Search Results: "moray"

18 August 2016

Zlatan Todori : DebConf16 - new age in Debian community gathering

DebConf16 Finally got some time to write this blog post. DebConf for me is always something special, a family gathering of weird combination of geeks (or is weird a default geek state?). To be honest, I finally can compare Debian as hacker conference to other so-called hacker conferences. With that hat on, I can say that Debian is by far the most organized and highest quality conference. Maybe I am biased, but I don't care too much about that. I simply love Debian and that is no secret. So lets dive into my view on DebConf16 which was held in Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town This was the first time we had conference on African continent (and I now see for the first time DebConf bid for Asia, which leaves only Australia and beautiful Pacific islands to start a bid). Cape Town by itself, is pretty much Europe-like city. That was kinda a bum for me on first day, especially as we were hosted at University of Cape Town (which is quite beautiful uni) and the surrounding neighborhood was very European. Almost right after the first day I was fine because I started exploring the huge city. Cape Town is really huge, it has by stats ~4mil people, and unofficially it has ~6mil. Certainly a lot to explore and I hope one day to be back there (I actually hope as soon as possible). The good, bad and ugly I will start with bad and ugly as I want to finish with good notes. Racism down there is still HUGE. You don't have signs on the road saying that, but there is clearly separation between white and black people. The houses near uni all had fences on walls (most of them even electrical ones with sharp blades on it) with bars on windows. That just bring tensions and certainly doesn't improve anything. To be honest, if someone wants to break in they still can do easily so the fences maybe need to bring intimidation but they actually only bring tension (my personal view). Also many houses have sign of Armed Force Response (something in those lines) where in case someone would start breaking in, armed forces would come to protect the home. Also compared to workforce, white appear to hold most of profit/big business positions and fields, while black are street workers, bar workers etc etc. On the street you can feel from time to time the tension between people. Going out to bars also showed the separation - they were either almost exclusively white or exclusively black. Very sad state to see. Sharing love and mixing is something that pushes us forward and here I saw clear blockades for such things. The bad part of Cape Town is, and this is not only special to Cape Town but to almost all major cities, is that small crime is on wide scale. Pickpocketing here is something you must pay attention to it. To me, personally, nothing happened but I heard a lot of stories from my friends on whom were such activities attempted (although I am not sure did the criminals succeed). Enough of bad as my blog post will not change this and it is a topic for debate and active involvement which I can't unfortunately do at this moment. THE GOOD! There are so many great local people I met! As I mentioned, I want to visit that city again and again and again. If you don't fear of those bad things, this city has great local cuisine, a lot of great people, awesome art soul and they dance with heart (I guess when you live in rough times, you try to use free time at your best). There were difference between white and black bars/clubs - white were almost like standard European, a lot of drinking and not much dancing, and black were a lot of dancing and not much drinking (maybe the economical power has something to do with it but I certainly felt more love in black bars). Cape Town has awesome mountain, the Table Mountain. I went on hiking with my friends, and I must say (again to myself) - do the damn hiking as much as possible. After every hike I feel so inspired, that I will start thinking that I hate myself for not doing it more often! The view from Table mountain is just majestic (you can even see the Cape of Good Hope). The WOW moments are just firing up in you. Now lets transfer to DebConf itself. As always, organization was on quite high level. I loved the badge design, it had a map and nice amount of information on it. The place we stayed was kinda not that good but if you take it into account that those a old student dorms (in we all were in female student dorm :D ) it is pretty fancy by its own account. Talks were near which is always good. The general layout of talks and front desk position was perfect in my opinion. All in one place basically. Wine and Cheese this year was kinda funny story because of the cheese restrictions but Cheese cabal managed to pull out things. It was actually very well organized. Met some new people during the party/ceremony which always makes me grow as a person. Cultural mix on DebConf is just fantastic. Not only you learn a lot about Debian, hacking on it, but sheer cultural diversity makes this small con such a vibrant place and home to a lot. Debian Dinner happened in Aquarium were I had nice dinner and chat with my old friends. Aquarium by itself is a thing where you can visit and see a lot of strange creatures that live on this third rock from Sun. Speaking of old friends - I love that I Apollo again rejoined us (by missing the DebConf15), seeing Joel again (and he finally visited Banja Luka as aftermath!), mbiebl, ah, moray, Milan, santiago and tons of others. Of course we always miss a few such as zack and vorlon this year (but they had pretty okay-ish reasons I would say). Speaking of new friends, I made few local friends which makes me happy and at least one Indian/Hindu friend. Why did I mention this separately - well we had an accident during Group Photo (btw, where is our Lithuanian, German based nowdays, photographer?!) where 3 laptops of our GSoC students were stolen :( . I was luckily enough to, on behalf of Purism, donate Librem11 prototype to one of them, which ended up being the Indian friend. She is working on real time communications which is of interest also to Purism for our future projects. Regarding Debian Day Trip, Joel and me opted out and we went on our own adventure through Cape Town in pursue of meeting and talking to local people, finding out interesting things which proved to be a great decision. We found about their first Thursday of month festival and we found about Mama Africa restaurant. That restaurant is going into special memories (me playing drums with local band must always be a special memory, right?!). Huh, to be honest writing about DebConf would probably need a book by itself and I always try to keep my posts as short as possible so I will try to stop here (maybe I write few bits in future more about it but hardly). Now the notes. Although I saw the racial segregation, I also saw the hope. These things need time. I come from country that is torn apart in nationalism and religious hate so I understand this issues is hard and deep on so many levels. While the tensions are high, I see people try to talk about it, try to find solution and I feel it is slowly transforming into open society, where we will realize that there is only one race on this planet and it is called - HUMAN RACE. We are all earthlings, and as sooner we realize that, sooner we will be on path to really build society up and not fake things that actually are enslaving our minds. I just want in the end to say thank you DebConf, thank you Debian and everyone could learn from this community as a model (which can be improved!) for future societies.

28 August 2015

Zlatan Todori : The big life adventure called DebConf15

By the help of sponsorship I managed again to attend the conference where Debian family gathers. This is going to be a mix without any particular order of everything, anything and nothing else ;) attendance pic I arrived to Heidelberg Main Train Station around 9am on 15th August and almost right away found Debian people so it made my trip to hostel easier. After arrival I checked in but needed to wait for 3 hours to get the key (it seems that SA will not have that problem at all, which is already an improvement). Although waiting was 3 hours long, it wasn't actually difficult at all as I started hugging and saying hi to many old (the super old super friend of mine - moray, or how I call him, "doc") and new friends. I just must say - if you know or don't know Rhonda, try to get somehow into her hugs. With her hug I acknowledged that I really did arrive to reunion. Read more (14 min remaining to read)

20 March 2015

Zlatan Todori : My journey into Debian

Notice: There were several requests for me to more elaborate on my path to Debian and impact on life so here it is. It's going to be a bit long so anyone who isn't interested in my personal Debian journey should skip it. :) In 2007. I enrolled into Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (at first at Department of Industrial Management and later transfered to Department of Mechatronics - this was possible because first 3 semesters are same for both departments). By the end of same year I was finishing my tasks (consisting primarily of calculations, some small graphical designs and write-ups) when famous virus, called by users "RECYCLER", sent my Windows XP machine into oblivion. Not only it took control over machine and just spawned so many processes that system would crash itself, it actually deleted all from hard-disk before it killed the system entirely. I raged - my month old work, full of precise calculations and a lot of design details, was just gone. I started cursing which was always continued with weeping: "Why isn't there an OS that can whithstand all of viruses, even if it looks like old DOS!". At that time, my roommate was my cousin who had used Kubuntu in past and currently was having SUSE dual-booted on his laptop. He called me over, started talking about this thing called Linux and how it's different but de facto has no viruses. Well, show me this Linux and my thought was, it's probably so ancient and not used that it probably looks like from pre Windows 3.1 era, but when SUSE booted up it had so much more beautiful UI look (it was KDE, and compared to XP it looked like the most professional OS ever). So I was thrilled, installed openSUSE, found some rough edges (I knew immediately that my work with professional CAD systems will not be possible on Linux machines) but overall I was bought. After that he even talked to me about distros. Wait, WTF distros?! So, he showed me I was amazed. There is not only a better OS then Windows - there where dozens, hundreds of them. After some poking around I installed Debian KDE - and it felt great, working better then openSUSE but now I was as most newbies, on fire to try more distros. So I was going around with Fedora, Mandriva, CentOS, Ubuntu, Mint, PCLinuxOS and in beginning of 2008 I stumbled upon Debian docs which where talking about GNU and GNU Manifesto. To be clear, I was always as a high-school kid very much attached to idea of freedom but started loosing faith by faculty time (Internet was still not taking too much of time here, youth still spent most of the day outside). So the GNU Manifesto was really a big thing for me and Debian is a social bastion of freedom. Debian (now with GNOME2) was being installed on my machine. As all that hackerdom in Debian was around I started trying to dig up some code. I never ever read a book on coding (until this day I still didn't start and finish one) so after a few days I decided to code tetris in C++ with thought that I will finish it in two days at most (the feeling that you are powerful and very bright person) - I ended it after one month in much pain. So instead I learned about keeping Debian system going on, and exploring some new packages. I got thrilled over radiotray, slimvolley (even held a tournament in my dorm room), started helping on #debian, was very active in conversation with others about Debian and even installed it on few laptops (I became de facto technical support for users of those laptops :D ). Then came 2010 which with negative flow that came in second half of 2009, started to crush me badly. I was promised to go to Norway, getting my studies on robotics and professor lied (that same professor is still on faculty even after he was caught in big corruption scandal over buying robots - he bought 15 years old robots from UK, although he got money from Norway to buy new ones). My relationship came to hard end and had big emotional impact on me. I fell a year on faculty. My father stopped financing me and stopped talking to me. My depression came back. Alcohol took over me. I was drunk every day just not to feel anything. Then came the end of 2010, I somehow got to the information that DebConf will be in Banja Luka. WHAT?! DebConf in city where I live. I got into #debconf and in December 2010/January 2011 I became part of the famous "local local organizers". I was still getting hammered by alcohol but at least I was getting out of depression. IIRC I met Holger and Moray in May, had a great day (a drop of rakia that was too much for all of us) and by their way of behaving there was something strange. Beatiful but strange. Both were sending unique energy of liberty although I am not sure they were aware of it. Later, during DebConf I felt that energy from almost all Debian people, which I can't explain. I don't feel it today - not because it's not there, it's because I think I integrated so much into Debian community that it's now a natural feeling which people here, that are close to me are saying that they feel it when I talk about Debian. DebConf time in Banja Luka was awesome - firstly I met Phil Hands and Andrew McMillan which were a crazy team, local local team was working hard (I even threw up during the work in Banski Dvor because of all heat and probably not much of sleep due to excitement), met also crazy Mexican Gunnar (aren't all Mexicans crazy?), played Mao (never again, thank you), was hanging around smart but crazy people (love all) from which I must notice Nattie (a bastion of positive energy), Christian Perrier (which had coordinated our Serbian translation effort), Steve Langasek (which asked me to find physiotherapist for his co-worker Mathias Klose, IIRC), Zach (not at all important guy at that time), Luca Capello (who gifted me a swirl on my birthday) and so many others that this would be a post for itself just naming them. During DebConf it was also a bit of hard time - my grandfather died on 6th July and I couldn't attend the funeral so I was still having that sadness in my heart, and Darjan Prtic, a local team member that came from Vienna, committed suicide on my birthday (23 July). But DebConf as conference was great, but more importantly the Debian community felt like a family and Meike Reichle told me that it was. The night it finished, me and Vedran Novakovic cried. A lot. Even days after, I was getting up in the morning having the feeling I need something to do for DebConf. After a long time I felt alive. By the end of year, I adopted package from Clint Adams and Moray became my sponsor. In last quarter of 2011 and beginning of 2012, I (as part of LUG) held talks about Linux, had Linux installation in Computer Center for the first time ever, and installed Debian on more machines. Now fast forwarding with some details - I was also on DebConf13 in Switzerland, met some great new friends such as Tincho and Santiago (and many many more), Santiago was also my roommate in Portland on the previous DebConf. In Switzerland I had really great and awesome time. Year 2014 - I was also at DebConf14, maintain a bit more packages and have applied for DD, met some new friends among which I must put out Apollon Oikonomopoulos and Costas Drogos which friendship is already deep for such a short time and I already know that they are life-long friends. Also thanks to Steve Langasek, because without his help I wouldn't be in Portland with my family and he also gave me Arduino. :) 2015. - I am currently at my village residence, have a 5 years of working experince as developer due to Debian and still a lot to go, learn and do but my love towards Debian community is by magnitude bigger then when I thought I love it at most. I am also going through my personal evolution and people from Debian showed me to fight for what you care, so I plan to do so. I can't write all and name all the people that I met, and believe me when I say that I remember most and all of you impacted my life for which I am eternally grateful. Debian, and it's community effect literally saved my life, spring new energy into me and changed me for better. Debian social impact is far bigger then technical, and when you know that Debian is a bastion of technical excellence - you can maybe picture the greatness of Debian. Some of greatest minds are in Debian but most important isn't the sheer amount of knowledge but the enormous empathy. I just hope I can in future show to more people what Debian is and to find all lost souls as me to give them the hope, to show them that we can make world a better place and that everyone is capable to live and do what they love. P.S. I am still hoping and waiting to see Bdale writing a book about Debian's history to this day - in which I think many of us would admire the work done by project members, laugh about many situations and have fun reading a book about project that was having nothing to do but fail and yet it stands stronger then ever with roots deep into our minds.

16 September 2013

Debian Med

DebConf 13 report (by Andreas Tille) General impression unofficial  Scenic Hacklab I'm beginning my DebConf report in an unofficial "Scenic Hacklab" right at the edge of the lake in Yverdon. This is the right place to memorise the last days. When I started from this place cycling to Le Camp 12 days ago I was full of great expectations and what should I say - the reality has even beaten these. Once it comes about comparing DebConfs even if it is an unfair comparison due all the differences my secret long term favourite was Helsinki very closely followed by Argentina and also very closely followed by all the other great DebConfs I joined (and I joined all in Europe). Would Le Camp be able to beat it? The short answer is: Yes, it is now my favourite DebConf while I think I do not suffer from the last-Debconf-was-the-best-DebConf-syndrome (and I realised there are others thinking the same). As you might probably know I'm a bit addicted to swimming. While Helsinki had admittedly the better conditions I was at least able to fix the distance issue using my bicycle. (Hey, those Le Camp photographers did a great job in hiding the fact that you can not actually touch the lake right from the meadow of Le Camp.) Being able to have my bicycle at DebConf scored some extra points. However, the really great view of the lake, the inspiring "Scenic Hacklab" which was my favourite place has bumped DebConf13 at first place in my personal ranking. So it comes quite natural to say: "Kudos to the great organisation team!" They did a Swiss-like precise work and perfectly succeeded in hiding any problems (I assume there were some as always) from the attendees so everything went smooth, nice and shiny for the attendees. The local team was even precise in setting up great weather conditions for DebConf. sunrise over  the lake While saying thanks to the local team I would like to also explicitly thank Luca Capello who has quite some share that this DebConf was possible at all (while I have to decrease my DebConf score one point because he was not really there - Luca to bad that you were not able to come full time!) Also thanks to Gunnar and Gannef who helped remotely (another score down because I were missing them this year as well). Even if it was my favourite DebConf I was not able to work down my todo list fully (which was not only uploading one package per day which I at least statistically fullfilled). But that's probably a general feature of todo lists anyway. One item was definitely done: Doing my daily swimming BoF. I actually was able to do the other parts of the triathlon which was skipped by Christian and have done in summary about 150km cycling with 3500m elevation and estimated 7-8km swimming (0m elevation ;-)). Considering the great view at sunrise over the lake I was not hating my "Senile bed escape" disease too much (I was every day waking up at sunset) - it was simply a great experience. I will never forget seeing water drips glimmering like gold inside the morning sun while seeing the Alps panorama in the distant. I hope I was able to help all interested swimmers with the DebConf Beach Map which was just a by-product of my activities in DebCamp. Speaking about OSM: I was astonished that the area was way less covered than I expected. Thanks to several DebConf attendees the situation became better and the map does not only show random trees in the wild but also the tracks leading to these. (Remark: It was no DebConf attendee who is responsible for plastering the map with single trees.) While I had my mapping focus basically close to the edge of the lake I was also able to even map my very own street. :-) I clearly remember one specific mapping tour when I was invited by the DPL: He convinced me to join him on a bicycle tour and since I was afraid to get fired I joined him instead to keep on hacking. Also Sorina was brave enough to join us on the tour and she did quite well. (Sorina, do you remember the agreement about your work on the installer? ;-)) Lucas described the tour as: going uphill on only asphalted roads. Sorina and me were witnessing the mighty DPL powers when we left the wood around Le Camp to reach the described road: The asphalt was just put onto the road - no doubt that it was done on the immediate demand of mighty DPL. :-) DebCamp time was flying like nose dive and a lot of known (and unknown) faces arrived at Le Camp. What I really liked a lot this year was that several really young children has pulled down the average age of DebConf attendees. I clearly remember all the discussion one year ago what to do about children. As always the issue was solved in a typical Debian way: Just do it and bring your children - they had obviously a great time as well. I think the youngest child was 2 months and the oldest "child" above 20. ;-) Actually Baptiste Perrier did great in making the C&W party a success and had obviously a nice time. (I wished my son would have been able to come as well but he needs to write his bachelor s thesis in physics. :-() It was nice to see the kids using all playing facilities and communicating with geeks. Also I would like to point out that even the very young attendees had their share at the success of DebConf: Just think of the three "bell ringing assistants" who helped me ringing the bells for lunch and dinner. I've got this cool job from Didier in the beginning of DebCamp. I must say having some real bells ringing is by far nicer than just the "lunch / dinner starts in 10 minutes" from IRC bot. The only thing I did not understand was that people did not considered ringing the bells at 8:00 for breakfast as a good idea. Regarding the food in general I would also like to send kudos to the kitchen: It was tasty, freshly prepared, regional food with a good change rate. I really liked this. Extra points for having the chance to sit outside when eating. Talks But lets have a look into the conference programme. I'd really recommend watching the videos of the talks Bits from the DPL (video) and Debian Cosmology (video). I considered both talks as entertaining and interesting. I also really hope that the effort Enrico Zini started in Debian Contributors (video) will be successful. I had some talks and BoFs myself starting with Why running a Blend (video) and I admit that (as usual) the number of attendees was quite low even if I think there is some proof (see below) that it is interesting for way more people who should consider working more "blendish" in their team. Do you know how to recruit one developer per year and relax the man power problem in your team? Feel free to watch the video. We have confirmation that ten DDs of our team have considered to join Debian only because Debian Med exists. Admittedly biology and medicine are really leaf topics inside the Debian universe. So if even this topic that has a very tiny share of the Debian users is able to attract this level of attention - how many more people could we win for multimedia, games, GIS and others? So if you feel you are quite overworked with your packaging and you have no time this is most probably wrong. The amount of time is basically a matter of priorities you set for your tasks. Try to put some higher priority onto using the just existing Blends tools I explained in my talk to attract more users and developers to your team and by doing so spread the workload over more people. It works, the prove was given in my main talk. So before you start working on a specific package you should wonder who else could have an even stronger interest to get this work done and provide him with some additional motivation and help to get the common goal done. The interesting thing is that my BoF about How to attract new developers for your team (video) - which was a simple report about some by-product of the Blends work - made it into the main talk room and got way more attention. For me this is the proof that the Blends concept itself is probably badly perceived as something like "a few outsiders are doing damn specific stuff which is not really interesting for anybody else" instead of what is really is: Smoothing the way from specific upstream applications to the end user via Debian. Once you see the video of this BoF you can observe how my friend Asheesh Laroia became more and more excited about the Blends concept and admitted what I said above: We should have more Blends for different fields. Funnily enough Asheesh asked me in his excitement to talk more about Blends. This would have been a really good suggestion ten years ago. At DebConf 3 in Oslo I had my very first talk about Blends (at this time under the name "Debian Internal Projects"). I continuously kept on talking about this (MiniDebConf Peking 2005, DebConf 5, Helsinki (video), DebConf 7, Edinburgh (video), DebConf 8, Mar del Plata (video), DebConf 9, C ceres (video), MiniDebConf Berlin 2010 (video in German), MiniDebConf Paris 2010 (not video recorded), DebConf 11, Banja Luka (video) ... and these are only (Mini)DebConfs my talks page is full of this topic) and every new year I try different ways to communicate the idea to my fellow Debianistas. I'm wondering how I could invent a title + abstract avoiding the term Blends, put "Git", "release" and "systemd versus upstart" in and being able to inform about Blends reasonably by not becoming to off topic with the abstract. I also registered the Debian Science round table. I admit we were lacking some input from remote via IRC which used to be quite helpful in the past. The attendees agreed upon the handling of citations in debian/upstream files which was invented by Debian Med team to create even stronger bounds to our upstream developers by giving their work extra reward and providing users with even better documentation (see my summary in Wiki). As usual I suggested to create some Debian Science offsprings like "Debian Astronomy", "Debian Electronics", "Debian Mathematics", "Debian Physics" etc. who could perfectly leave the Debian Science umbrella to get a more fine grained structure and a more focused team to enhance the contact to our users. Unfortunately there is nobody who volunteers to take over the lead for such Blends. I have given a short summary about this BoF on the Debian Science mailing list. In the Debian Med meeting I have given some status report. No other long term team members were attending DebConf and so I gave some kind of introduction for newcomers and interested people. I touched also the DebiChem topic which maintains some packages that are used by biologists frequently and so we have a good connection to this team. Finally I had registered three BoFs in Blends I'm actually not (or not yet) active part of. My motivation was to turn the ideas I have explained in my main talk into specific application inside these teams and helping them to implement the Blends framework. In the first BoF about Debian GIS I have shown the usual team metrics graphs to demonstrate, that the one packaging team Pkg-OSM is in danger to become MIA. There are only three persons doing actual uploads. Two of them were at DebConf but did not joined the BoF because they do not consider their contribution to Pkg-OSM as a major part of their general Debian work. I will contact the main contributor David Paleino about his opinion to move the packages step by step into maintenance of Debian GIS packaging team to try to overcome the split of two teams that are sharing a good amount of interest. At least if I might become an Uploader for one of the packages currently maintained by Pkg-OSM I will move this to pkg-grass-devel (which is the name of the packaging team of Debian GIS for historical reasons). The attendees of the BoF have considered this plan as sensible. Moreover I talked about my experiences with OSGeo Live - an Ubuntu derivative that tries to provide a full tool chain to work on GIS and OSM problems ... basically the same goal as Debian GIS has just provided by the OSGeo project. I'm lurking on OSGeo mailing list when I asked explicitly I've got the answer that they are working together with Debian GIS and are using common repository (which is IMHO the optimal way of cooperation). However, it seems that several protagonists of OSGeo Live are underestimating the resources provided by Debian. For instance there was a question about Java packaging issues but people were not aware about the existence of the debian-java mailing list. I was able to give an example how the Debian Med team managed to strengthen its ties to BioLinux that is also an Ubuntu derivative for biologists. At our first Debian Med sprint in 2011 we invited developers from BioLinux and reached a state where they are using the very same VCS on Alioth where we are maintaining our packages. At DebConf I was able to upload two packages where BioLinux developers did certain changes for enhancing the user experience. My "work" was just bumping the version number in changelog and so we did profit from the work of the BioLinux developers as well as they are profiting from our work. I plan to dive a bit more into Debian GIS and try to strengthen the connection to OSGeo Live a bit. The next BoF was the Debian Multimedia meeting. It was nice that the current leader of Ubuntu Studio Kaj Ailomaa joined the meeting. When I was explaining my ideas about cooperation with derivatives I repeated my detailed explanation about the relation with BioLinux. It seems every topic you could cover inside Debian has its related derivative. So to me it seems to be quite natural to work together with the developers of the derivative to join forces. I actually consider a Blend a derivative done the right way = inside Debian. The final work for the derivers that might be left for them is doing some shiny customising of backgrounds or something like this - but all the hard work could and should be done in common with the relevant Debian team. My dream is to raise such relevant teams inside Debian ... the Blends. Finally the last BoF of this series was the Debian Games meeting. As always I presented the team metrics graphs and the Debian Games team members who attended the BoF were quite interested. So it seems to be some unknown fact that team metrics are done for several teams in side Debian and so I repeat the link to it for those who are not yet aware of it. As a result of the BoF Debian Games team members agreed to put some more effort into maintaining their Blends tasks. Moreover Miriam Ruiz wants to put some effort into reviving Debian Jr. Regarding Debian Jr. there was an interesting talk about DouDouLinux - in case you might want to watch the video I'd recommend skipping the first 30min and rather watch the nice live demo. There was also an ad hoc BoF about Debian Jr scheduled to bring together all people interested into this cute project and Per Anderson volunteered to take over the lead. I have given a summary about this specific BoF at the Debian Jr list. For some other talks that I'd regard as remarkable for some reasons: I'd regard the talk "Debian-LAN" by Andreas Mundt as some hidden pearl because it did not got a lot of attention but after having seen the video I was quite impressed - specifically because it is also relevant for the Blends topic. Memories I also liked "Paths into Debian" by Moray Allan (and I was only able to enjoy the latter talks thanks to the great work of the video team!) because it also scratched the same topic I was concerned about in my mentoring talk. Related to this was in my opinion also "Women in Debian 2013" were we tried to find out reasons for the lack of woman compared to other projects and how to overcome this issue. Geert hovering  over the grass Besides the talks I will probably never forget two specific moments that make DebConf so special. One of these moments is recorded on an image that clearly needs no words - just see Geert hovering over the grass. Another strong moment in my personal record was in the DebConf Newbies BoF "First time at DebConf" that unfortunately was not recorded but at least for this statement it would have been very great if we would have some reference better than personal memory. Aarsh Shah a GSoC student from India suddenly raised up and said: "Four months ago I was not even aware that Free Software exists. Now I'm here with so many people who are totally equal. If I will tell my mother at home that I was standing in the same queue where the Debian Project Leader was queuing up for food she will never believe me." He was totally excited about things we are regarding as normal. IMHO we should memorise moments like this that might be part of the key to success in cultures, where Debian is widely unknown and very rarely in use. Amongst these not scheduled great moments the scheduled day trip was also a great thing. I had a really hard time to decide what tour I might join but ended up in the "long distance walking (or should I say running) group". Inspired by the "running Bubulle" who was flashing between the walking groups we went uphill with 5.4km/h which was a nice exercise. Our destination the large cliff was an exciting landscape and I guess we all enjoyed the dinner organised by the "Trout cabal". ;-) say goodby to  friends So I had a hard time to leave Le Camp and tried hard to make sure my memories will remain as long as possible. Keeping some signs attached to my bicycle, conserving the "Scenic Hacklab" sign for my private "scenic hacklab @ home" was one part. I also have cut some branches of the Buxus sempervirens in Le Camp and have put them in my garden at home (where I create some hedgerow from places where I spent some great time). These will probably build a great part of the hedgerow ... Thanks for reading this longish report. Looking forward to see you all in Germany 2015 (or earlier) Andreas. Scenic Hacklab  @ home

26 April 2013

Francesca Ciceri: And the winner is...

I totally forgot it, but as the DPL elections are now done, we have a winner for the #DPL game. Of the (more or less) fifteen persons who participated to the game (thank you!), only four received points for having at least one of their Fantastic Four running for DPL: As Lucas is now the new DPL, our one and only winner of the DPL game is... ... Mehdi Dogguy! Congrats!

19 April 2013

Gunnar Wolf: Ten years already!

(actually, please set your calendars to the day before yesterday I had a mental tab on this, but it seems watching mental tabs is a low-priority task for brain.sched) Ten years ago today, I got that long awaited mail telling me I had passed all of the needed hurdles and was accepted as a Debian Developer. We were at the first third of a very long release cycle, and the general spirit of the project was clearly younger both as in "things moved easier" and "we were much more immature" Try to follow the mailing list discussions we had back then, and even with all the vitriol that's every now and then spilled on, it's clear we have more experience working together. And yes, the main change that ten years bring to a group of people is social. I was at DebConf in Oslo when the now-historic presentation that prompted the birth of the Debian-Women group was given Surely, Debian (and Free Software) still is by far predominantly male and white But I fel it's no longer a hostile group, much to the contrary. Over the years, I was first active (as was the norm by then) as a "solo" maintainer. When Joachim Breitner started the pkg-perl group in 2004, I joined, and was part of the group while an important part of my work was based in Perl. I joined pkg-ruby-extras, and slowly migrated my technical work from one to the other. For several years, I also maintained the Cherokee webserver. I started getting involved in DebConf organization in 2005, and (except for 2008, as I took a vacation from many topics due to personal issues). Back in 2009, I became an official delegate! I joined Jonathan McDowell handling keyring maintenance. One year later, another delegation: With Moray Allan and Holger Levsen, the three of us became the DebConf chairs. This last couple of months, I have been quite inactive in most of my Debian work. I took up teaching at the univerity, and have been devoting what amounts to basically a full time job to prepare material. I expect (hope!) this craze to reach back a "workable" level by late May, when the course finishes, and I can retake some of my usual Debian tasks. Anyway 10 years. Wow. This project is one of the longest commitments in my life. I am still very happy I joined, it still thrills me to say I am part fo this great project, it still makes me proud to be accepted as a peer by so many highly skilled and intelligent people But, as I have repeatedly stated, I see Debian more as a social project (with a technological product) than as a technical one. And as such, I am really happy to have made so many good, close friends in this project, to have the opportunity to work and exchange points of view about anything, and have this large, highly disfunctional but very closely regarded family of friends. So, guys, see you this August in Switzerland. I will be among the group celebrating we have been there for half of the project's history!

16 April 2013

Stefano Zacchiroli: bits from the DPL for March-April 2013

Dear Project Members,
   "Now that I have your attention, I would like to make the following

... nah, scrap that. In my last day in office I first of all owe you a report of DPL activities for the last reporting period of this term, i.e. March 8th until today. Here it is! Highlights Talks Over the past month or so I've attended and spoken on behalf of Debian in the following occasions: Assets I've approved the budget for the following forthcoming sprints: Also, we've bought a 3-year warranty pack for the disk array that powers ftp-master.d.o (~900 USD). On the income side, Brian Gupta has started an interesting matching fund experiment, in order to raise funds for the forthcoming DebConf13. The matching fund will be open until April 30th, so your help in spreading news would be welcome. Many thanks to Brian for the idea and to his company, Brandorr Group, for funding it. DPL helpers Three more DPL helpers IRC meetings have been held; minutes are available at the usual place. Legal Spring Cleaning I've finally cleaned up the pile of pending legal matters (but I'm sure new ones will show up for the delight of the next DPL :-P) Once again, I'd like to thank SFLC for the pro bono and very high quality legal advice they keep on offering to Debian. Miscellaneous
Now, before I get sentimental, let me thank Gergely, Lucas, and Moray for running in the recently concluded DPL election. Only thinking of running and then go through a campaign denote a very high commitment to the Project; we should all be thankful to them. Then I'd like to congratulate Lucas for his election. I've known him for a long time, and I can testify about his clear vision of the role Debian has to play in Free Software and on what Debian needs to improve to do so. Best wishes for the term ahead, Lucas! Finally, I'd like to thank you all for the support you've shown me over the past 3 years. Serving as DPL is a great honor, but also a very demanding job. Thank to you all, and to how cool Debian is, it has been for me an incredibly rewarding experience. I had no idea what I were doing when I embarked on this adventure, but in hindsight I don't regret any of it. See you around, as I don't plan to be anywhere far away from Debian anytime soon. Cheers.
PS the day-to-day activity logs for March and April 2013 are available at the usual place master:/srv/leader/news/bits-from-the-DPL.txt.20130 3,4

27 March 2013

Bits from Debian: Debian Project Leader elections 2013: interview with Moray Allan

We have asked Moray Allan, one of the three candidates for DPL elections 2013, to tell our readers about himself and his ideas for the Debian Project. You can also read the interviews to the other two candidates: Lucas Nussbaum and Gergely Nagy.
Please tell us a little about yourself. I'm Moray Allan, from Edinburgh in Scotland. I'm 32. After working in academic research for a few years, I'm now working freelance on a wide mixture of topics, with recent projects in Indonesia, Romania and Kuwait. When I'm not working, I'm likely to be found walking through a city or the countryside, or otherwise relaxing at home reading a novel in French or Spanish. What do you do in Debian and how did you started contributing? In recent years, most of my Debian time was taken up organising the annual Debian conferences. But I still have a load of packages, mostly connected to an upstream Linux-on-handheld-computers project I was working on before I joined Debian to create packages for it. Why did you decide to run as DPL? I've been involved in Debian for about 10 years now, including working for the last few years in DebConf in a way similar to how the DPL acts within overall Debian. Previously I'd ruled out running due to lack of time, but currently I'm in a more flexible work situation. It seems the right time to put myself forward, and see if the ideas in my platform interest project members. Three keywords to summarise your platform. Transparency, communication, openness. (Three ways I'd like us to think about teams in Debian.) What are the biggest challenges that you envision for Debian in the future? I think the biggest challenges are for free software in general.
End-users are moving to more closed hardware -- will our software be able to run on the phones and tablets people are shifting towards? At the same time, end-users and server users are moving to "the cloud", and often depending more heavily on non-free infrastructure outside their own control. What are, in your opinion, the areas of the project more in need of technical and/or social improvements? In my platform I give a few ideas about teams and delegations, coordination and mediation, and both internal and external communication, including more organised fundraising. These are areas where I think relatively simple changes can give big benefits. Why should people vote for you? I have proven leadership experience within Debian, as I've been working on coordination and mediation tasks for some years already. At the same time, I do regular packaging work, and work in other parts of Debian like the press and publicity teams, so I'm in touch with the experience of normal Debian contributors. People should vote for me if they support my platform, which is about coordination-level changes that I would have no mandate or authority to push through unless I am elected. Name three tools you couldn't stay without. APT, emacs, ssh. What keep you motivated to work in Debian? I've used Debian on all my computers for a long time, and by now working on the distribution myself feels a natural part of that.
Fortunately I'm constantly positively surprised by Debian and by the Debian community. Are there any other fields where you call yourself a geek, besides computers? Certainly history (such as the eastern Mediterranean region in late antiquity), languages (including dead ones) and music (especially Josquin to Monteverdi).

Bits from Debian: Debian Project Leader elections 2013: interview with Lucas Nussbaum

We have asked Lucas Nussbaum, one of the three candidates for DPL elections 2013, to tell our readers about himself and his ideas for the Debian Project. You can also read the interviews to the other two candidates: Gergely Nagy and Moray Allan.
Please tell us a little about yourself. Hi! I'm a 31 years old french computer geek. In my day job, I'm an assistant professor (Ma tre de Conf rences) of Computer Science at Universit de Lorraine. What do you do in Debian and how did you started contributing? Like many, I started contributing to Debian by creating and maintaining packages for my own software, in the Ruby team. Then, I discovered that, even if it's not so obvious from the outside, there are a lot of areas in Debian that could use more contributors. So I just started to contribute to more and more things. There's a list of things I did in Debian in my platform. What I have been doing recently is: Why did you decide to run as DPL? Two main reasons: Three keywords to summarise your platform. (re-)make Debian the center of the Free Software ecosystem; foster innovation inside Debian; reduce barriers to contributions What are the biggest challenges that you envision for Debian in the future? I often have the impression that the project is losing momentum, positive energy, and slowing down. It feels like we are living on the benefits of the past. A lot of very cool things happen in the Debian ecosystem, but very often outside the Debian project (in derivative distributions). Debian should aim at reinforcing its position in the center of the Free Software ecosystem: it should be the main active intermediary between upstream projects and final users. To achieve that, we need to reinforce the visibility and the impact of Debian. This is extremely important because the values we fight for as a project are often neglected by our derivatives. What are, in your opinion, the areas of the project more in need of technical and/or social improvements? Fostering innovation inside Debian: we should be more welcoming towards innovation and experiments inside the project. Often, we merely tolerate them, and bureaucracy makes them hard and slow to conduct. As a result, people tends to innovate outside the Debian project. Making it easier to contribute to Debian: we compete with more and more projects to attract contributors. While we are already quite good at welcoming new contributors with good documentation and mentoring (much better than people usually think), there's still a lot of room for improvement. Why should people vote for you? A great thing in Debian's voting system is that you don't vote "for" or "against" a specific candidate. Instead, due to our use of the Condorcet method, you rank candidates (and also indicate those who you consider suitable for the role by ranking a virtual "None of the above" candidate). Why am I a good candidate? My previous contributions to Debian show that I have a pretty good understanding of the inner workings of the project, and that I have a track record of managing projects successfully inside Debian. I think that those are two required qualities for a DPL. Name three tools you couldn't stay without. vim, mutt, ssh. What keep you motivated to work in Debian? Debian is a fantastic project from a technical point of view (focus on technical excellence, lots of interesting challenges), but also from a social point of view: the Debian community is a great community where I have lots of good friends. Also, what's great when you contribute to Debian is that your work has a real impact, and that you see people using stuff you worked on everywhere. Are there any other fields where you call yourself a geek, besides computers? I'm not sure this really qualifies as "besides computers", but I've gotten very interested in the OpenStreetMap project lately. I very much enjoy exploring unmapped areas on a mountain bike. It feels like being Christopher Columbus or Marco Polo, but 20 minutes from home. ;) The OpenStreetMap and Debian projects also share many values, such as a great attention to quality and details.

Bits from Debian: Debian Project Leader elections 2013: interview with Gergely Nagy

We have asked Gergely Nagy, one of the three candidates for DPL elections 2013, to tell our readers about himself and his ideas for the Debian Project. You can also read the interviews to the other two candidates: Lucas Nussbaum and Moray Allan.
Please tell us a little about yourself. I was born in Hungary, a little bit over three decades ago, as a son of a biochemist and a pharmacist, who gave me the name Gergely Nagy (however, online - and offline too by now - I'm mostly known by my nickname, algernon). I went on to study human arts (hungarian grammar & literature, in particular), and to support this passion, I work as a software engineer, one who gets paid to work on free software. As such, I'm in a fortunate situation where my hobby supports my passion, and my hobby aligns well with my Debian work too. What do you do in Debian and how did you started contributing? At the moment, apart from maintaining a few packages, I'm doing a few other, mostly invisible things, like reassigning misfiled bugs so they don't end up being forgotten; or review newly uploaded packages before they enter the archive, making sure we are allowed to distribute them, and that their quality is up to our standards. I used to do quite a lot of other things, but I chose to spend the past year mostly invisible, learning. I started contributing by packaging an editor I was using at the time, but quickly ended up adopting another package - things escalated from there quickly. Why did you decide to run as DPL? There were two reasons that motivated me to run: one is that I believe I can bring something new to the table, that I can help Debian expand in new directions. The other reason is that I'm always on the lookout for new ways to contribute back to Debian, and being the project leader is a position where I believe I could contribute most at this point in time. Three keywords to summarise your platform. Non-technical contributors. What are the biggest challenges that you envision for Debian in the future? The biggest challenge is growing up, to become more than a group of computer geeks creating an amazing distribution. To become a community of a wide variety of people, where both computer geeks and art geeks feel equally at home. Yet, at the same time, where we as a project, keep our focus straight, and be the champions of Free Software. We just need to realize that there's much more to Free Software than the software itself. What are, in your opinion, the areas of the project more in need of technical and/or social improvements? I believe that while we do have many areas where we could use technical improvements, we are reasonably safe there, because we do have very skilled technical people to help us solve these problems. We can make our tools better, we can develop our infrastructure better to aid us even more - and so on and so forth. While we need work on many areas, we're on the right track there. However, when it comes to social issues, we're at a loss. We have serious trouble keeping certain topics civilised on mailing lists, we have trouble attracting women, and we have trouble reaching people who are not naturally exposed to Debian (or Free Software). We could really use a more diverse community, but that requires us to overcome quite a lot of social roadblocks, so to say. Outreach is one particular area where we need much more technical and social improvements. Why should people vote for you? People should vote me, because they found my platform, my answers on debian-vote@, and my ideas and goals convincing and worthy to pursue. People should vote me, because they trust I'll be able to serve the project well. Name three tools you couldn't stay without. Emacs, git and a pencil. Because with these three, I can pretty much do anything. What keep you motivated to work in Debian? The community. Over the years, I had the good fortune to meet with a lot of people I hold in high esteem, whose enthusiasm and motivation I found inspiring. For any other common goals Debian and I may share, in the end, it is the people within Debian that keep me motivated. Are there any other fields where you call yourself a geek, besides computers? I'm not quite there yet, but I'm working hard on becoming a human arts geek, or at least a geek of the hungarian language.

19 March 2013

Gergely Nagy: Rebuttals, or the lack of thereof

It is customary during Debian Project Leader elections to write a rebuttal of the other candidate's platform. However, this is very hard to do this year, as there are a lot of overlaps between platforms, goals and ideas this time around. It is hard to rebute another platform, without also rebuting one's own. So instead of trying to highlight where I disagree (there's very little of that, if at all), I'd like to point out where I found each platform lacking.Mind you, these notes are primarily based off of the platforms, because I'm sadly still behind on my debian-vote@ reading list. Furthermore, due to the high level of similarity between platforms, I will not always single out one or the other, but mention what I found lacking, or troublesome in general instead. So unless stated otherwise, my thoughts below apply to both Moray's and Lucas' platforms.The thing I miss most from both platforms is the curious lack of plans about non-packaging project members (something which I strongly emphasize in my own platform). Similarly, even though Moray does mention encouraging more local events, I find those few paragraphs a little bit lacking; and Lucas does not even mention local teams in his platform, even though they are a very, very important part of the wider Debian community, and a terrific tool in our asset. They can further our reach by long miles! Considering their importance, little's said about either local teams or local events, even when the candidate does explicitly recognise their importance.On the other hand, Lucas writes about innovation within Debian (which I found lacking in Moray's platform) - but while he does bring up the topic, I sadly found that section of his platform vague, a mistake I made last year myself, and which I tried to avoid this time, by explicitly listing a few of my ideas on how I'd imagine inspiring & motivating people (which, in turn, would foster innovation within the project).From what I see - and I may be wrong here, and I am obviously biased - both platforms are reasonably explicit when it comes to easier topics, things that we know to work, and which we'd all continue doing in the very same spirit as our predecessor. But when it comes to experimenting, to new ideas, I found both platforms too vague. There are exceptions, of course, Moray's intern idea for example is sufficiently well explained, as far as it is possible within the limits of a platform. I found no similar thing in Lucas' platform, however, most of the ideas he explained were technical things, and those are the areas where we're fairly good at, where we already have a reasonably chance of improving - and thus, an easier topic. I was suprised by Lucas' platform, because even though he lists the need for experimentation important, the lack of truly experimental ideas was lacking - I found more in Moray's platform.All in all, I found the discussions on debian-vote@ much more useful so far, than the platforms, a lot of things were asked and answered there that the platforms did not touch.

16 March 2013

Lucas Nussbaum: Ideas from the -vote@ DPL election discussions

After one week of campaign on -vote@, many subjects have been mentioned already. I m trying here to list the concrete, actionable ideas I found interesting (does not necessarily mean that I agree with all of them) and that may be worth further discussion at a less busy time. There s obviously some amount of subjectivity in such a list, and I m also slightly biased ;) . Feel free to point to missing ideas or references (when an idea appeared in several emails, I ve generally tried to use the first reference). On the campaign itself, and having general discussions inside Debian: On getting new users and contributors to Debian: Infrastructure, processes, releases: Relationships with upstreams/downstreams: This list could be moved to wiki.d.o if others find sufficiently useful to help maintaining it.

15 March 2013

MJ Ray: Debian Project Leader 2013 election campaign links: part 1

This is basically a link-post to the Debian Project Leader election email discussions on GMANE s blog-style interface to debian-vote. After only 3 days of the 21, there s already a pageful, so if I don t start collecting links now, I ll probably miss some. Right or wrong, I ve grouped these into three topics: The Job
  1. Why do you think you are a good candidate for DPL (10 Mar 2013)
  2. How do you plan to represent Debian externally? (10 Mar 2013)
  3. about a DPL board (12 Mar 2013)
  4. DPL term duration (12 Mar 2013)
  5. Work balance and traveling (12 Mar 2013)
  6. trying to do awesome and risking to fail (11 Mar 2013)
  7. To Lucas: how do you plan to push your ideas (12 Mar 2013)
  8. All candidates quotes for the press if you win (13 Mar 2013)
  1. using debian funds for Debian s hardware infrastru (12 Mar 2013)
  2. Usage of Debian s Money (12 Mar 2013)
  3. Debian s relationship with money and the economy (12 Mar 2013)
Project Management
  1. getting new people to Debian (10 Mar 2013)
  2. Free Software challenges and Debian role (11 Mar 2013)
  3. Development and technical issues and challenges (10 Mar 2013)
  4. Are there problematic infrastructure or processes in Debian? (12 Mar 2013)
  5. to Moray: encourage teams to take interns (11 Mar 2013)
So, what do you think are the key points or differences? Leave me a comment, or get involved in the discussions. Campaigning ends and voting begins 30/31 March.

11 March 2013

Gunnar Wolf: So you want to be a leader

So we are at the beginning of this year's Debian Project Leader elections. And yes, after Stefano's long and (IMO) very successful DPL term, I feel as my voting machinery is somewhat stuck; it will not be so easy to get it back up to speed. Anyway, I have glanced over the three platforms, but only actually read 1.5 from the three DPL platforms. I know that whoever succeeds, I will be quite happy with the results. This year there are three runners for the post. I have worked in several teams with two of them, and would love to know better the third. In the same order as presented in the vote:
Gergely Nagy
I have not yet worked with Gergely, but enjoy reading him. The closest I have been to working with him was sketching a packaging tutorial during DebConf11, in Bosnia. Sadly, I was quite busy, and he picked up the complete workload And correspondingly, got the credits. I can say that Gergely has a very important quality, the ability to put in seductively easy words the most complex processes. So, yes, being the Debian Leader post a public-facing one, I am certain he has one of the important qualities.
Moray Allan
We have worked together organizing DebConf for many years, first loosely as orga-team members, and starting two years ago (and together with Holger Levsen) as formal delegates. I think our team is quite well balanced, and Moray plays an important role. Holger and I are sometimes anxious to take measures, measures that IMO would have proven disastrous more than once. Moray is often the voice of reason. Given that another one of the DPL's roles is to mediate in social conflicts and keep Debian working smoothly (or something close to it ;-) ), that is also a very important trait of a DPL, and I'm also sure Moray would shine as a good leader.
Lucas Nussbaum
I have long been part of the pkg-ruby-extras team (although I am way less active than what I used to, where Lucas often dazzles us with his intense streaks of activity. Among this group of three, I see Lucas firstly as the most technically oriented, the biggest implementer. Also, as the proactive bug-finder and team-herder. And yes, Lucas is maybe the most enthusiastic about the (always) important Making Debian Sexy point. So, if elected, I'm sure this facet will also make him shine
So, it's not that I'm trying to bribe our next DPL with sweet nice words about how interesting a person or how good a friend he is, but am trying to look at the election process as something different. It seems for me that we are going to choose which Debian do we want to pursue for this starting period. Now, for our soon-to-be-ex-DPL Stefano: As many will surely tell you (or already have): You rock. I truly enjoyed your DPL term, and there is much we should adopt and learn from your personality and leadership. And, although it has waned over the past few years, many people tend to publish their (stated?) vote during the campaigning period. I (think I) have never done so, and this time I will surely not do so. Choosing a DPL involves personal feelings, sympathies, and many non-objective things. And although I know nobody will feel hurt if I don't put them in the first place, I prefer not to expose such issues. I can only assure you that this year, "None of the above" will sink to the bottom of my ballot.

23 February 2013

Tiago Bortoletto Vaz: #DPLgame

in a random disorder:
MadameZou - photo by Andrew McMillan, CC-BY-SA 2.0 dkg moray h01ger

17 February 2013

M nica Ram rez Arceda: The DPL Game

I love playing let's play DPL game! My fantastic four:
  • enrico zini
  • gregor herrmann
  • moray allan
  • christian perrier (*)
And I could think in more people, but rules only allow to present four candidates And I am sure there are more people that I could nominate, but it's difficult to know everybody in Debian (*) Sorry bubulle, I had this list before you wrote your post :-P In fact, I like DPLs who don't like the idea of being a leader ;-)

5 February 2013

DebConf team: DebConf13 venue and dates (Posted by Moray Allan, Didier Raboud and the DebConf team)

This post is a quick status update on DebConf13, for those who aren t following the debconf-team mailing list. As you may know, this year s DebConf will be held at Le Camp, in Vaumarcus, Switzerland. Our concept for this DebConf is to hold it in a natural environment, away from distractions. We hope you will enjoy spending time together with other Debian collaborators in this beautiful part of Switzerland, on the shore of Lake Neuch tel. Dates DebConf13 will take place from Sunday 11. August 2013 to Sunday 18. August 2013. (We will use Saturday 10. August 2013 to prepare the venue for the conference.) You may notice that the dates don t cover two weeks like in the last few years (there is no separate DebCamp week). For budget reasons, current plans are to merge the two weeks activities into an 8 day period. If you think that s a pity, it s not too late to change it just join the fundraising team and start working quickly! Travel If you want to start arranging your travel to attend DebConf, some initial travel suggestions may be useful: The DebConf13 map shows the venue and the bus line (with some stops). Registration We expect to open registration around the start of March. Currently we are still evaluating some possible new conference management systems, which we hope might avoid the frustrations some attendees have had in the past with Pentabarf. Help welcome As always, the DebConf team is looking for volunteers. Some jobs need technical skills (e.g. testing conference management system setups, working on the website), but many DebConf tasks are about working to deadlines on non-technical issues (e.g. fundraising, budgeting, talk scheduling). You can see more information about some of the jobs to be done on the DebConf wiki. Please do think about getting involved and sharing your ideas with us, to help us make DebConf an even more useful event for Debian in the future. We look forward to welcoming you to Vaumarcus!

2 July 2012

Stefano Zacchiroli: DebConf no sporran 12

It's that time of the year again. No, not only the Debian biyearly freeze that has just happened, again (YAY!). It's DebConf time again. Yesterday night I arrived in Managua, Nicaragua, for DebConf12. I'm still jetlagged a bit, but the first impression is great. And that impression is also very green, shockingly green. The city is gorgeous: full of trees and plants (well, at least compared to my metropolitan European standards), and the campus of Universidad Centroamericana where the conference is hosted is even more so. Also, it's a great pleasure to have DebConf in an university campus where students are still swarming. My only reason for sadness thus far. While I did bring my traditional Debian kilt at DebConf, I discovered this morning that I forgot my sporran at home :-(
So if you don't see me wearing my kilt at this DebConf often, that's why

1 July 2012

Gunnar Wolf: Arrived to Nicaragua. DebCamp has officially started!

Yesterday night, Regina and me arrived to Nicaragua. Ready to greet us, we found quite a good number of good friends. We had a nice pizza+beer dinner at Diana's house, and some of the foreigners among us were distributed among the houses of several locals. This morning, we woke up together with V ctor, Moray and Gaudenz in Norman's brother's beautiful house. We had breakfast with the family, were picked up to go to the hotel that will have the ho(n rr)or to host us all for the following two weeks, and walked to the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) campus. Contrary to our usual practices... It seems everything is working fine! I mean, I'm sure we will stumble with some unforseen details and what not... But coming on the very first day to the university, to find that food is all sorted out, that we have food tickets (and they are all printed!), that network works (and it's by a fiber connection that was laid out expressly for us), that we have all the hardware I was worried about, that people are arriving and getting accepted at the hotel. I mean, things work! So, I'm quite optimistic this DebCamp will have everything ready to be a success And the DebConf following it as well, of course! If you have not yet arrived - See you soon!

22 June 2012

Philipp Kern: The upcoming DebConf 12

Update 2: Richard and especially Moray debunked my statistics and given that they're actually on the DebConf team, they simply know it better what to look at and which numbers cannot be trusted. So look over to Moray's post for some numbers about DC11 and DC12.

Oops. At least the average count of days per person seems slightly higher. (But then the stats may likely be off, given that any part of the day counts as full.)
This year's DebConf will have remote participation through video streams and IRC chat, as usual. But they will be late at night for Europeans. Despite those hurdles, let's make this conference a success! The same procedure as every year. ;-)

Update: I don't have any privileged access to Pentabarf and hence I was just working on the exported data at the link above. When perusing the "Statistics for ONLY people who have both dates in Penta" I get this:
That's because this year seems to have a much higher percentage of people filling out both fields (~58% for DC10/DC11 and 85% for DC12). I'm still unsure if Penta was set to filter out those who did not reconfirm. But after all the others would not be very meaningful for room planning.