[Ambassadors] Event report: FrOSCon 2011

Christoph Wickert christoph.wickert at googlemail.com
Fri Aug 26 20:43:23 UTC 2011

Hi fellow ambassadors,

last weekend the 6th FrOSCon took place in St Augustin. Once again it
was a nice event, but this time we tried something new: A Fedora
Activity Day (FAD) as part of the conference.

I arrived at St Augustin on Friday around 7 p.m.. A lot of people were
already there and it was nice to meet a lot of friends and many of the
typical suspects again. Unfortunately we could not yet build up the
booth as Robert, who had the event box and the banners with him, was
stuck in heavy traffic jam. When he finally arrived at half past 8 we
quickly prepared the booth before we left for dinner with our friends
from Xfce.

We decided to go to Bonn because Christian lives there and he
recommended an Ethiopian Restaurant. Of course we were a little skeptic
and made bad jokes (“Ethiopian? We’ll go home hungry!” and alike) but
Roha Café has completely proven us wrong: Nice atmosphere, friendly
people and awesome food that is eaten just with the hands by wrapping it
in bread. We were nine people and ordered 3 different plates for 3
people each but we didn’t manage to finish them because we were
completely filled up. Each of us had 2 drinks, some also had a delicious
Ethiopian coffee after dinner and in the end the bill was ridiculously
cheap (less than 14 EUR per person). So if you ever happen to be in
Bonn, go to Roha Café.

Some of us wanted to go wild afterwards and decided to go for more
drinks, but as FrOSCon opens doors at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday, most of us
decided to go back to the hotel. I went to Cologne with Enrico because I
stayed at a friend and commuted to St Augustin.

On Saturday we had a German Translation team leaders of GNOME, Xfce and
LXDE. We had Hendrik Richter and Christian Kirbach from GNOME, Fabian
Nowak and me from Xfce and me again for LXDE. Even though the meeting
was a little short I consider it very successful. Our goal is to have
consistent translations throughout the different desktops and it was
nice to see we agree on so many things, even on tiny details. There is
still a lot of work to do but harmonizing our translation guidelines is
a first step in the right direction.

Saturday was the better of the two days: The number of visitors was
lower than last year (somebody even said it was all time negative
record) and Sunday was even worse than Saturday. I don’t think it was
that bad, we had visitors at the Fedora booth most of the time, but
Sunday definitely could have been better. Not only the exhibition, but
also our FAD.

The FAD began at 10:00. Benedikt gave a talk about his “Fedora Home
Server”. The title mimics the “Windows Home Server” and so does the
feature set of the server. Of course you can add more services and the
audience came up with interesting ideas. After that Robert delivered a
talk about SELinux. It seems SELinux still causes people a lot of
headache and thus a lot of people came to Robert’s presentation.

Next up was Anreas with a talk about Func, the Fedora Unified Network
Controller. It was perhaps the most entertaining talk because Andreas
made a dry topic a lot of fun, especially when he started showing stuff
on not on a demo machine but a real production environment.

After a short lunch break I gave two more talks, one about remixing
Fedora and the other about RPM packaging. I hardly had the latter
prepared, I just used the slides from one of my many previous talks
about packaging and we made it more like a workshop. People liked this a
lot: It definitely makes a difference if you just go through some slides
or if you have a RPM package or a live CD ready at the end of the
workshop. The audience was very experienced, most of them already were
Fedora users or had at least used it, so we could even address advanced

Having a FAD or a FUDCon as part pf another event is always a difficult
decision. On the one hand a lot of people there, both contributors as
well as visitors. The contributors don’t need to pay for travel again
and you reach an audience that you would not reach with a Fedora-only
event. On the other hand people get distracted by the main event. There
are many other talks and so much to see. Because all contributors want
to attend either the Fedora event or one of the other talks, it’s
difficult to have enough booth personnel all the time. So if you you are
hacking on something special and you just want to get things done ™ it
is maybe better to meet somewhere in the middle of nowhere to not be

Nevertheless I think this FAD was worth it: It was not a hack fest but
more like a one day mini-FUDCon full of talks and as such it makes
perfectly sense to have it at FrOSCon: FrOSCon is famous for it’s talks
while the exhibition is secondary. We managed to address a new audience
and raised awareness for Fedora.

I’d like to thank all Fedora contributors who helped us to make FrOSCon
2011 a successful event, namely (and in no particular order)

      * Benedikt for his 1st Fedora talk 
      * Raphael for doing booth service 
      * Dominic for his dry humor and for delivering Fedora swag to
        Hamburg for Software Freedom Day 
      * Christian who also is part of the FrOSCon team and helped us a
        lot with the organization 
      * Sven for doing endless hours of booth service while we held our
      * Jens for showing up and helping out even though his spare time
        is very rare 
      * Sirko for the FAD posters and the Inkscape workshops 
      * Gerd for showing up so I finally had the chance to finally meet
        my sponsoree in person after 2 years 
      * Andreas for his brilliant and entertaining talk about Func 
      * Robert for bringing all the booth material to St Augustin and
        delivering his SELinux talk 
      * Sandro and Marcus for showing up although they were not
        officially part of the Fedora team this year 
      * Zoltan for sending us flyers and Cheat Cubes


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