31 August 2010


Last week being out for a photography camp (don't ask for the photos, I don't have any ready to show yet and then will have to wait more for signed release forms) I missed a good part of the talks (mega-flames?) about the Fedora vision and mission, happening on the advisory board, respectively development lists. Only now I start having a little time to get a glimpse of it and maybe making my point in the process.

People that know me pare probably aware I like to quote a lot an old but famous piece by jwz about software development and its purpose, here's an excerpt:

"How will this software get my users laid" should be on the minds of anyone writing social software (and these days, almost all software is social software).

"Social software" is about making it easy for people to do other things that make them happy: meeting, communicating, and hooking up.
I agree it is true about any type of software, not only "social" and to be clear, is not literary about helping people having intercourse but in a larger sense making their lives better.

So I should obviously ask myself if and how using Fedora is impacting my life, here are a few examples:
  • one piece of software that changed my life in the past years is Inkscape (I practically re-started doing graphics thanks to it) with the new released 0.48 version, for which we have packages in Koji for F14 and up. Even if it is a mostly bug-fix release, I am obviously anxious to run it but the only possibility for doing so it to jump my desktop to a pre-Alpha F14 and endure a world of pain. I miss the older, better times when the maintainer could be persuaded in pushing such things to Stable.
  • as any desktop user I use the web browser a lot and my choice is Firefox here. The new and exciting new release is Firefox 4, currently in Beta 4 and targeted to a final release around the same time with Fedora 14. Unfortunately, we won't have it in F14, so I am using builds from an external repo (thanks Remi!) and endure the pain (for example session restore always brings the wrong version). I miss the older, better times when we used to track in Rawhide the development of applications with major user impact.
  • the Instant Messenging client is practically broken for months for me, being unable to exchange files over the Y!M network with models and photographers really worsened the quality of my life. Even while typing this very paragraph I had to (awful coincidence!) decline receiving a photo from one of my nude models.
  • as a photographer I use GIMP a lot and when I found a package for the development version in Koji (thanks Luya!) I jumped at it. Still, it is an early development version, probably F15 material (in older, better times the maintainer could have been persuaded into releasing it as as update for F14) with many annoyances. I continue to endure it on the desktop but I had to downgrade to the stable 2.6.x on the laptop when I had to give a GIMP workshop. 2.7.1 is early, but a future development release could be better, I am still pondering on this one.
So drawing a line, is my life better? It does not look so... I miss some older, better times.

PS: can you believe being at a nude photography camp I managed to give a couple of my Fedora business card and struck a few conversations about what Fedora is and why someone should/should not use it with a few fellow photographers? Talking about GIMP there was natural and I found other people using it.

22 August 2010


Somehow I managed to put myself together and do my job, a couple of FLOSS graphics workshops, and not suck completely at it... it probably helped the audience was small, 6-7 people at each.

The first one was Friday evening at Ceata and I fulfilled an old-time request, teaching people to make their own hackergotchi with GIMP... pretty much basic introductory things but supposedly to be fun and show various tools. Still... it seems I managed to bore part of them. Maybe the beer & pizza after was too tempting? Or maybe the late hour...

Saturday was the RLUG day and its new tradition of monthly workshops. with my turn today. The idea was to reply to questions from the audience, but as nobody asked I took the freedom to show some pretty but simple things in Inkscape, it was entertaining to see people play with it like kids and to hear "wow! I won't use Dia ever again".

Still, I have to keep myself together even better, next week is going to come with a few days off, in a photography camp for which I know some friends from the community would be full of envy.

09 August 2010

FLOSSCamp 2010

I am back home after FLOSSCamp 2010 and swamped with work, having to prepare a lot of content, photos and videos, since many communities are waiting for them (mostly the photos only). So long story short, here are the photos, enjoy them.

Now short story long, we left Bucharest as a group from 3 communities, RLUG, Ceata and Fedora:


Here we meet the people from SbLUG, who arrived early and settled the camp location, it was a good location.

After we placed the tents I disturbed the event (again) by getting out my (in)famous toys and everybody started to play with them:

When the light dimmed, we moved to the nearby chalet for a good dinner and fun time, with music and dance, until late in the night. Sometime over the top (funny to see geeks dancing)

We went to sleep around 1 am, passed a night under a heavy rain with wind, lightning and thunders (my tent resisted well) only to wake-up for one of the most beautiful forest lights I ever saw (hmmm... I guess I should send it as a supplementar wallpaper proposal:

After a late breakfast (so many overslept and lost that magic morning light...) we went for a little walk in the forest, eating a lot of berries (raspberries and blackberries) and playing to a creek
flosscamp flosscamp

And return just in time for a bowl of spicy community goulash (apparently the cook's speciality):

Once more I showed my evil side, then people tried an afternoon nap and I destroyed it taking out the toys again, I am definitely evil and probably I am going to be banned from community meetings :D

Later we had a few formal presentations, I did catch a couple of them: Open High School and Fii Liber and missed at least another one (can't blame me, I was busy taking photos and such).

After the dinner we moved around a camp fire and talked until late in the night (2 AM, IIRC, when the false alarm of another rain scared us)

In the morning the weather was gloomier, so we sat next to the fire more and talked about community structure with people from openSUSE România and Ubuntu România.

We took the obligatory group photos (unfortunately after some people left, she should have done this one day before):

While everybody was packing I had my tome to get crazy and embarrass myself (like I care!):

And we returned home (not before a last rounds of beers, of course)

See you next year!

06 August 2010

My tribes

I literally count the hours until FLOSSCamp (BTW, less than 16 hours remaining until we leave the city) where I will meet my friends from the Debian tribe, from the Ubuntu tribe, from the openSUSE tribe, from many other tribes, as well from my own (Fedora) tribe... is going to be fun, probably the biggest inter-tribal meeting so far in Romania (and all of it is community, no money, no sponsors, no commercialization, no companies, no politics).

But before going, I feel like I have to let out my mind about the tribal debate. I am sad to see how, caving to the pressure or maybe trying to show he's the bigger man, Greg backpedaled, but I am freer, I am no CEO or such, nobody cares about what I say, so I have the freedom to speak my mind. From what I see, Greg is mostly right and Mark mostly wrong and is true Canonical is mostly a marketing company, not an engineering one.

Still, if I think Mark is right on one point, and IMO he is right on one I want to acknowledge that: I agree with him about GNOME going in the wrong direction and being driven there by a group of Red Hat desktop developers that are so arrogant and full of themselves, they refuse to listen to any critics, labelling them as unneeded "stop energy". But this is not something anti-Canonical, they do it even inside the Fedora community.

But back to my original point about counting hours (now about 13 hours remaining - this post was in editing for a looooong time, with many interruptions): I am going to FLOSSCamp!.

04 August 2010


Playing today with Fedora LATAM photos provided by tatica and Metapixel, a photo mosaic generator I got those (click to enlarge):

fedora collage fedora collage fedora collage
fedora collage fedora collage fedora collage

Hmmm.... I think I am going to do more collages in the future...

03 August 2010

I am going to FLOSSCamp 2010

I can't miss FLOSSCamp, it has become a tradition and everybody will be there (all the tribes that matter). It will happen at Poiana Secuilor, near Predeal, and everybody is invited: those wanting more freedom (or a cheaper price) can stay in their tents, those wanting more comfort can stay at a chalet. Win-win.

If you don't know what is a FLOSSCamp for us, here is a description: an offline meeting for FLOSS contributors from all Romania, no matter their project affiliation, where we spend a week-end in the middle of the nature, with talks, distro-wars, camp fire, beer, grilled food, fun time and so on (a flamewar is so much better face to have with a beer in hand...) See below an illustration from the last year:


Note: the rumour is there will be available at least a barrel with unfiltered beer..

My plan is to gather a small group, leaving together from Gara de Nord on Friday afternoon, so we are there for the first evening/night.

PS: limited time offer - there is still a free place in my (famous Fedora) tent so if anyone is interested, ping me FAST.