8月 312015

The second day of COSCUP 2015 was August 16, Sunday. Since we had FreedomKnight and zerng07 at the booth, and we did not find very intersting talks in the early morning, tonghuix and I gave ourselves a bit more rest and did not get up quite early. We both found the talks this year were not as attractive as last year. Part of the reason might be that this year’s theme “Open Culture” is kind of too general and it is not easy to talk about it. Or in a sense it is align with COSCUP’s philosoph “more social than tech”, which means it is more a chance of letting open source people to meet than diving into specific technical topics.

Around the booth we found some interesting swags that might be useful for future Fedora events. One is the retractable network cable as shown in the middle figure above. Such cables were distributed in COSCUP previously as gifts. I think it is quite nice because: 1) it is so useful that one can start to use it directly at the venue; 2) the central circular part is perfect for branding logo etc.; 3) it is not expensive and can be cheap with mass production. Another nice swag is shown in the rightmost figure above, a toy moe girl (optionally, with a toy laptop). As soon as she appeared on our neighboring booth, a crowd of people and cameras came around the booth. Westerners might not understand, but moe culture is quite popular among East Asia countries, and it is getting mainstream. For example, in Taiwan you can find quite a few moe girls on various posters in public. Besides, ".moe" has become a registrable top-level domain name. Since she is so eye-catching, I guess it is worth trying to make one for Fedora. Regarding design, the Fedora moe girl might be a good starting point.

At the booth I also discussed with FreedomKnight and zerng07 about Fedora community development. zerng07 is getting busier with his work, and they are trying to develop a new ambassador. It seems that currently the Taiwan contributors prefer to use the Facebook group of Fedora Chinese community for discussion. I encourage them to keep an eye on our mailing lists and attend weekly IRC meetings, where activities are more visible to the Chinese community and the whole Fedora community. I also encourage them to go outside for better communication and cooperation. When the local community grows strong enough, Taiwan can be a good candidate for FUDCon APAC.

At around 15:00 PM, almost all attendees gathered into the large hall to listent to jserv‘s last speech “Retrospect on Taiwan Open Source Ecosystem”. jserv is a long term open source contributor in Taiwan, and he has contributed talks to COSCUP for all the ten years. In the morning I caught up with his experience sharing of open source in education. To encourage new contributors, he decided this talk to be his last speech in COSCUP. In the talk, he introduced the history of open source development in Taiwan and showed quite a few impressive early projects by Taiwan open source contributors. He also motivated the young generation in Taiwan to contribute more to open source in the world.

After that was the lightning talk session. In COSCUP, a lightning talk can be not a “talk” at all, because all kinds of performance are also welcome. I had learnt the rule for a while, but this time I finally had the chance to hear an ocarina show as a lightning talk by a COSCUP volunteer! Why ocarina show? Simply because others learnt that he can play ocarina during face-to-face discussion.

At last, after a short closing speech from the lead organizer came the group photo session. All volunteers were invited on stage. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was used for taking photos, which was really cool. By the way it was also cool when the UAV flew over your head!

All in all, I enjoyed the two days of COSCUP very much. Looking into the future, I believe COSCUP can continue to be a great chance for Fedora Chinese community to gather up. Besides, non-Chinese contributors are also welcome to join to take the opportunity to meet face-to-face and get things done.

8月 282015

A few days ago I had the chance to attend COSCUP in Taiwan for the second time. This time I was lucky to get travel subsidy from Fedora APAC’s event budget. Below is my event report for day 1 (Aug 15, Saturday).

The venue of COSCUP 2015 is Academia Sinica, which is the same as in last year. But this time I stayed in a hotel not quite near the venue, sharing room with another Fedora ambassador tonghuix. So in the morning of day 1, we got up early and caught the Taipei MRT (Massive Rapid Transit) train. For the last mile to the venue, we took a taxi with FreedomKnight, a Fedora ambassador in Taiwan, and his girlfriend, who we happened to meet near our destination MRT station.

We arrived at the venue at about 8:30 AM, and it was about to allow registration. Quite a lot of attendees had already queued up before the gate. Shortly after that we registered by scanning the QR code. Then we looked for the booth location and set up the booth. FreedomKnight brought some Fedora 21 DVDs and I brought the badge reel which tonghuix carried from Beijing to Taipei. I tried a few ideas of placing these DVDs and settled down to a “4F” form. People started to visit our booth before we finished the preparation!

I spent the whole morning around our booth, talking with interested people about Fedora. Some of them were not familiar with Fedora, so I introduced to them that Fedora is an Linux distro similar as Ubuntu and openSUSE, but with special stress on our “Four Foundations” (aka 4F). Quite a few visitors had previous experience with Fedora, or current work experience with testing their company products on (somewhat old releases of) Fedora. I talked about Fedora.next with them and encouraged them to try out (or let their companies to try out) newer Fedora versions. Besides, we also met several guys who had used Fedora a lot but had not quite joined the local community, and I invited them to the Fedora BoF (Bird of a Feather) at night.

FreedomKnight’s girlfriend was also around our booth and helped out a lot. COSCUP continued to organize the “Dadi” game: every booth had a unique seal; anyone who had collected all booth seal stamps gained a chance in the lucky draw. There was a RPM packaging workshop which was proposed by the other Fedora ambassador in Taiwan, zerng07. Unfortunately zerng07 was not able to arrive on time due to work emergencies. FreedomKnight took the place and delivered the session.

In the afternoon, there were a workshop by tonghuix about how to use XMPP to chat, and I was asked to help with the demo. We demonstrated how to use free and open source XMPP clients both on Linux desktop and Android cellphone to chat, with and without OTR (off the record) encryption. I also took a few photos for the session.

Then at around 16:00 PM, tonghuix gave an impressive lecture on free software community management. He took many little stories from the book Zhuang Zi as examples to illustrate how and why certain management practices succeed or fail. He summarized the Tao of free software community management as “Three-Self”, which can be roughly translated as “Freedom (aka Self-will or Self-choice), Self-governance, Self-organization”.

When the day’s session almost came to an end, zerng07 finally arrived. We had him and some other Fedora community members for the BoF session in the evening. The total number of people for Fedora BoF was about ten. During the BoF we discussed the interesting differences of languages and education between mainland China and Taiwan, as well as their impact on software localization and overall cooperation of Fedora Chinese community. The Chinese glossary might need to be revived. More interaction is needed to facilitate cooperation, and more awareness and support from the whole Fedora project are also required.

8月 242014

今年 7 月 19–20 日,台湾的开源社区大会 COSCUP 2014 在台北召开。我有幸以演讲者的身份第一次参加到了活动当中,所见所闻颇丰。


什么时间第一次听说 COSCUP 我已经记不清楚了。可以确定的是 emily 在 4 月份的一次 IRC 会议里提起过。tonghui 应该也提到过若干次。在大家的口中,COSCUP 非常有趣,台湾人很有娱乐精神。于是在今年的 COSCUP 征集演讲时,我投了两个话题,最终很幸运有一个被接收。FUDCon 期间,Max 也极力推荐我去 COSCUP 体验一下,liangsuilong 特别提到和 zerng07 等位于台湾的 Fedora 社区成员会面交流,他们也会参加 COSCUP 活动。此外,我对台湾自由行盘算多时,这正好是一个顺道去台湾旅行的机会,而 COSCUP 时间正好和实验室假期安排一致。基于以上原因,我下定决心去参加 COSCUP,之后顺便台湾自由行,即使后来得知大会不提供机票住宿的报销。

第 0 天:7 月 18 日


因为机票要自费,所以最终订了一个在香港中转一次的航班。去程是深夜出发,感谢宝哥开车送我去首都国际机场。安检时查出带的洗头膏和沐浴露超量(200 mL,超出 100 mL 限制),只能免费寄存在机场,等回程时取走。航班延误了大约两个小时,应该与香港方面的天气情况有关。延误使得到香港时已经天亮,于是在香港机场吃了早饭。VISA 信用卡不知为何用不了,而且没有预备港币,还好可以付人民币找港币。

到达台北桃园机场已经是中午时分。排队过边检、换台币,发现机场已经不办青壮卡了。我住宿订在南港安乐旅社,过去要先坐一个小时的巴士。赶上了 12 点多出发去南港的客运巴士,巴士报站的是标准的台湾男声,温文尔雅。巴士终点是南港展览馆,我还进去逛了逛,不过没看到什么展览,倒是有一个会场有许多日本人在聚会。出来后依着旅社事先给的路线提示寻找,不过第一次真的没找到。当时还没办手机卡,在机场没有注意到办卡地点,再去找就只能做一个小时后的一班巴士了。不过走着走着看到路边有个中华电信的营业厅,于是决定先把手机卡办了。办的十天不限流量的 3G 卡,要 500 新台币;另外为了能打电话发短信,又充了 100 新台币值,后来证明这个充多了用处不大。办卡的女生太温柔礼貌了,我刚等了十秒钟就跟我说让您久等了,这着实让我一惊。

有了手机卡,有了 3G 网络,Google 地图终于可以派上用场了。最终找到旅社时,感慨他们家的门面招牌太小太不起眼了。不过他们是一家正宗的国际青旅,条件设施相当不错。住下后的下午没有出门,主要是休息一下,另外上网预订了去花莲的火车票,查了去演讲者晚宴的路线。


演讲者晚宴在钱唐村,从我住的地方可以坐捷运过去,我顺道办了悠游卡。出捷运后还要走一会儿,路上经过了诚品敦南店,还能望到 101 大楼。还没看到餐厅招牌,就已经看到了从上海前来参会的 Thomas Yao。后来得知这是一家上海菜馆,饭菜很不错,不过 Thomas 的心情很复杂。进门领了胸牌 (Badge),看到了 tonghui。在吃好喝好的同是,还认识了 COSCUP 主办方议程方面的组织者、大会主持人 Richard Lin,以及我的演讲所在分会场的主持人 Penk,见到了 PCManX, fourdollars 等大神。比较囧的是一开始把 g0v 的村长误认成了大妈,二人发型初看挺像的 XD 从晚宴回住处的途中,我去了国父纪念馆,近距离拍摄了 101 大楼。

第 1 天:7 月 19 日

COSCUP 正式活动于周末两天在中研院举行。周六我早起在住处附近吃过早饭后搭公车(大陆称公交)前往会场。刚开始搞错了方向,耽误了些时间,不过也了解到台湾的公车是需要摆手才会到站停车的。到会场后找到演讲者签到处,很快拿到了会议袋,内有一本议程册和一件 Polo 衫和若干宣传页。COSCUP 并行演讲有 7 个之多,人文馆一层楼的会议室装不下,以至于一半的演讲在另外一个楼,名叫学术活动中心。好在 keynote 时全场地联播,各个分会场都可以实时看到主会场的画面,能够有效地分流观众。我的演讲安排在学术活动中心的一个房间,并且就在 keynote 之后,所以我提前去那个楼了。

九点多些,活动正式开幕,Richard 是主持。他介绍今年参会一千多人,但门票开票后 10 秒钟就被抢光,可谓秒杀,COSCUP 受欢迎程度可见一斑。Richard 还指出 COSCUP 不仅仅是技术分享,更重要的是提供遇到社区中的人,和大家面对面交流的机会。之后是题为 Maker 《自造世代》的 keynote,但与传统形式有很大不同,这个 keynote 先是播放 Maker 电影片段,然后是主持人和电影团队、开源人士进行小组讨论 (panel discussion)。Maker 大陆翻译为创客,台湾翻译为自造者。Maker 和开源有许多关联,这也是主办方将今年主题定为 Make Things Happen 的原因。

keynote 行将结束时,我就前往 H3 会议室,准备我的演讲了。H3 是个小会议室,挺容易坐满的。我的主题是 Fedora.next: What’s Next?,开始前我先做了个小调查,发现在场听说过、用过 Fedora 的用户还不少。在演讲中我还是先简单介绍了 Fedora 项目及其四项基本点,然后介绍了 Fedora.next 这一架构提案的缘起、内容、以及当前进展情况。Fedora.next 目前仍是一个比较新的概念,这个演讲的主要目的是让中文社区的朋友更紧密地跟进说英语的核心社区,为社区未来发展做出更多更为核心的贡献。

问答环节有提问问到 Fedora 会不会有类似某些发行版那样的长期支持版 (LTS)。我的回答是目前看来没有。这和 Fedora 相对更追求新鲜特性 (Feature)、敢为人先 (First) 的特点有关。RHEL、CentOS 等 Fedora 衍生版则更多关注稳定性。历史上有一个 Fedora Legacy 项目来对旧版本的 Fedora 进行持续支持,不过后来因为缺乏人力和兴趣,已经不再继续。不过,最近的 Fedora 贡献者大会 Flock 2014 上,Fedora Workstation 工作组的 Christian Schaller 提到要打造真正的 ABI,这也许会在将来改善 Fedora 的长时稳定性。


之后我发放了 Fedora 的小礼品——一些胸章和徽章 (pins and buttons)给现场听众。这些小礼品最初在欧洲生产,由 tuanta 带到越南,然后在 FUDCon 时寄到北京,再被我带到台湾,相当有纪念意义。我也受到了 COSCUP 给演讲者准备的礼物,是一个体验活字印刷的盒子,非常精美。值得一提的是,COSCUP 会让演讲者现场签一个授权协议,用 CC 协议授权自己的讲稿和录像。

茶歇时间,我找到 zerng07 等人,边聊天边逛展台(摊位)。大会展台巨多,分布在不同楼以及不同楼层。主办方搞起了所谓大地游戏,逛展台时刷自己的胸牌,然后刷够一定数量后可以领取一个礼品,这也刺激了大家逛展台的兴趣,增进了和不同社区交流讨论的机会。Mozilla、Ubuntu 等的台湾社区颇为壮大,展台布置地也很赞,礼品多多活动多多。来自大陆的赞助商 GitCafe 也有一个活跃的展台,不过他们需要和不太了解的观众解释他们不是卖咖啡的 :D。值得一提的是,一些赞助商看似和技术、开源没什么关系,却也在展台上兴致勃勃地卖茶、卖饮料,足见 COSCUP 已经辐射到传统的开源圈子以外,有着更广泛的关注和参与。在展台处碰到了 Max,顺利实现了 GNOME.Asia 视频的“人肉转运”。几天之后,Max 就把他们悉数上传到了 Youtube 上。

午餐由 COSCUP 统一提供,两个发放点,一千多人秩序井然地排队。队伍绕了整个楼层一周,据说排到了别的楼层,阵势丝毫不亚于清华电子系学生节排队。午餐就是大陆习惯称呼的盒饭,在台湾叫便当。菜品比较丰富,味道也不错。午饭时和大家聊,大家一致认为中研院是一个非常好的场地。事实上两年前的 COSCUP 也是在这里举办。饭后亲眼见到餐余垃圾的细致分类,印象深刻。

一天之中,除了茶歇和午餐,剩余时间主要就是赶场听报告了。在两层座位加过道都坐满了的大会议室里,PCMan 讲到 LXQt 是开源社区的成功合并 (merge) 而非分支 (fork),而他本人是个医生,开源只是业余爱好。法律专业老师葛冬梅为大家讲解如何确定开源项目的许可证信息,特殊情况该如何处理。Kito Cheng 生动地描述开源编译器,主要是 clang 和 gcc,之间的“竞赛”,所在的小会议室在开讲前就已爆棚。来自赞助商 Google 的演讲题目直到最后才揭晓,是由其工程师吴光哲介绍刚刚发布的 Noto Sans CJK 字体制作过程的点滴,中型会议室也是人满为患。下午最后一场,我听了高村长 (clkao) 的 g0v 村情咨文。

到了晚上,COSCUP 安排了分社区的 BoF(Bird of Feather,同类人聚会)环节,并且提供了皮萨可乐。我参加了 Fedora 社区的聚会,和台湾地区的 Fedora 中文用户边吃边聊。Fedora 在台湾的社区不大,影响力相对较小,成员都比较年轻,多为学生,发展新成员也较多依靠朋友推介,优点是有兴趣有热情方便组织活动,缺点是社区参与受学业影响较大。这一点和大陆的情况颇为类似。因为人数不多,人力有限,所以台湾社区成员的精力主要集中在中文字体、输入法、本地化等中文用户最关心的问题上。相比起来,大陆这边贡献更为多元。另外,虽然台湾社区成员也参与 Fedora 中文列表的讨论,但他们似乎主要通过 Fedora 中文用户组在 Facebook 上的社群页来在线交流,而大陆用户很少参与其中,这使得两边交流目前比较有限。希望今后两边能有更多交流,在台湾地区大家的活力能够让 Fedora 为更多的人所知所用。

BoF 结束后,Max 请我和 tonghui 去他们住处附近的宁夏夜市,体验台北小吃。最初我们大陆团计划去师大夜市,不过得知那里的夜市氛围已大不如前。宁夏夜市位于宁夏街,一条不长的街道,但路两边小吃店和小吃摊琳琅满目。Max 带我们体验了炒粉(?)、豆花、还有记不清名字的带馅丸子,我们纷纷表示很好吃,并未事先没有预留肚子表示遗憾。据了解,台北小吃可以吃到晚上两三点,相应地公车和捷运的末班也都较晚,不由感慨台湾人民夜生活之幸福。


因为我在台湾要待的日期不多,所以周日我就没有参与 COSCUP 的活动,而是选择了台北一日游。不过单就这一天,COSCUP 已经给我留下了很深的感受。总体说来,COSCUP 作为一个社区大会,汇聚了许多台湾的开源社区,促进了社区成员之间的交流,已经显示出了对更广泛人群的吸引力。从演讲话题来讲,话题征集不只强调甚至一定程度上弱化技术,更为关注社区建设和发展。另外开源被赋予了更多的内涵和外延,除了传统的开源技术社区话题外,还有不少开放政府、开放数据的主题。台湾当地的演讲者参与开源大多是兴趣驱动,演讲幽默风趣、生动好玩,(据说闪电演讲都会各种表演乃至杂耍,)演讲效果自然上乘。相对于技术交流为主的演讲,COSCUP 更注重让大家通过面对面的机会交友和交流,这对社区的发展壮大是有益的。反观大陆,我以为还没有一个能和 COSCUP 相提并论的社区大会。上半年的 GNOME.Asia 和 FUDCon APAC 合办,是一次很好的经历,但是在参与社区的数目、活动规模等方面还有一定差距。这和活动本身定位有关系,毕竟他们本身面向的人群是自己社区,面向的地域是整个亚洲/亚太而非中国。COSCUP 的成功,也许得益于台湾地域较小,交通相对廉价,人民(这里主要是程序员)生活水平较高。不过这不是大陆地区(或者整个华语地区)没有如此社区大会的借口。COSCUP 在议程、志愿者、展台等方面为大陆的社区活动提供了可以借鉴的经验。在其帮助下,通过社区群策群力,相信大陆地区真正意义上的社区大会可以梦想成真。