I participated in the Fedora Activity Day at the RH office in Pune yesterday. There was a decent turnout, 20+ people, and it was fun to test the in-progress version of the upcoming F21 release along with other folks.
The 2012 edition of the Linux Plumbers Conference concluded recently. I was there, running the virtualization microconference. The format of LPC sessions is to have discussions around current as well as future projects. The key words are ‘discussion’ (not talks — slides are optional!) and ‘current’ and ‘future’ projects — not discussing work that’s already done; rather discussing unsolved problems or new ideas. LPC is a great platform for getting people involved in various subsystems across the entire OS stack in one place, so any sticky problems tend to get resolved by discussing issues face-to-face.
My article on FUDCon Pune 2011 appeared on opensource.com last week:
Apparently my initial submission was about 3x longer than the average article on opensource.com. I’ve covered events running up to the conference on this blog, and with the osdc article, I’ve covered the conf as well. There still might be a few things left which I’ll post about here in the coming days.
Things had been going on smoothly so far: banners, posters and booklets had arrived, wireless routers had arrived, the guys in charge of adding power outlets to the venue were going to arrive on time.
Jared Smith, Joerg Simon and Robert Scheck were already in Pune that day and we hosted them at the Red Hat office after lunch.
However, with just one day left for the conference, a little amount of panic set in.
We had planned to go to COEP and register the volunteers to minimise the rush on the registration counters on the first day, and also to have a brief chat with the volunteers on how the event would proceed. However, we were informed the students had classes till 1730 that day. Also, the t-shirts would have to be kept on the other side of the campus (across the road) on the 3rd floor of the building (which doesn’t have an elevator). Lugging the huge T-shirt boxes isn’t something we wanted to burden anyone with, so we decided not to do the distribution / registration that day, but call the students earlier on the 1st day. We decided on meeting at 0730 hours to register the volunteers on day 1. Satya, who was in contact with the volunteers, conveyed all these messages across.
However, I sensed a bit of agitation in Satya’s voice. Looks like she had been in touch with all the speakers landing in, and they were landing all through the night. She was then also co-ordinating with the cabs to get them to Pune (for those coming in from Mumbai). Some speakers missed their flights, some chose to hang around in Mumbai and shop around. Getting in touch with these folks became difficult, and with the cab drivers asking for details from Satya, it was clear to see what she had gone through: no sleep, and working overtime to figure out if everyone is safe and sound and coming in properly.
She wasn’t complaining, but definitely there was something wrong. She had too much to do on her plate. I’m not sure how that happened; we had delegated most of the stuff to people, but Satya somehow got caught up with volunteers, registration desk and hospitality. And all of these things got pretty active in the final days. We’ll have to keep that in mind for the next time. Satya’s been a great sport, though, and she’s ensured people got in and out of Pune on time.
A note to speakers and those whom we approved travel sponsorship for: please help us help you. Keep a phone handy and call us immediately in case of any change of plans (or delays). Please respond to all emails we send out asking for information and call us the moment something unexpected happens. Helps maintain everyone’s sanity!
Back to the action: while Prasad (PJP), Shreyank and Kashyap went ahead to the venue to set up banners, power outlets and wireless routers, the rest of us stayed back at the office, started the registration session for Red Hat speakers and attendees, handing out their badges. Things weren’t too smooth for the folks who went to the venue, either. Power had failed and they couldn’t test the wireless capabilities. The electricians adding power outlets could go on doing their work using mobile phone flash lights, though. It took a good hour and a half for the power to be restored. We worried if the event could go on without glitches…
We’re in the final stages now, and things are mostly in place:
- Website: http://fudcon.in working fine
- People have started arriving, cabs booked for all coming via Mumbai
- A couple of them missed their flights, but they’re on their way with a new schedule
- Posters, booklet, banners printed
- Budget is under control
- Videographing set up (but will only be available for one room)
- Hotel and Guest House rooms ready for speakers coming in
- Lunch and FUDPub menus finalised
And we have an overwhelming response for the conference:
- About 50 speakers
- About 60 sessions (talks, demos, workshops, hackfests)
- Almost 500 registered attendees
- About 40 volunteers from COEP
Looks like this FUDCon is set to be the biggest in terms of attendance. We’ve had to propose a draft schedule to avoid confusion with such a huge crowd. The schedule’s put up at http://fudcon.in/program/fudcon_schedule.
- Adding power extension boards for classrooms and auditorium — scheduled for tomorrow afternoon
- Checking wifi access at venue. We have rented a few routers to boost their signals if needed (we think they’ll be needed)
- Setting up banners around the campus — tomorrow, after classes
Hmm, amidst all this, I have to find time to ready my slides and prepre for my talks. /me runs to get it done.
Names in bold have action items against them; please follow up with me / Rahul on progress.
13 Oct 2011
Attendees: Amit Shah, Rahul Sundaram, Kashyap Chamarthy, PJP, Saleem Ansari, Shakthi Kannan, Anurag Patel, Satya, Murty, Shreyank, Ramki
- Add COEP, Red Hat logos to banners before printing
- Suchakra on it
- Ankur Sinha on it
- Welcome letter from Jared received
- Aiming for completion by this weekend (Oct 16)
- Call for localisations — translations of blog posts?
- Website – Saleem
- Upgrade tier on hosting – site gets unavailable often
- To blog about new site and registration / talk submisison there.
- the places for stalls are identified within COEP campus
- cucoon requested for an extra room to keep the MRP items as they called them, they don’t want to carry things back and forth for 3 days
- Cucoon wants to setup Staellite Kitchen
- For heating food
- TODO: send them a final menu
- PJP to do this ASAP
- Setup Coupons for Speaker Lunches
- Another item for printing
- Wifi and power supply at COEP – Shreyank
- the only power points the audi has are near the stage
- and they have only 2 wifi access points in there.. so they say at max 30 people can be accommodated
- wifi repeaters/routers — 30K ~ cost — Get back to this.
- the rooms mostly have power points on both sides. Though we’ll need the longer extension cords along with the power strips — We have 14
- 15 amps junction box — Mr. Murthy will take a look at it on Saturday.
- Inauguration ceremony
- Some traditional welcome and opening for the event
- Talk from the director
- Begins at 8
- TODO on staurday at COEP
- Electricity checks – Shrink + Murty
- Wifi Router/ Repeater checks — Ensure things are working
- Shrink: ensure there’s a wifi signal in the rooms we will be allotted. This makes sure we only need repeaters / signal boosters or if we need to add routers too.
- Identify banner sites and sizes to be printed depending on the locations. – Rahul
- Posters need to be put around the campus
- Check for viability and setup place for satellite kitchen – PJP + Murty
- Meet Volunteer team; get them all together once for briefing – pick a suitable time – Rahul
- Need to arrange commute for people from COEP -> FUDPub
- Anurag handling FUDPub at venue
- Volunteer team from COEP to be prepped on handling outflow of people from COEP to FUDPub venue.
- Satya to talk to volunteer team about this
- 15 OCT — A sample tshirt will be provided.
- Rahul will send spreadsheet info to Murthy w/ details of international people and their travel schedule.
- Murty will arrange for cabs for Mumbai-Pune (and back) travel
- General Volunteer team meeting
- This saturday — 15 OCT 2011
- Fedora Mirror Setup
- F15, F16, Rawhide trees are synced
- Saturday(15-OCT) — to check
- Kashyap to work w/ Rahul
- 23rd is the hard date to submit for talks, etc. Here is where you need to register — http://fudcon.in/node/add/session
- As we approach final stages, we should have a draft talk schedule ready to avoid last-minute hiccups
- Should be ready about 10 days before event
- Coupons for ‘Lunch – day 1′, ‘Lunch – day 2′, ‘Tshirt’, ‘Swag’ printed and given to participants
- Still under discussion for best way to do this
- F16 release too late to produce media; instead have a computer do isotousb conversions for participants
- countdown timer for blogs?
- Saleem + Rahul to look at this.
- ₹12 per piece from Venus traders
- Kushal to get quotes
- Kushal to pick logo
- Registration desk – Satya
- users need to register during FUDcon
- Printer, power, laptop, papers and volunteers required for registration desk
- need to have coupons for ‘lunch’, ‘swag’, etc.
- FAD – Shakthi
- Two FADs now scheduled
1st on 24th Sep at RH office– done 2nd run on 8th of October at COEP
- No progress — will drop this.
A few of us at the Red Hat Pune office strolled into a conf room to discuss plans and fix responsibilities for organising the FUDCon India 2011 at Pune. It was an impromptu session; we couldn’t include non-RH organisers but we kept the details to what the people present in the room have already committed to, according to the list of organizers.
We agreed on a set of action items. There are no dates attached yet; those should be discussed and decided in the next meeting. Some clarity needs to come from others; the first planning meeting on IRC scheduled for the 15th of July should shed light over those matters.
In addition to all that’s listed below, we might get extra sponsorship money (in addition to the FUDCon budget) from some companies.
If there’s some budget surplus, who’d like a fully-sponsored elephant ride through the city? (Or at least to the event venue?) Be quick to nominate yourself!
- All: blog about the activities you’re doing. Ensure your blog is aggregated on planet.fedoraproject.org.
- (Rahul to contact other organisers to do this)
- Done: Rahul sent an email to the India list.
- Banners – Suchakra taking care of this
- Booklet – Ankur Sinha with others.
- Rahul to take part in this too
- 1st priority: get international speakers to book flights ASAP. Get them to submit ‘sponsorship needed’ tickets.
- 2nd priority: contact HR, get invitation letters for foreign delegates
- 3rd priority: book hotels
All these 3 depend on:
- who’s coming?
- who are we sponsoring for flights/hotels (visas are self-sponsored)
- other guidelines — should get clarified this friday on irc meet
- People not listed on talks page but will come:
- Members from the Red Hat Community Architecture team
- They will come from their own budget. Confirm if stay is also from their budget.
- Get them and their talks listed on Wiki page.
- T-shirt design: Rahul to contact design team
- Done: Rahul opened a ticket
- Videos: Ramki to contact pycon people who have offered to videograph + host videos
- Swag: Can come from Ambassadors budget, but we could put our money if we have enough sponsorships.
- FUDPub: Kushal to contact pubs.
- Lunch: Should we sponsor till a cut-off? All? Only speakers + outstation delegates?
- Only sponsor speakers + outstation delegates, have for-pay counters for everyone else. Rahul says he hasn’t seen a conf where food is free.
- If we get lunch out of the budget, we can do better things for fudpub (starters in addition to one round of drinks) and swag (for more people)
- Website + online voting (for barcamp): Saleem
- Rahul to send initial mail about website to fedora advisory board.
- Done: Rahul sent initial mail.
- Hotels + logistics: Satya + Murty
- Get quotes
- Book as soon as we know number of int’l / non-Pune delegates who we are sponsoring
- We could book for people who are staying on their own budget, eg., self-sponsored delegates / speakers.
- Food/catering: PJP
- multiple options
- boxed set
- explore both for two days. 3rd day will be paid for by individuals (or adjusted if budget permits).
- Check with COEP if they can keep canteens open for all three days
- To check with COEP – Logistics team + Rahul
- infrastructure – wireless
- canteens remaining open for all 3 days
- stalls for food allowed near conf rooms?
- set up a fedora mirror
- Barcamp voting
- Need to have printers, stationery at site on first day.
- Stick schedule per room and per day on each room.
- Possibly display schedule on projector
- Suggestion: Have 2-3 keynotes (talks w/o parallel tracks) on first day and ask participants to vote online or on a board somewhere before breaking for lunch. This can reduce confusion.
- Fudcons generally have 4 parallel tracks
- Keep a schedule ready 2 days before event; minor changes allowed after voting on first day.
Jared Smith, the Fedora Project Leader, has announced the Pune bid has won for the APAC FUDCon for 2011.
If you’re planning to attend, there’s information on travel and costs on the bid page above. A few community volunteers who will speak at the event can be sponsored, subject to budget restrictions.
Make sure to get your proposed talks or hackfests listed on the link above. We already have a healthy list of topics; I’m eagerly looking forward to the event.
A very delayed post on the Fedora Miniconf and foss.in/2010.
foss.in/2010 was held on the 15th, 16th and 17th of this month in Bengaluru. I could confirm my attendance very late, so I missed out on the CfP and a chance at speaking in the main conference, but I could manage to get a speaking slot in the Fedora miniconf. Thanks to Rahul for accomodating me at a short notice.
One of the main things I was looking forward to was meeting my team-mate Juan Quintela. Though we met recently at the KVM Forum 2010, I was going to use this opportunity to catch him and discuss some of the things I’m working on that overlap with his domain, virtual machine live migration, and get things going.
The other thing was to get to know more people — Fedora users and developers from India who I’ve spoken with on the irc channel but not met, other developers and users of free software from around the world. Add to that a few people who I’ve worked with and not met and also people whose software I use daily and who I want to thank for working on what they do. It was also nice meeting the old known faces from the IBM LTC in Bengaluru — Balbir Singh, Kamalesh Babulal, Vaidy, Aneesh K. V., et al.
It’s always a certainty that there will be users of virtualization (particularly kvm) stack and it’s nice to get a feel of how many people are using kvm, in what ways, how well it works for them, and so on. That’s always a motivation.
The Fedora miniconf was on the 16th. The schedules for talks for miniconfs aren’t published by the foss.in people, so it was left to us to do our advertising and crowd-pulling. Rahul had listed the speakers and the talks on the Fedora foss.in/2010 wiki page. I went ahead and took out a few print-outs for the talks and assigned time slots for each talk depending on the suggested length given by the speakers for their talks as well as the slot allotted to the Fedora Project for the miniconf. The print-outs of the schedules were meant to be pasted around the venue to attract attention to the remotest section that was to host the miniconf, Hall C. However, we just ended up keeping the printouts as handouts at the Fedora stall that we set up. The Fedora stall was quite a crowd-puller. And since it was set up on the second day, we didn’t have to compete with the other stalls since they had their share of attendance on the first day.
The other members of the Fedora crowd, Rahul, Saleem, Arun, Shreyank, Aditya, Suchakra, Siddhesh, Neependra, … have written about the Fedora stall and their experiences earlier (and linked to from the Fedora foss.in/2010 page).
The Fedora miniconf was a great success, going by the attendance and the participation we had. My talk was the first, and I could see we had a full house. I think my talk went quite well. It could have been a little disappointing for people who expected demos, but I wanted to aim this talk towards people who had a general sense of using and deploying Fedora virt as well as Fedora on the cloud and also at people who would go and do stuff themselves rather than being given everything on a silver platter. This does resonate also with the foss.in philosophy of recent years of being a contributor-oriented conference rather than a user-originted one, so I didn’t mind doing that. Gauging by the response I got after the talk, I believe I was right in doing that. (I even got one email mentioning it was a great talk by the CEO of a company).
The other talks from the Fedora miniconf were engaging, I learnt quite a bit from what the others are up to. Arun’s talk on packaging emacs extensions was entertaining. He connects with the audience, I liked that about him.
Aditya’s talk on Fedora Summer Coding was a good call to students to participate in the free software world via Fedora’s internship programme. He narrated his own experience as a Fedora Project intern, which touches the right chords of the intended audience. I think doing more such talks will get him over the jitters of presenting to a big crowd.
Suchakra’s doing good work on accessing an embedded Linux box via a console inside a browser tab — it’s a very interesting project.
Neependra’s talk was a good walk-through of using tracing commands to see what really happens in the kernel when a userspace program runs. He walked through the ‘mkdir’ command and showed the call trace. This was a good demo. He spoke about the various situations in which tracing tools could be used, not just for debugging, and that should have set people’s thoughts in motion as to how they could get more information on how the system behaves instead of just using a system.
Shreyank’s talk on creating a web tool for managing student projects and the Fedora Summer of Code was interesting as well. It was nice to see the way an actual student project was designed and developed and how it’s going to make future students’ and mentors’ lives easier. This talk should have served as a good introduction to the flow and process students have to go through in applying, starting, reviewing and completing their project.
Apart from the Fedora miniconf, I attended a few sessions in the main conf. James Morris’s keynote on the history of the security subsytem in the Linux kernel was very informative. Rahul’s keynote on the ‘Failures of Fedora‘ was totally packed with anecdotes and analyses of the decisions taken by the Fedora project and their impact on the users and developers. Fedora (earlier Red Hat Linux) is one of the oldest distributions around, and any insights into the functioning and data as to what works and what does not is a great source of information to look for building engaging communities of users and contributors.
Lennart‘s two talks on systemd and the state of surround sound on Linux were not very new to me. However, there were a few bits in there that provided some food for thought.
Juan‘s talk on live migration was packed full of experiences in getting qemu to a state where migration works fairly well. He also spoke about all the work that’s left to do. It was totally technical and I think the people who were misguided by it being labelled as a ‘sysadmin’ talk or by the title (expecting to migrate from an older physical machine to a newer physical machine w/o downtime) quickly left the hall. Whoever stayed back were either people who work on QEMU/KVM (esp. the folks from the IBM LTC) or people too polite to walk out.
Dimitris Glezos‘s talk on building large-scale web applications was a very informative one for me. I’ve never done web programming (except for html, css and a bit of php ages ago), and this was a good intro for me to understand what various web development frameworks there are, their pros and cons, the way to deploy them, the way to structure them, etc. It was evident he took a lot of effort to prepare the slides and the talk, it was totally worth it.
Danese Cooper‘s keynote on the Wikimedia Foundation was an equally informative talk. She spoke on a wide range of topics, including the team that makes up Wikimedia, their servers and datacentres, their load balancing strategy, their backup systems, their editing process, their localisation efforts, their search for a new mirror site in the APAC region, etc. I was interested in one aspect, machine-readable wikipedia content, to which they had a satisfactory answer: they’re migrating to semantic web content and would look at a machine-readable API once they’re done adding semantics to their content.
The other time was spent at the Fedora booth and talking to Juan and the other friends.
The foss.in team announced this would be the last foss.in, so thanks to them for hanging around so long. To fill the void, we’re going to have to step up and organise a platform for like-minded people from the free/open source software community around here. I’ve been part of organising some events earlier in different capacities, and I’m looking forward to being part of an effort that provides such a platform. There’s a FUDCon being planned for next year in Pune, I’ll be involved in it, and will take things along from there.