9月 262014

Last week, I was very honored to get sponsored to participate the Hanoi SFD 2014. I joined the Fedora meetup on Friday and gave a talk on Saturday. Below is the full report.

Day 0 (2014-09-18): Arrival Day

I left Beijing early in the morning and in the afternoon stayed in Hong Kong Airport to transfer. The flight to Hanoi was a bit late, and I arrived at the Hanoi Airport at around 8:00 PM (local time, 9:00 PM in Beijing time). The weather was wet and hot, but the people are nice. It took me some time to find a large shuttle bus, rather than the minibus. On the bus I met a Japanese guy, and it turned out he lived in a hotel not far from mine. So after getting off the bus, we walked to our hotels together most of the way.

It was about 10:00 PM when I arrived at the hotel. I shared a room with Sarup (banas), and he told me they (Thang, Somvannda, Tuan and others) would like to have me together go out for beer. I was a bit tired after the long trip, but after ten minutes’ rest, I joined them. Thang carried me on his motorbike to a street corner nearby, and I met Tuan (for the first time) and Somvannda (for the second time). I was surprised to find many people are there on the street at first. But I soon realized having cool beer outside is the best way to pass the hot night. By cool I mean not only temperature (ice beer), but also the taste (nice beer).

Day 1 (2014-09-19): Fedora Meetup

On Friday morning we went to the VAIP office and had a Fedora APAC ambassador meetup the whole day. The meetup was set up for APAC ambassadors to discuss critical tasks. EMEA has had a lot of similar meetups, but for APAC, it was the first to my knowledge. (It was at least the first in this year.) To include remote participants who cannot make it at Hanoi, we also joined the #fedora-apac IRC channel. There we met gnokii, kushal, FranciscoD, etc. We also set up a pad on PiratePad.

In the morning, we discussed many issues including the budget status, current issues and so on. It seems the major issue is that not many APAC ambassadors are active, and people do not regularly attend meetings. In China, the state is somewhat better: we do have a few active contributors and we managed to have regular IRC meetings and offline activities (release parties every release, yearly FAD, and FUDCon Beijing). In India there is another problem: there might be too many ambassadors and some people tend to use Fedora as a travel agency. We agreed that people need actively participate biweekly meetings and mailing list discussions to get their tickets approved easily, and to be considered as active, one ambassador needs to organize (or help organize) at least one event per year.

We also talked about the FAD Phnom Penh under planning and the ambassador Polo shirts. The FAD planning is generally in good shape. I saw no Taiwan ambassador registered the event but I think they should consider. Regarding the Polo shirts, unfortunately the Fedora logo on the sample shirt is incorrect and needs to be fixed. And the quality of the shirt is not quite high. I am supposed to ask local vendors in China to see if we can get better ones within a reasonable price. We went on to discuss general swag production issues. gnokii suggested that good quality can be produced in Europe for both EMEA and APAC regions. Besides, China can be one good candidate among the locations to store the swag.

I also learned from Tuan about why we APAC folks lose some money when getting reimbursed by paypal while Americans not. The reason is that US paypal accounts have the option to cover the transaction fee by the sender, while other accounts do not. So the fee is charged at the receiver side, causing the loss. To walk around the issue, we might let APAC CC holder izhar set up a US paypal account.

In the afternoon, after a short pizza lunch, we carried on remaining tasks. We spent quite some time in summarizing the budget usage in previous quarters. It was sad to find that none of the planned events in Q2 happened at last. To solve the budget problem, we adjusted the budget allocation for the remaining quarters, and came up with ideas of possible events. After that, we talked about Fedora sessions for the SFD next day. At last, Somvannda asked us to share stories of being an Fedora ambassador. For me, it was the simple idea of organizing regular events to gather existing contributors and attract newcomers, and the idea of starting something by oneself when no one else has started it.


In the evening, we went to see the water puppet show, which is fun and amazing. At dinner we had delicious dishes and noodles, and Saigon beer! But we did not stay up too late at night, since we felt quite tired after one day’s meeting, and we need to prepare for SFD in the next day.

Day 2 (2014-09-20): Hanoi SFD 2014

Saturday was the Software Freedom Day (SFD), a global event to celebrate Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). I organized SFD in Tsinghua University last year, and it is lucky for me to be part of SFD Hanoi this year. Hanoi SFD is organized by VFOSSA, the FOSS association in Vietnam. Fedora was one main sponsor of the event. It was a whole day event held in a university. So many volunteers are students and employees of the university. It was fun that the event begins with volunteers dancing, both in the morning and in the afternoon, and they are so good at it!

In the morning are welcome and keynote sessions in one large lecture hall. Sarup, Somvannda, and I are honored to be introduced as special international guests to the event (in English). They awarded new members and event sponsors in the welcome session. Later in the keynote session, Tuan delivered a speech on seven ways to contribute to Fedora (without coding). Most of the morning sessions were in Vietnamese, and I could only understand a little bit. I brought some Fedora 20 DVDs, stickers, and flyers from China, and they were distributed very soon at the booth.


In the afternoon, we had a dedicated room for Fedora related sessions. First, Thang gave a general introduction of the Fedora Project to the audience in Vietnamese. Then I talked about free and open source software defined radio (FOSS SDR). With a lot of examples, I introduced why we should have FOSS SDR, and how FOSS SDR can enable hacking in the radio frequency. I introduced GNU Radio and various SDR hardware such as HackRF and bladeRF to show how FOSS and open hardware play well with each other. Since the talk was in English, and the topic is not so familiar, the main purpose of the talk was to show the power of FOSS and open hardware, and to encourage the audience to try out and contribute to FOSS projects.


Later on, Sarup delivered a FOSS 101 talk. He talked about why we should choose FOSS, how newcomers join and contribute to Fedora, and main communication tools of FOSS communities. Then he gave an introduction on Git and version control concepts. I helped demonstrate the git operations, and Trang helped translate for easy understanding.

At around 4:00 PM, we gathered to one room again. There was a panel Q&A session followed by the lucky draw. The panel session was quite interactive, and the audience raised many questions. One interesting thing is that the panel speakers voted for the best question and there was an award for that questioner. Then in the lucky draw, it turned out we foreigners were not so lucky. None of us was chosen. But lucky draw is always fun for everyone.

In the evening, we had dinner with the organizers and volunteers of SFD. We drank beer and toast to each other. I even learned how to toast in Vietnamese!

Day 3 (2014-09-21): One Day Tour

On Sunday, Somvannda and Sarup left for the airport early in the morning. My flight was around at 7:00 PM, so I took a one day tour in Hanoi. I visited Quang Truong Ba Dinh (Ba Dinh Square), Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House, Ho Chi Minh Museum, One Pillar Pagoda, the Flag Tower, Hanoi Cathedral, and so on. The sight spots are relatively near to each other, so I travelled around mostly by walking. I had lunch at Quan An Ngon, a popular restaurant in Hanoi, and bought some candies and gifts to bring back to China. In the afternoon, on the way back to the airport, I also walked by the Ho Hoan Kiem (Hoan Kiem Lake). The sight spots are nice, and the food is delicious. So I enjoyed the trip to Hanoi a lot. Plus the warm support and help from Tuan, Thang, Somvannda, Sarup, and others, the days in Hanoi are quite memorable to me.

8月 302014

2014 年 3 月 15 日,春季学期开学后不久的一个周六,清华大学 TUNA 协会在五教 5102 主办了硬件自由日清华站的活动。活动有超过 70 人参加。此次活动的主题为“让软件工程师硬起来”。

下午一点时分组织者和一些观众陆续到场。活动注册沿用电子注册方式,每个人在注册电脑上的 LibreOffice 表格中填写各自的信息,这个表格会转换为 csv 格式,被最后幸运抽奖的程序读取使用。本次活动启用了微博墙实时互动,现场第二块投影幕布由 scateu 提供。

活动正式开始于大约两点。开场时由我(赵涛)主持,并简单介绍硬件自由日活动的背景、缘起和此次活动的日程。之后便开始了正式的主题演讲环节。第一个演讲由造核电站出身但已转型为软件无线电爱好者的前 TUNA 会长王康 (scateu) 带来,题目为“HackRF x GNU Radio”。王康对完全自由开源的 HackRF 板卡以及开源易用的图形化开发平台 GNU Radio 进行了详细介绍,并在现场进行了 DTMF 译码、FM 调制、遥控小车控制信号回放等诸多演示,极大地激起了大家对软件无线电的兴趣。


紧接着是电子系的汪彧之(bigeagle)带来的用 BeagleBoneBlack 板子搭建路由器的经验分享。他介绍了 BBB 板子的概况,之后详细地介绍了整个搭建流程,从发行版的选取到关键软件的配置。问答环节有同学问到自制路由器偶尔会无线挂掉的问题,bigeagle 解答表示他会利用看门狗(watchdog)程序监测这一问题并适时重启路由器。


接下来来自计算机系的赵一开(blahgeek)对树梅派(RPi)的各种用途进行了介绍。树梅派作为廉价开源开发板的典型代表,可以被用来做许多有趣的事情。blahgeek 提到了他们用它来实现智能家居的情况。现场没能对小乌龟自动喂食做详细介绍,不过 blahgeek 在个人博客中进行过介绍




五点左右时,活动来到了最后的幸运抽奖环节,我们使用了 bigeagle 提供了一个开源的网页版抽奖应用。活动最后大家合影留念。


由于有上次自由软件日活动的经验教训,此次活动在前期宣传、现场注册、以及礼品发放上都比较顺利。此外,本次活动组织中由 bigeagle 引入了 trello 这一在线的轻量级项目管理协作工具,组织协调工作更为有序。至于存在的问题,主要就是会后大家都有许多事情要忙,本人迟迟没有把活动报告写出来。

活动演讲的讲稿链接可以在维基页面上找到。活动照片放在 Flickr 上的 TUNA 群组。反馈问卷调查结果的链接也在维基页面。

4月 202014

Fedora Activity Day (FAD) China 2014 was successfully held at Park Plaza of Beijing Science Park, Beijing on Mar 30 (Sunday). It was organized by Fedora Zhongwen User Group with the help of CSDN. It was under the umbrella of Open Source Technology Conference (OSTC) 2014 initiated by CSDN, being one of three parallel sessions in the afternoon. There were around 600 attendees in total, and about 200 in the FAD session.

I arrived at the venue in the morning with more than 100 Live DVDs and 500 stickers. We distributed them during the Red Hat booth as well as the afternoon session. In the morning there were several keynote speeches and one panel discussion. More details can be found in the CSDN news report.

The afternoon session began at 1:30 pm. Thomas Yao and I served as the hosts of FAD. The first talk was “About Those Python Asynchronous Concurrency Frameworks” by Fantix King, CTO at FlowForge Games, Archlinux x32 committer, and Python programmer. He introduced the concept of concurrency, compared Tornado, Twisted, and Gevent, and then introduced asyncio, the newly available framework in Python 3.4.0.

Python Concurrency Frameworks by Fantix King

Python Concurrency Frameworks by Fantix King

The second talk was “Use Linux Command Line as a Hacker” by Xiaodong Xu (Toy), the webmaster of LinuxToy. He shared a lot of command line tips to fix typos, manipulate shell history, and speed up operations. In the QA session he talked about his opinion on text editor choice and Linux distro choice.



The next talk was “Reform the Toolbox: From Open Source Software to Open Source Service” by Daobing Li, the chief architect of Qiniu, who is also a Debian developer. He talked about the achievements of open source cloud service, and shared his vision of future cloud service – cloud in computer room. He also gave suggestions on how developers treat cloud services.

Daobing Li

Daobing Li

Following the talk was “Introduction to HackRF & GNURadio” by Scateu Wang, the creator of hackrf.net and the former leader of TUNA. He demonstrated the ease of using GNU Radio to develop software defined radio applications for DTMF decoding, FM modulation and demodulation, digital audio broadcasting, etc. He also introduced HackRF, the newly created inexpensive hardware peripheral used with GNU Radio.

Scateu Wang

Scateu Wang

The next talk was “Fedora Ambassadors & FUDCon” by myself. I introduced the four foundations of Fedora Project, gave an overview of Fedora Ambassadors project, showed what ambassadors do and how reimbursement works, and then shared the recent progress of organizing FUDCon APAC 2014 to be held in May and welcomed everyone to join.



Next Emily Chen, GNOME.Asia founder, senior software engineer in Oracle, gave the talk “Bringing More Women to Free and Open Source Software”. She introduced the Outreach Program for Women initiated by GNOME, talked about how it increases the women participation in open source projects. The annual program provides prize for women participants in similar way with GSoC, but it does not require the applicants to be students, and applicants does not need to write code in the program.

Emily Chen

Emily Chen

The following talk was “Operation and Management of SHLUG” by Thomas Yao, leader of Shanghai Linux User Group (SHLUG), founder of GitCafe.com. Thomas gave an impressive speech without any slides. He talked about the history of SHLUG and shared the experience. He pointed out the pioneering effort of building the first open source mirror site in China, Geekbone, and the importance of keeping the community focus on technique rather than commercial activities. He also shared the interesting stories of Hacking Thursday and Rails Girls.

Thomas Yao

Thomas Yao

After that is the panel discussion on “History and Future of Open Source OS in China”. It was moderated by Thomas Yao, and the panelists are Weijia He from Redflag College of Education, Jianzhong Huang from Redflag R&D, Jack Yu from UbuntuKylin, and Yong Wang from Linux Deepin. They shared their opinions and experiences about Linux Desktop, collaboration of distros, cultivation of open source talents, and open source in education.

Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion

At last, Martin, leader of Beijing Linux User Group (BLUG) gave a lightining speech of introducing BLUG and its activities. Everyone is welcomed and should not worry about their English since there are actually many Chinese there. And it is quite easy to join the event by registering on BLUG website or joining discussion in mailing list.

At night there is the Open Source Night, a social event for free face-to-face discussions. Unfortunately I didn’t attend it. I had dinner with FUDCon and GNOME.Asia organizers and discussed current progress and following tasks.

Overall it is a very good event in my mind. If I have to point out some issues, I’d say there might be too many talks and no time for tea or coffee in between! Besides, my own talk was prepared in a bit hurry, and not practised well beforehand.

The slides links is available on CSDN news. They also provide a Chinese report for FAD. There is a great minute for the meeting by Bojie Li from USTC LUG. The videos and various other materials can be found at this link.