[Ambassadors] Review about the FUDCon Pune 2011 in India
robert at fedoraproject.org
Sun Nov 20 19:01:41 UTC 2011
I know that FUDCon Pune 2011 in India is now over since about 14 days and I
am also safely and healthy back since nearly 14 days, but after filling up
my lack of sleep, I attended the next event. Now that both events are over,
I've taken the time to translate what I've written until now in German onto
www.linuxnetz.de, my somehow-micro-blog that I don't want to call blog.
I travelled together with Joerg Simon to Mumbai, so our trip started closed
to our hometowns at the airport in Stuttgart at 6:00 am. When we went there
to the baggage drop of Lufthansa, I cross-checked our flight at the display
panel and recognized, that our national flight from Stuttgart to Munich was
cancelled. At the ticket counter the lady explained us that Munich has shut
down their services because of heavy fog. So she rebooked us then via Swiss
International Air Lines from Stuttgart via Zurich to Mumbai. Our planned
time to change the planes in Zurich (Switzerland) was calculated to 20 min.
which should not be a problem because they recently advertised their short
change times at the aiport. However we unfortunately took off with a delay
of 20 minutes in Stuttgart, but arrived with 5-10 minutes delay in Zurich.
Nevertheless we made our own experience with advertisement vs. reality at
the aiport...fast walking, taking a train inside the airport to get to the
other terminal, fast walking, another extended security check and further
walking - all with our cabin baggage of course. In the end, we walked about
1 km in total and reached the gate at the time when we normally should have
already started, fortunately they waited for us. We entered the plane and
fall into our seats, totally sweated. Some time afterwards, I recognized
that I've seen nearly all movies in the board entertainment, however they
had some TV episodes which helped to kill the 8 hours flight... ;-)
I got my first "culture shock" in Mumbai in the taxi at the way from the
airport to the hotel - so much indescribable different new fascinating and
frightening impressions at the same time...just wow! Aside that they are
driving on the wrong side of the road, they are driving very...different.
Joerg and I travelled together with Jared Smith by taxi from Mumbai to Pune
and on the way we saw shanty towns but also impressive landscapes until we
reached about 4.5 hours later our hotel in Magarpatta City, a business city
within Pune. After check-in, I met Kushal Das the second time and for the
very first time, I met Rahul Sundaram, too. Of course I also met further
more people the first time, but in fact I only was very less in touch with
the others till that point. After a delicious lunch in an Indian restaurant
at the destination center, we went together to the Red Hat office within
the socalled Cybercity of Magarpatta. Arrived there, we got a tiny office
tour, used the good internet connectivity and chatted with eachother.
On the next morning, the first day of FUDCon began with an organized bus
ride from the hotel to the College of Engineering Pune (COEP), the second
oldest college in whole Asia. There, the opening ceremony was held by Dr.
Anil Dattatraya Sahasrabudhe, director and professor of the college. After
that Jared Smith started with his "traditional" keynote "My Vision for
Fedora" about the successes and problems of the past year but also about
the planned goals. A lot of people attended the opening talks, more than I
The lunch in the speakers room had the first challenge, sandwiches with
tomatoes and salad: As a non-Indian, it is recommented to avoid everything
uncooked, especially fruits and vegetables because they are e.g. cleaned
with water that can contain germs which non-Indians are not used to, making
them maybe seriously sick as result. However we were told that it is safe
for us to eat them - and hey, I survived! :)
Later Joerg's talk "Fedora Security Lab and the OSSTMM" should have taken
place at the auditorium, but it still was used for some college purposes,
so his talk was delayed and moved to another room, but nevertheless there
were many attendees listening and he hopefully was able to catch them for
security interests. I never attended his talk before and I think he gave a
great session and was able to transport the content he wanted to transfer.
In the evening after FUDCon we went to Pune downtown in a smaller group to
buy some (or some more) souvenirs at the Bombay Store. After that we had
dinner at the "Blue Nile" restaurant - again different, but delicate, too.
Our second day of FUDCon Pune was started with the keynote by Harish Pillay
with "Thoughts About Community". It was very interesting to see what "Red
Hat CommArch" is and how many people are involved - I never thought that. I
also attended the talks "Security in the Open Source world!" by Huzaifa
Sidhpurwala and Eugene Teo as well as "GlusterFS: Hacking-Howto" by Amar
Tumballi. Both talks were very interesting, but I figured out that I do not
have any usecase for GlusterFS or even GlusterFS hacking so far nor in the
After lunch, I gave my talk "Zarafa in Fedora", an introduction into MAPI
and how Zarafa works, about its architecture and structure, its features,
some future plans and how users and developers can contribute to it. I did
not expect it, but there were something like 30 attendees.
One day before my talk, the CEO of Zarafa wrote me even an e-mail and let
me know that if somebody from India is interested in Zarafa WebAccess or
WebApp development (its successor), Zarafa has a division in Vadodara in
India and is hiring. Just send me a private e-mail, if you would like to
get in touch.
Questions ranged from the (missing) integration of Zarafa into Evolution
via MAPI, over flexibility of the LDAP schema to a failover scenario with
the Zarafa Spooler and the MTA.
Scalability and the maximum users at a single Zarafa server were of course
also a topic. Some questions regarding the in the past existing Zarafa
instance within the infrastructure of the Fedora Project were raised, too.
That instance no longer exists, because it was a try to find a solution for
the Fedora Calendar Project, but they are still lacking requirements what
they are looking for... ;-)
Later on, I attended "Virtualization with Libvirt" by Kashyap Chamarthy as
well as "Writing Technical Documentation with DocBook and Publican" by
Jared Smith and finally "RHQ - An open source system management suite" by
Venkat Krishna. During Jared's talk, I figured out that DocBook is helpful
for even generating man pages, however the man pages are claimed to be not
sane according to rpmlint. So I started rewriting them on my own, without
any DocBook involvement for my ongoing project.
After the official end of the second FUDCon day, buses transported all the
volunteers and speakers to the FUDPub taking place at the "Palm Court" on
the top of the Hotel Parcestique. Unfortunately Jared didn't feel well and
decided to rest a bit, so he missed some parts of the FUDPub. Before dinner
they had music where people danced like in Hindi cinema ("Bollywood" is not
a friendly word, I heard)...well they dance simply different than we know
it in Europe or the US. But: Best FUDPub ever, even I didn't attend all of
The last day of each FUDCon is usually dedicated to hackfest, so we started
with pitching. And it was a real surprise to me that about 30 people mostly
girls attended to my hackfest "Package Reviewing". Normally, if you do such
a hackfest, only a few less people show up and main work is reviewing. But
in this case, I figured out that most of the attendees never packaged ever
before, so I looked up my older slides from a packaging talk this year and
gave an introduction into RPM packaging to provide at least some basics.
Together with Anuj More, I worked afterwards on packaging otcl and tclcl as
RPM packages, unfortunately both libraries are a bit strange and not the
best starting example for beginners. We got something compiling being RPMs,
but they are far from being compliant with the Packaging Guidelines, thus I
will try to have a look to them in the next time.
In the afternoon, Joerg didn't feel well, so we took a cab from the college
to the hotel, Joerg rested a bit and I walked around in Magarpatta City and
took some pictures - at least where it was allowed. Jared felt well again
on Sunday by the way. In the evening, we had dinner with other Fedora and
Red Hat people in the hotel and it was awesome (as always in India) and I
learned again new cuisines. We ended the evening in a more tiny group in
Jareds hotel room by talking about the FUDCon, issues, nice happenings and
future plans as well as common Fedora Project related issues and things.
At our last day in India, Joerg and I went to the Red Hat office after we
checked out at the hotel, talked with others there and used the chance for
a good internet connectivity again. At this time, the official number of
FUDCon attendees was more than 400 people, but Satya will walk through all
the papers again to figure out the exact number. Closed to 4:00 pm it was
time to leave the office and also time to say good-bye to the last of the
newly met people in India before a cab brought us back to the hotel where
Jared, Joerg, Heherson Pagcaliwagan and I switched to another taxi. And
that brought us with a about 5 hours ride to Mumbai airport. Fortunately,
the airport security allowed us to enter the air-conditioned building even
we were too early for the check-in. And also Lufthansa accepted our baggage
at the wrong check-in counter hours before the right one opened.
While waiting for our flights, we also ate some fried chicken at a well
known US-american fast food company, but the chicken was made the Indian
way (it really tasted different than in Europe). Then Jared left for his
flight and Joerg and I went to the waiting area for our flight. At this
time he unfortunately still felt not well again. After boarding and some
waiting time for the regular maintainance work at the only runway our 8
hours flight homewards started - but with no sleep for me. Like at Swiss, I
already saw nearly all the movies before, but the TV episodes helped again.
In the morning we reached Frankfurt airport ("fraport") with 5 °C instead
of usual 35 °C in Mumbai. After the formal entry into Germany we grabbed
our baggage at the AIRail station and left Frankfurt by train to Stuttgart
central station where we arrived at 10:15 am.
Arrived at home and after some food, I decided to catch some sleep after
being about 30 hours awake - and then slept nearly 24 hours with nearly no
interruption. Wednesday noon - time to prepare myself for the next event
(FSCONS) at the weekend in Gothenburg and to satisfy Christoph Wickert's
request for some banners and the table cloth for OpenRheinRuhr. FSCONS will
be another event report in the next time ;-)
India and the FUDCon were really amazing and it's still impossible for me
to somehow describe what I've seen there, some pictures are at my gallery:
Finally, I would like to say "thank you" to all the people who took care of
Joerg and me in India. I know it's unfair to name now some people, but I
really would like to thank Rahul Sundaram, Kushal Das and Satya Komaragiri
here, they also throught about the tiny little invisible details like e.g.
the taxi management or closed bottles of mineral water at the restaurant!
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