[Ambassadors] Event report: CLT 2011

Christoph Wickert christoph.wickert at googlemail.com
Mon Mar 21 22:02:23 UTC 2011

Hi fellow ambassadors,

I'm just trying to write a report about Chemnitzer Linuxtage, one of the
biggest community events here in Germany. But to be honest I don't
really know what to write except: It was like every year.

This doesn't mean that the event was bad, by far NOT. It was just as
great as every year. You really can rely on the CLT people, they have a
fantastic group of volunteers to help out at the event. They take care
of everything, no matter what it is. The catering was extraordinary once
again, especially on the social event on Saturday evening.

I would have liked to party harder, but I had to give my Kolab talk on
Sunday morning, so I went back to the hotel early. Why do I always get
the slots on the morning after the social event? Happened to me at
FOSDEM and OpenRheinRuhr already. :(

As every year I met quite a lot of people at Chemnitz. The Fedora team
consisted of Jörg Simon, Robert Scheck, Fabian Affolter, Sven Lankes,
Jens Kühnel and me (obviously). With Michael Spahn and Dominik Hopf two
more Fedora contributors were helping at the Xfce booth but
unfortunately our Czech friends from Red Hat Brno could not join us.

Then of course I met the typical suspects from other projects, way too
many to name them all. 

I managed to get rid of a lot of media. I had 7 boxes with me, roughly
700 pieces. One box was picked up by Vinzenz for Augsburger Linux Info
days next week and two are for Gerold for the Linux Days Graz in April.
Fabian was so kind as to take them with him and drop them off at
Gerold's on his way home to Switzerland. The other 4 boxes were mostly
distributed at CLT and the rest was given to somebody for another event.
I like really this distribution method: Fast, effective and inexpensive.

On the negative side we have the "Battle of the distributions" on
Saturday. It was not really a battle because the different distros
(Debian, Fedora, Mandriva, OpenSUSE, Pardus and Ubuntu were not fighting
but rather showing how to manage a particular task with their latest
release. The first exercise was how to view YouTube. As we all know
YouTube doesn't run with gnash, so this means installing the Adobe Flash
plugin. :(

I have to admit that it's a typical problem beginners are facing, so it
is a valid exercise, but it's not really a good example to compare the
quality of the distributions and if the first thing on a free software
event is to install unfree software, something is wrong.

The winner was Ubuntu here, they have patched the Firefox plugin finder
to not only find the flash plugin but also to install it through apt. On
the other hand Ubuntu had some problems later when somebody asked how to
revoke the sudo privileges of the first user (only possible on the
console). Fedora also didn't do that bad: I had to go to the Adobe
homepage, but at least they offer a yum repository, so we could do a
completely graphic click-through install and will get updates later.

Unfortunately this was not only the first but also the only exercise but
also the last one because things got a little chaotic afterwards. The
Pardus guy managed to completely screw up his machine before the
competition started, so he had to reinstall it while we were already
showing doing the Flash exercise. We skipped him and when we all were
finished, it was his time. He still hadn't finished his install, but he
had all the time in the world to show their first-run wizard and
configure icons, wallpapers and some more stuff, before the wizard
crashed. So he went through it again and when he was done, there was
nothing left to do because Pardus delivers all kinds of questionable
proprietary software out of the box. They even package Windows Binaries
for wine!

To me Pardus was clearly the looser, their X crashed every time when it
was switched to the big screen, but the Pardus guy managed to turn
failure into a win: The more problems he had, the more time he had for
telling how great Pardus is. The presenter was to kind to interrupt him,
so it became a Pardus show. Fedora at least got some extra attention
when I was to tell something in SELinux and I was told that my
presentations were pretty convincing, but other great distributions like
Debian only had 5 minutes to show their work.

Apart from this Chemnitz was really great again - but you don't expect
something different.


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