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Wednesday, August 14 2013

Back on Flock 2013

Flock 2013 !


Since my last blog post about my arrival to Charleston (South Carolina), I have been participating to the Flock conference.

This time, around 200 contributors from 19 different countries gathered to discuss, debate, exchange and more importantly work on Fedora.

This is briefly what I have been doing over these four days:

Day 1

After helping out with giving away goodies, badges, lunch cards and T-shirts, I assisted to the fedmsg presentation by Ralph Bean. It was a nice overview of the project as it stands today and also a good presentation of the environment that is growing up around it (datagrepper, fedora-mobile, Badges and many more).

Then I had to decide between HyperKitty and the talk "Why Fedora sucks", knowing Aurélien and knowing that I am able to speak frequently with him, I went for the later. Christoph explained that he went back on some criticisms made few years ago about the project and going through this list, a number of them have improved or even some solved. On the other side he also listed a number of current issue, on UI, on comps and other aspect of the project. So there is still some work for us and we can't all retire yet ;-)


The last talk of the morning was from Haikel Guémar on FOSS development and Agile methods. I learned some things bout Agile itself and found out that some ideas I like are actually part of known project management processes. Quite cool all in all :)

The afternoon was dedicated to one larger discussion and a hackfest.

The discussion was about the future of IT in general and trying to get some ideas of where we would like to be in five years as a project. Quite an interesting debate started from this with ideas bouncing around of where people believe we will be in five years. Time will say if we were right during this session :)

The second part of the afternoon has been dedicated to a hackfest on semantic web technologies and more specifically how we could include the ontologies in our application. Using the DOAP ontology we can provide a standard way of describing a project, using the same standard as launchpad, pypi or debian. This should make data integration that much easier in the future.

For the evening program we had dinner in a restaurant few minutes walking from the hotel. We had a good time, it was hot and quite humid but we were outside and the fans helped us quite a bit.

Day 2


The day started with an awesome talk on 3D printer by Aeva Palecek from Lulzbot. Unfortunately, as pointed out by kevin earlier are out of stock for their printers :-D.

After that I went to the presentation of Suzanne Reed from FOSSBOX RIT the project she worked on gourciferous based on gource to visualize the history and evolution of git-based project. Quite a nice tool and a nice presentation as well.

Following this presentation, I went on learning a little more about darkserver and what it can be used for. Kushal had already introduce it to me some time ago but I wasn't sure I had understood it completely, while I have a much clearer idea now :)


For the last talk of the morning I went on learning a little more about clouds and Eucalyptus. Greg DeKoenigsberg is a really good speaker and the presentation (even was unfinished slides) was really really nice! It gave me a clearer representation of the cloud stacks available these days and how they differ form each other. Really interesting, thanks Greg!

The whole afternoon has been spent with the infrastructure to figure out how we would design and eventually setup a AuthZ server using some of the 0Auth principles (but not all).
The idea is to support the use case of people running job via CLI or cron against the Fedora Infrastructure but limiting their range of actions by providing them certain tokens that restrict them to the given action. (Am I clear here?) This is something we want to work on, so keep in touch if you are interesting, there are more thing coming ;-)

In the evening, we went to a bar, pretty much right in front of the hotel. The food was nice and the atmosphere really to 'relax'. We ate, we drunk, we danced and we had a very nice time over there. Toshio and Aurélien are making such an amazing dancing duo! Do come to Flock, if only for that ;-)

Day 3


The keynote speaker of the day was the author of the Cantarel font, used by default on Gnome 3. The talk has been about font development, open-font, he touched upon the web-fonts as well. It was quite interesting, less in my usual area of interest so most things were new to me which was nice.

I was supposed to give a presentation after that session but when I showed up in the room, no-one was there. I waited until ten past the hour and nobody showed up so I just went to Ricky's talk on code review for Fedora apps. Ricky did a nice job in presenting the advantages and limitations of code review as well as listing the different points to pay attention to when doing one.

The following talk had been by our local OpenID expert, Patrick. He presented us with how OpenID works in general and what are the extension that he developed for the Fedora Infrastructure, to satisfy our needs. All our application are slowly moving to OpenID, providing a single, central place where the user gives his password. In theory, ultimately, our contributors should not have to enter their password in any other place than the OpenID server.

And the last presentation of Flock I went to, was the presentation about Census by Nathaniel. Census is the replacement for smolt. It's still work in progress but the progress made are really nice. Nathaniel presented us with the design of the application, I must say I really liked its simplicity. I do think it should scale well and we should be able to make something of it. The bonus is that on the contrary to smolt, Census is design in such a way that we can throw any kind to data at it. So it is another place for us to collect and provide statistics about the project and its contributors.

The afternoon has been spent hacking on fedocal with Haikel. The next release is almost out of the door. Haikel, lbrabec and I were able to close the last remaining tickets for the version 0.2.0.

For the last evening, the organizer planned, I think, one of the most awesome dinner location I can think off. We had the full aquarium of Charleston for ourselves! From 7pm to about 10:30pm, we had drinks and food at the aquarium, looking at fishes, some snakes, an impressive white alligator and a very cute bird that spent 10 minutes seducing tatíca! It was an amazing evening a big thanks to the organizers for this awesome opportunity!

Day 4


The last day was dedicated to hackfest. So I hanged around with the infrastructure team. We were able to make a list of the coming tasks we want to do as well as those that we want to spend more time discussing about. After lunch, when we all moved to our tasks, I spent some time testing the new fedocal, fixing some of its configuration files and adjusting its spec file, testing the DB upgrade, only a couple more things to check/do (such as the update of the documentation) and I should be able to push this new version.


I have had a really good time with everyone in Charleston. I met new people, made new friend, got work done and work planned and we just had some good times all together.

The Fedora project is full of awesome people and every time I meet them I realize how lucky I am to be and work with them :)

A big thanks to the organizers and Fedora for making this event possible and giving me the opportunity to be part of it.

DSC_0956.JPG Organizers at work ;-)

Wednesday, August 7 2013

Arrived in Charleston

Yesterday evening, after about 18h of traveling I landed in Charleston where will be held from the 9th to the 12th Flock.

So this morning I was able to walk through Charleston and discover this nice city, here are some of the pictures I took:





Some more are on my gallery

Images under CC-BY license.