Fosdem: always impressed

Université Libre de Bruxelles hosting Fosdem under the snow on saturday

While I’m coming back from Fosdem, A big Kudos to all the volunteers and the team in charge. It’s the largest and greatest FLOSS event WW. I’m always impressed by what a dedicated community can achieve. It was the most crowdy edition I’ve been able to attend. Some rooms were very difficult to enter in, with long queues in front of the door. So in order to attend the sessions you were interested in, you had to enter if possible 2 or 3 sessions in advance to be sure to have a seat for your preferred session ! What a success 😉 Drawback is it makes it difficult to change track, more over changing building as you’re sure to have to wait for the next session in that case.

Small part of the queues at lunch time at Fosdem

The logisitic is incredible, timing respected for the 700 sessions delivered with live videos taken, and when you are speaking you receive a mail less than 30 minutes after the end of your talk to ive you the link to review it ! Really awsome. The only drawback was the lack of VGA support on their recording system: only HDMI was available. By luck my laptop had also a Display Port output so adapters were available so you could project. However, some speakers had issues with that setup, such as during the upt session where no vide cold be used at all. The speaker, Cyril Roelandt, made the full presentation without slides, explaining event the architecture diagram in both a very professional way and with a marvelous sense of humour. As he said we will long remeber his talk. But also for the idea and the tool he is working on. We had a quick hacking session afterwards and that was very insightful.

On saturday, the sessions I found interesting were on LibreOffice, the one on server side solution for generating ODF reports (much more interesting if you understand chinese for sure, and no I don’t 🙂 and the other one on relaunching the ODF adoption TC at OASIS, where my proposal of useing the term Advocacy instead of Marketing was well received (public sector organizations are much less keen to participate to a “Marketing” TC, but much more to an “Advocacy” one). Michael Meeks was as brilliant as always in his covering of LibreOffice Online.

Another initiative of interest was the presentation of the LibreHosters, even if they have less hosters WW currently than the CHATONS in France, while aiming at the same goal, neutral and transparent hosting using FLOSS.

I attended the Eventyay presntation to see whether they were supporting multi-site events sur as our FLOSSCon, but it seems they don’t do better than the OSEM we use. I stayed in the room and followed the sessions on OCP and Skulls, but the more interesting one for me was the following on bmclib. The engineers at booking.com have published under the Apache v2.0 license their internal work on BMC abstraction through an API. For someone like me interested by Redfish it was a must attend session 😉 And the discussion outside the room which followed was as well.

I had a nice dinner with some members of the french FLOSS community I had not seen for a long time and that’s one of the reason for me to attend Fosdem.

I had a very short night after that as I proposed to the distribution room to take an empty slot due to the illness of a speaker and to use a proposal I had made and that had not been retained to fill the gap, which was accepted. Of course, it was the first session in the morning, while I also had the last of the day 😉 So slides and demo to verify at night and here you go after 4 hours of sleep you’re back to the event 😉

So I talked about Packaging for Mageia Linux with Docker containers, which I could demonstrate in front of a nearly full room (50+ people) at that time in the morning, after the previous night ! Waoh ! What a level of commitment from the audience, I was really surprised. I stayed then in the distribution dev room to follow a similar presentation around Linux distributions, lifecycles, and containers which was in fact around the new Fedora modularity principle. The grub presentation following was too cryptic for me, as I don’t follow closely the project so too many elusive sentence were given so I could reall yunderstand the new devs made. But I had a seat for the upt talk mentionned upper 😉

I then moved after the upt hacking session and lunch to the Hardware enablement devroom to be ready for my formerly only official session of the event. It was dedicated to Redfish: the new standard for a Software Defined Infrastructure and I was surprised again so that so many people preferred to be there rather than drinking a beer.

I didn’t had time to see the kenote of J.M. Hall as I had to catch my train afterwards. So again big kudos to all the people involved in that event, who make them the FLOSS reference and surely an inspiration for our own FLOSSCon 😉

Slides are already available and videos should be soon as well. See you hopefully next year there !

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