Hell Oh Entropy!

Life, Code and everything in between

Talk selection for FUDCon Pune 2015

We received over 140 submissions for FUDCon Pune and Amit, Kushal, Neependra and I had our task cut out. We had room to select about 40 talks and some workshops given that we did not want to go over 3 main talk tracks for the conference - workshops would be treated separately since their requirements are usually completely different from the talks.

We decided to do this in multiple passes, reducing the number of talks till we had a list that we were satisfied with. We started by individually scoring all of the talks and then comparing notes. This gave us an indication of talks we had full agreement over and with that out of the way, we just had to fight it out over the remaining talks. We quickly found out that this was time consuming, but there seemed to be no other way, so we stuck to it and asked for our original self-imposed deadline to be pushed over from 3rd April to 15th April.

Docker, Docker Docker, Gluster, Gluster, Gluster...

One thing that stood out during our selection process was the sheer number of submissions for Container technologies (Atomic, Docker), Software defined storage (Gluster, Ceph) and OpenStack. We did not want to reject a lot of these talks but at the same time we did not want to turn a Fedora conference into a Cloud conference, so after discussing in the FUDCon planning meeting, we decided to have 3 separate tracks for these talks. Each track would run for a day, with an introductory talk in the main track followed by sessions and workshops in a separate dedicated track. On the last day, a representative from each track would give a 10 minute summary of what happened at their track.

This format obviously meant that these talks were not suitable for inclusion in the tracks as is - speakers would have to get together and work on the kind of talks they want to see at their track so that they tell a coherent story around that technology. We also identified leaders for each track to coordinate this effort, but the leaders do not decide what goes in their track. It is the job of the entire group to come to a consensus about their talks and what their track looks like. We have begun communicating this to the speakers now and are looking forward to their active participation.

And the speakers are...

This has been the slowest bit. The mass mailer module on the Drupal COD is not working for us for some reason and we’re now trying to figure out how to not do the busy work of sending individual emails and using a script to do this at least for accepted proposals. The rejections are a bit trickier because we haven’t declined a lot of talks outright. There are a lot of cases where we want to request speakers to run a BoF for their topics or merge their workshop with another workshop proposal if possible, to provide more complete coverage on the topic. Even for those that we have declined outright, we would like to make sure that they still come since we would like to hear from them at the barcamp or at the lightning talks. We would like to try as much as we can to get space for everybody to share their experience and knowledge at FUDCon.

All of this means that we have to send out a lot of personal emails and that is taking time. We would like to hold off publishing the list until we have sent out these emails, so we hope to come up with a finished list by the end of the week, or latest by the next meeting.

Travel and Stay

As we have mentioned before, if you are an active Fedora contributor or a speaker and want to come to FUDCon but don’t have the resources to travel or the means to stay in the city for the duration of the conference, then let us know. We have a limited budget to support travel and stay, which we can use to help some of you. Being selected as a speaker does not necessarily entitle you to travel and stay, you need to make this request regardless of the result if you need assistance. The deadline for submitting these requests is 30th April, but we’re processing them every week, so don’t wait till the last day to make your request.

Every week brings FUDCon Pune closer and we’re very excited about sharing ideas with some very interesting people. See you all at FUDCon!

Comments

FUDCon Pune Planning meeting minutes: 2015-04-07

The FUDCon volunteer team met again today after a week to discuss progress. Todays meeting had sparse attendance and we mostly just skimmed over the main points. The main highlight was the acceptance of a number of travel sponsorship tickets. If you intend to come to FUDCon Pune and need travel assistance, please file a ticket for sponsorship. We’re accepting requests till 30th April 2015.

The other highlight was that the talk selection process wasn’t going as fast as we had thought. We will need another week before we can come up with a list of selected talks. The deadline for it is now revised to 14th April.

We also had some movement on the SWAG front, with a couple of volunteers (including yours truly) to get quotes for various swag items. The full minutes follow; most points are a repeat of last week to maintain a current state of each of the main points.


7 April 2015

Agenda + Minutes
———–

  • Travel updates?
    • Start meeting regarding this in #fudcon-planning
    • Prepare an invitation letter for them (for visa).
      • Huzaifa to talk to RH HR for such a letter.
    • Ask Ruth about us booking tickets instead of getting speakers/requestors to book tickets and reimburse after the conference
      • Huzaifa to drop this email
    • For ausil, jrusnack, reicatnor:
      • Ask RH to sponsor?



  • Budget
    • (no update this week)
    • Make and maintain a publicly visible sheet to track expenses?
    • Sent a reminder to Ruth
      • Ruth replied; she’s OK with using RH expense system



  • Scheduling
    • https://ethercalc.org/fudcon-schedule
      • Rough timetable
    • We will have to select a few talks to schedule; and ask others to do barcamp-style
    • Siddhesh + Neeependra + Amit + Kushal
    • kushal to retract his talk to be unbiased in talk selection
    • We will have daily meetings till we go through the list
    • Since  we had a lot of Gluster / Docker / Openstack submissions, we decided  we’ll do one or two overview talks in the main session and have BOF /  mini-confs for these sub-projects.
    • We almost finished the entire list for the first pass.  We’ll need a couple more passes.
    • We pushed the deadline for selecting all talks to 15 Apr



  • Outreach
    • http://piratepad.net/FudCon-outreach-list
      • this is for industry + mailing lists (communities)
      • we need help here with more lists + more volunteers to do the outreach.
    • http://piratepad.net/FUDCon-College-Outreach
      • Reach out to MIT to let them know about the event (mid/late May)
      • Do some sessions in colleges after exams over (exams get over mid-April)
      • Let’s do in:
        • MIT-COE
        • Cummins
        • COEP
        • PCCOE
        • Sinhagad
      • 12 weekends before our event to do these sessions
    • Video series
      • Shreyank spoke with some video editors to get an idea of things to keep in mind; and also give them an idea of what we are looking for.
      • Videos from FPL (Matthew Miller), jsmith, Kushal, Parag, Rahul, Joerg, etc. – extolling the virtues of FUDCon + Pune
        • Kushal and Shreyank to work on this
        • Two videos:
          • One in April
          • One in May
        • Reach out to design/marketing team for editing help.

  • Marketing
    • no updates this week
    • Fedora magazine
    • Twitter
    • Facebook
    • Google Plus
    • LinkedIn group

  • FUDCon.next planning
    • We should start a tradition to announce the next fudcon at the current one
    • We should start the bid process beforehand and get a bid selected before the current one starts
    • The FUDCon pages on the Fedora wiki already mention 1 yr of lead time is needed for starting the fudcon planning process.
    • https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FUDCon_organization_process
    • Tuanta taken ownership of driving this at last APAC ambassadors meeting

  • Website
  • FUDPub
    • Rupali reached out to Venue1
    • Potential Venue 1
      • Space for 100 people
      • Reasonable (approx 1800 per person)
      • RH has relationship; payments are easier
      • Close to cocoon
      • No limitation on sound limits - a nice party can be had.
    • Amit suggsts place where there is bowling option. 
      • Reached out to one place
        • Option 1: $5600 for unlimited games, food and drinks for unlimited people (max 250)
        • Option 2: $4800 for 150 people, limited to 12 lanes and unlimited food, drinks, games.
    • On paud road there is go-carting place, not sure if they have bowling too.
    • Rupali continuing to reach out to others
      • Another venue visit next week

  • Swag
    • Let’s start thinking about this now; approach vendors.
    • Swag for Volunteers
      • tshirts (200)
    • Swag for Organisers?
    • Swag for Speakers
      • Mugs (200)?
        • siddhesh’s quote: 
        • shreyank’s quote: 
      • Umbrellas (200) (for sweet Pune rains)
    • Swag in general <- Shreyank
      • buttons (3000)
      • tattoo pasties
      • stickers (5000) <- siddhesh
      • pens (3000)
      • caps (300)
      • cloth bags (300)
      • diaries (200)  <- siddhesh
      • bottles (200)
      • pen drives (200)
      • magic mint dispenser (200) <- Amita
    • Fedora badge for attendees?(added to the FAS account)

  • Venue
    • WiFi
      • Siddhesh, Huzaifa, Rupali had a call with MIT sysadmin
      • MIT COE are keen on doing it; they need input from us.
        • Also talk about the Fedora mirror with them.
    • Power connector extensions
      • MIT are going to set this up.  Follow up
    • Note to speakers (include in prep email): In seminar hall: projectors are 4:3, screen quite small (don’t include small text)
    • Refreshments for speakers lounge / otherwise

  • MIT meetups
    • What to do?
      • Packaging?
      • Bugzapping
    • Siddhesh to reach out to MCUG (this week, I promise!)

  • Volunteers
    • College reopens on Jun 15
    • Many students will be on leave till Jun 15
    • We should identify students who will be available in the break - e.g. students from Pune who don’t plan to travel elsewhere; we don’t need too much of their time anyway
      • Rupali to get a list of volunteers from MITCOE.

  • Mobile Application
    • No updates
    • Siddharth + Rohan had volunteered

  • Videographing
    • No updates
      • kpoint: Not an option. Rates too high (20k per day just for recording)
        • asked for clarification on rates; they might have subsidised options for us
      • hasgeek
        • They’re  allowing us use of their equipment + train a few volunteers who can do  the recording.   Equipment needs to be brought from BLR to Pune.  Nice  gesture by them; but sounds complicated given the expensive equipment +  need to get volunteers to be trained.
      • Look for cheaper quotes from other professionals (Bipin)
      • Buy our own cameras? (Rupali)
      • Open source solutions for streaming (amit)
      • Last option will be to have a tiny webcam doing live Hangout – advantage is it has auto-archival on youtube.
        • amit: +1 for this option (or using the open source one for streaming)

Comments

FUDCon Pune Planning: CfP closing edition

It has been a month since we opened the CfP for FUDCon Pune and it was time to close the CfP. We had a great response to our call for speakers with over 140 talk submissions from around the world. The final list will be much shorter, but I would like to thank everyone for expressing their interest in the event. FUDCon however is much more than just the talks and speakers; it is about contributors and users of Fedora and Open Source getting together, meeting face to face and sharing ideas. To that effect, we have some more interesting announcements to make in the coming weeks. If you’ve been following the FUDCon planning meetings (they’re all open, so you can even dial in if you’re interested and awake), most announcements won’t be surprises, but I’d like to pretend that they are anyway ;)

We had a pretty good meeting a few hours ago and we officially closed the CfP link and removed it from the fudcon.in website. This meant that a few talks snuck in after the 9th March deadline (which is sufficiently vague - which timezone?!) but we’re letting that pass. Amit, Kushal, Neependra and I will be going through the talks list in the coming weeks to make a shortlist and will try to inform selected speakers as early as we can so that they can make their plans. Likewise, some of us will be looking at sponsorship tickets in about 2 weeks time. More on that in the coming meetings.

The full meeting minutes are pasted below for record. We edit the same set of points, so some of the points are repeated, but they’re there to complete the picture of the state we’re in.


Last meeting : http://piratepad.net/fudcon-pune-planning-20150203

10 Mar 2015

Agenda + Minutes
———–

  • Outreach
    • http://piratepad.net/FudCon-outreach-list
      • this is for industry + mailing lists (communities)
      • we need help here with more lists + more volunteers to do the outreach.
    • http://piratepad.net/FUDCon-College-Outreach
      • (nothing new; we will remove this from next week’s agenda)
      • this is for colleges / educational institutes
      • separate cfp needed because we need to mention open source in education here – we could have a track for professors / teachers here to get them together and discuss problems specific to their area.
    • Please think of more companies which deal with RH / CentOS / Fedora; reach out for CFP.
      • (al closed, remove from agenda)
      • Rupali emailed some RH contacts
    • Video series
      • (no updates) – let’s have something next week though.
      • Videos from FPL (Matthew Miller), jsmith, Kushal, Parag, Rahul, Joerg, etc. – extolling the virtues of FUDCon + Pune
        • Kushal and Shreyank to work on this
        • Two videos:
          • One in April
          • One in May
        • Reach out to design/marketing team for editing help.
    • also reach out to ambassadors in apac for confirmation / planning
      • Siddhesh: announced during apac meeting; ambassador panel discussion at fudcon welcomed by all; Siddhesh to announce it on ambassadors list.
        • Siddhesh to do this today.
    • open trac for sponsorship requests
    • We should send email to fudcon-planning@ and india@ lists to announce CFP is open
    • Amit to write blog post on barcamp idea
    • Based on that, we’ll open barcamp CFP in a week or two.
      • Kushal says barcamp style should have a whiteboard at the venue, and not have it online beforehand.
      • Shreyank suggests we could do barcamps on last day too.
      • 2-3 people suggest we should not have a cfp at all for barcamp (because this is not how they’re done anyway)

  • CFP
    • CFP is now closed!
    • We have > 130 talks!
    • Confirmed we can’t add new sessions – website updated.
    • We will have to scale this down – we can’t handle these many.
      • 2011 fudcon had 60 talks; we had to have 6 parallel tracks.
    • Amit suggests we keep a CFP open for barcamp-style, since that is how FUDCons have been conducted this way so far.
    • Everyone agrees, but let’s not call it CFP; let’s call it barcamp-track
    • Also there are lightning talk, which will be decided on same day.sch

  • BOFs
    • We will provide some empty space, people will organise themselves.
    • whiteboards to provide a space to book and reserve spaces

  • Marketing
  • FUDCon planning
    • We should start a tradition to announce the next fudcon at the current one
    • We should start the bid process beforehand and get a bid selected before the current one starts
    • The FUDCon pages on the Fedora wiki already mention 1 yr of lead time is needed for starting the fudcon planning process.
    • https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FUDCon_organization_process

  • Scheduling
  • Website
  • Travel updates?
    • Let’s start looking at tickets
    • Email fudcon-planning@ to set up an IRC meeting to discuss tickets
    • Let’s say 2 weeks from now - Thursdays 2000 our time
    • Fedora contributors, speakers, APAC people - priorities.
    • Identify people to book early (esp people who travel from far).

  • Budget
    • Make and maintain a publicly visible sheet to track expenses?
    • Sent a reminder to Ruth
      • Ruth replied; she’s OK with using RH expense system

  • FUDPub (no update)
    • Rupali reached out to Venue1
    • Potential Venue 1
      • Space for 100 people
      • Reasonable (approx 1800 per person)
      • RH has relationship; payments are easier
      • Close to cocoon
      • No limitation on sound limits - a nice party can be had.
    • Rupali continuing to reach out to others
      • Another venue visit next week

  • Swag
    • Let’s start thinking about this now; approach vendors.
    • Niranjan suggests some programmable arduino boards manufactured locally with our logos
    • Swag for Volunteers
      • tshirts
    • Swag for Organisers?
    • Swag for Speakers
      • Mugs?
      • Umbrellas (for sweet Pune rains)
    • Fedora badge for attendees?(added to the FAS account)

  • Venue
    • WiFi
      • They don’t have this on-campus; they had said they would set it up by FUDCon.  Follow up.
      • MIT COE are keen on doing it; they need input from us.
        • We will get in touch with their IT person.
        • Also talk about the Fedora mirror with them.
    • Power connector extensions
      • MIT were going to set this up.  Follow up
    • Note to speakers (include in prep email): In seminar hall: projectors are 4:3, screen quite small (don’t include small text)

  • MIT meetups
    • First one proposed on 28th Feb
      • Didn’t happen; we need to discuss when it’s possible for them (they have exams going on these days)
    • What to do?
    • Siddhesh to reach out to MCUG
    • Set up a Fedora mirror (Chandan)
      • Best way to seed will be to get an archive on 

  • Volunteers
    • College reopens on Jun 15
    • Many students will be on leave till Jun 15
    • We should identify students who will be available in the break - e.g. students from Pune who don’t plan to travel elsewhere; we don’t need too much of their time anyway

  • Mobile Application
    • Siddharth + Rohan had volunteered
    • Rohan to adapt an app used by the OpenStack folks.

  • Creating FAQ for FUDCon India 2015
    • Kushal to draft it
    • Kushal has a list of Q
      • Amit will get creative with answers.

  • Videographing
    • kpoint: Not an option. Rates too high (20k per day just for recording)
      • asked for clarification on rates; they might have subsidised options for us
    • hasgeek
      • They’re  allowing us use of their equipment + train a few volunteers who can do  the recording.   Equipment needs to be brought from BLR to Pune.  Nice  gesture by them; but sounds complicated given the expensive equipment +  need to get volunteers to be trained.
    • Look for cheaper quotes from other professionals (Bipin)
    • Buy our own cameras? (Rupali)
    • Check if local RH marketing has cameras they can spare for the event (Rupali)
    • Open source solutions for streaming (amit)
    • Last option will be to have a tiny webcam doing live Hangout – advantage is it has auto-archival on youtube.
      • amit: +1 for this option (or using the open source one for streaming)

Comments

Fedora 21 Release Party at MITCOE

Fedora 21 was released in December last year, but thanks to the year and holidays and then travel plans of most people organizing (or helping with) the party, the plans were pushed all the time till we finally did it last weekend. Praveen and Rupali owned the event, with Praveen proposing it at the APAC Ambassadors meeting and Rupali coordinating with MITCOE and managing the snacks and cake. Praveen could not make it to the party in the end.

There were about 15 people from the college, none from outside and we started the event with Pravin talking about what’s new in Fedora 21. Parag followed it up with a talk on how to contribute to Fedora. He introduced the students to various roles and SIGs in Fedora and then handed it over to Anish, who talked about the Fedora Workstation product. Anish’s session led into an open discussion about Fedora and the community and how people could become part of the community and contribute to Fedora. There were also questions about how Fedora was different from Ubuntu.

We closed the event with cutting (and eating!) a very large cake, tea and samosas. We continued discussing various kinds of events we could do in their college to get them started as contributors as we ate. It was good to see a lot of interest among students to contribute technically to projects. We’re now looking forward to some fruitful technical sessions at MITCOE in the coming months.

Comments

FUDCon APAC 2015: Call for Papers, Progress and more

I am late by a couple of weeks, but here it goes anyway: The Call for Papers for the Fedora Users and Developers Conference has been out since 9th February. The event will be from 26th June 2015 to 28th June 2015 and will be held in Pune, India at the MIT College of Engineering. If you’re doing anything interesting with Fedora, CentOS or Open Source in general and want to talk about it, then go ahead and register for the event and propose a session. The last day for submissions is 9th March 2015.

In related news, preparations for FUDCon have been going on in full swing. Praveen Kumar and I got the fudcon.in website up after archiving the 2011 content and got everything in place for the CfP with help from Pravin, Niranjan, Amit and Huzaifa. Rupali has been negotiating with hotels for accommodation and the FUDPub - we have a great deal for accommodation at a 3 star hotel for INR 3000 + taxes for a twin sharing room and we’re getting promising rates for the FUDPub too. Suchakra and Prima Yogi have been churning out drafts for the new FUDCon Pune logo. Shatadru is working on flyer designs for the CfP. Amita has been writing Fedora magazine articles and Chandan has been posting regular updates on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

We have meetings every Tuesday at 4PM IST and details are on the fedora-india mailing list. We also try to transcribe the meeting on #fedora-india on freenode and have an active etherpad for the meetings. Feel free to join in and ask questions or make suggestions!

Oh and one more thing, we’re having a Fedora 21 release party tomorrow at MIT College of Engineering at 10 AM. I was supposed to write a separate post for this but I guess it’s too late for that now. I’ll be more punctual with my posts in future, I promise!

Comments

FUDCon will be in Pune this June!

We had to wait 4 years for this, but it is finally happening again. The 2015 APAC chapter of FUDCon will be in Pune this year and it will be from 26-28 June.

After a great event at COEP in 2011, this year our hosts will be MIT College of Engineering. MITCOE has offered us great infrastructure, which paired with their enthusiastic staff and eager students makes for a great place to have this years FUDCon. As in 2011, we will try our best to keep all our decisions and arrangements transparent. Amit has mentioned a list of channels we intend to use for our communication, so hop on if you have suggestions or even just want to lurk to find out how things are going.

And finally, if you’re interested in speaking at the event, make sure you plan your travel accordingly. The official CfP will be out real soon.

See y’all in Pune!

Comments

OSSmosis at Infosys

I had the pleasure of being invited to a panel discussion on Open Source contribution at Infosys Bangalore, conducted last month as part of their inaugaral internal Open Source event called OSSmosis. This event intends to be a point of confluence for like-minded thinkers within Infosys and Kushal, Ratnadeep and I were invited primarily to share our experiences as Open Source contributors and our motivation for contributing to Free and Open Source Software.

I was crunched for time, so I had to fly into Bangalore in the morning and fly back in the evening. The result was that I missed the keynote by Alan Kay, which I was told was quite amazing. I did however get to attend an interesting talk by Pankaj Gupta on how Twitter uses and contributes to Free and Open Source Software and also how an organization could identify portions of its IP to keep confidential and open source the rest. Most importantly, he said the one thing that matters most: write your code as if the whole world can see it. This is something every open source hacker knows and understands and it was good to see it spelled out verbatim.

We had a very good discussion at lunch about how Docker, Rocket and Openshift were playing out in the market. We also discussed briefly about how Infosys could make it easier for its associates to become contributors. In my opinion, the biggest question a lot of employees at outsourcing companies face is that of code ownership. This was acknowledged as one of the more difficult obstacles.

Lunch was followed by a couple of case studies within Infosys on open source usage and contribution. The contribution bit is still being worked out but it was good to see willingness to tackle the problem. Our panel discussion was one of the last events. I got to relive my antidialer and ayttm days; funnily, I forgot to mention my contribution to glibc, maybe because I felt I ran out of time and wanted others, more importantly Kushal, who I feel has more entertaining stories than I do, more time to talk. We had a couple of interesting questions, including one about whether Open Source would ever make its mark in the applications space, i.e. in the space of ERPs and other business-specific domains. My opinion of that was that it won’t happen until there is a concerted effort in that direction. Business-specific domains are not problems engineers are capable of working on by themselves and they require significant amounts of input from non-technical sources. Besides, the major driving force for such applications is businesses and unless businesses invest their resources in making such a project happen, open source applications will never be a major threat to the proprietary world. That said, there already are some open source applications out there like SugarCRM and OpenERP.

I had to end my involvement in a hurry after that since I had to return to the airport in time for my return flight. As it turned out, Spicejet decided it was in no hurry and delayed by flight by over an hour; I guess I am lucky that it did not get cancelled. However, despite that, it felt worthwhile to attend the event and see a serious effort by one of the major driving forces in IT in India to encourage adoption of Open Source technologies and more importantly to encourage contribution to Open Source within its organization.

Comments

Fedora 21 Workstation DVDs

Fedora 21 was released on 9th December in a whole new packaging in the form of various products. Us APAC ambassadors had discussed earlier about the kind of media we would need to write and it was finally decided that APAC will get its DVDs from EMEA, who were getting a good deal on writing a large number of Fedora 21 Workstation DVDs. We found an even better deal in India though and for that we decided to write our own media locally.

The only problem was actually procuring quotes and deciding on the best (and not necessarily cheapest) one since almost all quotes we got were cheaper than the EMEA quotes. I narrowed the quote down to Gaiaka Media Works, who have good and affordable optical media solutions. I had a cheaper quote from a provider in Delhi, but they were not even close to being as responsive and had refused to provide any kind of samples. Gaiaka on the other hand were constantly in touch with me right up to the point of delivery, so the vendor decision was quite easy in the end.

Delivery however was complicated. I had initially asked for the shipment to be delivered to my place in Pune, but that would have made it by 22nd or 23rd. Pravin Satpute however announced the Fedora 21 release party in Mumbai for 21st and he wanted DVDs to distribute there. Thus started a complicated delivery dance. I was to go to Delhi via Mumbai on 20th, so I personally picked up the shipment from the Gaiaka office. This was a good decision for a different reason - I got to meet the owner personally and even gave him a server and workstation DVD to try out. I kept the boxes at a friend’s place and gave a couple of spindles to Rahul Bhalerao at the Dadar station, who then got those DVDs to the Mumbai release party. I then returned to Pune on 23rd, went back to Mumbai over the following weekend (for a friend’s wedding) and finally got the DVDs back home yesterday. Phew!

Along the way, I shipped a couple of DVDs to a 13 year old who emailed me (and pinged me repeatedly on IRC) for a Fedora DVD since he did not have enough bandwidth at home to download a DVD image.

The worst problem however was (and still is) the DVD sleeves. I have been pursuing printers around Pune for some time now but none of them seem to be interested enough to even call back. All of them seem to be too busy to want more business. The result is that none of the DVDs have sleeves now. We’re not considering it a bug problem though, since a lot of people I spoke to didn’t seem to care much for the sleeves. They are good to have (prettiness factor) but not absolutely necessary.

So to conclude, I am now a custodian of approximately 1700 Fedora 21 workstation DVDs and will be sending about half of them to the Bangalore Red Hat office this week. If you are hosting a release party or are a Fedora contributor or ambassador attending an event, let me know (through the fedora-india or ambassadors mailing list) how many DVDs you need and we can work out a way to get them to you. I also have about 1000 Server product DVDs, but we (i.e. APAC ambassadors) still need to decide how to distribute those around APAC. I would personally like to distribute multiboot DVDs in future, so hopefully we can come to some kind of consensus on that before F22.

Comments

Day 2: Fedora APAC Budget Planning FAD: Little Things

We reserved the second day for all of the little things, most importantly swag. Sirko passed around samples of swag that EMEA made, notably stickers, pins and buttons and also some balloons as examples of things we could do.

The main problem however was bulk production and distribution of the swag. Unlike EMEA, APAC was not one big region with few export controls. APAC was a lot more divided and given strict customs policies of some countries, we would have to produce a lot of swag locally, thus increasing cost of production. We have to figure out the cheapest way to do this and ambassadors agreed to get quotes by about January for production as well as shipping.

One of the most important problems from the budgeting viewpoints for APAC however was the charges for transactions that ambassadors had to pay for each reimbursement. The current charges are much too high for APAC at about 4.4% of the transaction amount. For example, for a $100 reimbursement, the ambassador tends to lose about $4, which is a significant amount of money in most APAC countries. In terms of McDonalds meals, one can have two McChicken meals in India with $5.

The other problem with Paypal was that all countries in the APAC region could not accept Paypal. Because of this, one would either have to use something like Western Union to transfer money, which is again riddled with steep charges.

Various approaches were discussed, from getting Paypal to waive those charges, to passing on the charges to Fedora somehow, to associating the APAC credit card with a US based Western Union account. We still need to discuss this with the Fedora leadership.

The other action item was to make an inventory of all material we had in APAC, i.e. banners, tablecloth, etc. so that we know what kind of material is available for conferences around. This would also help us plan production of any such material in future.

Finally, everyone seemed to like the idea of having smaller focussed contributor/user meetups like I had proposed for India and Izhar suggested making a brand name for such meetups so that everyone could standardize on them. I suggested Fedora Contributor Meetup and Fedora User Meetup. Tuan will bring this up at the FAMSCo meeting.

We ended the day with dinner at a restaurant at the Mekong riverfront. Greta joined us for this one and we had a great time. Somvannda and Nisa took us to the night market after that to buy stuff and we then headed back, but not before having another round of snacks and drinks at a local place near our hotel. I had a 4AM start but it was past midnight by the time we were done. Almost everyone stayed up chatting about various things till it was time for me to go.

This was my first trip to the East and perhaps one of the more interesting trips in recent times. We are geographically and politically divided but it was interesting to see that a lot of the problems we had were common and solutions to them could be quite common too. This is hopefully a beginning to an even closer association with ambassadors in APAC to bring Free and Open Source Software closer to people in the region through the Fedora project.

I have taken a few pictures, which I will hopefully be able to process and upload before the end of the week.

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Day 1: Fedora APAC Budget Planning FAD: An Eventful Day

Prior to the FAD, Sirko made a table of events to fill in events happening in APAC that we thought we ought to ensure a Fedora presence for by allocating a budget for one or more people to travel to the event. Most of us sent out a communication to our respective smaller communities and got the table populated further. Sirko had already covered most of the bigger events, but there were additions to the list.

We went through the list of events, with one or more people arguing for or against representing an event. We agreed to discuss swag production and other issues on Sunday. This turned out to be a fairly exciting affair, with emotions sometimes running high over some events. It was great to see though, because it meant that people were really involved. My pet event was not really a single one, it was a group of small ($20-$50) events I plan for us to do in India over the whole financial year. These would be user and contributor meetups with a specific focus, similar to the Security FAD and Test Days we had earlier this year. The proposal did not get any opposition since we have enough contributors in India to pull this off. Now I only hope we get such a budget and we are indeed able to pull off such events and that they are successful.

Other than that it seemed odd that there weren’t a lot of large events in India that Fedora could focus on. I think we will have to look at this a bit deeper in the coming year to see if there are events we may have missed. Maybe smaller events just tend to be more productive due to which such meetups seem to be cropping up more frequently. Or maybe nobody wants to step up to do bigger events. I don’t know.

We ended the day at a local restaurant that Somvannda took us to. We had a great meal of various seafood dishes that I thoroughly enjoyed. Of course, I have yet to come across cuisine that I have not liked, so me enjoying Cambodian food was not surprising. Heck, I even enjoyed British food (which apparently is considered bland) when I was in Cambridge in July, even the blood sausages and haggis!

It turned out to be a very productive day and I was happy that we managed to finish discussing the entire set of events in that one day. The next day we would discuss a lot of the little things that seemingly make a big difference.

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