SELF, Day 1

The first day of SELF was busy and productive.  I started the day by attending David Nalley’s presentation as part of “Build your own Open Source cloud day” here at SELF.  I had to leave after the first hour, however, as we had a FAD (FADs are Fedora Activity Days — small group meetings where we try to focus on one or two particular problems and come up with better solutions) focused on improving FUDCons.  In particular, we wanted to focus on:

  • Clarifying the process for FUDCon finances and the purchase of tickets for travel subsidies
  • Clarifying the bid selection process, and brainstorming ideas to make it better
  • Improve the FUDCon planning process, and ensure that there is an overabundance of transparency and detail-oriented organization

We had some fairly good discussions on each of the three topics, and I’ll be writing follow-up blog posts to address these items over the next couple of weeks.  It is imperative that we make the FUDCon process as transparent and smooth as possible, as we’ll essentially have three FUDCons in four months (FUDCon EMEA in September/October, FUDCon APAC in November/December, and FUDCon North America in January).

As the Fedora crew was winding down the discussion in the FAD, I had to run give my presentation (the first stand-alone presentation of the day) entitled “Swimming Against the Current”, which was a fairly high-level overview of the software development model, the river of functionality that starts with upstream software developers and flows downstream to end users, the unique role that software distributions such as Fedora play, and why it’s vital both to build strong relationships of trust with upstream software communities, as well as improve the communications within the distribution itself.  The talk seemed to be very well received, and we had a great Q and A session afterword where we discussed strategies for improving the mentoring process within communities.

After wolfing down a sandwich for lunch, I spent some time talking with former Docs Project lead Eric Christensen (Sparks on IRC) discussing some of the ins and outs of the documentation team in Fedora.  We worked on fleshing out a quick outline for new guide that Eric is writing, and then dove into brainstorming ideas for improving the docs process workflow.  In the middle of that discussion, Eric and I went to Paul Frields’ talk, which was an introduction to PyGObject programming (Python + GUI + the new GObject hotness). After wrapping up the Docs discussion, it was time to head to the speaker’s dinner, and then retire to my room, make a few phone calls, and crash.

Utah Open Source Conference

The next event on my busy schedule for October is the Utah Open Source Conference, just south of Salt Lake City at the Larry H. Miller Campus of Salt Lake Community College. I’ve been involved with the UTOSC conference since my good friend (and fellow board game enthusiast) Clint Savage first started the conference. Since then I’ve watched it grow and mature into one of the best regional Linux conferences in the world.

I’ll be doing quite a bit at the conference — I’ll be giving a keynote address on Thursday afternoon called “Swimming Upstream: How Distributions Help Open Source Communities”.  I’ll also be giving a presentation on Friday regarding easy system deployments using tools such as PXE booting, kickstart scripts, cobbler, puppet, and func.  I’ll also be helping out in the Fedora booth and spending some time with the rest of our fabulous Fedora crew at the conference.  I also told the organizers that I’d be happy to help out in any other ways, just like the good ol’ days when I was the person in charge of handing out name badges. (Last but not least, I’ll be thrashing all my friends in the “Board Game Bash” on Saturday night — this is my chance to show them who’s boss.)

I hope to see you at the Utah Open Source conference this week!  If you’re at the show, please stop by and say hi. I’d love to talk with you!

FISL, Day 2

Day two of my trip to FISL (Friday) started out with me waking up a bit late and scrambling to get ready on time. Rafael kindly picked several of us up at the hotel and drove us to the conference. I spent the morning talking with people both in the Fedora booth and in several of the other booths around the show. I also spent some time in a press interview with Linux Magazine. For lunch, we ate at the buffet and I got to experience the famous banana sushi first hand.

In the afternoon, I cheered Dennis Gilmore on as he gave a presentation on RPM packaging in Portuguese. He doesn’t speak much Portuguese (yet!), but he was brave enough to translate his talk into Portuguese and read it as best he could. After Dennis did his talk, I ran over to the large presentation room for my presentation. I talked about how Red Hat and Fedora work together, how Fedora makes a good upstream for RHEL, and how Fedora works with upstream communities. Several hundred people attended the presentation, and I thought it was well received.

After the presentation, I ran into a Brazilian friend of mine doing VoIP work here in Brazil. We chatted for an hour or so about various topics including Fedora, VoIP, and cultural differences between Portuguese-speaking and Spanish-speaking countries in Latin American. After another stint at helping out in the booth, we all ran back to the conference hall for a great presentation on SELinux from Douglas and Marcelo from Red Hat. By the time their presentation was done, it was 9:00pm and we were all hungry. Luckily, some of the Fedora folks had organized a pizza party, so we weren’t hungry for long!