[Nut-upsuser] Christmas mail

Arnaud Quette aquette.dev at gmail.com
Tue Dec 30 13:44:38 UTC 2008

Dear NUT users and developers,

A bit later than usual, here is the traditional end of the year mail
to sum up the past year, think about the future and make some

Those of you who have followed closely the project already know: 2008
has been a harder year than ever.
And the UPS world has somehow finished a full revamp cycle, started 2 years ago!

* A new sponsor:
Last year, I've announced the APC + MGE UPS Systems were merging, with
a part of the whole (systems up to 10 KVA from MGE) being sold to
Eaton. This last, which already owned Powerware, acquired MGE Office
Protection Systems, with most of the people that backed me and NUT for
years. Later in 2008, Eaton also acquired Phoenixtec, the mother firm
of Santak (#1 in China), Phoenixtec (ODM) and Centralion (OEM). The
latter is well known for its blazer and many other rebranded units
sold under as many names (check for megatec in docs/driver.list to get
an idea!).

After almost a year of discussions, the result is now that Eaton, the
group and not only MGE Office Protection Systems, will be the new NUT
So rejoice, we now have more backing than ever ^_^

An official statement should be issued soon (n'est ce pas Hervé !)

Anyway, actions are already taking place:
- several NUT developers have already been provided with units from
the 3 brands,
We can already see the results with:
  * Arjen and the new blazer* drivers, along with his work the
netxml-ups (prev. mge-xml) driver,
  * Kjell adding the awaited Load Segments support in bcmxcp (outlet.*
collection, aka NUT Powersave feature)
  * myself and the various PDUs supported (based on Eaton ePDUs work at first!)
- NUT will be tested against *all* the Powerware / MGE Office
Protection Systems / Centralion systems
- resources will be setup so that NUT developers can access to many
live systems for development and testing,
- a buildbot farm will be setup so that our QA get reinforced,
- I should be provided with more time to work on NUT (~20 % of my work
time at MGE UPS, now ~60 % at Eaton, hopefully increased to 100 %
soon). The 2.4.0 release is now underway (2.4.0-pre1 has been released
a few days ago), along with some more work (see below).
- units have been sent to many key peoples in the Community, either to
protect their work or simply to establish bridges (Linus Torvalds, Jim
Garlick from Powerman, Nick Barcet from Canonical/Ubuntu, ...).

Thanks a lot to Eaton for supporting NUT and the FLOSS Community.
Hopefully, this is the beginning of a great collaboration...

* the new major 2.4.0 release:
2.4.0 is not far from the final release (~ 3 weeks). This is really a
major release!
So many things have been added or improved. And you're warmly
encouraged to test it.

The most interesting point is surely that NUT 2.4 is focused on
broadening its scope.
Until recently, NUT has been dedicated to UPS support. But we already
have the proper architecture and naming scheme to address more devices
types, still staying in the Power Devices area!
And we have done so: NUT 2.4 is bringing support for Power
Distribution Units (PDUs).
Future investigation will be around Watts Up (Pro) and other devices
(some have even requested ambient sensing devices).
We also have seen some home brew solar converters coupled with UPSs iirc.
Anyway, NUT is already, and soon will be even more, ready to address
the many challenges of Energy management that FLOSS is starting to
And I'm even more sure that it will have an important role to play in
power management efficiency.

A special *huge* thank to Arjen who has devoted a lot of time and
energy to push that release.
2.4.0-pre1 wouldn't have been in time without him. So Kudos Dad' 2.0 ;-)

* new CGI & web 2.0:
with the growing demand for integrating NUT, in big infrastructure, or
simply in appliances (see below), the NUT CGIs started to be too old
fashioned and not flexible enough.
Jonathan "JonJon" Bonzy, an Eaton colleague, has kindly accepted to
work on his *personal* time to improve that situation. He has started
to add CSS support and to do some make up. A preliminary result can be

I'm still working on completing this, and solving a licensing issue,
so that we can integrate this in 2.4.
Depending on the timeframe, it will be present in 2.4.0, but I'm not
that sure now :-(
So it may have to wait for 2.6, since I don't see it replacing the
current one in 2.4.1... apart it there is a huge demand for that!

thanks again to JonJon ;-)

As a side Note, another Eaton colleague (Seb Volle) has started to
work on an AJAX ("web 2.0") version of the web UIs. We'll see how that

* Python, configuration and GUI:
This cute and powerful language has been appealing a part of the NUT
Team for long.
After having considered, and then discarded the CTypes approach, I was
pleased to see David Goncalves' work on a client class and application
(NUT-Monitor). These offers currently a quite decent set of features
in ~ 120Kb.
So I've decided to work on integrating his work in NUT for 2.4.0, to
provide our users a portable GUI within the NUT tree.

We have already talked with David about completing (rewriting in fact)
this application, along with creating a configuration class and
application. This last would be usable both in standalone mode, or
integrated into the NUT client application. With all this, we would be
able to provide our users with a complete GUI to configure and manage
NUT. This part is scheduled for 2.6 and will fill one of the last NUT

This will open a lot of doors for NUT integration and better user experience.

A big thank to David for all his work in this area.

* FossCamp / Ubuntu Developer Summit:
Some interesting discussions took place during the FossCamp / Ubuntu
Developer Summit.
Thanks again to Canonical / Ubuntu for sponsoring me to represent the
NUT project (and a few others ;-).
Among the various discussions, there was one about a configuration
template and generation system called Augeas.
I've already started some work there, but since it will be included in
Augeas itself, I've delayed it a bit to focus on the bits that need to
enter NUT itself (the remainder being the new CGIs and Python client
Class and Application).

Some more work will be done with Ubuntu on configuration deployment,
supervision and Power Capping (though this last is not directly in the
NUT scope, more in conjunction...).

For more info, jump to the FossCamp / UDS thread:

* Appliances integration:
2008 has also seen an interesting growth of NUT integration into
various Linux appliances, either personal or professional. I've
started a list on the future new website to track these:

There are many non listed. So if you hear of some others, please drop me a mail.

* Now, the tasks for 2008 will be:
 1) NUT 2.6, including:
   * the Python remainders, as detailed above,
   * the DeviceKit-power integration (HAL replacement),
   * the documentation rewrite (Holy Grail) and the new website,
   * the NUT Packaging Standard (aka NPS) to break to NUT packaging
scattering, and improve NUT integration.
   * various improvements to ease the work on configuration (like the
driver "-p probe" flag)
   * completing the Power Devices orientation, which means the default
use of the device.* collection, and the various changes to detach from
the UPS centric approach,
   * and the various things that should have been in 2.4, and have
been postponed: the new source tree, virtual devices, outlet
management improvement,
   * more Quality Assurance and automation in general, where applicable.
 2) the website rewrite (using RST and PHP) to improve maintainability,
 3) solve the various remaining trackers (bugs, patches and features) and tasks.
 4) continue to push NUT as *the* standard for Power Devices support.
We have recently taken over OpenUPSmart, and will continue on this
way. Gathering more people to create a stronger project...
 5) Dig the various subject presented in this mail, and push
innovation in the FLOSS Power Management area.

This should keep us busy for some time, and improve a lot our users /
developers / packagers experience ;-)

* As last word for the great NUT Development Team: You guys rock! ^_^
I'm always amazed by the many talents we have here.
So thanks to all of you, and especially to Arjen and Charles.
As a side note, we are currently refreshing the Team: some are leaving
(Carlos Rodrigues, Jon Gough, Niklas Edmundsson, Niels Baggesen, ...).
Thanks for your contributions. We hope to see you back one day.
New peoples are being recruited (and this take some time!). And any
help is welcome, not tech. only!
A special thanks also goes to the many NUT packagers: your work is the
cherry on the top of the cake. Without you, many users wouldn't be
using NUT!
And a final thank to all the NUT contributors, either coders,
supporters, advocates or users.

I wish you all an happy New Year. and may the NUT be with you...

Arnaud and the NUT Team
Linux / Unix Expert R&D - MGE Office Protection Systems - http://www.mgeops.com
Network UPS Tools (NUT) Project Leader - http://www.networkupstools.org/
Debian Developer - http://people.debian.org/~aquette/
Free Software Developer - http://arnaud.quette.free.fr/

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