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Revision as of 23:09, 13 September 2010 by Computercolin (talk | contribs) (Preliminary changes for sending out advertisements)

Zwiebel etherpad fad banner.png

This is the main page for the Etherpad Fedora Activity Day to be held Oct 8-9th at Olin College of Engineering. We are going to improve Etherpad, the wonderful open source collaboration tool, package it for Fedora, and get one running at Olin and one on Fedora Infrastructure. Excited by any of the technologies we'll be using or a new contributor to open source, we hope you'll join us.

Beautiful Olin College in Needham, MA

When and Where


Olin College, 1000 Olin Way, Needham MA, 02492, USA


Crescent Room (CC209 and CC211 inside Olin Campus Center)

Olin College Campus Center

Time: Friday Oct 8th, 5pm - Oct 9th

Note: all times are US Eastern. GMT -5 hours.


Pre-FAD (very optional)

  • Saturday, October 2nd
    • 3pm - Assess skill sets, forge plans and detailed goals, run numbers for buying food, etc.

computercolin: Planning to connect with Joe Cornelli and some EP contributors from Europe here.


  • Friday, October 8th
    • 5pm - Kickoff (introductions, something fun, layout of plan)
    • 6pm - Hacking
    • 8pm - Educational Break: Intro to OSS development for Olin Students
  • Saturday, October 9th
    • 11:00am - Individual reports and progress check
    • 11:30am - Hacking
    • 1:30pm - Indian lunch buffet at Masala Art
    • 2:30pm - Hacking
    • 5:00pm - Educational Break: Q&A on how EtherPad works; technologies it uses
    • 7:00pm - Interactive Stir-fry Dinner
  • Sunday, October 10th
    • Breakfast by Colin for the hardcore
    • Kickout

Background (what is Etherpad?)

Background: EtherPad (video demo) was a high-performance web-based collaborative document editor, launched in 2008 from It was acquired by Google during the development of Google Wave, and the service's code base was open-sourced. Several websites now run an EtherPad service and there is interest in making private installs (such as one for the Fedora Project) easier to create.

Buuut the EtherPad code-base isn't exactly in a packageable state, as demonstrated by SDZ, here. We would like to package EtherPad correctly for Fedora. Where possible, we intend to use JavaEE practices to package as a no-deps archives.

Finally, once complete, we'd like to use the new packages to setup an EtherPad instance for the Fedora Community.


  1. Our purpose is to...
    • Repackage EtherPad in a consistent, Java standard, portable way
    • Create compliant, Fedora packages for EtherPad
    • Setup EtherPad instance on Fedora Infrastructure
    • Teach non-Propeller-heads about OSS development and the technologies used
  2. In addition, we will attempt to complete the following secondary goals as time allows:
    • Build better(/more complete) test system for EtherPad
    • Create a EP web-config interface -- easier to deploy EP
    • Document EP

Detailed Work Items & Final Attendees

  1. Inventory attendees and skill sets
  2. Create plan of action
  3. TODO: Fill in ...
  4. Get Fedora EtherPad package approved
  5. Deploy package to Fedora Infastructure


computercolin: Think we could do a most-of-night (all-night?) hack session one of the nights. Both, probably too much.

Skills Sought

  • Javascript/scala/java decipherment
  • Build system skills (particularly Ant and Scala/JS friendly systems)
    • expertise in jetty, Comet, AppJet or Rhino would be helpful
    • also some mysql or apache derby
  • infrastructure deployment
  • software project management
  • code (re)architecture
  • developer documentation
  • Malleable mind to fill (this list look intimidating? come learn something, hear war stories, see what this web-service, Comet, open-source, computer stuff is all about!)


Physically Present

  • Colin Zwiebel (Needham, MA) - Organizer (it appears) - developer, Oliner, Will be there
    • Find us some Java Propeller-heads
    • Snag some cool space at Olin
    • Get some awesome Oliners (not hard)
    • Make sure everyone learns something and has fun
  • Andy Pethan (Needham, MA) - Attendee/hacker/facilitator - developer, Etherpad fanboy Will be there
  • Sebastian Dziallas ( Needham, MA) - Fedora Packager - developer, packager Will make it
  • DJ Gallagher (Boston, MA) - Java Propeller-head - dev, documentation Will probably come
  • Jeff Mitchell (Boston, MA) - Asked to give talk, community management, coding, sysadmin - coming
  • Matt Crawford (Wellesley, MA) - polymath computer skills - Interested in coming
  • Paul Booth (Olin) - Coding, testing, jokes - Be there
  • Jason Curtis (Olin) - Java - Interested
  • Jeff Atkinson (Olin) - Java - coming
  • Danny Bathgate (Olin) - polymath programming skills - interested
  • Kevin Mehall (Olin) - coding, lots of linux admin - Very interested


  • Mel Chua (Raleigh, NC) - QA implementation - Can probably come if schedule is free--Errt, she's in South Africa doing a POSSE
    • Ticket tracker setup (move this to
    • Collect all existing bugs/enhancement requests and get them written and triaged properly
    • Test case/results system implementation
    • Write and execute first round of test cases, starting with a smoke test, then moving to focus on scaleability, cross-platform/browser testing
    • QA infrastructure experimentation (probably looking at Mozilla's tools for starters)
  • Joe Cornelli - (Milton Keynes, UK?) - linux admin skills, further evaluation needed - Interested in remoting
  • John McClear - (UK) - PrimaryPad, admin, (more...) - Very interested in remoting, has week off!
  • Brian Herman - (Chicago, IL) - polymath programming - Interested in remoting



  • Andy / Oliner w/ car will pickup week of FAD. Will consist mainly of Soda.


  • Masala Art outing
    • Attendees will carpool / ride bikes 1 mile into Needham

Masala Art on Yelp


  • Friday (8th) - Sweet Tomatoes Pizza
  • Saturday (9th) - Communal, interactive, stir-fry dinner
    • Colin and helpers will grab rice cookers, setup spicing station

Infastructure / Communication

  1. Projector i=n room / borrow from Olin IT
  2. Borrow video camera for streaming video / screencast



  • Pre-FAD
    • $0
  • FAD
    • Food:
      • Friday, Sweet Tomatoes Pizza - $15 / reg attendee ~$120
      • Saturday, Masala Art Buffet (the discussion meal) - $14 / reg attendee ~$250
      • Saturday, Communal Chinese Dinner - $150 total
    • Drinks / Snacks
      • $20 /night =$40

Food total: $560


Contributor Type Dept Arrv Dept Arrv Cost
Jon Stanley Amtrak Oct 8 ~6pm - NYC (Penn station) Oct 8 - Route 128 Station (RTE) Oct 10 ~9am - Olin Oct 10 - NYC (Penn station) $180 USD


Contributor Location Check-in Check-out Cost
Tom Calloway BECC (~at olin) Oct 8 Oct 10 $350 USD
Jon Stanley BECC (~at olin) Oct 8 Oct 10 $350 USD


$1440 USD