GSoC mentor summit and FUDCon Pune.

3 11 2011

This has been a long time since my last post. I was being lazy.

This summer, I and Mario decided to work on Fedora Medical, and it was accepted for GSoC. We received quite a few applications, but Ankur was chosen because he was already a package maintainer. The whole thing went reasonable well, we got a number of medical packages in Fedora. That said, I am very disappointed that there is no talk scheduled (even proposed) at FUDCon Pune.

Anyway, Google Mentor summit was last week at Mountain View. It was (according to the organizers) by far the largest summit. A list of sessions is here. Quite a few of them were very interesting. Though I did not propose any talk, Stephen (who also was a mentor for Fedora) did propose a session on code review and
it was well attended. Some of the talks that I attended were very interesting, such as LHC guys describing crowdsourced simulators.

The better part was chocolate. Thanks to the fellow mentors, there was a pile of chocolates. I have never seen or tested so many varieties in my life. The food was also very good. My only regret is that I could not see the computer history museum which was five minutes walk from the venue.

Here is the group photo from mentor summit (thanks to Obey Arthur Liu. a fellow mentor). Looks like I am a victim of Chromatic aberration, I shall remember not to stand at [0,0] 😉

The conference ended on Sunday, and my flight was on Monday evening, so I decided to be an expert in SFO public transit. I took the caltrain, MUNI, F line trolley, Cable car and finally BART. I am not sure of there is any other type of rail transit there. I wandered around the whole day before heading to the airport.

Among other things, one day to go for FUDCon pune. I wished so much to be there, but that was not to happen. The organisers did a fantastic job in setting it up and I am sure it would be one of the finest FUDCons . The schedule looks awesome.


Public domain OpenOffice label templates.

25 04 2011

This website is immensely useful for printing labels from OO/LO. To make it even sweeter, these documents are ODF, and licensed under Creative Commons Public Domain License.

[Looking for students] GSoC 2011 and fedora-medical.

19 03 2011

It is official now. Fedora will be a mentoring organization for Google Summer of Code 2011.

This summer, I am looking for mentoring one/two students who can help me with fedora-medical. It would be a nice opportunity to work on something really interesting, get paid a handsome amount of monies and build contacts within the community and industry.

If you want to know what fedora-medical is, a somehow short description for the project is on the idea page. If you want more details about fedora-medical and what we are working on, its on the wiki page.

Unlike most other tasks, this is an in-progress task, we are already working on it and that means we know exactly what we are looking for. We will be doing lots of rpm packaging and we will also be creating tools for our workflow. We are a python shop, so python skill will be required.

These are the things I shall be looking for. A few will be redundant, but worth mentioning.

* Very good skill in RPM packaging.
* Reasonable familiarity with fedora packaging guidelines.
* Good skill in python and bash.
* Familiarity with Fedora internals. (Here, I am referring to the OS).
* Familiarity with Version Control Systems (We use git for most of the tasks) .
* Familiarity with comps files, yum and fedora package management.

That sounds very easy, right?

Not really. Turns out that most of the medical software are very hard to package and most of them have recursive dependencies that need to be packaged beforehand. It is not that they are not doable, but they need lots of work. But once done, this will be something that will be really useful for everyone. You won’t work alone, we will continue to work on this.

If everything goes as planned, at the end of the summer, we will be looking at a yum group with lots of medical software, and (maybe) a spin. 🙂

I am already getting mails from interested students and I am very happy about it. If you are interested in working with me, please drop me a mail at susmit at fedoraproject dot org.

Let’s stop fighting, fedora community.

18 02 2011

It’s deeply disturbing to see “us” fighting each other. There is no reason to believe people are angry for nothing. There is something that’s not going well. But, let’s stop calling each other names, which is making things nastier.

For a moment, let’s set aside all the politics, ego and tensions prevailing in the community. Let’s take a step back and let’s see this with a stupidly simple view.

Contributing to fedora is fun for only one reason, everyone who has an idea can pursue it. Right? Most of the people in fedora community are extremely talented people and many of them don’t get paid for what they are doing. Except for a lucky few, this is true for people within and outside RedHat. Still people contribute, not because they have nothing else to do, but because they love fedora and it’s another way of expressing themselves.

It’s pretty normal to get angry when one is stopped from expressing what he/she likes. I have seen the project growing, with more people, came more number of steps to ensure chaos does not happen. This slowed down all the people and ensuring exactly the thing we wanted to avoid, chaos.

Reduce the bottlenecks. I have been pushing this for long, but which have not happened so far. Whenever you make someone wait in the queue for weeks, it takes the fun away and make them angry. Try to take decisions as fast as possible.

It takes a lot to gain trust. So, people who are unknown to the community, are not trusted. If people feel that the decisions are coming from people whom they don’t know, there would be grudges, even if they are people form another FOSS community. Run every decision through the community. Not that I love long threads, I hate them, but that is the only way to keep community informed in such a huge, global and diverse community. If you can not convince majority of the community, it is not good for the project, no matter how brilliant the idea is.

Most importantly, let the community decide what they want to do. What does that exactly mean? Whenever someone is standing up and trying to do something, the default choice should be “yes” instead of “let’s review” or “this is not our policy” or “this can not be done for this reason”.

I have no idea how much this post will help in making things reasonable. I don’t think it will, but one can always try. 🙂

Fudcon Tempe flickr pool..please add your pics.

2 02 2011

I have created a flickr pool for FUDCon Tempe. It’s an open group, and you can add as many pictures as you want. If you are uploading the pictures to flickr, please add them to this group too. Thanks.f

26.50 USD, fedora-medical tracking bug, package reviews, and FUDCon.

1 02 2011

Day 2 at FUDCon turned out to be a productive day. I decided to go shopping for some hands which can help me with the medical spin. The lightning talk went well and was well received. As I mentioned, the main problem with this project right now is packaging and package reviews.

Someone (probably Smooge) pointed out that Tibbs has promised to do ten reviews in exchange for a t-shirt. Instantly, 26.50 USD were collected for medical spin and the t-shirt. Ian, who was administering the talks looked very confused with all the money in his hand. 😉
Christoph added a tracking bug for fedora medical in bugzilla, which will be very helpful.

After the talk, I sat down with Christoph reviewing packages and learning tidbits of packaging. Adamwill and Tim joined us. It was an afternoon well spent. It took a long time to review things, but I learned quite a few things.

On the QA part, Adamwilll pointed out that Robatino produces the deltas for (N-1) Final -> N Final, so one need not download the whole ISO again and again, which is not easy in most of the places. This is something I was thinking for a long time, and I am happy now.

In the evening, Herlo gave me lots of Fedora Media and Case Badges, which will be very useful.

It’s a pity that I had to come back to Fort Collins today and could not attend the hackfest, but it was very nice to meet old friends and meeting all the people I have talked over IRC. Hope we will meet again.

A big thanks to FUDCon organisers, who did a fabulous job.

Lastly, I took quite a few pictures, which I shall sort and upload by tomorrow.

Fudcon Tempe – Day 1

30 01 2011

FUDCon Tempe is awesome so far. I have met many of the friends whom I have worked with and made a number of new friends. The day was opened by three generations of FPL and after a quick pitch, we moved to talks.

I attended Fedora on ARM, took part in Board meeting (which IMO was very short but well discussed), Cloud talks, Security and Selinux talks. The lunch was very nice and I discussed some of the packaging tidbits over lunch which will be helpful for me. Finally the day ended with a long fudpub (kind of boring, nobody got drunk!) where we chatted and played some pool and again had nice food.

Tomorrow, (well, technically today) we are going to have talks followed by hackfests. I have proposed a lightning talk and a packaging/review sprint for fedora medical. Hopefully, I will be able to sell the idea. 😉

FUDCon: Tempe 2011.

25 01 2011

I am really excited about travelling to FUDCon Tempe later this week. As far as I have seen on the fudcon-planning mailing list, it is planned to the last details and I am sure that it will be impeccable.

But my real excitement is about meeting all my friends whom I have known for a long time, but never had a chance to meet face to face. It would be really nice.

The medical SIG is stuck up at the package review stage, I shall see if someone is willing to review the packages and if we can make some progress regarding streamlining review process for medical packages. And of course, I shall meet and discuss with my past and present friends from FAmSCo.

Lastly, orbitz called me up and left a voicemail about my ticket. When I called back, they took half an hour to let me know that my flight has changed by three minutes. So nice of them.

Next FAmSCo and my changing role within FP.

30 10 2010

The next FAmSCo election is around the corner and we already have a number of awesome people running this time.

I have worked closely with Neville, Rahul, Kital and David for a long time, and I am sure that they will be excellent choices. Others, I am sure, are also very much capable for the job. Best wishes to you all.

Personally, I won’t be running for FAmSCo this time. I did it for last two years, and I would rather explore something else. I have been doing people facing work for four long years and it’s time for a change.

I am also giving up the freemedia administrative tasks in a couple of months. I am sure Frank and Neville with be able to take care of it very well. They are splendid. Yes, I have talked to them. 🙂

I would continue to be member of both the groups. That part I like. It was updating the wiki pages, replying to useless mails/threads, doing the same things over and over that was taking a toll on me. I was no longer liking what I was doing.

There are several mailing lists, trac instances, twitter account and other infrastructures/code that I maintain right now. I have always tried to ensure that at least one other member have access to them. I shall always be available if help is required, but I won’t be able to maintain them regularly.

I don’t know exactly what I am going to do next (yes, I know. But won’t say it yet) inside the project, but I shall do something that excites me.

Final call for Fedora Release Events.

22 06 2010

The final cut off date for holding Fedora 13 release events has been set on 30th June, 2010.

Please ensure that your event is organised, and report/expenses submitted by that date.

If you are going to late for some reason, please let us know.