Fedora 15 is finally out and we celebrated it properly yesterday. It was a bit risky to set the date on the release day, but developers and QA guys made it in time and Fedora release wasn’t delayed once again.
We started building the Czech Fedora community recently which is why we didn’t know how many people could come and honestly didn’t expect many. The number of attendants surpassed our expectations multiple times. As registration form logs were getting longer we started worrying because the room we was going to use for the party couldn’t accommodate big crowds of people
The party venue was located in Brno’s Red Hat office. We disassembled a wall between two biggest meeting rooms and made one big with “L” shape, gathered as many chairs as we could and set up about 60 seats. The party started at 6pm. We prepared some refreshment for visitors (hamburgers, wraps, muffins, chips, soft and hot beverages,…). Because it’s always better to listen to talks with a full stomach we let visitors refresh themselves at the beginning. The talks started with GNOME 3 presentation by Tomáš Bžatek which attracted the biggest crowd. The number of attendants was about 100 (approx. half was redhatters, and half external attendants) . Fortunately, the room wasn’t completely overcrowded as we worried. Most people found seats, some had to stay, there were always people who rested and enjoyed a beautiful weather outside on the terrace. People were really interested in GNOME 3 and Tomáš had to answer a lot of questions which is why his talk took 45 minutes instead of 30. The second talk was by Jarda Řezník who maintains KDE in Fedora, hence he talked about KDE 4.6 in Fedora. Moreover, he added a talk about Fedora governance, what boards and committees are involved in what decisions. His talk was a bit longer as well and we were getting a little delayed. Another highlight of the party was a talk about systemd by Michal Schmidt because systemd is definitely the most important innovation in Fedora along with GNOME 3. Other talks were interesting as well, just more technical-based – power management improvement, mainly powertop (by Jaroslav Skarvada), SPICE support in virt-manager (by Luboš Kocman), new features in Ext4 (by Lukáš Czerner).
Besides the talks and presentations, we set up a station with two laptops where attendants could test themselves how much they know about Fedora. Questions weren’t easy, many redhatters got only 2 out of 9 points. However, the test was also educative because after every submitted answer the tested person was told if the answer was correct or not, and every answer was followed by a comprehensive explanation. So every person who took the test learned something new about Fedora. The winner got 6 out of 9 points and was given a prize (a RH cup, flash drive with Fedora 15,…).
All attendants could take some swag, too. We had Fedora buttons, paper stickers, metal stickers for laptops, a few Open Source & Praxe magazines,… We also had a few F14 DVDs left, so we gave them away with a sign “Memorial”.
Fedora 15 release party was the first Fedora event of this kind in the Czech republic. So we didn’t know how many people would come, what they would be interested in, what program we should offer etc. I think the party went well, the program was interesting. The party was meant as an event where the community/users may meet Fedora developers and the party was promoted this way. Maybe that’s why it was so attractive to the community. The number of attendants was definitely a big success. Just for comparison: the Czech Ubuntu LoCo team organized Ubuntu 11.04 release party a few weeks ago, the event was intensively advertised, and the number of attendants was 50 including organizers. And the Ubuntu community is considered by far the biggest Linux community in the Czech republic.
You can find more pictures in my photo gallery. We recorded all talks and we’ll try to publish all videos as soon as possible.