Tag Archives: fudcon f11

FUDCon survey available.

Yes, it’s a little late because of some fumbling in the wake of a great event, but we have a survey available for the FUDCon that happened in Boston from January 9-11.

In the case of this survey, there are a number of important data points we’re capturing, such as the timing and organization of events. For instance, which days are most effective for scheduling the BarCamp versus the hackfests? How do people prefer our technical talk day to be organized? There was some informal feedback that some attendees wanted more formal talks, but also other feedback indicated that other attendees liked the volume and breadth of topics offered by the BarCamp style. Capturing people’s feedback more formally gives us a more complete view of what community members prefer.

In the future, I’d like to see post-activity (or even during-activity) surveys becoming a regular part of every Fedora event. I’d expect that for each survey we’d be capturing some identical information that was more demographic in nature, and some custom, specifc data relevant to future events as seen from that vantage point in time. We did a survey back in January 2008 after FUDCon in Raleigh, NC, for example, that helped us tune this FUDCon a bit, although we still see room for improvement — and the answers to this survey will help us plan those improvements.

To become a regular part of our activities, though, I’d also like to see these surveys done using a free application. Preferably we’d have them available through some sort of Fedora-owned web property as you’d expect. I haven’t looked into this much yet, but I’m interested in whether the content management system into which the Docs Project is doing research could serve this need. Certainly this is a fairly common type of application for a CMS, and I think everyone would prefer that we be doing this work with a free application that shows off FOSS virtues. It also frees us from having to depend on an internal Red Hat resource, and puts the capability in the community’s hands where it belongs.

I’ve asked the Community Architecture team to consider using these surveys to improve our event offerings in the future. My hope is that they can simply become one of the items on the checklist of things to do when setting up an event, and that there will be raw material available on which anyone can build an appropriate survey for their event.

So if you attended FUDCon in Boston last month, or even if you didn’t but want your input to be counted, please visit the survey and give us your feedback. We’ll report back the results and raw data through a wiki page as always.

BarCamp @FUDCon F11

A little late with the blogging, but dinner went overtime. 🙂

BarCamp starts at 9:00am on Saturday, as listed on the wiki. We’ll have breakfast arriving sometime between 8:00 and 8:30. Breakfast consists of coffee, tea, juice, bagels, and pastry. We’ll start pitches at 9:00am, so please be on time.

Judging by previous BarCamps, we should have the schedule sorted by about 10:15, so talks will probably start at 10:30. After two hours of talks, lunch will be available. There are going to be bags available in an assortment of meats for carnivores, and some lovely vegetarian and vegan sandwich bags as well, with plenty for everyone who pre-registered, and a drink assortment. (Pre-registration has its privileges, it’s true… those who didn’t can check back by the table at about 1:00pm, when there may be some extras left.)

After another set of talks, 1:30pm-4:30pm, and a short break, we’ll gather in the main hall, E51-345, at 5:00pm. There will be BRIEF comments and thank you’s for some very special contributors, after which we’ll head to Flat Top Johnny’s for FUDPub (6:00-10:00pm).

See you in the morning!

Chatty Cathies.

The Board will be meeting on IRC today at 1900 UTC / 2pm US Eastern time. You can find out how to join the conference on the Fedora wiki. This will be the last meeting of the current Fedora Board, and after the last appointed seat is set up this week, the new Board will meet for the first time next week.

All the current Board members have done an outstanding job, and I’m looking forward to working with the new members over the next year. Fortunately I’ll be seeing a lot of them at FUDCon Boston 2009 this coming weekend, where we’ll all be working hard to make Fedora an even better place for free software contribution. Whether we’ll see you there or not, please come by the meeting today and feel free to ask questions.

Drawing to a close.

The blog’s been pretty quiet for the last week because I took some time to just relax, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy the company’s holiday shutdown period.

This has been a very eventful year for me and my family, including my moving from the public to the private sector to take a job with Red Hat, many travels (including my first trip to Germany!), family events including death and birth, and helping my mom through some tough times recuperating from her back surgery, not to mention the financial and political tumult that affected everyone over the course of the year, two big releases for the Fedora Project, and all the work that went thereto. But all in all, 2008 has actually been quite a memorable year for me, and I’m looking forward to what 2009 will bring.

Right off the bat, I’ll get to see old and new Fedora friends at our FUDCon in Boston in about a week or so. It will be a fantastic event and I’m very much looking forward to participating in it, after all the planning! There’s something very fulfilling about seeing people come together at these events to renew bonds, to create new and exciting features, and to further break down barriers to free software contribution.

There’s no doubt in my mind that, now more than ever, Fedora is the epicenter of progress in FOSS, and that progress is powered by our entire community working together with our multitudinous upstream partners. Software freedom and community don’t come free of cost; they’re endeavors built on the hard work and tenacity of hundreds of thousands of FOSS contributors. The work of those contributors calls for gratitude and respect, and they continue to be my focus in Fedora.

When I get together with contributors at FUDCon, it’s always a good reminder to me that words must be backed up by deeds. Pledges to community and freedom too easily ring hollow without the accompanying march of progress through contribution. I’m constantly heartened by the enthusiasm shown by our community members at these events for making real progress in FOSS, with constant dedication to the spirit of openness that free software provides and demands. I’ll do my best this year to meet that enthusiasm with my own, to respect your hard work with more of the same, and to help you keep creating and promoting “freedom, friends, features, first.”

Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing as you ring in the New Year, I hope 2009 brings you and your loved ones success, fulfillment, and happiness. Now let’s break out the good bubbly!

The season of giving is upon us.

Pre-registration extended!

First, I wanted to let everyone know that the hotel has extended the reservation period until December 26th for the special FUDCon rate, so we have also extended our pre-registration another week as well. Please sign up if you haven’t — FUDCon is free and open to anyone to attend.

OLPC love.

If you’ve been around the Fedora Project for any length of time at all, you know we have a very soft spot in our hearts for the One Laptop per Child project. Now, that stands to reason, since the OLPC XO uses Fedora as its operating system of choice to put learning tools in the hands of children everywhere. Heck, for those intrepid hackers out there, you can even get Fedora 10 for the OLPC XO.

What? You don’t have an XO? Well get thee hence to Amazon and giveth one, getteth one!

But beyond all that, like the folks behind OLPC, we believe that change requires action, and those actions speak louder than words. Our FUDCon events are all about action, where large groups of Fedora contributors, the people who are building tomorrow’s free software today, gather together to push the envelope and plan for the future. We’re very pleased that OLPC luminaries will be joining us for this FUDCon. We’ll have opportunities to figure out how Fedora’s infrastructure and processes can better serve communities like OLPC, and also how they can benefit from our community development model.

And as if that strengthening of ties weren’t enough, OLPC has also agreed to fund our FUDPub event for Saturday night. FUDPub is a great way for everyone to unwind after cramming their heads full of knowledge and collaboration from the BarCamp event that day. So essentially, the lovely folks at OLPC will be covering dinner and one beverage for each pre-registrant who cares to attend the festivities at Flat Top Johnny’s from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. We’ll have some reserved pool tables for people to play shark, and it should be a pretty fun time. Thank you to the kind folks like Ed McNierney for making this happen.

FUDCon update.

FUDCon F11 is rolling mightily along, with a whole mess o’ new names up on the wiki this week. I also notice that many people are signing up for hackfests and BarCamp sessions, which is wonderful. This is always my favorite time in the preparation stages — when people really start to take stock of what they can discuss and hammer on at FUDCon, figure out what kinds of bold new plans we can make as a project and as a distribution, and start spreading the discussions out into the community for vigorous action.

Every FUDCon, we in the Fedora Project try to extend invitations to people who we see making a difference in the community regularly, bringing them to where they can get face-to-face with their peers, friends, mentors, and pupils for the ultimate in high-bandwidth exchange. The Fedora budget pays for these folks to come in so that they can help drive innovation at FUDCon and throughout this development cycle toward Fedora 11, set to be released at the end of May 2009. What we ask in return is that they use that opportunity to take charge of a hackfest, and/or run a BarCamp session, to spread knowledge and skills out into the community where they can take root and grow. Also, these folks are asked to post updates to their weblogs and other information channels to help keep the part of our community not in attendance informed about what’s going on at FUDCon.


p>In Fedora, as in the tradition of other great centers of hackerdom like NASA, we tend to go for low-cost, high-impact methods for effective community and communication. Thanks to the work of Chris Tyler, Clint ‘herlo’ Savage, and other volunteers, we are aiming to have live audio and video feeds and recordings from FUDCon. I have to admit I’m not quite sure how this is all going to come together logistically, but I have a lot of faith in the ingenuity and capabilities of the folks putting the AV together. I’m more of a dabbler, so I’ll likely just stay out of the way so as not to trip over anything fragile. Hats off to you guys for making this happen!

As a final note, my thoughts are with my homeys in the Westford, MA area who have been suffering through power outages, frozen pipes, no heat, no light, and (ZOMG!) no Intartubez since last week’s ice storm. Apparently, additional inclement weather is headed their way at the latter part of this week. Hang in there guys!

Eking it out.

Setting up this FUDCon has been an exercise in hair-pulling. With only about $15K to work with, it’s also been an exercise in corner-cutting. I have the option of blowing away the “refreshments” part of the FUDCon budget — the money that would pay for drinks and snacks during the hackfest days — to bring a couple more contributors to the event. This wouldn’t affect FUDPub, which is still on for Saturday night, Jan. 10th, and which is where we’ll cover dinner and possibly a beverage for each pre-registrant.

My personal feeling is that people are probably not showing up for the snacks. It’s helpful, though, to have them at the site because then people can easily stay and work even the need for water, caffeine, or a nosh strikes. If someone is hacking at the Tang Center, how easy is it to find sodas and snacks when s/he gets the urge? Because if the answer to that is “relatively easy,” I’d really like to fund a couple more people to come for the event.

Revenge of balloon-head.

FUDCon news.

Another sign that one shouldn’t spend a lot of time emailing large groups of people while on decongestants:


Long and short is, though, that FUDCon F11 is in full swing, and coming up January 9-11 in Boston. All the important details are on the wiki, and you don’t even need an account to pre-register on that page.

Board news.

Tempting fate, though, I pressed on today to announce that Christopher Aillon is returning to the Fedora Board. Two seats remain for community election, and a final seat for appointment. I’m looking forward to the elections, because every single one of the nominees standing for election is a solid contender with a wealth of experience, but there is a diversity of backgrounds, which I hope the community considers when they cast votes.


And with that, I’m going offline for a bit. I’ve felt like the proverbial dog dookie for a couple days now — some sort of sinus thing that I just want to sleep off in the comfiest and most isolated manner possible. And since I’m meeting Greg in Richmond tomorrow afternoon I need to have a spring in my step. Because keeping up with him is perilous, perilous work.

FUDCon and gifting.

I had a couple tidbits to pass along on the day after release, neither of which directly concerns Fedora 10 itself.

  • FUDCon classroom space has been confirmed at MIT. We’ll be taking up in the Sloan Building as predicted. We have plenty of classrooms reserved on the third floor and possibly some extras on the first just in case. I am told that there is plentiful wireless and no special account is needed; MIT is very used to this scenario and all our collaboration work can continue unabated there. Now is the time to get yourself signed up on the wiki if you haven’t already. If you haven’t heard from me about travel subsidy and were hoping to, please get in touch with me right away!
  • Taking a page from the Fedora playbook, openSuSE has changed its licensing to do away with a pesky EULA, and instead use free software-friendly terms based on the Fedora license agreement. Go read Zonker’s post for more information. This is a wonderful step for their distribution to take, and we’re glad we could help.