by Paul Frields
FUDCon comes on the heels of the Red Hat Summit, with many of the speakers and developers doing double-duty. Even Red Hat’s CEO showed up for both events. Did you miss out? Never fear, there’s always another FUDCon coming up, and the Fedora Project Leader is happy to give you the report from this one.
From FUDCon Boston, June 20, 2008:
The Fedora Users and Developers Conference (FUDCon) is in full swing on its second day. We have another full day of exceptional hacking taking place on the third floor of the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. Just as the Red Hat Summit is drawing to a close downstairs–winding up with a half-day of sessions and panels–we’re just now kicking into high gear. This has been an exceptional way to introduce open source customers to the larger ecosystem behind the products they love, and the community that powers Fedora, the upstream for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Last night at the close of FUDCon Day 1, we had two huge events–the first came courtesy of Fedora’s Infrastructure team. Over the last couple of years, the team has built a world-class infrastructure for hosting and communication throughout the entire Fedora community. Last night, Infrastructure team leader Mike McGrath announced a one-two punch of free software goodness for Fedora. First, our Fedora Account System is now an OpenID provider. This means that the identity you create in the Fedora Project can be used across thousands of web sites. The other big announcement was the new Fedora telephony system, “Fedora Talk,” based on the juggernaut free software VoIP project Asterisk.
That’s right, Fedora contributors will be able to use VoIP to set up voice meetings that facilitate better and more efficient collaboration. There will also be features to ensure that those conversations don’t damage the openness and transparency on which Fedora thrives. As Mike announced in this recent blog post, the hardware and bandwidth have been provided courtesy of our friends at ServerBeach, and the dial-in numbers by Arrival Telecom and DiDDiscount.
Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst arrived in the FUDCon space just in time for Mike’s big announcement. I saw a smile spread across his face as he saw the incredible work done by our Infrastructure team–just a recent example of the constant, continuous improvements in Fedora. If you’re interested in what Jim had to say, Fedora engineer Jeremy Katz posted an excellent summary of the speech and subsequent Q&A.
This morning things kicked into high gear again. Some of today’s highlights:
- Our QA and Triage teams continued some very intense work on Fedora’s testing processes, and discussing the current and future use of Rawhide and how it can be used most effectively to improve the distribution.
- A brainstorming session was held by Max Spevack and Mairin Duffy on the future of the Spins website, and how to generate a user-friendly experience for people who want to create and consume customized versions of Fedora (“spins”). Max and Mairin make a great team for keeping the talk on-track and focused on the user experience (or “story”) before lunch, and afterward narrowing in on guidelines and goals for the spin process itself.
- The Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) group members here at FUDCon also formed a hackfest session. The EPEL special interest group is all about helping enterprise Linux users use more of the thousands of software packages available in Fedora.
- The Community Architecture group had a long strategy meeting to talk about its funding for the rest of 2008–making sure it’s spent in a way that maximizes the benefits to Fedora and our community building goals. One of the most interesting things about our CA team–and frankly, one of the reasons many others want to emulate the way they build Fedora’s community–is that they conduct all this work openly and transparently. Anyone is free to see how we allocate our funds, set our priorities, and produce results from our community work.
- Thanks to our friends at Digium, the company behind Asterisk, many of our Infrastructure team, some folks who operate in remote areas of the globe, and a handful of other Fedora team leaders and engineers were able to receive SIP handsets. We’ll use those with the new Fedora Talk to test and implement new communications solutions for all our contributors.
- Around all this activity, there were a constant stream of visitors from the Red Hat Summit–people interested in the ways in which our community brings innovative new ideas and software to the world of free and open source software. Educators, engineers, system administrators, editors, students, journalists, C-level executives, and enthusiasts all were well represented.
It’s been an exhausting but incredibly fulfilling couple of days thus far–and the BarCamp day on Saturday is sure to be just as solid. Just another few days in the whirlwind of community-powered goodness that we call the Fedora Project.