Fosdem 2018 – and a very little roundup

Before we get to FOSDEM, an important update came through in the last few hours – this follows tmb’s explanation from the last roundup:

MGASA-2018-0125 – Updated kernel packages fix security vulnerabilities

Publication date: 11 Feb 2018
Type: security
CVE: CVE-2017-5715, CVE-2017-5753

This kernel update is based on the upstream 4.14.18 and and adds some support for mitigating  Spectre, variant 1 (CVE-2017-5753) and as it is built with the retpoline-aware gcc-5.5.0-1.mga6, it now provides full retpoline mitigation for Spectre, variant 2 (CVE-2017-5715). WireGuard has been updated to 0.0.20180202. This update also fixes the rtl8812au driver that got broken/missing in the upgrade to 4.14 series kernels (mga#22524). For other fixes in this update, read the referenced changelogs.

Many thanks to tmb and the other devs for all their work on this!

We’ll be back with a more complete roundup next week; now to FOSDEM, from one who has been there every year…

Mageia at FOSDEM 2018

Since Mageia was born, FOSDEM has been a very important event for us. Six times we had a booth and our General Assembly during the event, we’ve always had a Mageia dinner and there were always more ways to enjoy meeting one another.

This blog post was almost not written, though, because until less than a week before FOSDEM, it was only sure of one council member, akien, that he’d be there. However, he’d mainly be there for another really nice project, the Godot Engine. Apart from that, our application for a stand was turned down (again).

Six days before FOSDEM, names started to get added to our FOSDEM 2018 Wiki page. One day later, it became certain that ennael would be at FOSDEM and on Wednesday, the number of council members who’d go increased from 2 to 4. It was only after that, that we tried to find volunteers to help organise various ways to meet one another in Brussels.

We do regret that – we’re aware that likely more Mageians would have been there, had things been organised better and earlier!

Informal Non-GA meeting

In the end, there were at least 14 Mageia community members at FOSDEM. We didn’t all manage to meet one another, but most of us were at an informal non-GA meeting (the General Assembly is expected to be done on-line with Mumble later on, so that more council/board/association members can participate).

Most of the things said during the informal meeting will be repeated during the GA, apart from karine stepping forward as new contributor (she’ll be an existing contributor when we have the GA 😉 ) and from a remark that tmb made after ennael told us about the large number of contributors with health problems that we have. He said something like “Mageia, the distribution for people with health issues”. We all laughed, but there’s a lot of truth in that remark: contributors with health issues have always been just as welcome in Mageia as contributors in perfect health.

Mageia wouldn’t exist if it had been created by healthy people only (nor when it had been created by ill people only, of course 😉 ). Anyway, if you’d like to contribute but worry whether you’re healthy enough to be accepted: stop worrying, your contribution is just as welcome as anyone else’s. There’s no minimum amount of work a contributor should do, so find a team or a task and just contribute when you feel up to it 🙂

Mageia dinner on Saturday

Without having made a reservation, and after a good walk along many restaurants, looking for one with enough room for us, eight of us had a nice dinner in a halal restaurant, a “first time” for most or all of us. It has become a tradition to go to another place after the restaurant, to enjoy a waffle . It might not be the best tradition, though, given how much some bellies are growing.

Mageia beer event (lunch) on Sunday

During the non-GA meeting, akien proposed what might become a new tradition: meet around lunch time next day for a beer together. For some it was more lunch than beer, but in any case it was nice to have another opportunity to get together, because without a Mageia stand, there is no natural place to meet.

FOSDEM itself

It seems every year FOSDEM gets more crowded, and more and more often talks attract a lot more interested visitors than fit in the room. I didn’t manage to see ovitters, who was on the GNOME stand – it was so busy I couldn’t get near.

One of the Mageians attending found FOSDEM very difficult:  “Because of the huge amount of people I missed important speaks I wanted to attend as you had to crash and disturb the previous talk to have any chance what so ever to attend until the room was “closed”. While in a room the audio quality in the PA system was so bad I couldn’t hear anything. Because of these issues I will never go there again. I’m very disappointed and frustrated I wasted time on this. This was aimed at FOSDEM so they get criticism, the fact I enjoyed meeting you and other folks is irrelevant.”

Many talks are available as videos here: and here

Future Mageia meetings

Because FOSDEM is so crowded, meaning we couldn’t get access to a room or have a stand, it was kind of difficult for Mageians to get together. Maybe we need to consider some other venue to meet – at a less crowded and better-organised conference, or even outside a conference? Your input is very important here – please comment below, or raise your voice in the Forums or on the mailing lists.

Thanks to Marja for writing this up! W’d hoped to include some pics, but the Mageians who took them have gone all shy – maybe next week…

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8 Responses to Fosdem 2018 – and a very little roundup

  1. Sammy F. Brown says:

    Come on it’s not because you missed talks that fosdem is a waste of time. Don’t try to go to talks and enjoy fosdem for what it is, a mean to meet people from many projects. You can watch the talks online. They are all boring anyway.

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  6. JoesCat says:

    If the PA system is bad, you may want to think about getting some earplugs. As funny as that sounds, it is about the only way to hear a concert clearly in a local stadium we have here (cuts down the echo and reflections).
    Reading Sammy’s reply – makes sense, but just want to add… If the talks are posted online, it is a good idea to leave those to view later (new topics you generally want to absorb but have zero or few questions at that time), while topics you are familiar and knowledgeable with, to attend those (so you can ask “good” questions then-n-there).

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