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Wednesday, August 30 2017

Flock 2017 - Day 1

Today was the first day of the Flock 2017 conference in Cape Code.

I arrived there on Sunday, giving me a little time to adjust to the jet lag so I was somewhat ready for this first day. It started with the traditional talk from the Fedora Project Leader about the State of Fedora, updating us on statistics and explaining some of the challenges we as a community are facing and are working on. Having followed or being involved in some of these changes, it was nice to see them brought forward as being important objectives for us to work on.

After that we got a pitch from all the speakers at the conference about what they are going to present or work on. There is quite a large diversity of topics as usual which gets into the traditional struggle of "what do I attend?" :-)

This afternoon, we had our pagure hackfest which has been quite productive considering how many people were present (there were some quite interesting talks at the same time, cf the question above). We fixed the milter integration which allows to comment on issue by just replying to the email/notification. Turned out to be a simple configuration change, but in the long run I do not know if we shouldn't adjust the code a little bit more. So I may open a pull-request to change a bit the behavior there. We also had a new contributor set up his environment and working on an easyfix (PR incoming soon) and together with Matt Prahl we worked on a couple of pull-requests to get the tests running and behave as expected.

After that I attended the presentation about fedora-hubs. Having been involved in the early stages of the project it was nice to see where it is now and to see that it is in good hands!

I then attended the presentation about the Fedora Magazine which was quite interesting and explained how the editorial board works and plan the articles or work with the authors writing them.

The last presentation I attended was from Will Woods and was really interesting. I will likely going to butcher the ideas he presented, but it was about a R&D project he has been working on trying to improve the situation around composing artifacts with RPMs. His findings were that RPM scriptlets are most often the limiting factor and that with some more structure we could improve the situation quite a bit. He showed us the compose of a qcow image being done in less than 30 seconds and, I quote, "before optimization". This sounds really quite interesting for the CI work that currently being done, though integrating both project is likely a long term idea.

The day ended with a game night with pizzas and drinks allowing us to spend time and chat about all sorts of things, work-related and not.

Wednesday, May 6 2015

Flock 2015: Your vote has been recorded. Thank you!

The election to select the talks for flock 2015 has started yesterday.

Anyone having signed the FPCA and being in one more group can participate to this election and help selecting the most interesting talks to be held at flock 2015 in Rochester (NY). Some of the talks submitted there look really interesting, I am looking forward seeing the agenda and I hope the ones I want to see will not conflict too much :-)

This year the election is using the simplified range voting approach. The principle is the same as for the classical range voting, but instead of having the possibility to score each candidate between 0 and X (X being the number of candidates, which is 132 for this election), you have the possibility to score each candidate between 0 and 3.

You can of course make your own scale but I went for something along the lines of:

  • 0: not really interested by this talk
  • 1: can be interesting, not sure
  • 2: looks like an interesting talk
  • 3: I really want to see this talk

And you, did you vote?

Saturday, August 9 2014

Flock 2014 - day 1 to 3

Today is the fourth day of flock. As usual the last three days have been really nice. I got to go to a number of interesting conferences and could even present a couple of project that I am or will be working on.

I assisted to the conference from Luke on how pushing updates in Fedora will look like in the coming months. Bodhi 2 is the new version of the application we use to manage our updates in Fedora. Luke and others have been working hard on it but the work they did is really impressive! Bodhi 2 looks better from all angles, UI, Infra, Workflow. Apparently the timeline is to get it deployed before the end of the year but after the release of Fedora 21, so stay tuned it's arriving ;-)

I have been able to assist on the presentation about python 3 in Fedora. I must say that this is looking promising and there are some new shiny things in python 3 that I am already looking forward for (most notably the possibility to have keyword only arguments in functions, this is going to be sweet).

On Thursday, I gave a presentation about the future Fedora Review Server (we couldn't find a better name for it and people seemed to like it :-)), more on that later.

The same day, Adimania presented a little bit his feeling and the state of things with regards to Ansible in the Fedora Infrastructure. I think it was a nice summary of why we are moving and what we like about Ansible.

Thursday afternoon, I went to the talk about NoSQL in Fedora Infrastructure. More than a state of things, it was a plead that we should consider and keep in mind the NoSQL technologies for the Infra and not fear using them where they make sense. Yograterol did a nice job presenting the different NoSQL technologies and clearly we should consider them where it makes sense. Thinking further about it with Raplh we thought that using MongoDB for datagrepper might be interesting, we should benchmark this :)

Finally yesterday I was able to present a little project I have been working on for a little bit progit, I will blog about this in the near future so keep in touch ;-)

Then I attended the talk from Kevin about the present and future of the Fedora infrastructure. This was a good overview of the different irons we have in the fire at the moment and those that near the fire aren't yet too hot. One thing is sure, I am really looking forward having our bugzilla hooked up on fedmsg!

The joint session on Fedora.next chaired by our dear FPL was also quite interesting and provided a very nice overview of what the different working group are currently up to. It was nice to see things moving forward, if some parts are still a little shady, I guess it won't remain this way for long anymore.

Yesterday afternoon, was a session on EPEL.next. There are still a number of concerns and questions about how things could or should be in EPEL. Some things are good and some could be improved, there are some generic idea (such as having a new repo: EPIC which would contain more rapidly evolving software or more recent version of software compared to what is currently in EPEL), but there again the devil is in the details and there will need to be some more thoughts and work before we can see this live.

I guess this is it for the talks, I attended a few more but I can't possibly detail them all here :-)

Next time, more info on what we actually got done during these few days!

Thursday, October 24 2013

Back on Nuancier

It has been a while but it has been about as long that I wanted to write this blog post.

I would like to come back a little on Nuancier.

Nuancier was born during the last flock in Charleston. The idea was to create an application to simplify the process of submitting and voting on supplementary wallpapers.

Until now the process was rather complex and not really user friendly.

  • People upload their artwork onto the fedoraproject wiki
  • Artwork would be validated by the administrators of the process
  • From there we would set up an election in our classic election application
  • The community would vote on names (the current election application does not have support for voting on artwork) which meant, having the list of submissions open on another tab/browser and keep navigating from one to the other

Not quite a user friendly process.

Nuancier aims at solving this. However, between flock and the last supplementary wallpaper election time was short, thus it was decided that if we could not manage to have a full feature app in place in time, we could manage to have the voting part done and deployed.

Thus we created nuancier-lite which is deployed and was used for the last election.

Among the features:

  • Single page to vote where all the candidates are shown and you can just pick the one you like
  • After discussions on the devel mailing list, you may claim a badge for voting
  • Integration with fedmsg (election start/stop, results are published)

What I would like to do is come back on the results of these elections.

Anyone that had signed the CLA and was is more than one group could participate to this election.

The statistics of this election show that

  • 128 person participated
  • in average people voted on 12 wallpapers (16 was the maximum number of vote allowed)
  • 52% of the participants voted on 16 wallpapers
  • 68% of the participants voted on 10 or more wallpapers

And looking at the nuancier badge

  • 79 person claimed the badge (61% of the people who voted)

Seeing that there are more than 3000 person registered on badges, I must say I was expecting a higher participation but according to the people used to run this election it is already much higher than it used to. On the other hand, we probably missed some annoucements as it was not even announced on the design-team list, something we'll have to be careful to do next time.

But for nuancier, there is still some work to be done:

  • Add the capability for artists to upload their artwork via nuancier
  • Possibility to name and pick a valid FOSS license for each of their artworks they submit
  • Automatically check that the import is valid (type of file, size of the artwork...)
  • Add the possibility for admin to moderate/approve submission using nuancier directly
  • Interact with the design team to make the whole process as user friendly as possible

It is even a project for the Outreach Program for Woman 2013, so if you are interested, jump in!

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.

Tuesday, May 14 2013

Talks / Hackfest @ Flock

1 talk and 3 hackfests:

  • Fedora vs the semantic web
  • pkgdb2
  • fedocal
  • DOAP in fedora-packages

I'm not sure if any will be selected but we shall see :-)