Even though we could not have an official Mageia stand this year, the Mageia community was well represented at FOSDEM 2017 (Free and Open Source Developers’ European Meeting) in Brussels. We had an official talk by Anne and Samuel in the Distributions devroom, an informal Mageia real life meeting, the traditional Mageia dinner and many occasions to gather in small groups to discuss our favourite distro and community.
The Mageia talk: Successes and lessons learned 6 years after forking
Anne Nicolas (ennael) and Samuel Verschelde (stormi) gave an inspiring talk about the current state of affairs at Mageia: What’s our new purpose 6 years after the initial “community rescue” fork of Mandriva? What did we achieve in the Mageia community? What is still to be done or needs to be improved so that we can continue to grow and to improve the distro?
Thanks to the great work of the FOSDEM video team, you can watch the video recording of that talk!
Video of the talk (26 min), in WebM. Try the MP4 if it does not work.
At the end of the talk, Marja van Waes (marja) invited all interested attendants to join us for our planned meeting in the afternoon. We were maybe 15 Mageians for this meeting, and had two contributors from Fedora and LibreOffice who joined us and gave very good insights on how they address the problems we discussed in their own projects.
This meeting was a great occasion to do an informal review of the current state of the distro and the community (we usually use this opportunity to have the Mageia.Org association’s general assembly, but fearing a lower attendance this year due to the lack of a Mageia stand we planned it for a later online meeting), and especially to discuss all those infrastructure issues that we keep pushing forward by lack of sysadmin time.
This helped build up some momentum and we are already seeing some improvements on various sysadmin tasks (such as improving the granularity of rights so that sysadmin apprentices can access the infra with restricted rights, to help share the load) and new discussions and ideas on long-term changes we want to make for Mageia 7 (such as porting our packages source repository from SVN to Git, or deploying a modern software forge such as Pagure or GitLab CE).
Following our tradition, we had a Mageia dinner on the Saturday evening with those that were available. It was a great opportunity to chat about Mageia and various other topics of interest. The service was pretty slow, but that gave us even more time to discuss while we were waiting ;). We really enjoy this yearly dinner, as FOSDEM itself is a very hectic event, so having a slow-paced evening break is very helpful to better get to know the contributors with whom we’re working on the Internet all year long.
This year again, FOSDEM really showed us that having a real-life event where we can meet fellow Mageia contributors really helps to strengthen our community, and speeds up the work on many important tasks. We realise increasingly that face to face communication can be really beneficial to the project, which is why we’re looking into reliable (free software) video-conferencing options so that we could have, from time to time, video meetings about specific topics.
We will definitely be at FOSDEM 2018, hopefully with a stand if there is room for us this time, and likely at many other events all around the world – if you want to represent the Mageia community at a local free software or Linux event, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Atelier team!