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FUDCon Delhi 2006 Report

By RahulSundaram on 2006-02-21

FUDCon Delhi 2006 was organized as part of LinuxAsia in Feb 9th 2006. Though it is supposedly a business focused events it has been overwhelmed by students and other developers interested in all sorts of things. still seems to do a better focusing on developers and the community if thats where your interests are. We have a full day of Fedora speeches and presentations on the main auditorium and I believe we did a decent job with it in getting a number of people interested and some of them have even show up here as Fedora Ambassadors. The auditorium was generally packed during the day and getting thinner in the day leading to low amount of crowd during the end of the day Fedora BOF which otherwise might have turned out to be more interesting in relative terms.

The original startover from Venky and Alolita was fairly generic followed by a inspiration speech from Greg Dek. Chris Blizzard who leads the desktop team within Red Hat talked about the desktop changes and gaps in two different presentations. Kishore Bhargava gave a update on what was happening within the community in terms of LUG's and open source developers in India. Sankarshan from Red Hat Bangalore rehashed my general introduction presentation on Fedora with his own interesting quirks. Colin Charles who used to lead the Fedora marketing effort is now on MySQL as the community manager and was fairly upbeat on MySQL and Fedora presentation with changes like MySQL 5 finally landing in Fedora Core 5. Ramakrishna Reddy from the Red Hat Engineering team and my office colleague Ankit Patel, language maintainer - Gujarati gave a combined presentation on L10N which was well received. Satish Mohan had an update on what Red Hat Engineering has been doing in Bangalore which includes working on odd devices such as dotmatrix printers and scanners (<a href=""></a>) that organizations refuse to move off from. I had to brush over my presentation rapidly to leave room for the final panel discussion on Fedora since Klaus Knopper of Knoppix fame took his own time during noon for a verbose and broad presentation on where we are heading towards in terms of appliances, software patents and such. The BOF had various ideas thrown about back and forth between the audience and people in the stage and many thought it went well.

Pics and videos are on the pipeline. Anyone has them, get them out.

We had a Fedora booth running on all three days - 8,9 and 10th in LinuxAsia manned by many people in Red Hat Delhi and Bangalore offices attracting hundreds of people in a daily basis. Tejas was doing the videos. Kevin Verma showed up everywhere. We gave away thousands of goodies like Free DVD's of Fedora Core 4 an t-shirts. There were many introductory basic questions around how Fedora relates to RHEL, the licensing terms, how we sustain it, the schedule and roadmaps. There is a lot of interest and goodwill in the project out there which could be turn out into contributions if we figure out more means to do it.

I think we came away with the idea that driving changes towards getting individual CD's for people on low bandwidth connections and Live CD would be useful. The traditional way of throwing away packages to slim down Fedora wouldnt work for us since we already have a large existing userbase to worry about. Figuring out a reorganization that does what we are already doing for the existing users while giving a desktop or server or any other odd ball combination within individual CD's with the help of tools like Kadischi seems to be the way forward.

We havent been doing a good job in getting users aware of the existing features or the changes we helped drive within Fedora. The handout that we gave way on the Fedora stall helped in a large way towards that in the conference though we might have included that in the LinuxAsia kit too.We just have to keep doing what we are doing and use the material that piles up on a regular basis and organize it. The good thing in Fedora is that we get to do it every six months or so and every new release gets a lots of attention in the form of downloads, new users, negative criticisms and praise. Helping the community involved in a more open fashion and communicating both within the project and to the interested users and everyone out there is what we need and what are going to continue doing. Others feel free to pitch in with their own comments. -- Rahul