Tag: fisl

Key Signing Party at FISL13

Posted by – 16/04/2012

You know the drill. Official announcement is here (or here in portuguese). Anybody planning to drop by FISL13 should submit a key.

Mitos sobre o FISL #2

Posted by – 07/07/2009

Continuando a série, hoje vou falar sobre outro mito frequente sobre o FISL: utilização política do FISL e do trabalho de seus voluntários.

Esse é um assunto muito delicado. É realmente muito difícil nivelar o que as pessoas chamam de utilização política. Em última instância, estamos sempre fazendo política, e, como disse no meu artigo anterior, o FISL é também filosófico/político by design. Se baixarmos muito o limiar do que chamamos de utilização política, logo qualquer reunião de bar vira utilização política, entendem?

Para fins desse artigo, vou “inventar” uma definição de acordo com o que, em média, eu percebo seja a crítica que o FISL recebe: que pessoas/grupos/comunidades se utilizem do FISL como plataforma eleitoral, ou mesmo como palanque. Embora essa seja uma definição mais para “utilização partidária”, vou me ater à definição utilizada pelas críticas.

Em um evento que acaba de completar uma década, já tivemos pelo menos 6 sufrágios que importam (estou incluindo 2010, embora eu próprio não ache que seja válido incluí-lo): 3 para Prefeitura/Câmara de Vereadores de Porto Alegre (não acho que outra prefeitura importe, já que o evento ocorre aqui) e 3 para Presidente/Congresso Nacional e Governador/Assembléia Legislativa do RS (também não acho que o pleito de outros estados importe, pelas mesmas razões).

Em primeiro lugar, devemos fazer um apontamento importante: antes de 2004 o FISL era organizado pelo pessoal original, composto principalmente de funcionários públicos (FISL1 à 4, 2000-2003) agrupados em torno do PSL-RS e das bases do PSL-Brasil. A isso chamo de era pré-ASL. No final de 2003 a ASL foi fundada e passou a ser a entidade jurídica responsável pelo FISL (e por um punhado de outros projetos), logo os FISLs a partir de então eu coloco na era pós-ASL, muito embora pessoas ligadas apenas aos PSLs participassem da organização do FISL e não era requerido (como ainda não é) que o indivíduo seja associado à ASL.

Na abertura do FISL1 (2000) houve participação do então governador do RS, Olívio Dutra (PT) e do então prefeito de Porto Alegre, Raul Pont (PT). Naquele ano ocorreram eleições para Prefeitura em que o vencedor foi Tarso Genro (PT), licenciado em 2002, tendo assumido seu vice: João Verle (PT). Esse é o primeiro dos dois anos em que, segundo a minha definição, a possibilidade de ter ocorrido utilização política do FISL não pode ser descartada. Eu não me lembro o que disseram Governador e Prefeito na abertura…

Na abertura do FISL2 (2001) também houve participação do governador Olívio Dutra, mas o prefeito Tarso Genro enviou o vice-prefeito João Verle (PT). Não haviam eleições esse ano, mas no ano seguinte Tarso Genro concorreria ao governo do RS (veja abaixo)…

Na abertura do FISL3 (2002) também houve participação do governador Olívio Dutra e do então prefeito João Verle. Esse é o ano em que ocorre, na esfera federal a eleição do Presidente Lula, e por isso considero que, também nesse ano, a possibilidade de ter ocorrido utilização política do FISL não pode ser descartada.

O prefeito João Verle compareceu ao FISL 4 em 2003 para lançar o “Porto Alegre GNU/Linux” (uma distribuição que não foi adiante criada pelo pessoal do Debian-RS ); no entanto isso importa pouco dentro da definição que estou usando, já que os candidatos eram Raul Pont (PT), José Fogaça (PPS), Onyx Lorenzoni (PFL. não… não é meu parente), Vieira da Cunha (PDT), Mendes Ribeiro Filho (PMDB), entre outros. Além disso, a eleição ocorreu em 2004, e o eleito foi José Fogaça… portanto, se houve “utilização política” do FISL em 2003 pelo PT (o partido “acusado” mais frequentemente nas críticas que leio) ela só serviu para levá-lo a derrota.

De 2004 a 2008 não houve participação do prefeito Fogaça no FISL, apesar de ser convidado todo ano (afinal, o cara é prefeito da cidade!).

No pleito de 2008, em que José Fogaça foi re-eleito, os adversários eram Maria do Rosário (PT), Manuela (PC do B), Luciana Genro (PSol), Onyx Lorenzoni (PFL), Nelson Marchezan Junior (PSDB), entre outros. Não ocorreu nenhuma participação desses candidatos no FISL… No entanto, eu próprio fui a um evento da candidata Maria do Rosário (que é Deputada Federal) para expressar a insatisfação com o projeto de lei do Sen. Azeredo… Fui na condição de cidadão preocupado, já que não sou filiado a partido algum, e, de qualquer forma, o FISL9 já havia encerrado fazia tempo e estávamos preparando o FISL10 (assunto que não foi abordado na conversa com a Deputada). Novamente, se houve “utilização política” por parte do PT, ela só pode ter levado a nova derrota. (Se eu fosse candidato, evitaria me envolver com o FISL, já que esse envolvimento parece pé-frio). A candidata Manuela fez seu site utilizando Software Livre e anunciou isso publicamente, mas não participou do FISL9.

Na esfera federal / estadual o primeiro pleito que importa é o de 2002, quando Lula tornou-se presidente e Germano Rigotto (PMDB) tirou o PT do governo do estado do RS (derrotando Tarso Genro – PT e Antônio Brito – PPS). O governador anterior era Olívio Dutra, qua havia participado das aberturas de todos os FISLs (mais um exemplo de como o FISL é pé-frio). No entanto, Lula não sabia sequer o que era Software Livre nessa época (confessado, em seu pronunciamento no FISL10). Germano Rigotto, esteve na abertura do FISL4 (2003), mas durante seu governo, os avanços que o pessoal que trabalhava no Banrisul conseguiu foram jogados pelo ralo, algo que foi amplamente divulgado pelo PSL-Brasil e PSL-RS. Nessa luta eu também me envolvi marginalmente, mas não conseguimos nada. Quando me refiro ao “pessoal que trabalhava no Banrisul”, incluo alguns dos organizadores da época pré-ASL… em sua maioria funcionários públicos de carreira, o que exclui a utilização política na esfera estadual nesses FISLs. Recentemente o ex-governador Germano Rigotto tem procurado saber mais sobre o Software Livre, e temos enviado informações para sua assessoria quando solicitados. Independentemente de partidos, o Software Livre deve prevalecer… essa é uma das missões da ASL.

Em 2006, como sabemos, Lula (PT) foi re-eleito e o governador Rigotto foi derrotado pela atual governadora Yeda Crusius (PSDB), que, também, nunca compareceu ao FISL. Na edição daquele ano ela foi convidada e chegou a confirmar a vinda, mas não compareceu. No ano anterior (2005) convidamos tanto o presidente quanto o então governador Rigotto, mas nenhum compareceu.

No FISL10 estavam presentes, que eu tenha visto, o Presidente da República, 3 de seus Ministros, a Deputada Manuela, o Deputado Paulo Pimenta (PT) e o prefeito de Porto Alegre José Fograça (agora no PMDB). Em nenhum momento foi mencionado o pleito de 2010 (não duvido que seja, caso eles compareçam no FISL11, mas isso é outra história), a provável canditada Dilma fez um discurso extremamente chato, apenas falando sobre números de utilização e adoção do Software Livre (e em números de outras coisas), o Marcelo Branco (coordenador-geral da ASL) e o Presidente fizeram discursos mais apaixonados, mas nenhum vínculo eleitoral sequer foi mencionado.

O que expus acima encerra a lista de pleitos em que poderia ter ocorrido alguma utilização política do FISL segundo a minha definição. De todos, fico em dúvida em apenas 2 FISLs (FISL1 e FISL3), ambos na era pré-ASL. Se esse mito de utilização política do FISL algum dia foi verdadeiro, isso ocorreu há algum tempo. No entanto, tem um outro mito que roda frequente nessa época pós-FISL: que seus organizadores o utilizam para fins políticos. Isso é bem mais difícil de entender, uma vez que os poucos funcionários públicos remanescentes do grupo original que começou o FISL (ou que se juntaram a ele ao longo dos anos) e que fazem parte da organização do evento têm cada vez menos envolvimento com a ASL e, de qualquer forma, não seriam beneficiados ou prejudicados pelas mudanças políticas já que a maioria é funcionário de carreira. Na realidade, há uma “norma de consenso” extraída da última assembléia dos sócios da ASL que, se possível, ninguém com ligações à esfera pública deve fazer parte do conselho da ASL. Esse é o motivo pelo qual não me candidatei ao conselho no ano passado (minha esposa é funcionária pública). Além disso, nenhum membro do conselho desde que ele foi formado em 2003, concorreu a nenhum cargo público.

Voltando a apenas uma questão pontual com relação a vinda do Presidente da República: nós o convidamos desde sempre, muitas vezes anunciando que o fazemos. Faríamos isso fosse ele o Lula ou fosse quem fosse, e continuaremos fazendo. O fazemos pelo mesmo motivo que a Festa da Uva (por exemplo) o faz: para chamar atenção para a nossa causa. Ninguém pode negar que uma visita presidencial gera repercussões. Embora muitos possam criticar o FISL por querer chamar atenção para si mesmo, ninguém pode negar que, ao fazer isso, o próprio Software Livre fica em evidência, o que concorre para um dos principais objetivos da ASL: “fazer com que o Software Livre seja amplamente incluído na sociedade”.

Sim, o Presidente veio em 2009, com um pleito (em que ele não é candidato) marcado para 2010… mas e se ele viesse em 2007? Sim, poucos sabem, mas em 2007 ele havia confirmado presença (mas não veio). Quem esteve no FISL8 deve lembrar que a parte de exposições havia sido organizada de uma forma quase circular (com a Arena bem no centro)… Aquilo não foi acidental… Tivesse o Presidente comparecido, já estávamos preparados para recebê-lo. Pena que ele não veio… No ano corrente tivemos a resposta durante o evento, quando a maioria do Comitê Organizador nem acreditava mais em sua vinda. Fizemos o que pudemos e muitos trabalharam virando noites para tentar adaptar o FISL10… Entendo que não agradamos a todos, mas acredito que fizemos todo o possível para esse fim (exceto “desconvidar” o Presidente 😉 ).

FISL10 day 4

Posted by – 29/06/2009

Today I finally went to attend some lectures. I decided that since I was to give one and Arena was over, I was allowed to just sit there and pretend I was just attending FISL10 and not organizing it.

Well, first things first. My lecture was on my fork to implement PubSub in XMPP4R-Simple. Nothing really fancy, just describing what we’re doing in Propus with that fork. I can upload the slides if somebody asks to, but everything there’s to know about it is in the code.

After having had lunch with some friends and talking with others I haven’t seen since last year (and that I still hadn’t seen in FISL), I went to the Key Signing Party we organized. That went fine. We had 114 different keys sent, but just 42 showed up for the party (including my 2). I don’t know what is the average in other parties, but I think it was enough given we had the competition of other 12 other activities, and it was a first-time experience.

Later I attended to High-Speed Cryptography and DNSCurve lecture by DJB, which was a really amazing talk. I was moderator for a panel between him and Frederico Neves on Wednesday (as I told you before), and I was present when they debated about NSEC3 and how prone to enumeration attacks it is. Frederico challenged DJB to enumerate NIC.br’s NSEC3 testing network under sec3.br. In this talk he told the audience that he enumerated 23 of the 26 hosts in that network just using desktop-level computers (and not some fancy Gigaflop crypto-breaker station)… that is until he had to prepare the last talk. (I am guessing, but he described the technique here)…

After I just learned how to Fail Faster and Succeed Sooner with Michael Tiemann, another good lecture in which Tiemann told how Fedora is coming from failure to failure until the successful last releases (and how did that tied up with RHEL strategy).

Then I went to the Panel on Electronic Frontier, one I was most curious to go. Really interesting panel talking about freedom in the Internet and how we, as citizens, have to oppose anything that takes away this freedom. One of the many good ideas I learned from that panel was how to fight against traffic shaping (one of the many things almost all ISP does in Brazil and don’t say a word about): building our own Community ISP. I found it an interesting idea, but have to research on how it fits in Brazilian legislation (it may even be unlawful).

My initial intent was to escape before the end of that panel in order to attend the session were DJB would announce this year’s Programming Arena winner group. But before I could get out, Marcelo Branco called me to join the panel in his place, since he had to take care of the proceedings to FISL10 final session. So that was it. I still have to ask Organization Committee who own the Arena…

The final session was kind of crazy. The usual announcements of numbers and a presentation of a piece of President Lula speech. Jon ‘maddog’ Hall recorded a video of the audience inviting Linus to come. It were also announced that FISL11 will be in Usina do Gasômetro. I am not too excited about this place, and I still doubt it’ll be ready to hold an event such as FISL… I’ll just play “wait and see” 😉

As usual, FISL10 most lasting “side-effect” was to see old friends. I am already missing people I am sure I’ll just see again next FISL

I’d like to thank all the people that came to FISL10. Hope you enjoyed and come back for FISL11.

FISL10 day 3 – the day I met the President

Posted by – 28/06/2009

I am a little behind on the reports on FISL, but so much has got my attention during it that blogging was just put in second. I will catch up today, hopefully.

So, during the night of day 2, all those measures I mentioned had to be put in place. That was when I learned that I was suppose to be one of the selected lecturers to meet President Lula in private, representing small free software companies (how awesome!). Others include Peter Sunde, Bdale Garbee, Jon ‘maddog’ Hall, Richard Stallman, Marcelo Tosatti, Pau Garcia-Milá, Sérgio Amadeu, Marcos Mazoni, Ana Amorin, Bruno Souza, Marcelo Branco, Sady Jacques and Mário Teza.

I was told to dress accordingly… I asked what “accordingly” meant (we were in a free software event: jeans and t-shirt seemed “accordingly” to me)… but no reasoning was taken: I had to wear a tie.

Next day I went to PUCRS early, in order to prepare some lines and gather some data I could mention to the President. Something like Free Software adoption rate, which is around 26% per year, or the 134 million USD that this market moved just last year. I would also ask the President to enforce the Free Software priority in training programs sponsored by the Federal Government. I knew I would not have time for a speech or the like, and that this would be more an informal meeting… This, though, was even more difficult to prepare (I would prefer a speech!).

So, I got my pin and went to the Arena to wait for the scheduled evacuation, after which, I was told to wait in the private room, for the President arrival. I was there with the rest of the selected lecturers, so I couldn’t see when he arrived. People told me that he went all around the exposition area, and the user group area, shaking hands and being photographed with everybody there. He even entered the Programming Arena and told the contenders they were “genius” (after all, the Programming Arena was his idea, 3 years ago). People in Debian booth told me he entered the booth and wore a Debian hat…

When he finally entered the private room, everybody had about 2-3 minutes with him in the middle of a circle. Presidential photographer took lots of pictures we were told will be sent to us later this week, but of course some of us also took our own pictures. Some of those are below, taken from Sergio Amadeu’s camera:

Marcelo Branco, President Lula and I

Peter Sunde, Sérgio Amadeu, Marcelo Tosatti - in blue, behind Sérgio -, Richard Stallman, I, Bdale Garbee, Dep. Paulo Pimenta, and President Lula

Jon ‘maddog’ Hall gave him a Tux pin and a DVD with a animation produced only with Free Software (I cannot recall the title). Richard Stallman gave him a printed version of his book. Marcos Mazoni gave him a small totem with the stamp celebrating 10 years of FISL (the stamp was an idea I had two years ago but that we couldn’t do by ourselves – Mazoni’s SERPRO had the same idea and actually did it), and all others (including myself) just told him what we where there for. For me, in particular, he asked where I was born and how I went from being a doctor to own a free software company. I had the impression somebody already told him about me beforehand (Mário or Marcelo, for sure). I told him I was doing both right now… he smiled, hugged me and went on to the next of us.

After that, we were told to take our places in the audience room (FISL3 room in the map), where we heard Marcelo Branco, FISL10 coordinator, Dilma Rousseff, minister of Civil House (and appointed to succeed Lula), and President Lula. It’s easy to find this audience in youtube. Most interesting part of Lula speech, IMHO, can be loosely translated into English as:

I remember the first meeting we had at Granja do Torto [which is the presidential country residence – similar to Camp David, but less aristocratic], in which I understood absolutely nothing about what these people were discussing, and there was an enormous tension between those defending the adoption of Free Software by Brazil and those defending we should just do what we always did – remain the same, buying and paying for others’ intelligence. Thanks God, in our country, the decision to adopt Free Software prevailed.

He also said many things that pleased the audience. People raised a banner asking him to block Azeredo’s bill, and he said the bill was equivalent to censorship and that in Brazil it is “forbidden to forbid”.

After those speeches, he went to some other appointments, and the day 3 of FISL10 was over. I just wish that, if any President comes to FISL again, we’d be warned in advance, so we can prepare the map accordingly, and not have to run last-minute preparations. All in all, a great participation. I think all the hassle we had because of his coming were hugely compensated by what he said.

FISL10 day 2

Posted by – 26/06/2009

Today was a busy day for the Organization Committee. As faw told me: some people from Debian haven’t even see me yet… But all this have a reason: President Lula confirmed his coming and all his security personnel flooded FISL and asked a lot of things from the Committee.

We had to “partition” FISL. They draw a red area in our map:

and demanded that only 700 people (less than 10% of the people!!!) could access that area. We had to work all day, organizing a list of 400 people that had to work in there (people from booths, user groups, programming arena, robotics festival, etc). Those will receive a special pin. The other 300 spots, will be served in a counter that goes up and down (after 300 has entered, the only way of another person get in is someone getting out).

By noon, federal police will evacuate the red area, and will screen it (I believe looking for bombs or something like that). At 13h only those wearing the pin and the circulating 300 will be allowed back.

President will arrive by 15h. He’s scheduled to visit the red area (including the programming arena – Yeah!), then he should go into a private meeting with selected lecturers and people in Brazilian Free Software Community. Afterwards he should, himself, give a lecture in Room FISL3 (also marked in red). President will leave for other appointments and, hopefully, FISL will go back to normality.

So, all the demands from Federal Police and from the community took all day long to settle. I couldn’t attend to the sessions I wanted, nor hang out with people from Debian… Hopefully, I will not be dragged by the Organization tomorrow so I can give my lecture and attend the key signing party on Saturday… Don’t get me wrong: this is a great day for FISL (and Free Software in general) – a President of a large and democratic nation is acknowledging our existence and labour. But having to restrict access in a part of FISL is not something that pleases me (and I am sure doesn’t please the rest of the Committee). Anyways… on to day 3.

FISL10 day 1

Posted by – 24/06/2009

FISL10 began, as usual, with lots of people from lots of places packing PUCRS’ event center in Porto Alegre. This is indeed a special edition! The official numbers are not yet computed; as I write the counter reached 7168 attendees… But since the database has been running locally yesterday on, people that registered at PUCRS are not yet counted… Registration team will merge the databases eventually, but that’s not their top priority right now.

So, this year I am not helping TVSL, which is being taken care of by Luis Felipe instead. He’s been doing a good work and there could be nobody else better than him. My quality of life increased dramatically by letting TVSL in Felipe’s hands… Maybe this year I manage to actually attend to some sessions, and to hang out with Debian guys.

This year I will partially take care of the Programming Arena. The challenge was revealed today and 11 “heroes” are, right now, trying to respond to it. It has been requested that they implement DNSCurve. They could have no better coach at this than D. J. Bernstein, who has been helping them both at the Arena and through the Arena private mailing-list.

Earlier, DJB also were in DNSCurve x DNSSEC panel, one of the most interesting technical sessions so far (bias warning: I was moderator for it). DJB and Frederico Neves (from NIC.br) exchanged arguments exposing interesting details of both secure DNS alternatives.

Also, today we got the confirmation from Brazilian Presidency that the President will attend our event. It will be on Friday, and I am too excited to hear what he has to say about free software government policies. (Apparently, apart from Linus, we managed to get everybody to show up in FISL 😉 ).

I am also taking care of the Key Signing Party. This has been a rather good experience, since it requires almost nothing from me (except preparing the keylist and showing up at the scheduled time and place) :-).

See you tomorrow, at FISL!

Três Androids G1 de barbada e eu fora!

Posted by – 08/06/2009

É nessas horas que participar da organização do FISL cobra o seu preço… A Arena de Programação vai premiar com um celular Android G1 (cortesia do Google) os três vencedores desse ano!

Pra piorar a minha situação, o desafio desse ano (tradicionalmente um filtro difícil) não está lá essas coisas… No entanto, ninguém da organização pode participar, isso significa que, se quiser um Android G1 vou ter de comprar um…

Boa sorte aos que conseguirem resolver o desafio.

Keysigning Party at FISL10

Posted by – 03/06/2009

We’ll be holding a Keysigning Party at FISL10. This will be a good opportunity to renew my key, given I’ve been using it since 2001 and it’s an old 1024 DSA key.

I have to thank Aníbal Monsalve Salazar and Alexander Wirt for sharing their expertise in organizing this kind of event. More information on the KSP can be obtained from the announcement.

FISL10 Subscriptions and Call for Papers Opened

Posted by – 25/03/2009

One of the largest FLOSS events in the world, FISL (International Free Software Forum – in english) subscriptions are already being accepted. They also already called for papers! They’re calling this year’s a “special edition” since they expect to reach 10-thousand attendees (last year exceeded 7-thousand)… this is pretty big if you ask me.

As usual, it will take place at Porto Alegre, and is scheduled from June 24th to 27th. I think we can expect the usual activities (Programming Arena, Interesting Workshops, FLOSS shows, Great Speakers, Brazilian Government), but I think the “special edition” is not just due to the number of attendees. What surprises are being cooked by the Organization Committee is just something we’ll have to wait and see 🙂

See you there!

É tempo de fisl de novo!

Posted by – 14/03/2009

É, já começou. Em breve teremos outra edição do Fórum Internacional Software Livre. Muita coisa aconteceu desde que começou (e desde que me integrei ao comitê organizador)… o evento cresceu e amadureceu rapidamente, tornando-se, talvez, o mais importante no cenário nacional e um dos mais importantes no cenário internacional.

A edição desse ano (de número 10) está sendo chamada de “edição especial”. Claro que sei de muita coisa dos bastidores (e muita coisa que será surpresa para os participantes, por isso não posso divulgar), mas o “especial” dessa edição, mais do que nunca, vai ser construído pela comunidade. Já vi que canais como Facebook e Twitter além do tradicional Orkut estão ativos para o evento e, sabendo que Marcelo Branco está a frente esse ano, já deve ser suficiente para inferir o sucesso da edição.

Já vi o nascimento e a morte de diversos eventos de software livre… Alguns grandes como o FISL, ameaçando tirar-lhe a posição de destaque que conquistou. Mas durante todo o tempo em que estive envolvido, o FISL foi ficando… Todos os anos alguém me pergunta o que eu acho q mantém o FISL vivo, mesmo diante das inúmeras adversidades por que todos os eventos passaram.

Um ingrediente para o sucesso do FISL é a rotatividade. No comitê organizador, pessoas vem e vão, sempre encontrando terreno fértil para as suas melhores idéias, provando que o importante é a renovação: a cada ano o FISL se reinventa. Muitas vezes, paga o preço da inovação: quando decidimos que o sistema de inscrição de um fórum de software livre devia ser, igualmente, software livre não previmos que um erro de programação poderia gerar uma multidão ansiosa diante dos guichês de chegada. Sim, o erro foi corrigido desde então, mas tivemos de ouvir por mais de uma vez “se tivessem usado o software não livre X, nada disso teria acontecido”… Talvez não, mas os princípios do FISL sempre foram mais importantes e sempre deram força para prosseguir.

No entanto, cada vez mais estou convencido que o modelo do FISL é o seu coração, e é o motivo que o mantém forte diante das adversidades: não é uma feira, é um fórum… um lugar aberto para que a comunidade se encontre e, de quebra, assista a algumas palestras sobre algo de seu interesse.

Na Roma antiga, o fórum era o lugar mais importante, onde todos os cidadãos de encontravam. Na Grécia, o ágora (equivalente ao fórum) era o centro político e social, sede das decisões que eram emanadas da reunião dos cidadãos, do coletivo. Seria demagógico dizer que pensei no FISL quando estive nesses dois locais, mas retrospectivamente falando, as semelhanças não podem ser ignoradas. Não é a toa que a principal e maior área da planta do FISL é dedicada aos coletivos de software livre, às comunidades e aos grupos de usuários; não é a toa que as palestras são propostas (e avaliadas) pela comunidade, e que apenas um punhado delas é reservada aos patrocinadores. É tão fácil ver dois hackers combinando um encontro no FISL quanto é fácil imaginar dois cidadãos romanos combinando um encontro em frente ao templo de Pollux e Castor.

Enfim, um grande evento é construído por grandes pessoas. Não estou aqui me referindo ao comitê organizador… Estou me referindo a todos os participantes do FISL: você faz o fórum…

Nos vemos lá!

“Important by Association”

Posted by – 02/05/2008

Here is a story people are bugging me to tell here: Since 2003, every year in fisl’s last day we, Debian Brasil, hold a “party” to celebrate Debian’s anniversary (I know it’s on August, but it’s probably the only opportunity we’ll have to gather all the gang together so we do it in advance anyway). It’s always something that draws everybody’s attention in the conference… I wonder if the pieces of cake we distribute have anything to do with it…

Anyway, this anecdote happened during fisl9.0’s party. I was there, helping by distributing cake and blowing our whistles when Jon ‘Maddog’ Hall got there to check what’s going on. I met Jon around 2001, in OpenBeach, an event that happens in Florianópolis every year (and that Jon likes to attend)… he’s the most pleasant guy, with lots of stories to tell. Since this years’ fisl was so intense, I barely had time to talk to him… in fact, that was the first time we saw each other this year. We hug each other and were asking how’s each other life’s going and so, when Jon got his camera out of his pocket and asked some guy in the crowd to get our picture. I did the same. We exchanged some compliments and he left saying that he still had to work in his talk.

Jon is quite a character. In fisl, every time he wanders around his picture is taken over one hundred times (I actually saw some father taking pictures of him holding his child like he were running for Senate or something, one time). So he left with some people around him and I think he’d not seen what happened next. I turn towards Debian’s booth, to resume the cake delivery when some guy in the crowd asked me to take a picture with him. And then another one… and another. I believe my picture was taken another two or three times before I got to the booth. I can’t believe! I was about to tell people “Hey! I am nobody! Stop taking pictures with me…” What were they thinking? I imagine something like “I don’t know who this guy is, but if Maddog took a picture with him, he must be some one!” was crossing their minds.

When the party was over I went back to the Organization Committee room and told this story… LTSP’s Jim McQuillan (another good friend) told me I was “Important by Association”, and everybody just kept laughing at me because of that. I haven’t got the time to tell Jon about it… I hope he’s reading.

I think I am going to check what pictures people are uploading about fisl, to see if I can find myself on any 😉

So… it’s over

Posted by – 20/04/2008

And fisl9.0 is over. This was a great one… not only because of its size, but there were so many things at stake that I am positively surprised such a few went wrong. We’ve got a lot to think until next one…

To begin with, there’s a major difference between this “inter-fisl” time: we already know where next’s going to be and how much it’ll cost us. The event-center cost, as you can imagine, is the most expensive part of our budget, and knowing that in advance, I believe, will play an important role in our planning. Also, we got more time to plan for the next one: it’ll be in June, not April, as usual.

Moving back to PUCRS (from FIERGS) as fisl’s event-center – now I can say – was scaring me to death. PUCRS is smaller and we were foreseeing a huge event. Guess what! The event was bigger than first imagined, and PUCRS held it without major drawbacks. Sure, lectures were crowded… but they were already crowded at FIERGS anyway… The expo had more people than FIERGS, but I am sure our sponsors did not think that was a problem 😉

Of course, not everything went OK… I think we had two important problems to solve for next fisl: our network must be born already correctly configured for the streaming, and our wireless infrastructure must be stronger. The first one I already wrote about and I think it had to to with the inexperience of the network people this year: apparently they’ve put everything under a crappy load-balancing and while this might work for web-surfing or sending small amounts of data, it just hurts anything that should be continuously transfered, like real-time videos. Here is a piece of advice: network planning involves the “right” amount of everything (the right amount of cables, the right amount of bandwidth, the right amount of uplinks), including the right amount of configuration! I think our network problems were more a case of overconfiguration than one of lack of skills.

The problem with the wi-fi is deeper. Maybe I don’t completely understand the technology (and people handling it were not very helpful). How do you manage an event like fisl in the wireless front? PUCRS have provided us with enough wi-fi to hold 1500 concurrent connections (so they say), and have reported we never had more than 400 concurrent connections… and yet, as many people have reported, to connect our laptops was a hassle. I don’t have a laptop, but I’ve seem a lot of my friends trying to connect with no luck. During the second day, PUCRS wi-fi technicians told us that the problem was the Access-Points people brought to fisl (according to them there were more than 30) that were, somehow, messing with the channels they were using. So we reserved some channels to PUCRS and asked people to use other ones. I tend to believe that the majority of the people listened to our appeal and reconfigured their Access-Points… but no improvement were reported.

So, either PUCRS cannot hold more than 400 concurrent connections in their wi-fi system, or there’s some other problem we’ve not identified. What is the right thing to do? To forbid people to bring their own Access-Points? No way I am going to see the day fisl organizing committee will disallow people to carry their own communication devices!! There must be a better solution… I think I am going to study wi-fi at least not to be easily fooled around by this “messing the channels” crap (please, comment to this article if you have any ideas).

Finally, people are dreaming of a 10-thousand people fisl next year. I think it’s not more than a dream… but hey! When we made the first fisl, there were only 300 people… it has been a 9-year long dream… Maybe that 10-thousand one will come true, as the previous ones did. I will just add one more problem to our list: the first day long lines to get people’s badges must be addressed in a creative way…

Thanks to all that came to fisl. See you next year!

fisl9.0: 2nd day

Posted by – 19/04/2008

They’ve came down with a participant number for fisl9.0: 7417. That’s it… over SEVEN THOUSAND! I was told it’s still an estimate, since they haven’t merged the databases yet (anyway, that’s the official number so far). This fisl is huge! One more picture of the crowd, just for the record:

Now everything is fine. TVSL went online with no problems (once the network was fixed) and remained broadcasting the event the whole day long. All was so fine that one can think it’s even boring! I spent half the day attending our company booth and the other half trying to help the organizing committee. While walking around, two linux-driven home-made robots called my attention. The first one serves water to the guy in front of it:

The other one just walks around:

On the Debian side of the “trench”, I met João Eriberto Mota Filho, Debian Developer wannabe who asked me to sign his key. I’ve seem he before, since he’s a frequent speaker at fisl and welcome him as a future developer. Meanwhile I was “reminded” by faw that I still owe him my signature… since DebConf4!! I signed so many keys in the KSP we held then, that one or two might have been missed… I intend to fix that RSN 😉

Wow! Fisl exploded!

Posted by – 18/04/2008

I have never seem so many people at fisl. Seriously! All the rooms were crowded, all the time… same as the expo and the user-group area. Our official counter were stopped at 6667 participants, but that is just because we’ve taken the registration database off-line in order to process new registrations on-site. By the end of fisl all the numbers will be summed up, but I heard rumors of 7 thousand people! Awesome!

I spent this first day mostly in the TVSL room. We’ve had problems with the network all day long. PUCRS’ technicians and our link providers’ personnel were trying to figure out where the problem seems to be. Being stuck with a non-functioning stuff, to me this day was mostly a sequence of frustrating attempts to get over the blockage. By the end of the day I was told that they were close to a solution… It reminded me of our second year trying to stream fisl, as was best told by Fluendo’s Thomas … This just leads me to an unavoidable conclusion: our network sucks! I had to hear from a Brazilian friend who lives in Europe how wonderful her Gigabit network is… grrrrrrr

Bored as I was, I went walking around. That, surely, were the best part of fisl so far: meeting old friends. I had the most pleasant chat (yet quick) with Otavio Salvador and Felipe van de Wiel, both friends of long time.

I took some pictures of the crowd:

And, since I was not “available” in the morning, when the huge crowd was arriving, I took a picture of a picture taken by Marlon of this initial moments:

(It is not really clear in this picture, but beyond the red gates there were as many people as inside)

Procura-se talentos em software livre

Posted by – 16/04/2008

Estive no fisl9.0 esta manhã e confirmei algo que já está se tornando rotina em eventos de software livre, especialmente nos últimos fóruns: As empresas em geral estão procurando talentos em software livre como nunca antes ocorrera! Agora eles chegam a anunciar como uma parte importante do seu stand no fisl… Eis uma foto do stand (ainda sendo montado) da globo.com (lê-se “precisamos do seu talento” bem grande, com um fundo de nomes de tecnologias de software livre):

Minha empresa também é patrocinadora, e terá um stand no fisl… e também estamos contratando. Se você entende de infra-estrutura de softwre livre ou de programação, passe lá para tomarmos um café… mesmo se já tiver visitado o stand da Globo 😉