FOSDEM 2019 and CHAOSS EU 2019 report

FOSDEM is over and it is time to recap.

Last year I decided to take a break and did not attend to the event. This year I was really looking forward to attend.

I will start by thanking Codethink Ltd for sponsoring my trip. It is always a pleasure to work in a company that supports their employees in attending to Open Source community events. Codethink sponsored FOSDEM once again by the way.

It has not been the easiest edition for me because I have been sick the past days and was not fully recovered. The cold weather didn’t help so I decided to stay away from late nights and Trappist beers. It was hard to go to bed at a decent time every night and miss some night gatherings like the KDE and GNOME ones or the FOSDEM party on Friday at Delirium Cafe.

On February 1st I attended to the CHAOSScon EU conference. I liked it. It was well organised and I could have several interesting conversations about what to measure and why when it comes to Open Source communities. I attended to most of the talks and I participated in one of the workshops. I think I can add some value in the GMD working group. Let’s see if I have the time to contribute. It would be fun.

I would like to highlight the prominent role that Bitergia, a Spanish company, plays in the CHAOSS project, a Linux Foundation Initiative. Despite being a small organization, they are in the front line when it comes to software analytics, specially in the Open Source space. Well done Bitergians!

As you probably know, I am putting some effort, together with some KDE developers, in calling the attention within the KDE community about the immense opportunity this project has in embedded, now that Plasma Mobile and Kirigami are a reality. KDE project is making an efforts also to show devices with this new shell at events, so professionals and corporations can identify the value that the KDE as community can add in ecosystems like the (open) automotive ones.

ELCE 2018 was the first event were we showed the outcome of our efforts in embedded ()in mobile we have for some time now). FOSDEM has been the second one. There will be more during this 2019.

Plasma Mobile + Yocto in a RPi3 and Risc-V boards at the KDE booth. FOSDEM 2019

It was a pleasant surprise to see several boards and devices at the KDE booth, my RPi3 and a Risc-V board among them, both with Yocto and Plasma Mobile. I think attendees were both, surprised and happy to see KDE showing new and attractive stuff.

krita demo
Wolthera sketching live. Krita demo. FOSDEM 2019

Krita had a strong presence at the booth and the last day there was a KDEnlive demo, among other activities. A Pinebook, a Slimbook and an ARM based

Rockchip board completed the show. I think the booth worked extremely well. Some of the messages published in social media reflected it.

Special thanks to every KDE contributors that made the booth possible. I was really proud to be part of such an amazing group of people.

I attended to the automotive/embedded dinner on Saturday night. There is a group of people interested in reviving the Embedded devroom at FOSDEM 2020. The dinner’s main goal was to find out how many people wanted to help and coordinate them. Mission accomplished! Thanks Jan-Simon and Leon Avani for organising it.

On Sunday night I attended to the OpenChain informal dinner. Thanks Shane for organising it. I had a really good time. Lawyers are very cool people. There were several interesting conversations there about the FLA, which is not well known yet among the legal and developer communities despite being around for several years.

I tried to attend to three talks during FOSDEM. I couldn´t even get close to the door in any of them because, not just were the rooms packed, but there was a long queue of people waiting to get in. I got a little frustrated and decided to stop trying. Videos will come to the rescue.

On the bright side, the organisers opened an additional cafeteria this year. I usually take some sandwiches and water with me to the the venue so I can skip the long lines to get something to eat. On Sunday I didn’t and it worked out well. I guess that the days when it was impossible to get a sandwich are over. Yay!

As usual I could talk with lots of people which is the part I like the most about this event. I could also chat with some of the many Codethings (colleagues from Codethink) that attended to the event. I also take with me new contacts and plenty of new technologies and project to evaluate.

In general it has been a very good event. I will spend a week in Manchester after FOSDEM and then go back home. My next stop will be Embedded World, in Nuremberg, GE at the end of the month.

Thanks to the FOSDEM organisers and volunteers for your effort and dedication.

FOSDEM rocks!

Experiencia de apoyo a la internacionalización de empresas de Software Libre españolas en FOSDEM 2012

El pasado domingo 5 de febrero, algunos empresarios, directivos, responsables técnicos e ingenieros de diversas empresas y organizaciones relacionadas con el Software Libre de España (Zentyal, Igalia, Gestiweb, KDE España y otros) nos reunimos con un representante de la Oficina de Comercio de la Embajada de España en Bruselas.

Dicha reunión tuvo su génesis en la lista pública de correo de ASOLIF y su objetivo era dar a conocer a esa Embajada el floreciente sector de Software Libre que tenemos en nuestro país. Así, aprovechando la celebración de FOSDEM y la amplia presencia de empresas españolas en la capital europea, organicé el encuentro en un conocido restaurante de Bruselas.

Así, me gustaría que empresas españolas de Software Libre, con representantes del propio sector a la cabeza (en esta ocasión Ignacio Correas, CEO de Zentyal y Vicepresidente de CESLA lideraba la “expedición”), pudieran organizar el viernes previo a FOSDEM 2013, una sesión de networking en la sede de la propia Embajada en el que se defina una serie de contactos internacionales que acudirán al principal evento europeo de Soft. Libre, y que serían invitados a esta jornada. Me parece una acción que, de consolidarse, puede significar un primer paso de enorme calado para muchas empresas españolas de pequeño y mediano tamaño en su política de internacionalización. El representante enviado a por la Embajada fue receptivo a dicha posibilidad.

Ampliar esta experiencia a otros eventos de Software Libre internacionales debe ser el segundo paso. El soporte del ICEX y de la diplomacia española a las empresas del sector el día previo a la celebración de eventos relevantes en determinadas ciudades extranjeras puede incluso generalizarse a otros sectores, si no se hace ya.

FOSDEM 2012 for Toscalix

This was my first FOSDEM without a predefined tight agenda, so I could enjoy more than ever the event. I had a lot of fun and could talk to many people with no stress.

I attended to several talks. I must say that I didn’t like many of them. I’ll mention the best ones, for different reasons:

Obviously I didn’t attend to most of the talks. There were more than 400 in one and a half day.

I spent most of the late Saturday and Sunday around KDE stand. Many KDE members where there and I could talk to most of them. I would like to mention Jonathan Riddell’s work, specially in these hard times for him, Jonathan, you rock!

It was very cold in Brussels. We reached -14ºC the first night. Simply too much for a Canary Island guy. The beer was warmer than the weather. That was weird. Thanks to the Kolab guys, Paul and Georg, I could drink some very good beer and visit cool bars I’ve never been before.

As you know, we are having a hard time in Spain, specially if we talk about unemployment. Free Software sector is doing quiet good though. On our recent history, one of our structural problems have been exportation. Last two years, due to the internal the economic crisis, we have raised them by 30% and FLOSS companies are no exception. Many Spanish companies had presence in FOSDEM 2012.

On Sunday night I organized a networking dinner with some Spanish FLOSS companies and a representative of the Commercial Office of the Spanish Embassy in Brussels. KDE Spain, Zentyal, Gestiweb, Igalia, Carlos Sánchez and others (up to 24) were there.

The goal was that these representatives could know some entrepreneurs and how the FLOSS sector is doing in Spain. Next year, the day before FOSDEM 2013, we plan to organize in the Spanish Embassy in Brussels some networking activities between Spanish FLOSS companies and foreign corporations attending to the event.

FOSDEM has a great program, but networking is as relevant as talks. So don’t don’t miss it next year. See you there, hopefully, with better weather.