Wars Episode 3, picnics, etc.), to name a few.

I work in the Hosted UI group as a Linux developer. We hack on the hosted products, such as Workstation and ACE. The team is great. We do things together all the time, grab lunch and just BS the time away. We’re pretty productive, though, and the people on the team are all very smart. Every one of the Linux developers comes from open source, specifically from a Gtk project. The Windows guys know their stuff as well. All in all, it’s a great little community that is just a part of a larger great community.

The general rule is that every full-time developer gets an office, which is shared with one other developer. In our team, we all have window offices. Makes for a nice atmosphere.

The pay is very nice, and the area is great too, if you live in Palo Alto. We have a currently very small Boston office we’re setting up, but I honestly don’t know the details with that. It’s not very big at the moment. The team I’m in is exclusively in Palo Alto.

I’m not exaggerating a bit when I say that VMware is the type of company I have always dreamed about working at. Most days, I look forward to going to work, unless there’s an annoying bug I’ve spent days attempting to fix without success. 🙂 We are picky about who we hire, but we are definitely looking for some skilled Gtk+ hackers. We’re open source and Linux friendly, and try to contribute back in one way or another when possible.

If anyone’s interested, please contact me.

Take back your vacation!

Wow, what a fun week. VMware bought tickets for everyone to go see Star Wars Episode 3 for yesterday. Yesterday’s whole day basically included us going to the movie theater, standing in line, watching the movie, and then either going home or doing a little bit of work and then going home. All in all, it was a relaxed today. And I must say, I liked Episode 3.

Today was another non-work day. In celebration of our Workstation 5 release, we spent the day at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. We had food, volleyball, rides, laser tag, miniature golf, and VMware beach bags, all paid for by the company. The day ended way too soon, but it was so much fun. It was my first time going there, but I fully plan to go back with Jamie or family at some point.

Back to the work Monday, though. What’s kinda cool is that these two days of relaxation were the break I needed to come up with some solutions to coding problems I’ve been dealing with the first part of this week. By next week, my current project should be a lot further along 🙂

Workstation 5 for Linux Screenshots

The VMware Workstation 5 for Linux screenshots I took still aren’t up on the VMware website, due to busy schedules and other priorities. I have, however, been told I can make them publicly available, as the product is released. So, until they’re officially up, here are the Workstation 5 for Linux screenshots:

Desktop screenshot
VMware integrated into the user’s desktop, with themed folder icons, MIME-Type icons and all.

Gorilla Theme
VMware with the Gorilla GTK+ theme
Teams 1
A virtual “team” of VMs, running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, Windows 2000 Pro, and Windows XP, all networked together. Each “thumbnail” is an active updating view. Screen savers are fun in teams.
Teams 2
Another teams screenshot, without the settings dialog.
Teams 3
yet another teams screenshot, this time showing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 as the current VM.
Teams 4
Last teams screenshot, showing just the window and not the full desktop.
Team Settings dialog
The settings dialog for teams. Virtual LAN segments can be added, removed, and modified, with artificial packet loss and speeds introduced.
Snapshot Manager
The Snapshot Manager dialog, which allows users to add, remove, rename, and switch
to snapshots in time.
New VM Wizard
The New Virtual Machine wizard
VM Settings Dialog
The Virtual Machine Settings dialog. Here, new hardware can be added, memory changed, and various options frobnicated.

Life at VMware

I realized today that I’m approaching 8 months at VMware. The time flew by so fast, it’s amazing. I’m not even sick of it yet! 😉 The place is actually quite cool. They treat us amazingly well. We have flexible hours, the option to work at home when we need to, free food, a great environment, actual offices, really cool managers… It’s better than I would have ever imagined. And we have a lot of open source people there, too.

For those who don’t know, I work on the Hosted Linux UI team. That means I worked on Workstation 5, which we just released. It kicks ass 🙂 I’m proud of it. I’m still waiting for the screenshots I put together to go up on the site, though. I’ll post them when they appear.

What we need is more talented Linux people on the UI team. If anybody is interested, feel free to contact me with a resume and I’ll pass it along. We’re stationed in Palo Alto, California, which is a nice place to live.

I need to get a picture of our building, with the fountain and waterfall and beautiful trees, but for now, I only have pics of my office.