Hell Oh Entropy!

Life, Code and everything in between

FOSS.in day 2 - The Fedora miniconf day

Posted: Dec 17, 2010, 15:05

I concluded my previous post yesterday, on my way to FOSS.in to attend day two. Before I left, I saw Gopal saying w00t! to Pradeepto on twitter and wondered what was going on. Turns out, Pradeepto was coming to FOSS.in!

When I arrived at the venue, I found that we had (once again) captured a table in the Expo area. We spread out the DVDs and buttons and waited for people to come over. Saleem was obsessed about spreading the DVDs in a perfect line and arranging the buttons to form the 'f' of Fedora. of course, people were constantly picking the buttons from the 'f' and ruining his design. Fedora goodies were a hit on the first day and we had quite a few people picking them up on the second day too. There were a few people asking for 64-bit DVDs; we might have to note that in future conferences and hopefully till then the flash nonsense will sort itself out. to me, that seems to be the only hurdle right now for a completely trouble-free installation of a 64 bit system.

We had a few people coming over asking for help with their installations and some of us helped out till lunch time. I then met Pradeepto and Sujith along with a bunch of KDE folks for lunch. Post-lunch, we had the Fedora miniconf.

The miniconf was sort of not very well timed for me, since I wanted to attend artagnon's talk on the git object store. Rahul and Amit Shah kicked off the proceedings and Amit gave the first talk of the session. Rahul announced the workouts -- the Fedora for Kids spin by Aditya Patawari and Fedbura Bugzapping by /me. I went up to the first floor and waited for prospective contributors. Two people came in, fish_sticks and jijo. I walked them through setting up their Fedora account, bugzilla account and the sign-up for bugzapping. I also walked them through triaging bugs and the different scenarios they would face. They then started setting up virtual machines so that they could reproduce bugs in emacs. Finally, we could not get much done at all, since neither of them could get their virtual machines up and running in the time we had. Both were running Ubuntu -- it's kinda hard reproducing Fedora bugs in Ubuntu ;)

While this was going on, I was also discussing packaging with some college students from Vellore. Their college had a CMS that students had designed and they were presenting it in the FOSS.in expo. I think it was Pragyaan CMS; I can't remember the name. I volunteered to help thm get started in packaging it for Fedora. I did not want to do it myself since I personally do not have any use for a CMS. They were again trying to set things up to try out a small test rpm package using a tutorial. That was kinda hard going though since they too were using Ubuntu.

In the end the best I could do was point them to some documentation and give some tips on how they could get started and where they could get help. I think they finally joined Aditya's workout, which seemed to be a very crowded affair -- possibly the most popular workout in FOSS.in. I'm not sure how it went though, since I was busy talking to Philip and artagnon later. Oh, I had another person approach me for bugzapping when I had wrapped up and picked up my stuff -- he was a Fedora user for a change ;) We could not really sit down and work on something at that point since it was a little late, so we talked about how he could sign up and start contributing. I hope he finally does sign up for bugzapping.

The day ended with a security talk by James Morris. I made a quick exit after that since I had promised my wife that I will have dinner with her.

I will not be attending day 3, since I have a few things to wrap up before I leave for a week long holiday in north India tomorrow. It's unfortunate that I will be missing Aanjhan's closing keynote as a result. Like the last FOSS.in, I will remember this event for friends -- all the people you get to meet only once a year as well as new people you meet and exchange ideas with. It was definitely not as crowded as last year though. Too bad this will probably be the last FOSS.in, but I hope there is a similar conference somewhere similarly accessible next year.


FOSS.in Day 1

Posted: Dec 16, 2010, 11:39

So I made it to what apparently is the last FOSS.in. It was late as usual and so I did not miss much by reaching late. There was a bit of confusion about big grown men like myself coming in as student delegates, but that was cleared out fairly quickly when one of the organizers explained to the volunteers that miniconf speakers were to be admitted as student delegates. I am to conduct a workout today on bugzapping in Fedora today (day 2).

The beginning of FOSS.in was definitely less emphatic than before. Kishore Bhargava had replaced Atul Chitnis with the kick-off ceremony. That was quickly compensated however, by a really interesting talk by Danese on Wikipdia and its technical architecture. There was talk of an Indian mirror. That will be a very cool thing if it materializes. I'm sure one of the IITs can set aside bandwidth and hardware for them.

The wikipedia talk was followed by two completely technical talks; on page cache optimization in VMs by balbir Singh and the other by Lennart Poettering on his latest interest -- systemd. Balbir Singh's talk was quite interesting, where he ex[plained the problem of page cache duplication between guests and hosts in a VM environment. He went on to explain a few possible approaches to solving this. Lennart's talk didn't give anything new for me since I had been following the Fedora devel discussions.

Me, Shreyank and Rahul Sundaram then spent some time pulling artagnon's leg. We went back to the main hall in time to see Philip Tellis finish his talk. Rahul then followed that with his talk on failures in Fedora and what we learned from them.

We finally moved on for our Fedora dinner. Dimitris Glezos wanted to have kababs and we were told of a place where we could get good kababs. That was good, except for the fact that we didn't know where it was. After running around Forum mall looking for the place, we finally settled for Firangi Pani inside Forum mall. All that most of us ended up having was drinks and starters (kababs of course). Lots of them. That accompanied with Lennart and Dimitris discussing how they could get translations from Transifex to systemd with all of the commit log intact. We'll probably hear more about it once they actually reach a conclusion on that.

Now I'm sitting in the bus writing this post and preparing for the workout that I will be doing today. I hope I get a few bugzappers interested today.