FUDCon Managua 2014 Web Site

I am not sure why am writing this. For once I know that true man do not ask directions. In the other hand against all philosophy of sharing and reusing the best code, true is that FUDCon LATAM sites never reuse what was done before.

The most important thing is that the results of the web site are not under only one person alone. Depend in the input from others, the request from event organizers, the time to spare, the help received, among other factors.

We had a beautiful site for FUDCon Managua 2014. We needed to show off who will come, what they will talk about, where this will happening and promote our sponsors. All this was accomplished. Plus we have registration and vote cast on talks to help us put together the schedule. All in all was a good site. I can go on talking the beauties of the site and why the new organizing team should use it. But, I think there are some issues that need to be considered for the next team.

Most of web sites do not have hard dead line. Event web sites are a special category, they do have hard dead line. You need to show people that you are serious and I don’t know why, having a website is a proof. Probably is following the saying: “If it is on internet, it should be true”.

The web site is how do you get sponsorship, how do you get other experts to join your speaker list, how do you get doors opened in universities to talk to students and how do you get attention from media. You need to list your sponsors, your topics and your speakers. Sadly, if you have foreign speakers you will get more attention. The sooner you got this in place, the sooner you can start getting things flowing. We had troubles with time. It is not one person fault, it was everybody fault.

But you can’t lie, so you have to mark those that are invited and those that have already confirmed. At some point you have to hide (erase) those who are not coming and accordingly hide (erase) they talks. This was an issue that were not implemented at the beginning, and the implementation was not aesthetics as it should.

Let’s take a small side track. When I was in the first steps of the free software community, I was invited to an event and asked to create a Launch Pad Ubuntu account. At that moment I didn’t mind. Six years after, if I am invited to give a talk in a conference, and they ask me to fill an account with their membership … well you know … I will say yes to everything and do nothing.

So I can’t ask local experts and expect that they create a FAS account to be on the event site. You can not build a site based on FAS, of course you are doing a Fedora convention. But you are asking favors. If everything go smooth, they may like to join fedora community. If I start by forcing them to create a FAS, they won’t. If I made that mandatory, I will loose local experts talks. My favorite phrase is “How I can help you help me”.

One issue that was spotted at last time was, that there was no name on talks, only the image of people that was going to give the talk.

Having a short time, affected the vote cast option. We had what can be considered more like an random sample rather than a statistical significant amount of data to support our schedule desitions.

Another issue, was that people doing multiple talks did not provide sequence. Most times this did not matter. But some cases was important. As the schedule was made based on votes, and having at one side the special request, not having this information made lot of problem at the event. It will be desirable to have a more complete output for the vote, to help people make the schedule.

The vote and the schedule was a first experience on FUDCon LATAM. This is a cultural issue. People want to know what they will attend. There is no culture for des-conferences. You can not count on all people having devices to vote on site. Not to mention the schedule nightmare that we had with the votes. Thus, the event would crash. And if you have too much people, you can not have the marking sheets. I remember once that there were some dark marking sheets, where mark had low contrast. I still think that for LATAM, the vote cast was a good idea and we failed in implementation. Failed in time and communication. It is something that we can built on. Pass this experience.

A good idea that got pending was the link to upload the slides. It was even includen in the booklet. Slides were not possible to be upload by each person giving a talk. They have to be collected in order to be uploaded using ssh. In the end, the slides were not collected. So, there upload bottle neck was not an issue.

I have to thanks Echevemaster for a beautiful site, with so many features and so much time invested. It was an amazing result for the time given. Lilixx did a nice touch with the slides. Axioma provide help. But all in all was Echevemaster brainchild. Best way to recognize this work is to reuse and improve the inner work for next FUDCon LATAM

FUDCon Managua 2014: The Heroes

Those who did remarkable things for this FUDCon deserve some recognition.

The spawning heroes
Oscar and Efren that show up from thin air, unexpected, filled us with questions and were welcomed into Fedora family.

Travel Hero.
I know this is a hard competition and I am partial. Denis and Robert did know what they were facing. I am awarding this to Jared, who squeezed FUDCon between two convention, missed a flight connection and still came here for a day. At last moment he still was fighting to stay one extra day. That level of commitment is truly remarkable.

Web hero
Eduardo Echeverría did most of the work of the website. It ended up a beautiful site. He get some help along the way, had some bumps along the road, but was his masterpiece

The talking heroes.
Yes, there were people who never stop talking. This award is about those who did many talks and workshops. First of all Eduardo Echeverría, it was a nightmare to accommodate his talks without making him been talking two sessions together. Luis was another that did many talks. Valentin with one day long workshop after losing his voice the day before was incredible.

The sprint heroes
Those that showed up on the convention to take care of everything that was still pending. Leticia and Franco did most of the video recording. Franco travel from León city just to be here helping.

The marathon heroes.
Those that accompanied most of the planning, took some task, and helped shape the event. Eduardo Mayorga, William, Fernando and Cristhian. They help with ideas, put some time along the road and were in the event helping.

The Triathlon heroes.
The extreme athletes, usually know as iron man or woman. Samuel did the booklet one handed. Aura did the rest of the art for the FUDCon. The next phase was planning, they were there every single time that we went through the trac list offering take care of things. Final phase, put together the schedule when I surrender to this task and finally they sustained the convention. Both are truly the best collaborators on this event. There is no many time that I can say, this event were not possible without both of them.

FUDCon Managua 2014: The aperture

This is a two part act. First we have the welcome speech to later came with the sate of Fedora. So let us see what the welcome message was.

I am here exited to be in front of you sharing the experience of Fedora Community. Better said, sharing among Fedora friends. Over the time that I have been collaborating with Fedora Project, I have found the brightest people that I have ever met. Not only by their technical skills, but by their world view and how they value others peoples opinion. Nevertheless you have bad luck, instead of one of those great people, you got me giving you the welcome to this convention.

The road to FUDCon Managua has been long starting at small steps about a year ago. At the time that we were selected as host, budget approved and speakers were invited, the work keep becoming more intense. We hope that you can feel the intensity of all that effort in a blast of energy. An experience of learning and teaching at the same time. Jerome, one of those bright people in the community, told me once that free software is a way of making the world a bit of a better place. That is part of what we do and what we like to invite you all to be part of. Not only of free software, but free content and free knowledge.

Freedom is a flag for Fedora in every single level, from software to documentation and above all knowledge. Fedora is based on friendship, we are a diverse community and we appreciate the most of the differences. Fedora is features, we build Fedora, advertise Fedora, share Fedora using tools from Fedora. Last,we are first. You can find now in Fedora how Linux would be in six month.

We have found an ally in Universidad de Ciencias Comerciales. to organize together this event. This event has been an important change, where more that sponsor free software events, it has involve in the event. The event is part of the commitment with the technical formation of new generation of professionals. Not longer a passive subject offering spaces, but taking an active role to integrate knowledge.

This event would not be possible without the sponsorship of Güegüe Comunicaciones, Blue Host, Computer Net, Monchito, Clinica de Especialidades Dentales de la Doctora Barreto, SenCom, Movistar and Hotel Mansión Teodolinda. Thanks to all of them.

The second part is the State of Fedora. This is a real challenge, did my best.

In the last 12 to 18 months, Fedora Project has many things to talk about. Fedora y Red Hat sustain a interdependent relationship, a symbiosis. This alliance has been fortified in terms of more autonomy in budget, more transparency and better communication.
Red Hat made an alliance with Cent-OS which may imply a vertical integration in internal packaging tasks. Slowly this collaboration will signify more similar ways of working making more collaboration over the downstream chain toward Linux distros that depend on Fedora innovation. This will benefit many sysadmins. The triad of Fedora offering the newest in free software, Red Hat with great enterprise support and Cent-OS with community support will have a smooth transition from one to another at any time for sysadmins.

Yet, Fedora has proposed a change over three solutions to keep pace with time. Work Station, Server and Cloud. Focused in office user and developers; infrastructure from small to big business servers; and virtualization on the cloud creating virtual machines on demand on in house infrastructure or third party providers. Everything with the end to ease the integration with other upstream projects and make more easy to provide tools to the users. Of course that this does not mean that we lost the ability of a custom install. Neither is the end of the spins that have a life focused in specific user groups

Another event was the change of the Fedora project Leader, we welcome Matthew Miller. Matthew has started with a clear goal. How do we ensure that we are progressing? The simple metric of having two releases per year is very clear.. The number of downloads of ISO images. The number of updates. Collaborator number. All have been classical terms of the size of the project. But the question remains, how do we measure success? To evaluate ourselves, but most important to improve ourselves.

But the most important and most recent is the change from Fedora Board to Fedora Council. The board was a referent for important decisions brought up to them. The Council will be a dynamic group represented by key parts of the project, seats elected among the collaborators and dynamic seats call to solve concrete task with more specific roles. The idea is to move from a body of top authority toward more active roles focused in gear better the different project teams. Fortunately the Project has grow and organizational changes are need to keep up.
I honestly do not know what to said about the future with so many things going on at the moment. This is a very exiting time, full of challenges. We expect that this conference encourage people to join the Fedora family and participate with so many opportunities to make a difference.



Six years as Fedora Ambassador

Six years ago, on August 20th, 2008, I was approved as Fedora Ambassador. There is not six year badge, but here is one close enough.
A lot of things have changed from those days. Getting media, swag and get sponsored to attend events to perform the role of ambassador improved. I have a imaginary dialog that sums up some email exchange six years ago about this issue:

Me: Can I have some media?
X: I can’t send you media
Me: Can I get reimbursed?
X: No, you can’t
Me: If I open a bank account in the US, that will help?
X: No
Me: How can I help change this situation?
X: Stop asking questions!

This was at the time that Latin American Budget for events and promotion where handled by Red Hat office at Brazil. After some time, Fedora took control of this and changes starting to happen.

In any case I started to keep track of things that I spent. That add up to almost a thousand Dollars and I got reibursed in FUDCon Tempe 2011. About one year latter since I start paying stuff. Things started to change at Tempe. Max Spevack came with the idea of getting fedora community credit card. FUDCon Panama 2011 I have some few houndred dollars to be reimbursed again. Finnaly the credit card was issued and things got a lot better. I can’t claim that it is perfect, but it is a huge improvement. Besides the desicion making process to assing funds has been revised and it is a lot more regional driven. There are some quirks about countries and people that can’t be reimbursed by Paypal. Best way is to pay directly with the community credit card, but some stuff can not be purshased directly and have to be reimbursed.
Along those year I have been working on different parts of Fedora Project. I am Mentor for Ambassadors. I have been on FAmSCo twice in the past and I am currently back in the Committee. I worked some time in the Marketing Team. I wrote for some time Ambassadors beats for the FWN (Fedora Weekly News). I have been involved in Freemedia for almost six years. Now I am a Fedora Project Board Member.
I have run one Release Party every release since Fedora 11. For Fedora 13 I travelled to El Salvador and Guatemala (on my own pocket), to make three release parties with the Managua event in one week. For Fedora 16, I went to Costa Rica (sponsored) to help with a release party.
At Flock Prague 2014, I stated that I am a pretender. Along those six years a I haven’t become a programer and I haven’t become a system administrator. Some people said that I am pretending to be dumb. Maybe both statements are a little bit true. I have learn a lot of technical stuff along these years, but I haven’t been focussed on one thing.

Most of the time I have been dealing with things that are needed for events. Once I setup a machine with a local repo and also a gateway for internet. This was the ideal setting for running upgrades with poor internet conectivity or even without internet. I also explored how to build local repos for updates from DVD and USB for offline upgrade and installation of key packages not included in Live Media. But I always have had a great internet connection at office and a decent connection at home. So I was able to dowload all this without really needing it for my use. Some how this experiment fell short on my expectations. I never were able to set up a PXE boot server. That was because I did not get to understand how, and then I was busy doing other stuff. When I asked for help for the PXE server, people were busy doing other stuff. In the end, it never come to happen.

Flock Prague 2014 was again an example of this kind of things. I went to governance meetings and Fedora.Next talks, but I wasn’t able to attend a UEFI boot talk or one of the various talks about Docker because I was somewhere else in the previous stated activities.
There has been fun stuff like building a multy DVD tray computer for burning media, that went down with Fedora 16 inability to reliable handle multiple trays (or it was Fedora 15?). After a while, I just bought a media duplicator because I needed to burn media. This is next to a printer with a media tray, so I can made nice media. This has been a personal spent. Beyond Fedora media, I have been only use the duplicator for burning some Debian and Korora media. It hasen’t been a good return over investment. I haven’t look for any business for this setup. Althoug it has been fun when a group get together to make a burning meeting.

Burning meeting

Probably this looks like rambling over old memories. I should move into future stuff. At the local community, we have been organizing FUDCon Managua 2014. As a local community we have been talking on how to grow up in knowledge and fun, most likely we will start a Hacker Space after FUDCon. I think that the current Ambassador role and the current proccess to alocate funds has become outdated and as part of FAmSCo I want to set things in motion to change that. But most important of all, after FUDCon I want to start learning things that I like or that I need. Probably I will need to find my replacement on the local community and other activities on the Fedora Project.

Sometimes I think if I have been proactive and making the most as a Fedora collaborator for the Project or not. In the other hand my day job has nothing to do with any kind of software or system administration. Every time that somebody comes with the proposal that every candidate to Fedora Ambassador should be a collaborator to other team in the Project before been aproved on the Ambassador’s team, I can said that I would not be on the Project if that were enforced. Then, I think that I have done something on these past years.

Thinking out loud of my Flock experience

Fedora premium events are a life experience. I drank more beer in Flock than I have drank in the whole year. What probably is not much as I only drank four pints. Going into the FudPub and meeting old friends and attaching faces to IRC nicks is also part of the event. I would like to go deeper that wrote a tale of what I did and what I saw at Flock.

One of the key things that I immerse myself was Fedora.Next. I was more o less aware of what would be the products Workstation, Server and Cloud. But I did not know about the Base or Environment and Stacks. Base has been streamline a lot to make the minimal install really minimal. They have been a lot of progress, but there is a lot of dependencies to trim out. The more they trim out, the smaller the cloud image will be. One important thing from my standing point was to be sure that there is going to be a off-line installable media for workstation. This is a must for Latin America and several other places where internet is limited.

There is a term that I keep hearing event after event, burn out. As a primarily voluntary driven organization we should strive to keep a healthy rate of new collaborators to collaborators leaving the project to new challenges in their life. Should we, as a project, implement human resources actions. Think in recruitment, training and rewards. Not thinking in monetary rewards, but in a feed back that a collaborator is doing well, their work is relevant and so on. A tap in the shoulder. How we manage to keep someone interested when the prize for doing something great is get to do more of the same. Not a easy topic, but avoiding it will not make it go away. As I said, I keep hearing burn out event after event.

Another recurring topic is the “easy fix list”. Apparently it is an idea that everybody agrees that is needed, but is not really happening. There are some teams that have some success. Easy fix are a way to help people starting with the project some opportunities to do something while they learn how the work flow is in the project. Also is an opportunity for a newbie to see if they like that area of the project. We need a project wide easy fix list. But apparently creating a easy fix list is a challenge. Most collaborators tend to correct easy fix they find instead of making a list.

One thing that really surprised me is how worried people are about make sure that any action is perceived as community driven. Even further, not remotely related with Red Hat agenda. I don’t have any solid reference, but I feel that there is a small number of people that are paranoiac and vocal about this issue. Fedora Project Leader stated that the relationship between Red hat and Fedora is symbiotic. Fedora is not ready to live without Red Hat support. Red Hat need something like Fedora to drive innovation and they will struggle badly without Fedora. Since the package signature compromise occurred on Fedora 8 time frame, I haven’t see any clash between Fedora and Red hat that justify this over thinking. Probably is a historical mind frame that we have been unable of shake out.

This Fedora versus Red Hat, has a parallel. North versus South. To many Latin American collaborator, there is a preference toward North American and European collaborators. It is a rumor, people express that way. When it comes to point an example, no one has been able to point me to a clear one. Both issues are not to be dismiss, but I think they need to bring back into proportion.

I have no idea what docker really is. On one of the plenary session it was written on the board “docker, docker, docker”. Along my life I have been find that when something is all, then is nothing. Not because it does not exist, but because you can not differentiate. In any case, I was unable to learn what docker is about on Flock. There were several session that addressed that topic. My schedule selection was driven from what was expected from me and not driven from what I want. I feel myself conflicted because I am losing learning opportunities and away of facing new challenges. I feel my self stuck. Worst of all, I am not having fun. I believe that fun is what keep people from burning out. I sincerely think that fun should be our fifth foundation on the Project.

As an example of things that are not fun in the project, it is our current event announcement process. One person announcing an event needs to create a wiki page to describe the event, then has to edit the event wiki page to list his or her event and if it is a release event also has to edit the release event wiki page. That is only to announce one event without requesting any support. If support is requested, there is the need for opening a trac ticket and showing up at a IRC meeting. I going to be blunt and say it. I rather do an event without announcing it, it is to much work to do all that. The real problem with this is the public. All distributed information, primarily online information, point to the wiki event page. Which as you may expect is outdated and incomplete. There is need to keep track of logistic within the project, but we need to have a easy way to announce events to the public. I find really hopeful that this time we focus in having something working instead of having something perfect. I think that Ruth Suehle has some merit in this focus. In any case, Fedocal should soon start to list our events.

Finally, I am trill to be part of the change in the Fedora Governance model. We are moving from a public elected members that did not have a clear role as member to engage in meaningful leadership to a representative model. I really do not know how this is going to work and what shape will have. But this time that this change into uncharted organization structure will be good. It will set things in motion for going out of the comfort zone.

I have two regrets about the event. First is that the schedule has a democratic input that came from people that were not present at the conference. I have no idea how to improve it at the moment, but we need to rethink this. The second thing that I regret is not having a free day in Prague. This is a recurring happening. From six different Fedora premium events that I have been attending, only once I have been able to have some spare days to explore the place. I did try to get out on the first day. Every time that I tried to leave the hotel, new people were arriving and got into the welcoming crowd. This repeated until it was late for dinner and we group to look for food. I feel that this is great, it is part of the bonding experience of the event. But I can not stop thinking about being on the most beautiful city of Europe and I can not really confirm it or denied.

There is most that this event get me thinking, but I will save it for upcoming posts.

Here is my Flickr album of Flock 2014

Fedora incentiva el consumismo?

Esto viene de una serie de emails donde se pregunta sobre Como hacer funcional versiones antiguas de fedora?. De hecho el tema es porque Fedora no corre en equipos con mínimos recursos. En el cuerpo del correo se apunta a Fedora como incentivar el consumismo. Iba a hacer un email largo, pero como es un tema recurrente pense que era mejor hacer un post al que podría recurrir con solo un link.

Un grupo de personas se une por un interés común, este interés define que es lo que hace el grupo. Los Fundamentos de fedora son Libertad, Amigos, Rasgos y Primeros (Freedom, Friends, Features, First). Fedora es libre desde el software hasta la documentacion. Fedora es abierto a recibir personas y tratarlas con respeto. Fedora tiene una gran cantidad de software que permite resolver los problemas de un gran número de personas. Fedora es primero, lo más nuevo de software libre está en fedora. Esto define lo que hace fedora.

Fedora toma riesgos de presentar software que es estable pero no está terminado. Mucha gente dice simplemente que es basura. Pero algunos dicen… deberían agregar esto, funcionaría mejor si agregaran esto … y luego que se implementan esas ideas, se liman los bordes y esta nítido y brillante, eso se vuelve el estandard para muchas distros. Eso es ser primeros. Lo que hace fedora esta disponible para todas las distros quienes deciden si esas piezas le son útiles o no.

Dar soporte de largo plazo no es parte de lo que define Fedora. Por ejemplo eso es interés de CentOS. Dar soporte a equipos con pocos recursos es interés de otras distros como Pupy. Hay gente en Costa Rica que hace edición de video en alta resolución en equipos con menos recursos de lo que describis usando pupy. Esto es lo genial del software libre, en el ecosistema del software libre hay muchos grupos enfocados en distintas cosas.

Fedora no apoya el consumismo, no hay un propósito en esa dirección. Fedora Fedora trabaja en computadoras con recursos modestos. Mi computadora de la oficina tiene mas o menos 6 años y funciona con Fedora 20. El Proyecto Fedora da soporte de 13 meses. Dar soporte significa que cada unidad de software que recibe un parche debe actualizarse para todas y cada una de las versiones que dan soporte. Eso significa trabajo y tiempo que Fedora sencillamente no considera parte de su razón de existencia. Fedora depende principalmente de voluntarios, y esos voluntarios se unieron al Proyecto Fedora por el reto de innovar. Así, por ejemplo, los voluntarios de Pupy se unieron a pupy por el reto de trabajar con hardware mínimo.

Esperar que Fedora haga algo que no está en su razón de existencia, que está fuera de las contribuciones al ecosistema del software libre que se han propuesto como meta, está fuera de lugar.

detener correo basura de memobooker

Existe una compañía que se ha dedicado a enviar correo basura. Estos correos no solicitados proviene de una empresa local llamada memobooker. En primera instancia yo nunca le he dado mi correo a ellos, o sea que están obteniendo correos de forma indirecta. Lo que significa que obviamente no he dado mi consentimiento para recibir su basura.

Están usando un sistema muy bueno de email marketing llamado mailchimp. Como no tienen ninguna estrategia de mercadeo, están bombardeando a todo el mundo con su basura. Una campaña de email marketing supone una obtención directa de la cartera de clientes potenciales y una clasificación para enviar información relevante a las personas. Si es relevante, no es basura, cierto?

La parte más terrible de esta empresa es que ellos dicen que si uno no quiere seguir recibiendo correos uno siga un link que aparece al pie de sus correos. Ese link lleva a un formulario, pero es una pérdida de tiempo. Memobooker sigue enviándole a uno la misma cantidad de basura.

Todo mundo puede crear un filtro con una regla sencilla.Si el correo viene de memobookernica@gmail.com marcar como leído y mandar a la basura. Esto solo mueve la basura que nos envían a un lado. Si usted tiene una cuenta de Gmail, puede tomar acción directa y marcarlo como spam. Gmail tiene políticas estrictas sobre este tema. Es tema para otro día porque spam es una palabra mal aplicada y lo correcto sería decir correo basura, correo no solicitado o bien en Inglés junk mail.

Pero si no tiene Gmail, usted puede igual reportarlo como generadores de correo basura. Encontre un post de un blog muy bueno, tenia el título «How to report spam from Google, Yahoo and Hotmail email ids«. Ese artículo contiene un enlace a un formulario oficial de Google para reportar correo basura aunque no tenga cuenta de GMail.

Es cierto que puede borrar ese mensaje diario con un click cada día. Es cierto que puede crear un filtro para no tener que dar ese click cada día. Pero eso no contribuye a una internet libre de correos basura. No detiene a una empresa a emplear prácticas falta de ética. Por eso les sugiero que los reporten.

Más allá le invito a la reflexión, como queda la imagen de una empresa que contrata a esta gente que roba los correos electrónicos de la gente para enviarles basura.

F20 Release Party Managua – Nuevos retos

Esperabamos unas 20 personas, pero el salón llegarón a unas 35 personas. Nuestro plan era algo sencillo. hablar sobre lo nuevo en Fedora 20, la comunidad de Fedora en Nicaragua y los 10 años del Proyecto Fedora. En la organización se adicionó una charla introductoría sobre la imagen de Fedora-Cloud. Javier Wilson de Güegüe Comunicaciones nos contó un poco de porque usar la imagen de Fedora-Cloud sin contar con una infraestructura de nube. A veces el por qué es más importante que el cómo.

Este release party con 20 versiones de fedora y 10 años del proyecto también tiene algunos hitos a nivel personal. Son 5 años de colaborar con el Proyecto Fedora y son 10 release parties en los que he estado involucrado en la organización.

2013 fue un gran año para la comunidad local de Fedora. Gracias a la insistencia de William Moreno se hicieron unas actividades llamadas Escuelita Fedora. Su objetivo era hacer una base de conocimiento para colaborar en Fedora. Crear tu cuenta FAS, editar tu wiki personal, crear clave RSA, GIT, SSH entre otras cosas. Luego algo de traducción, diseño gráfico y otras cosas más de producir. Se cerró el año con un FAD de traducción. Hacer eventos es bueno, es parte de la divulgación. pero la perspectiva de aprender y hacer nos trajo resultados más importantes. Varias personas se integraron a colaborar activamente a la comunidad. No solo ser usuario, no solo llegar a los eventos, no solo apoyar en los eventos de release party, sino gente que realmente colabora en que la comunidad se fortalezca. No significa minimizar lo que cada quien contribuye que por poco que sea es valioso. Se trata de reconocer que estas personas ponen varios días al mes por Fedora. Sobre todas las cosas es que son personas que están siendo el relevo de la comunidad.

2014 está llenos de nuevos retos. La propuesta es hacer eventos de mayor nivel técnico, hacer eventos de hacking para aprender haciendo y mantener los eventos sencillos de divulgación de Fedora y Software Libre. Encima de todo esto estamos con la organización de FUDCon 2014 Managua. Si, estamos optimistas en que Managua será seleccionada como sede. Por otra parte el panorama de Fedora cambiará con las propuestas que trae Fedora.Next y el panorama de las comunidades de Software Libre cambiará con la alianza entre CentOS y Red Hat. Este será un año será muy emocionante como comunidad local de Fedora.

Nuevos retos y nuevos colaboradores, vamos a producir mucho.

Comunicaciones via satelite con Fedora

Anualmente se celebra la convención FRACAP (Federación de Radioaficionados de Centro América y Panamá). Este año se celebró en Nicaragua entre el 8 y 10 de Noviembre de 2013.

El evento reúne a Radio Aficionados de Centro América. Decir Panamá hoy en día está fuera de lugar, pero el nombre de la Federación responde a una perspectiva de décadas pasadas. Esta es la convención número 53.

Me pidieron que hablara sobre comunicaciones usando satélites de Radio Aficionados. Esto es parte de mi perspectiva de lo que es una afición o hobby. Si esta actividad le permite a uno aprender cosas nuevas y conocer nuevas personas, entonces es una afición. Si no es solo un pasatiempo. Las aficiones pueden ser tan serias como para unir personas y poner satélites en órbita.

Yo aproveche la oportunidad para mostrar un poco de software libre en acción. Gpredict es una herramienta disponible en los repositorios de Fedora y que además esta incluida en la documentación de Fedora para Radio Aficionados.

La idea de mi presentación era romper el mito de que se requieren grandes recursos para lograr establecer un enlace vía satélite con otros radio aficionados. A mitad de la presentación hice una breve demostración de las características de Gpredict. La presentación esta disponible como documento de libre office y como PDF.

Espero seguir explorando y creando presentaciones sobre herramientas para radio aficionados incluidas en fedora.

Lesson learned from FUDCon Cusco 2013

Alex Oviedo wrote an invite letter for getting mi visa to Peru. He said that Fedora made FUDCon to gather the brightest minds of Open Source and Free Software. I think that is a bit exaggerated to claim that I am one of brightest minds. I sure the rest of the people that I met in Cusco are the brigthest. Having expend some days with those bright people and not review what I have learn will be a waste. Some of the things that I got to know were things that I have never asked, some are problems to ponder, some other were issues that just happened on the event. I put all those ideas as they come to my mind, and not in order of importance.

FUDCon LATAM has had some troublesome history, so as LATAM we should not take for granted FUDCon. We can no be absolutely sure that there will be more FUDCon LATAM to come. Although we have to thanks Cusco team for giving us a memorable event to be used as reference to validate FUDCon LATAM. As LATAM we need to work to make FUDCon LATAM a must.

FUDCon LATAM has copied the barcamp style of FUDCon NA. We discussed that we should rethink the structure of the event to suit better our audience. We did not have time at Cusco to change the structure, but we introduce changes to cope with more than 800 people present at the event. At least we started ponder the issue.

New FUDCon LATAM should focus on clear objectives. First and most important of all, obtain new collaborators. Second, get things done. We have to produce something useful for Fedora. Even plans for actions are as good as other products. We should expect translation, design, documentation, packaging, new software, infrastructure patches and even infrastructure requests. Anything.

For example, LATAM need to work out logistics. Swag, media and sponsorship need to flow better. That’s not new, but know we are committed to work it out for those that are working for Fedora instead of trying to sort out all Latin American issues. That is a working agreement. That’s is a product.

Third, event projection. Publicity is good, number of people attending is great, but all this comes third. Been on TV announcing the event and talking about Open Source and Free Software, as well talking about Fedora is great. I really, really, don’t want to dismiss the wonderful work that Cusco team did. They are rock starts.

But I keep thinking, if we can make a FUDCon with fifty people, that produce twenty five collaborators and do plenty of work, with no presentations…it may be the best FUDCon of all. It will cost less, produce more, hence it will be efficient. So we need to learn how to identify those people on the edge of collaboration that need a little push. Invite them to FUDCon and provide them with the opportunity.

If we can afford inviting people, we should try get need blood. This is an after thought of mine. We discussed about how other communities in LATAM have fade because of lacking new people replacing those that life takes them elsewhere. Putting new people on stage will encourage them. I understand that it is a challenge to select someone that has not much mileage on the project. But at lest we should consider. There is a tremendous value in face to face contact. We need to foster a new generation. Get the new contributors to know people, and also get them to be known.

Other issue discussed was how we appreciated the Fedora Badges. They are showing us more about what a collaborator do. It is a quick glance of what one person has done. Not perfect, because you will not able to tell the quality of that work, and you can not tell for some areas, like ambassadors work (yet). But in any case is a starting point to evaluate people that is requesting sponsorship. At last, it is up to every one to project it self to be worth of sponsorship. When validating a request, people can only base on what is documented, mostly on blogs and wiki. So spread the word… You want Fedora to sponsor you, then write what you do in your blog. It will be wonderful to have a system that records our actions for fedora and showed on a graph automatically with attention to quality. But that is daydreaming.

One struggle we face was Internet. We need to be prepared to work out Internet infrastructure at lodging and at conference center. We should bring gadgets and be bold about setting up a minimal network. We can hurt people’s work if we show that any guest at the hotel can fix things. Of course, we are not an average guest, but not everyone know that. But showing respect for the hotel staff does not mean that we can not work our own network. Most time there are people arriving days early at the event, we need them to work some how minimal internet connectivity for the rest of the team. Work in group to share a working network for all.

Of course that I helped as I could during FUDCon Cusco 2013. I did my talks, engage with people at the event to motivate them about Free Software and specially Fedora, discuss pressing issues with my fellow collaborators, have “soroche”, drank coca tea, went to Machupichu, refused to eat “cui”, took a lot of pictures and had fun. But you can see all that in other’s people blogs, maybe later I do such a post myself. I wanted to share my perspective, probably incomplete. I hope that others fill in what I have missed.