Tag: lula

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!