October 25, 2013
conference, Europe, LinuxCon
I just returned from Edinburgh where we represented Fedora at LinuxCon Europe 2013. It was great three days. I arrived to Edinburgh Sunday evening and was welcomed by a typical Scottish weather – rain. Our local contact and host was Keiran Smith, a longtime Fedora ambassador and packager. Another ambassador representing Fedora at LinuxCon was Jon Archer who arrived in the middle of the first day, and Tony, a longtime local Fedora user who helped us fill the last position after one of ambassadors cancelled their trip to LinuxCon. There were much more Fedora contributors at LinuxCon: Tom Callaway, Ruth Suehle, Matthew Garrett, Thorsten Leemhuis, Daniel Veillard and others.
Our booth was between BlackDuck and oVirt&Gluster booths and was well attended. We prepared stickers, case badges, upstream community sticker sheets, badges, and Fedora Cloud flyers for LinuxCon attendees. They could also check out Fedora 19 and 20 on two laptops we had at the booth. We also wanted to showcase a Wayland session of GNOME in Fedora 20, but had problems with input devices, so the showcase was over very quickly
LinuxCon is not an event to present Fedora to new end users although we met a lot of people who said that would try Fedora after visiting our booth and DVD ran out very quickly. LinuxCon is mainly about presenting Fedora to other open source projects, people from all kind of companies that are interested in Linux, and also about networking. For example, a director from one of very well known IT company (I don’t want to name) came to our booth and asked how they can cooperate with Fedora because so far their development only targeted Ubuntu, but they don’t like the direction Ubuntu has recently taken and would like to stick with someone who stays in the Linux pack. We were also recruiting new contributors. Eilidh McAdam, a developer of Lanedo, showed her interest in contributing in Fedora and she is already in the process to become an ambassador. And hopefully, she’ll be a valuable packager or developer, too.
Apart from LinuxCon, I really enjoyed Edinburgh. Keiran took us to several nice places in evenings including a really good Indian restaurant. I was really surprised how cheap Scotland had become for us. When I was there 9 years ago, 1 GBP was 55 CZK, now it’s only 30 CZK, so everything is almost twice cheaper. And beer is still only around 2.5 GBP I was also surprised how many Czechs I met in Edinburgh. The receptionist in my hotel turned out to be Czech, so I checked in speaking Czech. The dealer at our roulette table at the LinuxCon party was also Czech. The weather was not that bad after all. The last day was even sunny.
I’d like to thank Fedora Project for sponsoring accommodation and dinner for booth staff and the Linux Foundation for providing us with a booth and tickets for booth staff which are otherwise very expensive.
CC BY-NC 2.0 – Linux Foundation
October 15, 2013
fedora, packagers, packaging
Last week, we held a Fedora Packaging Workshop in Brno office of Red Hat. 16 participants showed up. Some of them were interested in just creating an RPM, some wanted to get their packages to Fedora and some were interested in creating RPMs for RHEL (we had quite a few participants from companies). I and four lecturers (Ondrej Vasik, Jaroslav Reznik, Stano Ochotnicky, Mirek Suchy) prepared an all-day intensive workshop.
But I don’t want to talk about the workshop in this blogpost. The workshop just made me wonder “do we really want new packagers?”. I often hear complaints in the community that the number of community packagers is decreasing and the Red Hat vs. community packagers ratio is not healthy. But I wonder if we’re doing (at least remotely) our best to get new packagers. We’ve already held several packaging workshops and most participants agreed that packaging for Fedora is a very complex thing, maybe unnecessarily complex. Documentation is outdated and scattered. There are tons of tools that are not integrated. And when we introduce COPRs we will even have more than one build system. And if someone is willing to go through all this, he hits the review process which is handled by Red Hat bugzilla which is not integrated with the rest, again. There are hundreds of review requests waiting and the lucky ones get the process done in months. There was one participant at the workshop who made a package of his tool for Fedora around Fedora 15 and never got it to Fedora. When you learn such a complex thing as packaging, get familiar with all the tools, it must be really frustrating not to make it all the way. And that guys was indeed frustrated.
So when someone starts complaining that the number of new packagers is decreasing and saying it must be a sign of decreasing number of people interested in Fedora, I will tell him to look at what new packagers have to through. In the time when other platforms are trying to make inclusion of new software, if not as easy as possible, at least as streamlined as possible, Fedora stands out and people are not willing to through all the hassle any more. But maybe we just don’t want and need new packagers…
October 10, 2013
activity, ambassadors, IRC, meetings
At Flock 2013, I started extracting data from ambassadors meeting minutes to analyze IRC meeting activity of ambassadors in each region. I was mainly interested in how many people attend meetings. Of course, I returned from Flock and didn’t find time to finish it until now.
On the chart below you can see number of participants of ambassadors meetings in each region. Because there are different numbers of meetings, I made an average number for each month, so that I could compare them. The chart starts in January 2012 and ends in July 2013 because I didn’t update data when I got back to it, so it doesn’t include last two months. Although the chart is a bit cluttered, you can see some trends there. The number of participants in APAC was declining, but there is a sign of improvement in July. LATAM seems to be slightly going up. The best performing region in terms of participants at meetings is EMEA which has a positive trend, too. Unfortunately, NA has been declining from over 10 participants last year down to below 5 in July. Hopefully, we can reverse the trend in the future.
The average number of participants globally is 11.7 from January 2012 to July 2013. The average numbers for regions: NA: 9.5, EMEA 14.2, APAC 9.7, LATAM 9.4.
A spreadsheet with monthly numbers is here.
October 3, 2013
Fedora, Linux, Red Hat
brno, cfp, conference, devconf.cz, developer conference, Fedora Day
I’d like to publicly announce Fedora Day that will take place at Developer Conference 2014 in Brno, Czech Republic on February 9th 2014. DevConf.cz is the largest Red Hat developer event in the world. The 2013 edition was attended by 700 people, there were over 60 talks and 30 additional labs and workshops in two days. Because there has been high demand for a winter Fedora planning event, we decided to extend DevConf.cz into three days and make the third additional day a Fedora Day which should be devoted to Fedora hackfests and planning sessions. DevConf.cz is an ideal event for this because there have always been a lot over 100 Fedora contributors at DevConf.cz anyway.
There will be around 6 rooms (each for at least 20 ppl) available for us at the university on Sunday Feb 9th. I created a wiki page where you can add your session and hackfest. If you have an interesting topic for a talk, you may consider submitting it to DevConf.cz Call for Papers which is open until December 1st. Talks will be on the first two days.
A new website for the 2014 edition of DevConf.cz is yet to be finished. We’re working on that. When it’s done, you’ll find all necessary info about the conference there (transportation, accommodation, schedule,…).
DevConf.cz 2014 is held one week after the largest FLOSS event – FOSDEM. We picked this date on purpose, so that people from overseas can come for both events. Here is a planned schedule of events:
Feb 1-2: FOSDEM 2014 in Brussels
Feb 3-6: Internal Red Hat meetings in Brno office and hackfests co-hosted with DevConf.cz (e.g. systemd hackfest)
Feb 7-8: Conference days of DevConf.cz
Feb 9: Fedora Day
Looking forward to meeting you at DevConf.cz!
September 18, 2013
fad, LinuxDays, prague
We’ve decided to organize the very first Fedora Activity Day in the Czech Republic – FAD Prague 2013. It will be co-located with LinuxDays 2013. The goals are Czech- specific. We’d like to work on a small handbook we can print and give away to users who’d like to start with Fedora. It should cover basics such as what is Fedora, why to use it, where to get it, how to install it, how to work with the system etc. In spare time, we’d also like to work on improving and updating our online Czech Fedora user handbook which is wiki-based, but can be converted to a PDF. It’s already pretty long, over 250 pages. On the second day, we’d like to work on Czech translations. Not only translations of Fedora-specific software, but also translations of upstream software which is included in Fedora. Czech upstream translators are going to have a meetup at LinuxDays and this could definitely be common ground.
The whole event is meant to be for participants with different level of knowledge and experience. Newbies are especially welcome because the FAd is a great opportunity to start contributing to Fedora. There will be experienced Fedora contributors around who can help them and point them to the right directions.
September 12, 2013
Fedora, Linux, Red Hat
Wanna learn how to create an RPM package and what to do to get it in the Fedora repositories? We’re organizing another Fedora packaging workshop. It’s going to take place in Brno office of Red Hat on October 9th. It’s a one-day workshop that starts at 10am and ends at 6pm. The workshop mentors are one of the most experienced Fedora/RHEL packagers – Stano Ochotnický, Miroslav Suchý, Ondřej Vašík, and Jaroslav Řezník. So don’t hesitate and sign up, the capacity is only 20 participants!
Date: Wednesday, October 9th, 2013
Time: 10am to 6pm
Venue: Brno office of Red Hat, Purkynova 99/71, Brno, Czech Republic
Capacity: 20 participants
Registration: please fill out this form
Language: either Czech or English (will be decided at the beginning of the workshop. It depends if there will be any foreign participants)
Requirements: a laptop with either Fedora or RHEL
Previous experience: no experience with packaging required
September 6, 2013
budget, cost, emea, expenses, media, q2, shipping
The the second quarter of the fiscal year is over and my job is to hunt down all expenses made in EMEA and close the quarterly account. There is still one payment left, but it’s not so significant, so I think I can safely sum up the quarter. It’s been easy this time because Q2 was quite boring in terms of expenses. We produced Fedora 19 media where we achieved even a lower price than before. We paid just $1668 for 4000 dual-layer DVDs which is only $.41 for one. I remember we paid twice or three times more to the old vendor.
We also paid much less than expected for shipping. We had pretty high shipping costs and after the budget cuts I had to look for a cheaper solution. Now, we ship packages with Czech Post which is a standard postal service. I shipped a lot of packages all around EMEA (quite a few outside EU) and the total cost was $701. There are also some disadvantages. Delivery times are longer than with Fedex or DHL we used before. It’s just a few days within EU, but it could be a couple of weeks if you ship to Africa. We also can’t track packages all the way to the final destination. Postal services outside EU either don’t have tracking or don’t share it with Czech Post. And packages more likely end up stuck at customs. On the other hand, DHL and Fedex were completely out of our budget possibilities.
Due to these savings, we’re on track with our annual budget. We’ve spent $13,208 in the first two quarters and there is $8,892 left in the annual budget and planned expenses are $9,463 which is just slightly more.
In the next several weeks, I’d like to arrange a quarterly budget meeting where all regional treasurers and the Fedora budget owner get together and discuss the budget situation in all regions. We have to make sure that spending in all regions is on track and we don’t spend too much or too little.