February 20th, 2007


fudcon recap, part 1

For those of you who don't read Red Hat Magazine, part 1 of my FUDCon recap is up. I figured it's worth a cross-post to my Fedora blog.

tiny URL - http://tinyurl.com/34vrcr
full URL - http://www.redhatmagazine.com/2007/02/20/fedora-corneron-location-at-fudcon-boston-part-i/

And everyone should take the time to read Ask Shadowman each month. I'm not going to divulge the identity of the author, but he/she does have a blog on the Fedora Planet.


I have just read a piece of original poetry, contributed by Swapan Karmakar (RHCE) who lives in India. The poem is entitled "My Good Friend, Red Hat Linux".

We need more Fedora-specific poetry, wouldn't you agree? If you feel inspired, post something to your blog this week.

I'll start with a FUDCon haiku:

BarCamp all day long,
FUDPub all throughout the night,
Hackfest, anyone?

It's been one of those odd days....

fudcon boston 2007 videos

Video footage from FUDCon Boston 2007 is now available for download from our official torrent tracker. The video footage and processing work is all courtesy of Jonathan Steffan, so a big thank you to him.

There are several sessions that we have on video:

(1) Welcome to FUDCon and introduction to the BarCamp format.
(2) Lowering the barrier to entry for new Fedora contributors.
(3) K12LTSP and Fedora
(4) Single sign on and Fedora.
(5) One Laptop Per Child
(6) Fedora State of the Union

That last talk is the one I gave. The video starts a bit late. For full context, here's the gist of what was cut off:

+ I introduce myself.

+ I talk about how I needed a "hook" to get people interested in my speech, and since it was called the Fedora State of the Union, I thought about what sorts of recurring themes we see in *actual* State of the Union speeches.

+ I decided upon three recurring themes, the first being the need to declare an "Axis of Evil." The first point on that axis was a Prominent North American Closed Source Operating System Company. The video picks up as I make my way into the second point, and goes from there to a more standard "the past year in Fedora-land" kind of speech.

what i've been up to

I'm heading out to FOSDEM tomorrow, where I will be until the 28th. I'll be blogging from there so that the Fedora community at large can have some insight into what's going on at FOSDEM. My actual "doing stuff for my job" time might be limited, so I encourage anyone who is looking for me for stuff to also ping other Fedora Board folks, all of whom are able to help out.

What have I been up to for the last week or so?

Lots of email. Catching up on old threads, chiming in on mailing lists that I otherwise am not super-active on. Just trying to step back a little bit and broaden my view of Fedora, pay some attention to parts of the Project that normally aren't my main focus. One of those areas has been Fedora Ambassadors. I spent a few months on the Fedora Ambassadors Steering Committee a while back, but in truth, I wasn't the right person to be on that group full time. Part of what my job *should* be is me poking my head in on these different groups from time to time, asking some pointed questions, giving some guidance, but then getting out of the way and letting the leaders who we have elected/appointed have a chance to implement things on their own. I guess there's a fine line between micromanaging and being too hands off, and I guess I kind of wander somewhere in between, for the most part.

Anyway, with FAMSCO, one of the things that I've proposed (and that we'll be doing) is giving more autonomy and budgetary accountability to the team of Fedora Ambassadors that we have set up in Europe. These guys (like Chitlesh, Gerold, Florian Brand, and others too many to list) do a fantastic job of organizing Fedora's presence out there, and to be frank they do it with very little help from us Fedora folks here in the US. So since I'm going to be at FOSDEM later this week, it's a perfect chance to sit down with them, map out a budget, and give them direct accountability to get things done for Fedora. For the moment, they'll "report" back to me, but hopefully this will prove to be a good experiment and someday down the road we can have FAMSCO serve as a clearing house for more localized and empowered groups of Fedora Ambassadors.

What else? On the lighter side of my job, I made a house call to a coworker who lives near the office and was having some problems with Fedora Core 6 and nvidia drivers. They're back in business now.

We had a couple of Fedora Board meetings in the past few weeks, and the topics have been pretty diverse. We're starting to look into succession planning, since after Fedora 7's release, it will be time to roll over some of the Board's membership. Right now I've just asked all the different Board members to kind of ruminate on which half should "stay" and which half should put themselves up for election. There's nothing preventing a current Board member from running for re-election, of course.

I've had very little direct involvement with the work going on to create Fedora Packages for use in Enterprise Linux, but Karsten Wade has had a big hand in it, and he pinged me last week to let me know that things were close to being good to go, and so Karsten, myself, Chris Grams, and Scott Crenshaw all sat down to just make sure that different camps within Red Hat understood what that project was up to, and everyone was on the same page. A useful example of intra-company communication.

I did interviews with two News Forge authors -- Lisa Hoover and Bruce Byfield.

Jonathan Steffan of the Fedora Unity project pointed me at the alpha version of his Revisor project, which aims to be the GUI frontend to our custom build tools (codename: pungi). Alas, I haven't had a chance to play with it yet... but I really think we need to start getting eyeballs on it and working on how the whole process of building your own custom Fedora spin will *actually look* when people start doing it, and figuring out how to make it as easy as possible.

The goal should be that I can teach someone how to use it easily. I'm a good testcase, I think -- enough engineering skill to understand what it's doing and debug minor stuff, but not enough skill to dig into it and code the thing myself.

I wrote the first part of my Red Hat Magazine article about FUDCon, and we've also got the FUDCon videos up on the torrent tracker. For more on either of these two things, read the earlier posts in my blog.

The other major topic has been the Board slowly working toward what it thinks is a good solution to the turmoil that has existed in the Fedora Art Project for the past while. I don't want to jump the gun, but stay tuned for more on this from Paul Frields, as he is the Fedora Board member who has volunteered to be accountable (at the Board level) for this particular topic.

Ok, that's all I've got for now. More from Belgium, in a couple of days. I have to get there and then figure out why they're holding all the DVDs and tshirts in customs and won't release them. Apparently they don't believe that it's possible for our Fedora software to have a price tag of ZERO.

Karsten Wade has just stepped into my cubicle. So I hit "post" now.