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Comin’ round the mountain.

On Thursday, I’ll be driving to FUDCon in Blacksburg, VA. FUDCon in North America is an event I look forward to attending annually even though I’m not neck-deep in Fedora as often these days. I used to love going to the international FUDCons as well, and I’m thrilled to see those events being planned in advance on a regular basis.

I get to drive to this particular event, because it happened to end up only about 4.5 hours drive from where I live. That suits me fine, because I got a new car (warning: Flash) I can’t wait to take on its first long trip. Weather should be fair for this time of year, I hear. I also got some new vanity plates that will touch the hearts of Linux geeks, but probably elicit only head scratching from others. However, this post is about more than my car, as much as I like that topic!

I wanted to say a couple things about what I’m planning to do at FUDCon. First, I plan to spend some time with the Fedora Insight crew on Friday night and on Sunday morning. I want to see the feature sets the amazing Peter Borsa has been working on, and hopefully we can make some progress on streamlining deployment so other people can help. We’ll also be working on Sunday with a designer (cross fingers!) to design an interface for a project/events calendar. Unfortunately, I’m leaving Sunday afternoon to get home that night, but I will try to provide a ride out of town to the airport for anyone whose schedule matches up.

By the way, you may want to check out the travel planning page if you need to arrange rides.

The other thing I’m planning is an open workshop on Saturday on Drupal internals. I still haven’t decided whether this is best done as a workshop vs. BarCamp. I’m interested to know how many people really would show up — which means it might be good for me to pitch this at BarCamp. If there’s very little interest, I can spend the day learning instead of blowing hot air. But if it turns out people are interested, I have some books and materials I’m bringing with me that I can recommend too. As usual, I will be taking on the role of “person with meager skills who managed to scramble onto the first plateau with help, and wants to pass it on.” (It worked for PyGTK, maybe it will work here too!) Thankfully Peter will be on hand, and I trust he won’t let me get away with horrible errors.

There’s an enormous list of proposed hackfests and workshops on the wiki page. That’s fantastic, and it means we’re going to have a very content-rich conference as usual. I also see the General Schedule on the wiki is quite bare. I believe the organizers are encouraging talk owners to try to schedule in advance — at least when it comes to the hackfests and workshops. My understanding is that these form an outgrowth of the BarCamp — essentially widening the schedule for Saturday. That means there will be a lot to choose from, so I hope everyone brings not just their thinking caps but also their voices and appropriate input devices to participate. UPDATE: Robyn has a great FUDCon blog post on scheduling. Go read it. Now.

I’m looking forward to seeing a bunch of my Fedora friends there, and of course celebrate at the ever-entertaining FUDPub event. Remember, though, that Sunday starts early, so don’t go overboard! The statute of limitations has expired on my one FUDCon event that was a little too entertaining, so I’m allowed to revert to schoolmarm mode now. But seriously, there’s so much to do and see at FUDCon that I’m sure people will put the priority on content and collaboration as always.

Hope I see you there!

What do you want to see on Insight?

One of the side projects I have going these days is working with a small team on a Drupal instance for Fedora called Fedora Insight. Our initial rollout is pretty conservative in its goals, as I discussed in a previous post. We wanted to create a simple platform (at the outset) where both the awesome contributors at the Fedora Weekly News, and the Marketing team, could both publish their original work, and also promote selected material from the Fedora Planet. We have lots of great places where content is available, but Insight brings some of them together in a way that’s easier for non-contributors to navigate. So Phase 1 was all about completing just those simple goals.

At the same time, we realized throughout the process that this could merely be the first step in providing some more content options for the project. And now we’re inviting you to pitch in your ideas for Phase 2 of our plans. If you have a concept for a way we could better expose or manage content through Insight, add it to the wiki page here. We are accepting ideas until May 24, 2011.

Hey wait, isn’t that date important for another reason? Oh yeah — Fedora 15 is released that day! So I guess that’s a good way to remember the deadline then. ;-)

Now, we can’t guarantee we’ll be able to make every idea a reality in Phase 2. But we’ll definitely consider each one, and then prioritize based on available people-power and the impact each goal could have if comlpeted. If you want to help do the Drupal development work required to make your idea happen, we’d love to have you on our team!

I’ve read that Hiemanshu Sharma is working on a FOSS events system that would take shape in Fedora and could be used in other FOSS projects. One of the things I asked Hiemanshu and his mentor Juan to consider was whether it might make sense to build this on top of Drupal so that it would (a) leverage a well-known framework, (b) benefit lots of people beyond the Fedora Project, and (c) maybe even be something system owners (our Insight team being just one example) could integrate with other content over time. I’m really looking forward to hearing more from them on our list about their plans and whether they’re able to leapfrog existing bits such as those in the COD project.

Our team works in an open, transparent process, like all Fedora teams. You can find information about our team, meeting schedule, communication resources, and other data on the Insight wiki page. We look forward to hearing from you.

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