fosdem, the end
The remainder of Sunday afternoon was pretty busy for me. I didn't spend much time by the booth at all, but instead I was a part of several different meetings:
A few of us Fedora folks had a conversation with several of the engineers who work on OpenSuse. A few of them had come to listen to my talk and were interested in chatting about some of the challenges that they are facing in their work, because they see some similaries with issues that Fedora has tackled recently.
One of those issues is the whole dynamic of being the community distribution that is part of a larger corporation that also has an enterprise offering. A second topic about which we spoke was smolt. The Suse folks were very interested in the work that has been done on the hardware database, and they floated the idea of generalizing that code (at first) to be able to run on any RPM-based distro, and potentially setting up a more communal hardware database that could still distinguish between distributions, but collect data in one place, for it to have a larger impact and ability for data mining.
The second topic of conversation was the idea of unifying the Fedora Packaging guidelines with the OpenSuse packaging guidelines, to make it easier for a single spec file to be "acceptable" to both projects.
We parted on good terms, with both Spot and I thinking that there is some potential to work together on these two issues. So we'll see what comes of it in the next little while. We're hoping to have a follow up meeting with the two projects, involving whoever is at LinuxTag.
I spent about an hour talking with the core CentOS development team, including Lance Davis, Dag Wieers, and Kambir Singh. My purpose in this conversation was just to get some good communication flowing between their project and Fedora/Red Hat, and to get a list of
some of the ways that we could help them out, that wouldn't be too much work but offer a pretty good payoff. I've got that list with me, and I'll start looking into it when I get back to Raleigh.
I have always thought that the work the CentOS project does is very well aligned with both Fedora and Red Hat, and that Red Hat should look at the CentOS project as one of our biggest community allies. Talking with the leaders of CentOS only reaffirmed that in my mind. They're a good group of guys, and all of their users are folks whose operating system is part of the Red Hat family (who otherwise might not be using a Red Hat-based distro).
I talked with Dimitris Glezos, Thomas Caninot, and a couple of the other Ambassadors who are particularly invested into the Fedora Translation project. We had a pretty frank discussion of the areas in which improvement can be made, and I think that it will take a bit of effort, but that we should be able to make this part of Fedora better than it is right now. At my urging, Dimitris has agreed to nag me until he sees some results.
Chitlesh gave a 30 minute talk to all of the remaining Fedora folks who were in attendance, summarizing some of the topics that we talked about earlier in the weekend with regard to giving some more resources and organization around the efforts that are going on in Europe. We've still got a few decisions to make, but I think everyone buys into the general vision.
Several of the crew are heading to another event in Germany next week. They have some of the extra DVDs and tshirts with them. We split up the remaining DVDs among the various other European folks to bring back to their homes, their mission being to "get them in the hands of people who will appreciate them before Fedora 7 is released".
The final talk of FOSDEM was Bryn Reeves giving an introduction and demonstration of SystemTap. I'd never even heard of this particular program before, so I found it very interesting. I think Bryn was an engaging speaker, and I liked the fact that he started with really easy examples and gradually worked his way up to showing us more real-world use cases.
So there you have it -- if you read back far enough in my blog, you'll have an entire accounting of FOSDEM.
I really hope that some of the other folks who were at FOSDEM write up their thoughts as well -- it's always interesting to see the perspective of other folks.
Anyway, I hope that the readers of Fedora Planet have found these reports interesting, or at the very least amusing.
Signing off from Brussels.