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openSUSE Conference

October 23rd, 2010 by

I am home from the openSUSE Conference 2010 and finally landed on the sofa. I don’t know why conferences are so exhausting, but they are for me. My brain slowly becomes sorted again and starts to reflect what happened on the conference. Wow, I can say that I didn’t expect it to become such a great event. There were so many interesting and enthusiastic discussions about topics concerning the openSUSE distribution or about things you can do under the openSUSE umbrella.

The fun side of community and technology was inspiring people all over, in opposite to some situations I remember on the last years conference where we had to deal with unpleasant topics. This seemed to have completely went away, instead people were aiming to solve problems together in a constructive way or, even more fun, worked on new things without so called stop-energy.

It seems to me that a kind of openSUSE core-community stabilizes. People know each other, it has sorted who finally really is interested in openSUSE and continously contributes. That builds trust, and to that adds the self confidence which results out of the good quality of the recent distros we as a community were able to release. This nicely turned out for me in the strategy discussion lead by Jos. People were supportive, sorted out issues here and there, but moved ahead and came to decisions together on a topic which had endless and partly unpleasant discussions on mailinglists before. The power of meeting face to face on the one hand, but also signs that we learned from the last years and grew up.

From the talk quality the conference for me personally was one of the best FOSS conferences I have attended until now. All keynotes were done with great passion, uniquely and addressed specifically on current topics in our community. Hennes on the first day painted a good frame for the whole conference in his unique style. Cornelius and Vincent on day two were also great, they did not play friends just to let the sun shine on the conference, but for me they proofed that the openSUSE community has built a fundament were we not only accept each other but can work together werever it makes sense to tackle the higher challenges. Gerald speaking on Friday was repeating facts of the relationship between Novell and openSUSE. It was good hear it again that Novell wholeheartly supports the openess of the openSUSE project and what that means from a corporate point of view. Today Frank was introducing the project Brezen which will increase the ease of use of openSUSE a lot for the user and free software developers. Great that there is already code, I am really looking forward to see stuff coming into our distro.

You see, quite a lot happened on osc10. I will continue writing but I am too tired now…

It’s good to visit Conferences

October 8th, 2010 by

This post is about why one should visit a conference at all and hopefully is a good read for people who haven’t been on a FOSS conference yet. For oldtimers this might be unbelieveable, but I remember perfectly how I thought “This conference sounds interesting, but its probably only for checkers, long term contributors, not for me”. Thanks god I had somebody convincing me that that’s wrong and pulled me to my first Akademy which was a great experience as well as all the other conferences I have been later.

The main thing that happens on conferences is learning. While sitting in workshops and presentations you can learn so much about technologies, and since you take the time to really listen to it, it sticks very good in your mind. If questions remain open, you can be sure to immediately find people who can help to clearify.

Learning often results in motivation because if you learned something you want to try it out. Since you again have time after the conference presentations and you are surrounded by others who are interested in the similar topics, the motivation grows to really put the hands on the keyboard and try things out.

Another motivational factor can be that people adjust your opinion about your own contribution, if you already did some. You might think your contribution is only small, not comparable and not so important. After having three people met who were thanking you for your work and telling you how important it was for them, you will feel the motivation boost. But attention – that sometimes works the other way round as well ;-)

But that guides us to the most important thing: Meeting people in person, get to know each other, make friends. I know so many people from visiting conferences, and the quality of “knowing” is so much higher if a face, a smile, a good presentation or other things like funny clothes can be put to a name. Even people I do not know know me because I visited a conference once.

Working for and with people you know in person is much more pleasant as if you only know their email addresses. And we’re not talking about conflict situations which are so much easier to solve if you have met before.

openSUSE Conference 2010

Last but not least the possibility of influencing things must not be forgotten. Often on conferences things move forward, because the right people are on the same spot and discuss things and come to decisions. Believe it or not, it happens quickly that you end up in the circle of people if you want.

Ah yes, there is another reason why people like to come to conferences: It’s called ‘having fun’. I am not sure what is that about, but it must be cool ;-)

Very soon the second international openSUSE Conference takes place in Nürnberg, Germany. If you are interested in the openSUSE project, the distribution or upstream projects, I really like to encourage you to conferencing give FOSS conferencing a try if you had never done it before. If you had, you will be there anyway ;-)

Please do not hesitate and register now.

Free BEER for free people

September 17th, 2010 by

When we call beer “free”, we mean that it respects the users’ essential freedoms: the freedom to drink it, to study and change it, and to return empties with or without some changes. This is a matter of freedom, not price, so think of “free speech”… but in this case also “free beer” too.

Why man have to choose a free beer? Because it’s open and free to use. Everybody can give some feedback on the freebeer’s twitter page.

The project was started by Wädi Bräu in Switzerland like “open source beer” project. On the home page you can get more information about this project, for example, news and last updates.

License: creative commons.
Alcogol vol: 4.8 %
Size: 0.33 L

Be free… drink free beer ;)

p.s. Who know, maybe Novell will be sponsored this great open source project (?) ;)

oSC10 – Conference Update

August 12th, 2010 by

So Stage 1 of the next openSUSE Conference is complete (submission deadline), and we are moving forward with Stage 2 (scheduling talks). I personally wasn’t privvy to last year’s submissions, but we have well over 80 submissions covering a huge range of topics this year which is brilliant.

One of the nice things this year is we have submissions from other distributions and projects, which is great :-) The submissions from all parties cover a wide variety of topics from very technical to very fun, and it isn’t going to be easy to select which ones to accept.

Thank you to all who submitted a proposal and we will let you know on 20th August whether you are succesful or not.

openSUSE Conference 2010

July 12th, 2010 by

This is a friendly reminder for all who haven’t send their talk proposals for the openSUSE Conference 2010 yet. The Call for Papers closes end of july and there are still slots available.

The second openSUSE conference takes place in Nuremberg, Germany from october, 20th to 23rd. After its great start last year, we will continue the concept of a user and developer conference around the openSUSE Project including talks, workshops and BOFs. Expect everything between technical workshops about bleeding edge linux distro technology over user presentations about software to inspiring discussions with other projects, especially since the motto for the conference is Collaboration across Borders.

The first conference has also shown how important the openSUSE Conference is for the steering of the openSUSE project. Lots of ideas could be discussed and implemented quickly but also difficult or controversal community internal topics came up in a very contructive way and are worked on since then, some until today.

That brings me to the core message of this post: You should be on the conference if you are interested in the openSUSE project in any way. If you want to help moving the project forward and influence where the journey is going, there is no better place to go.

Now is the time to shape the conference – be it with a talk proposal, a proposal for a workshop, some hack session or interact with other projects to make you project a half day track or so. Everything is possible, please approach the programm committee with your ideas!

oSC09 videos

April 16th, 2010 by

Well it’s been almost seven months since our inaugural conference, and there were a load of videos taken. The problem was that our usual VT gurus have been unavailable to do any of the editing etc. So the raw video has languished on the servers waiting for some kind soul to help edit them.

After multiple calls for help and nudges from the marketing team, I decided to see if I could slot it in anywhere (yay me, I’m such a hero :-P) Thankfully I had some brilliant help from SankarP who refreshed my memory on how to edit video, thanks chief!

Currently only Day 1 of the conference is available, you can view online (flash) or download (ogg) the talks from the openSUSE TV channel on BlipTV. I am working on getting a channel on YouTube to enable a wider reach, as some people have bandwidth issues with Blip. You can also subscribe to the feeds in multiple formats – rss, miro, itunes.

If anyone has any openSUSE related video that they would like put on the channel, then please let me know :-)

FOSDEM’10

February 13th, 2010 by

Just laptop and headphones, book and a bit eat/drink for trip time and of course rube’s cube are in my rucksack :) On last weekend I was on FOSDEM.

FOSDEM is probably the most developer-oriented European Free and Open Source conference/event. As usual it was in Bruxelles, Belgium on first weekend of February. I was there with another Novell/SUSE employees. Majority of they are responsible for work with community. For example, boosters team.

On 5th February we went from Nuremberg at 12 am (by bus) and was in Brussel at 9 pm. At half past ten we (Holgi, Dinar and me) were on the beer event. What can I say about this evening? It was really nice to meet and speak with another developers for a cup of beer :)

The main thing that happens on conferences is learning. This was main reason why I was there and why Novell/SUSE help me to visit FOSDEM. A lot of presentation/talks about KDE, or packaging (RPM), or BuildService or… a lot about another open source projects…

I like such events :) It’s not only interesting presentations through which you open/learn a lot of new, but also possibility to get acquainted with other developers or is simple with enthusiasts whom it is unconditional as bring the contribution to development free and open source software.

The next evening I have devoted to walk across Bruxelles. It was very interesting to speak with people there. I have made a lot of photos.

For sure, I’m going to visit FOSDEM in next year, but for next time it will be depends on money. Anyway I will recomend to visit this event for every Linux-/*BSD- user/developer.