Tag Archives: linuxtag

FUDCon Day 1.

Lots of great conversations went on for Day 1, as others have written. Security team collaborating with release engineering, wireless hackers collaborating with each other, and lots of new people finding their way around to meet with other contributors as well. The hackfest started a little timidly, which surprised me seeing how many great engineering minds were here from various locations. But ultimately everything came together very well, culminating in an awesome BarCamp/unconference scramble at the end of the day.

The resulting BarCamp schedule is on the wiki for your enjoyment. I’m actually doing a talk myself on my new PulseCaster project. We’ll see how many show up to sink their teeth into hacking a simple tool that can be used to really jack up the human factor in contributor-focused communities like Fedora. That’s much easier accomplished in groups where less time is spent working on the really hard problems — because it’s easy to dismiss the plumbing underneath, the same way that people tend to be dismissive about those who fix the plumbing in their home. It’s a poor way to deal with fellow humans, and something I’d like to have a part in solving, even if it’s just a small part.

Things for me to remember (thus far) when I look back on this FUDCon:

LinuxTag and FUDCon 2009, part 1.

Wednesday was the beginning of LinuxTag and as always the efficiency of our Ambassador contingent was plain to see. The booth was in fantastic shape, with plenty of “Four Foundations” decorations and also a projector to show off slides that offered excellent Fedora messages and data about the upcoming FUDCon event. There were also new, free-standing, vertical banners using the “Four Foundations” logos that look simply superb.

I hung around the booth a little from time to time, but as we found last year, having too many staff in the booth is an impediment to actually talking to passersby about Fedora, so I used the time to talk with people like Joe Brockmeier from openSUSE, our own LinuxTag/FUDCon master organizer Gerold Kassube, and of course did some catching up with Max. I also met a number of contributors in person, such as Nicu Buculei, who are much renowned in the community but with whom I’d never had the chance to be face to face. This is actually one of my favorite things about FUDCon — the way it brings people together with social bonds that are stronger than what can be forged over email or IRC.

Max and I recorded a podcast interview with the Linux Outlaws, which you should be able to catch soon on their feed. We had a great time doing our typical tandem routine as Abbott and Costello, talking about Fedora features and about how our community has come together for the FUDCon event. I shared an interesting lunch of fresh cooked gnocchi and some strawberries (shoutz Mo!) with Spot and Joe Brockmeier, where we talked about some of the current misinformation flying around about Mono, as well as cows. (Ahem.)

I managed to find a few minutes to work on some of my slides, and also to talk with the folks at Vanager about their VPS solution that offers many Fedora releases, including Fedora 11. At some point, someone (Gerold?) convinced me that even a married guy is allowed to pick up a girl now and then.

Yesterday I spent some time in the morning doing more slides and email, but then cut loose to help Max with some of the assembly of FUDCon materials. We went over the logistics for the next day and I helped with some of the signage and other odds and ends as I could. We also did another great — well, we sure enjoyed ourselves — interview with Radio Tux. Some of my favorite moments from the broadcast:

  • Max pointing out that Fedora is not about promoting the brand of one person. Any of our awesome Ambassadors at the show could have given the exact same interview and done just as well. We have innumerable rock stars in our community and the point of scaling that community is to turn the spotlight off the one or the few, and onto the many.
  • Realizing that it’s more fun to give several points of view when talking about cool technical features, especially when their impact is wide or complex.
  • Doing a tandem voice-over intro in which Max and I introduced ourselves and proclaimed, “Wir machen Fedora, und wir lieben Radio-Tux!” We’re so hammy it’s a wonder we don’t wear pineapple rings.

Later, returning to the FUDCon space, and in a fit of total abandon, I decided to exercise my minimal artistic skills by gussying up the schedule board. The results weren’t bad, and I had fun contributing something other than talking-head antics to the proceedings. Hopefully people get a kick out of them today while they’re attending FUDCon day 1. More on that in my next post!

Nochat on.

If you’ve tried to reach me via IRC this week and failed, it’s because I haven’t been on Freenode for chat for several days. Sorry about the absence — even as I’ve been participating here at LinuxTag and prepare for FUDCon, there is still a massive amount of work that continues to require doing inside Red Hat and across the Fedora Project, that simply prevents me from paying equal attention to all modes of communication. If you tried to chat with me and got no response, now you know why, and hopefully will forgive my non-responsiveness. I will probably be much more present starting next week when I get back to work after a couple much needed days of R&R.

LinuxTag starts tomorrow!

Sorry I’ve been away from the blog for a bit. Open Source Bridge was totally hectic and I failed to get a report out in time. I’ll try to remedy that later this week with a summary of what happened there, because it really was a great conference for practitioners in open source, and very different from the equally successful Southeast Linux Fest which I attended the weekend before.

But on to the present — I’m here in Berlin and tomorrow LinuxTag begins, bringing with it thousands of free software fans, advocates, developers, and contributors. Max has already written about the magnificent booth being set up by Fedora Ambassadors for the festivities, and I plan to be there as much as possible myself. From what I understand, some space was made in our booth schedule where a willing volunteer could help out — this is me raising my hand! 🙂

On Friday we start the big FUDCon event which should be fantastic. There will be a huge assemblage of Fedora contributors, mostly from the EU but from a few other places as well. I am very much looking forward to hearing the talks, and reporting on the many cool hackfests that will happen at this event. I believe we will have session tracks in both German and English and I hope many of the LinuxTag visitors will attend to assuage their curiosity about how the Fedora community works, and how our work might be important or compelling to them as FOSS participants.

Today, Jesse Keating and I fought off our jet lag by exercising — essentially walking as much of Berlin as we could manage before our feet cried for mercy. Before the day was up we visited Potsdamer Platz, Checkpoint Charlie, the Holocaust Memorial, and the Brandenburger Tor, among others. Thanks to my failed sense of direction, we missed out on seeing the Schloss Charlottenburg, a beautiful palace designed after that at Versailles, but thanks to all the other cool stuff we saw I think he forgave me. 🙂 Lest anyone thinnk we just goofed off all day, when we got back to the hotel I caught up on a bunch of email; had a three-hour meeting with Max, Gerold, Fabian, and Jeroen; had another hour or so meeting with Max; and proceeded to work on even more email and other tasks for the next several hours, on top of this post.

Yikes! Conferences are busy. But they are absolutely fantastic because I get to catch up with good friends from around the globe who are doing awesome work as contributors in Fedora and to free software in general. You guys are inspiring and I look forward to seeing you at LinuxTag and FUDCon, and having a beverage with you at the FUDPub event.