FOSDEM 2016 was held in Brussels on the 30th and 31st of January. We also had our Annual General Assembly and managed to get out for a nice dinner and a few beers, putting some faces to new contributors and renewing friendships from years gone by.
The Fosdem organisation had decided to make the stands smaller, so that many more projects could get a stand. We were very happy to see many more projects and the growth in the opensource community.
There was a downside, it meant that our stand was too small to serve as natural meeting place for all Mageians who were around and not attending talks or busy communicating with upstream projects, so we were less of a group of Mageia contributors and users, but more individuals. However, the General Assembly and the dinner did help to have group bonding 😉 It was great to see many of our contributors again, and to see others for the first time, like Akien and hviaene, of course, we missed those who couldn’t come.
The stand was very popular, many interested visitors left with a flyer and/or one or more Mageia goodies There were stickers as usual, new pens with Mageia logo and the usual t-shirts in many sizes. The flyers were in English, French & Dutch. We also had pretty wooden USB sticks with Mageia 5 live images on them.
As in other years, there were plenty of interesting lectures to attend. Of course many of us attended the talk given by Mageia contributor Bruno Cornec, about building Linux distribution packages with Docker. There was a dev room available for all who wanted to get away from the turmoil, it had plenty of power outlets to connect your laptop to and proved a great place to help people install Mageia.
During Fosdem, Hacker Public Radio did an interview with Mageia Contributor Chris Denice, or eatdirt, you can hear it here.
We also had our General Assembly, there was a review about the teams, which was incomplete because not all team leaders were able to attend. The most important thing that happened though, was that while reviewing sysadmin team, it was decided to have a sysadmin meeting immediately after the General Assembly. That meeting led to big improvements: a sysadmin trainee was accepted during that meeting and he started right after Fosdem (To that end, we would like to introduce danf, Dan Fandrich, an experienced sysadmin and existing Mageia packager, who only needs training to get familiar with how our sysadmin team and our infra work), and our infra is moving away from “full sysadmin access to everything or no access at all” to “some have access to everything, but other sysadmins only to e.g. forums, bugzilla, wiki or one or more other parts of Mageia”. This has already led to LpSolit (Frédéric Buclin a Mageia user from upstream Bugzilla, who has helped with good advice on maintaining our Bugzilla since the beginning) now improving things in our Bugzilla directly himself and also to him committing needed changes to our git for the Bugzilla upgrade.
Apart from that, an announcement about ARM development was made during the General Assembly. The ARM build is getting closer, we have build nodes set up with Scaleway and can extend the number as required. Hopefully this will be usable soon. It was also discussed that new people come and have to be welcomed and introduced to our processes and discussions (via IRC / ML). Weekly meetings are not that easy to maintain when things do seem to be stuck, though discussions with people available are sometimes sufficient (more people is better: just come to watch/read afterwards at least, meetbot is still active) For the lack of contributors helping BugSquad, ovitters suggested to let contributors earn points when helping in Bugzilla, like in a game. He had seen great results when doing that for Gnome.