8月 232014
 

Note: This is a press style report of FUDCon APAC 2014, which summarizes the event highlights. Don’t miss the links to slides, videos, and photos!

FUDCon APAC 2014 was successfully held at Conference Center at New Main Building of Beihang University, Beijing, China during May 23 to 25, 2014. This year the event was held together with GNOME.Asia Summit, an annual conference for GNOME users and developers in Asia. It turns out to be a rather exciting experience of mutually beneficial cooperation of free and open source communities. In total, GNOME.Asia and FUDCon APAC 2014 attracted more than 500 registrants, and among them over 300 attended the event.

There were 52 speakers in total and among them 22 are for FUDCon. Thanks to the help with the community budget, many non-local speakers joined the event and made FUDCon Beijing a big gather up for the Fedora community. The speakers delivered a wide range of topics about free and open source technologies and communities presented in keynote speeches and five parallel tracks. Richard Stallman gave a keynote speech on Computing, Freedom, and Privacy, which is the favorite speech according to the feedback survey. Talks in FUDCon tracks cover various subprojects of Fedora, as well as new application introduction and community building discussion. The links to all slides are available at the wiki page. As for the videos, they are currently available at the GNOME.Asia channel on Youtube. The Fedora Videos team is working to make them available on Fedora channel.

There were about 50 volunteers at the event. They were recruited from the local universities and companies. They showed great enthusiam and did amazing jobs to make the event well organized. Two of them, Tong Hui from GNOME and Zamir Sun from Fedora, were each awarded the prize of best volunteer, a hand fan full of wishes in various languages written by the attendees.

It is worth pointing out that about ten percent of the attendees are women. Many of them are active volunteers and talented speakers. Still more women contributors are expected in free and open source communities. And there was a dedicated session, Fedora Women initiated by Nitesh, to discuss the issue and possible solutions.

FUDCon is not just about technical sessions. It is also about meeting friends and having fun. FUDPub was organized as a welcome party, and there was a celebration party with delicious buffet on Sunday evening. On Saturday there were sports games including football, baseketball, and ping-pong. These social events helped the attendees enjoy the conference and the community.

Special thanks go to the sponsors. FUDCon was sponsored by 7 companies and 5 local communities. The success would be impossible without their generous support. There were 14 booths for sponsoring companies and local communities at the joint event. Attendees enjoyed hanging around the booths for discussion, and many swags were distributed at the booths.

Photos and Reports from various attendees are aggregated on the wiki page. The FUDCon Beijing Badge has been created and is in the process of collecting FAS usernames at the current writing.

DSC04041

7月 122014
 

This is my own (unofficial) report of FUDCon APAC 2014 Day 2 (Sunday).

Main Hall

The hosts in the main hall on Sunday were Tobi from GNOME and Tommy He from Fedora. The sessions began with the keynote speech on Systemd by Lennart Poettering. He talked about what is the modern Linux system and what role Systemd plays in it. Pity I didn’t finish listening to the talk, since I was asked out to help with hacking room. It turns out quite a few guys would like a separate hacking room. So we decided to open up Room 2 for hacking. Shortly after setting it up, the most important guest, Richard Stallman (RMS), came to the venue along with Zeuux guys and others. They were not happy with the booth setup (it was the last booth) until an exchange was made. They brought many swags, and some of them are to be sold rather than given away. Richard also went into the hack room since it was still some time from his keynote.

IMG_8876

After Lennart’s talk there were four lightning talks. It’s such a pity that I missed them all, in particular biergaizi’s lightning talk on “Tips about Linux Servers”. Then RMS’s keynote on “Computing, Freedom and Privacy” began. Many more people were coming and filling up the main hall. RMS’s talk itself is not quite new to me since I had listened to him in Tsinghua. The part about why GNOME was created at all was new, but the history was already familiar to Linux hobbyists. However, being able to listen to his talk on site was quite impressive and educating. I have the feeling that his opinion might be ahead of the time but is always right. In the middle of the talk, he held an auction for a toy gnu and “an adorable book” (Free Software, Free Society). After the talk was the Q&A, which lasted till about 12:45. We went to Heyi Building for lunch after that.

IMG_9006

At lunch I got the message from zsun that Ankur would like to have the GPG key signing party in a small room rather than main hall. That was doable and we had difficulties to find a substitute to fill in the empty slot in main hall. At last the signing party was held in Room 2 and there was no replacement in main hall.

Room 3

After lunch it was near 14:00, and the first talk in Room 3 was supposed to be mine. So I hurried there to prepare. The volunteers (Feng Tian, Justin Wong, Rosie Ye, Tang Zhixin, etc.) were ready. I began my talk on LaTeX Tips a little bit later than the schedule. I talked about common compilation errors and output errors and how to fix them. The time was limited so I skipped the part about math formulas and BibTeX errors. I got a question about the main advantages of LaTeX compared with GUI Office applications. I explained that the advantages lie in high quality output and automatic generation of table-of-contents and list-of-various-stuff. Users normally only focus on the main contents rather than formatting issues.

The second talk was “CD using Docker” by Gerard Braad. He explained the actual definition of CD, Consistent Development and Deployment, and use Docker to demonstrate the concept. He introduced PaaS, LXC, cgroups, Dokku and so on along the talk. The talk was presented in an interactive and interesting way: questions, answers, and gifts!

After that there were only 10 minutes for tea break. However it was a nice time to take photos in front of the large banner. The following talk was meant to be Carbo Kuo’s Batsh topic, but he could not come and had sent regrets on Saturday. So Cheer Xiao’s talk was moved upwards to fill in the slot. Cheer Xiao talked about his experiments with Elvish, a new Unix shell created by himself. There were many considerations and tradeoffs when designing a shell, and he introduced the philosophy behind his choices. He also compared it with existing shells such as fish and zsh.

There was no more talks in Room 3 afterwards, so we headed for Room 8 to join the discussion about Fedora Women.

Room 8

The last talk in Room 8 was “Fedora Women” by Nitesh. He would like to make it more an interactive discussion than an oral presentation, and asked zsun and me to help translate. The session turned out to be quite productive. There were many nice suggestions out of the discussion. The main points are summarized as follows (with relevant names in parentheses):

  • For online communications such as IRC in a diverse community like Fedora, people generally do not know whether one is a man or woman, so there is normally no discrimination against gender. The community is equal to men and women. Potential women contributors should not fear questions such as why do you code you are a girl. If there is any such question, it is more important what is one’s interest than what is others’ opinion. (Nitesh, Ankur, Feng Tian)

  • Fedora has many roles and tasks for contributors. Even if you do not like coding, you can try to join the design team or the translation (L10N) team or others to contribute. Fedora also has a lot of special interest groups (SIGs) which welcomes people with that special interest, such as electronics, cloud computing and so on. And there is the opportunity to start a new SIG. There is a SIG called Fedora Join SIG, which is an ideal place for people who are new to the project and do not know what exactly they should do. You can just do informal introduction in the Join SIG mailing list and people will help you find what you can do. (Jaroslav, Aditya, Nitesh, Ankur)

  • There are many tasks waiting for people to join and contribute. And there will be many new tasks since Fedora.next is coming. Some of them are easyfix ones, which is very suitable for new contributors to get started. (Ankur, Jaroslav)

  • The local communities should draw the attention of outside non-users, organize activities to help them especially women to install Fedora on their computer and to show them how things work in the communities. Among the activities some can be girls oriented. Besides, blogging about how to install the OS and how to do various things on Fedora! (Martin, Aditya, Nitesh)

  • Lovely dolls attract girls! We should design more stuff than stickers for offline events. (Feng Tian, zsun)

  • Fedora might have a narrower user base than other projects like GNOME. But people can actually contribute to Fedora even without using it everyday. The way can be bug reporting, translating, or volunteering in offline events, etc. (Justin Wong, zsun)

  • A question to current contributors: why do you fail to bring your girlfriend to the community? (Robin Lee)

  • We should continue the discussion after the conference, rather than raising the same question again on the next conference. We should setup activities talking about how to achieve something, especially in Beijing. We should have clear targets. (Martin)

Closing

We went back to the main hall for the closing part of the event, and found the last talk in the main hall had not been finished, and it also became a discussion. So it seems we should consider panel discussion as a session type in the future.

The closing speech was given by Kat (IIRC) and Jaroslav respectively, and then followed by the speech by the local team. Emily and I went on the stage. She spoke in English and I did the translation. We gave our thanks to everyone, especially hardworking volunteers. The two hand fans, full of writings in different languages, were given to Tong Hui and Zamir Sun respectively as gifts for best volunteer of each community. The top horizontal scroll for the couplet was decided to be “Happy Hacking” according to the result of two days’ voting. At last we had a group photo.

SAM_4563.JPG

SAM_4575.JPG

Evening

In the evening we had a very nice buffet dinner at Oasis Café, Vision Hotel, which is just behind the conference venue. We toasted to everyone and thanked them for coming. I sat with robyduck and zsun. We talked about a lot of things including robyduck’s travel plan. Robyduck also pointed out a possible issue with FZUG’s logo. Richard Stallman also went to the celebration party. Besides, zsun and I stood in front of the camera of Nitesh near the cafe since we promised to participate the short interview by him and Ankur. It was such a relax at the dinner after two days’ event and after several months’ preparation. And I was really happy that many people found the event good and successful.