FOSDEM 2020

FOSDEM. In my opinion the best IT conference. Each year. And I was there for 12th time.

Insane amount of talks (893 this time) allows to choose more than it is possible to see. Which is good because with thousands of attendees it is often impossible to enter the room. Having some headphones helps as everything is live streamed so later there are videos to download (mostly after conference as they go through review process).

Friday

Woke up at 3:45, shower, breakfast, taxi at 4:30, bus at 5:00, plane at 8:40 (TXL -> BRU). Met a friend at the bus, watched 2nd episode of “Star Trek: Picard” and tried to conserve energy for the rest of a day.

Landed, took a train to Brussels Nord, added some tickets to MOBIB card and went to CentOS Dojo as usual on FOSDEM’s Friday.

Cloud SIG talk turned into discussion how many projects are waiting for their packages. Thorsten’s talk about CentOS on desktop had some interesting points — you install once and use to the death of hardware. Then went to talk about Software Collections. It was Jan’s first presentation ever and went quite ok.

Skipped armhfp talk and went for some food. And then hours at Delirium. I know that crowd makes more and more people going somewhere else. I go there as it is easy way to discuss with friends or people who recognize me.

Saturday

Took 71 bus at first stop and then went for talks…

Thorsten gave a great talk about changes in Linux kernel over twenty years. I was a bit late so watched whole talk on my way back home.

Next one was about selfish contributors. By James Bottomley. Great one! Interesting comparisons. Worth watching.

I skipped some talks from my list and discussed with several friends instead.

Next one was in AW - Stylo editor. Looked as done by academics for academics. Interesting approach. Not something for me but I understand why it was created.

UEFI: edk2 and U-Boot. Two interesting talks one after another. I wonder will my home desktop pass SCT.

Wanted to attend talk about loading fonts but room was already full. So decided to visit Embedded room instead.

Talk about Yocto Project tools was boring. But it turned out that friend leads devroom so we had nice talk during break.

Sudo talk was full so decided to go back to the hotel. Dropped stuff and went for some food and beer with friends.

Sunday

Early wake up, breakfast and then we took a risk of getting 71 on 3rd stop. Interesting challenge. Managed to squeeze into the second bus.

First was one about Thunderbird. There are interesting changes coming. Enigmail and Lighting will be integrated and new UI will come too.

Then Community room. During first talk Matt listed several chat platforms used by current generation of contributors. IRC was not one of them. I am old.

Next was about ethics in Open Source. Kind of “are all four freedoms are always needed”. Worth watching.

Then pile of bad luck. Virtualization devroom was full. I planned to attend talk about virtio-fs which just went into kernel and lands in qemu.

Open Source Design one had long queue. Once I managed to enter room, I left. No seats so UI/UX tricks have to wait in queue of videos to watch.

Went back to the K building. Took polar from cloakroom (left there a day before) and went for “coreboot on AMD processors” talk. Met Marek so decided to allow other people go. It was “go for fun” category anyway as I no longer have any hardware supported by this project.

As I got tired, there could be just one decision: go to Janson to find a good seat for Maddog’s talk and all after.

Talk about postmarketOS and Maemo Leste showed that not much changed since Openmoko times. Long list of different attempts to make OS for mobile phones. And that there are people still using Nokia n900 “so called phone”.

Maddog was old as usual. Great talk. Definitely to watch if you missed.

And then was one about FOSDEM history. Several facts, funny moment with name of organizer of first OSDEM (watch video!). Have to watch it again as presenter was quite hard to understand. Turned out that attendees took “come in oldest FOSDEM t-shirt you have” serious as each year was covered!

Exhausted went to the hotel. Dropped stuff, ate something and went for beer with friends. And sleep. Without friends.

Monday

This time OpenEmbedded workshop organized by Philip Balister. Was good to meet some old friends.

Talks went from containers to BSPs, signing binaries and some other stuff I skipped.

Last talk was about past, present and future. Here I tried to help with some facts. And idea of collecting history of OE came. Will look at it - wiki page should be enough. Just finding facts and people who remember will take time.

Videos

During meeting I download set of videos for way back home.

18 years of Blender” was great! I spent nearly an hour at TXL airport watching “Elephant’s dream”, “Big Buck Bunny”, “Sintel” and “Tears of steel”. Will watch rest of them the other day.

Turned out that talk about font loading was worth fetching. Have to check my blog and maybe do some tweaks.

One about coreboot was like I expected. Skipped most of it to check what was on slides.

Nouveau status update I ended even faster. Will check website is there any hope for using it on GTX 1050Ti as so far I use closed source one.

Summary

Will I go next year? Sure, I do — I can not afford to not be there.

fosdem conferences openembedded centos