fudcon brno, days 0 & 1
We split up into a few groups for dinner on Thursday night, and I briefly want to add my remarks about the meal. Dimitris, our Fedora Localization Leader, tried valiently to communicate with the waitress to translate the menu from Czech into English. Eventually, a customer from another table was brought over to assist in the translation. We managed to figure out that an entire page of the menu was "meat, cooked in various ways, with nothing particularly odd in any of the recipies". Therefore, we ordered a bunch of that along with beer, and left a large tip.
The food was great, as was the dinner entertainment: Jeroen (Dutch) trying to tell Dimitris (Greek) that he (Dimitris) is incorrect about Greek history, and Thomas (German) telling us about how he messed up his Porche by running over a lorry wheel at some insanely high speed which I won't reprint.
Upon returning from dinner, I met Jonathan Roberts, who had successfully made the trip from the UK. After working so much with JonRob in Fedora Marketing and Fedora Websites, it was great to meet him in person.
Friday (day 1)
Still sleepy, I wandered down to the lobby where I had the chance to meet Nicu in person for the first time. This was a great joy for me, since I am a huge fan of all his artwork and contributions to Fedora, and I was very pleased that he was able to make the trip from Romania.
As always, the Fedora crew is nothing if not predictable. 8 AM, and everyone is down in the lobby (since that is the only place where we have wireless) tapping away on their laptops. I love it. Folks ended up waiting for me to leave, since I couldn't walk out of the lobby before my fetchmail process finished running.
We had to take the tram from the hotel to the university, and the more scrupulous of our contributors insisted on purchasing tram tickets. One unlucky lady in a little news stand near the tram station was selling the tickets, and for a moment it appeared that 40 non-Czech speakers were all going to try to purchase a ticket costing about 1 Euro individually. Greg couldn't deal with the chaos, and wandered off to figure out where exactly the university was while I, and several others, suggested that one person simply purchase a whole bunch of tram tickets, and we sort it out later. We made it to the university -- some of us legally, and others freeloading on the tram.
Everything was fantastic at FUDCon. Radek and the crew from Brno went above and beyond the call of duty, and took care of every detail. Food, signs, wireless, rooms all set up, microphones -- nothing was lacking, though for the sake of simplicity, we need to get in the habit of making sure that we have little stick-on nametags for folks every day. I bought some for the main Bar Camp day on Saturday, but we should have them for the hackfest days too. We had about 80 people in attendance at today's hackfest, which is a very impressive number that rivals the turnout from FUDCon Raleigh 2008, which is currently (in my opinion) the best FUDCon that we have ever had.
I sat in briefly on Hans de Goede's talk about how to become a Fedora packager, where Hans put his years as a professor to good work, giving a clear lecture on how someone can join our packaging group. There were about 20 guys in the audience, and after the talk was finished, it turned into a workshop with Hans patiently answering questions, though regrettably I had to depart halfway through for a phone call with some of the marketing folks in Munich to arrange details for the Open Expo show in Zurich a few weeks from now -- both Red Hat and Fedora will have a presence there.
A few other highlights from the day:
* I helped one potential contributor get his Fedora Account out of a limbo status, and tomorrow he is hopefully going to find me again and we will finish getting him set up and introduced to the Fedora Infrastructure team as a potential new contributor.
* I passed out the t-shirts, which allows me to shake hands with every single FUDCon attendee.
* Nils and Harald gave a talk about DBus and PolicyKit in Fedora, with a very attentive audience of about 10 or 15. This sort of thing is great -- I love seeing the Red Hat engineers and the Fedora contributors working together on highly technical work items.
* For dinner, I joined up with the Italian Delegation. We walked to one restaurant with outside tables that seemed very nice, but it was full. We didn't want to wait, so we continued walking. Everyone was hungry, so I brought the folks back to the same restaurant from the previous night, where we had another excellent dinner.
* And then I returned to the hotel, where I spent some time writing down a few thoughts for a mini-keynote on Saturday morning, and writing up this trip report, which I shall post the next time I am connected to the intarwebs.