Back from the Fosdem

As usual Fosdem was crowdy. On Saturday, I decided to not try to enter in the container Devroom (whose queue was insane), and went instead to the Legal Devroom. This year, they decided to change their organisation and to have debates between people defending contrary positions (should licenses reflect ethical aspects, are the 4 freedoms too old, …)

Legal Devroom at Fosdem 2020

Unfortunately, as they didn’t manage to have people really having different opinions on the topics, it sounded a bit artificial sometimes, and didn’t really allow to enter more deeply in the subject, as a more classical roundtable would have allowed. 4 debates were probably too much, and having 1 or 2 (with real oponents, but respecting each other) and 2 or 3 round tables would probably be a better balance. Anyway, was even fun sometimes (can you believe that from a large set of lawyers ;-)) I passed the day in that room, where you could seat without issue and have good content.

One of the debates was around Bill of Material (BoM) vs source code delivery. And I really thought they didn’t go into enough details. Because it’s very difficult to reproduce software. And while BoM is hard to automate, and mostly useful for corporations that want to reduce risks (what they think BTW), providing the source, isn’t sufficient either. First as the GPL rightly points out, it’s not enough. You also need to provide the receipes to build the software. A Makefile e.g. helps a lot building the code the correct way. But what about the docs, the design schemas, the versions of the tools needed to build (or tested successfully contrary to others , gcc v5 vs 8 vs 10 ?), the precise versions of the dependencies (where doing npm install e.g. defeats tracking IMO) as you can only ensure that your software is working on a very specific environment (and reproduceable builds are linked to that). So clearly neither providing the sources + build files is sufficient, neither the BoM as it rarely provides all the required details, and would be a nightmare to reproduce, which creates an interesting challenge that shouldn’t be minimized when the produced software runs in a train, plane, or medical equipment of course. Which can lead you to re-read the excellent trusting the trust !

What they should also do is invite more european lawyers, as they are underrepresented, and some topics – author’s right vs copyright, EU law vs US law are not well enough taken in account IMHO. Contacting the ones behind EOLE would be a good start.

La Grande Place de Bruxelles, lieu des agapes nocturnes 😉

The evening is of course what most fosdemers like, because it’s time to meet again with friends you don’t see that often and enjoy beer (for the ones who like that !) and for me rather carbonade, wafles and more over chocolate 😉 As often, it was great to have dinner with Anne and Erwan (Kernel Receipes managers among other stuffs) and some of their friends. It always makes insightful discussions.

On Sunday, I decided to walk around and explore booths (I was needing some stickers for a new laptop !) which is a nice pretext to meet more relatives or make new ones ! Of course, each time I try to discuss with my fellow grenoblers (Vates, Algoo), or the french mafia, which lead me this year to … an HPE booth 🙂

LinuxBoot on a HPE ProLiant server DL 360 Gen10+ Beta

As Jean-Marie Verdun is back at HPE, he is also helping us with initiatives around LinuxBoot on our ProLiant servers (as shown on the left), and OpenBMC as well (while the one brought was still running the iLO Firmware as shown here on the right). It’s the first time it was ever demonstrated outside of a Lab, so big kudos to the team, and I’m sure lots of customers waiting for this will be very eager to ask for a test unit 😉

As usual Fosdem was crowdy. On Sunday, one way to test that is to go to the Janson auditorium, where keynotes happen. And when Jon Maddog is on stage, you can’t find a seat in it !!

Keynote of Jon Maddog Hall

It’s the first time I come without being a speaker, and that’s a bit more comfortable, as you don’t have to prepare material and deliver it, but as I am missing sharing info with others, I’ll try again next year to propose content, and I should have new one available for the audience. Stay tuned.

Happy 20th birthday to Fosdem, the greatest FLOSS event !

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One Response to “Back from the Fosdem”

  1. HPE now contributes to OpenBMC ! | Bruno Cornec's Blog Says:

    […] those of you reading articles on this blog, this is not completely a new info. Indeed, during Fosdem, it was already possible to see a demo unit of a HPE ProLiant DL 360 running Linuxboot and an iLO 5 […]

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