"Stop staring at my output; you have no life!"

Fosscomm 2011 – Not just a review

Note: this was supposed to be a review for Fosscomm. After i started writing though it came a LOT bigger than I expected. So proceed at your own caution! You have been warned!

Two weeks ago at  7-8 of May me and some other friends from my college’s LinuxTeam attended FOSSCOMM. For those of you who don’t know Fosscomm is the annual conference on Free and Open Source Communities here in Greece. This year’s Fosscomm took place in Patra, as it was organised by the Patras Linux User Group and CEID ( Computer Engineering & Informatics Department) University of Patras.  Lulz and fun is ensured in this kind of events and with new things to learn about it’s obviously a pretty good combo to miss.

The trip and arrival in Patra:

We decided to travel for Patra on Friday a day before Fosscomm so we could have some free time and also be able to get to the University as soon as the first presentations were starting. (more time for beers is always good too).  So we took the 10am bus for Patra.  The openSUSE crew from Thessaloniki was on the same bus with us along with differentreality and her catering help guy (aka her boyfriend). The trip to Patra went quite well, having fun on the bus, talking about open source in general, or eating the delicious food differentreality had prepared for us. Yeah she is that awesome! With all this talking and eating we finally arrived at the city of Patra. We took a taxi and went straight to our hotel . We had decided to stay in a hotel near the university so we could have easier access to the event even on foot. So we chose Achaia Beach Hotel near Rio. It was surprisingly nice and absolutely worth the money spent. Me and tampakrap  were on the same room on the 4th floor. As we went down to leave our bags and check the view we were greeted by a pleasant surprise. The view from our balcony. The sea was no more that some meters away and on our right the Rio-Antirio bridge. The only thing that was missing was Magneto to pick up the bridge or something. Not much time to enjoy the view though since we had to meet with the other guys in order to find somewhere to eat.  After that we went back for a quick nap (or not so quick). I woke up around 22.00 and joined the others at the reception. All the geeks were there with their laptops preparing for their presentations the other day. Soon though it was beer time! Oh yeah we had stashed some beers in our rooms and now was the best time to drink them. We all met at the room ankso  warlordfff and diamond_gr were staying. Drinking beers while seeing the lighted bridge was something to be remembered.

It was getting late though so we decided to go to sleep since tomorrow was the big day.  Tampakrap and I went to our room and decided it was a good idea to download the latest ep of Big Bang Theory. We watched it and after that he went for a not so quick shower and I to sleep.

Saturday the first day of the event:

We decided to wake up around 7.00 on Saturday so we can have a nice breakfast (the meal of the champions!) so we could be at the university as soon as possible. I was already craving for coffee since the day before I had barely drunk two and this is way too low for a junkie like me. The actual breakfast with all the cakes etc was a pleasant change from my usual greek one ( if you are not aware of what a greek breakfast is go and check it). After that we went to our rooms, got prepared and left. We decided to go on foot since from what we were told it was not that far away. It was actually half an hour walk (thank Cthulhu for the gps). When we finally arrived at the uni we needed some more help to find the place where the fosscomm was actually taking place. The organizers could actually put some more posters so it could be easier for anyone to find it but that’s not a big deal .  Before we find the place though ansko had to go since he had a problem with his eye since yesterday and he had to go to the hospital. He actually missed the whole day😦 . Ok I know I am mumbling a lot so let’s go to the interesting part.

From 9.00 there were already a lot of people there waiting for the first presentations to begin. Since me and some others of our team had registered online we went to pick our t-shirt, the programme  and all the other usual staff.  It didn’t take a lot of time since there were 4-5 people on the organizers’ booth. Good sign for what it was about to follow. The hard part for both days of fosscomm was actually to pick between 2 presentations taking place at the same time. So many promising presentations! The ones I actually attended were the following:

Introducing Enlightenment Project
I can’t say much for that one. Giorgos is my colleague and friend from LinuxTeam and I already knew his love and passion for EFL libraries and the whole project in general.  He is not the kind of guy that likes to do presentations and he was kinda nervous something that could be seen easily. He did a good job though and if he was a little less nervous that would be an awesome talk. I think he might even won some more E17 (or is it E18) users, contributers. Hell if you actually want to check them yourself here is a useful script he made. I did.
Django Test-Driven Development: A bit of theory and a test case
What can I say here. Great talk. We attended this talk with tampakrap and I think we were both amazed of the things we learned.  It will surely help us in the near future in cronos, diogenis etc (more info about these two in another post). Kudos to Konstantinos  Mpairaktaris for that one.
Another really good talk. I didn’t know half of the things  that were presented but I found it very enlightening. Graphics on the browser have never been better. HTML5 rocks!
Προφυλάξτε τα δεδομένα και το δίκτυο σας με λύσεις ελεύθερου λογισμικού
Another nice presentation (do I have to say that all the time?).  The presenter made anyone understand what to do in case he needs to protect his data in a corporate enviroment. Highlight of the talk? The sex and the city examples. Yeah I am not joking.
A unified user account manager using LDAP/KRB5/CIFS
I really liked how they presented the problem and how the different subsystems work and what they did to solve it. They said that they are going to work on their project more and I am eager to see how they will improve.  We took a hint of what to do if we are presented with something similar in the future.
OpenSUSE Lightning talks
That was actually many quick talks about different things from the openSUSE concerning their distro. It was interesting nonetheless to see how another distro handles many various staff.
Some other talks I would like to attend but wasn’t able to was the ncrack one (too many people and I could not find a spot), Παραδώστε ταχύτατα εφαρμογές με τη μεθοδολογία Scrum for reasons I cannot really remember right now and some more. Good thing is that the guys from fosscomm have now uploaded almost everything on their site so I can have I look on everything I missed.
At around 18.00 all presentations were over so some of us (linuxteam and opensuse-el) decided to go to the hotel and some others (including me) to go check how Patra is and have a coffee there. We went to the center near the port (I think it is the center of Patra). Nothing much to say here, it could be better. We decided to make a short stop for food before heading back for more beers and cake! The openSUSE team decided to throw a small release for the new openSUNE 11.4. It is not a typo, someone made a mistake on the cake, but where is the fun if mistakes like that don’t happen? Some guys from chania-lug and osarena decided to join us in our hotel for the party. The party continued in our room (the beer drinking part at least) till 5.00  in the morning. I wonder why some people found it strange drinking coffee that time in the morning but what the hell .What do they know.
We decided to wake up at 7 am. Two hours sleep but who cares. Of course when I went to take a quick shower I was greeted with an unpleasant surprise. There was a programmed power cut from 7am to 1pm (this is how i felt). We knew about that but we had obviously forgotten. Ok no big deal. We wondered though how will the presentations take place.
In the end there was no problem. There were backup generators all talks took place. We might didn’t have network but this is a small price. Let’s stop the useless mumbling for a bit and let’s go to the point. The talks.
Automated Testing Framework
The subject of this presentations was tests, why we need them when programming and it focused on ATF (Automated Testing Framework).  We saw some sample tests, what they do, how they are executed and the different kinds of reports. I would really like this talk to be a little longer because the whole subject was very interesting but nonetheless I enjoyed it.
Porting Linux to Custom Hardware
Another good talk. I am pretty new to this subject, my knowledge is limited but I actually liked the way the whole subject was presented. The questions in the end were very interesting too.
Surviving with Gnome 3
Everyone who knows me just a little knows that I am a KDE fanboy and this is not going to change anytime soon. Nevertheless I wanted to check out the new Gnome 3 along with tampakrap. There are some really cool features in the new Gnome but NO I am not gonna try it. End of story.

And this covers the presentations. Now about fosscomm in general. CEID is really nice. Plenty of space and nice coffee in their cafeteria.

There were many booths the biggest one being the openSUSE one. Other communities that had booths were: fedora, osarena, CEID, zenika, enlightenment,  and I am pretty sure I forget some right now. Also we had the pleasure to chat with a recruiter from google and get some cool android and google merchandise. HTC holding a competition for 2 mobiles but I had forgotten my ID so I could not enter the contest. Better luck next time.  Many people came by wanting to learn about linux and open source in general. This is good right? I also came to know new people and have interesting conversations regarding open-source and not only.

To sum up and stop bothering you I actually liked this fosscomm as I liked the ones before (ok I liked the Larisa one more but I am biased). The power cut was unexpected but in the end everything went nice. I can’t say much about the city I didn’t have the time to check it but I want to say a big fuck you to KTEL ACHAIAS for being the most useless and non professional bastards out there.

2 responses

  1. Pingback: FOSSCOMM 2011 in Patras and some flashback | Straight from tha bloK

  2. Pingback: LinuxTeam News !

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