After the first awesome day at #oSC13 and a more exciting night, we’re over 200 participants. Many more interesting presentations and workshops took place and everyone had fun! The schedule was printed and handed to our visitors letting them know about their options from the big variety of presentations, from technical to social.
#oSC13 Day 2 begins!
Day two kicked off with a keynote (see below) and continued as Friday: people went to the talks,various workshop sessions and hang out and discuss technology in the premises. Throughout the day our conference theme music ‘geeko-greeko’ played, often resulting in a sing-along. Lunch break at 1 PM was welcomed by everyone. There was a queue for first ordering, later retrieving food and then there was a bit of relative quiet as everyone had food. The conference organization also provided snacks for in between session cravings. A wide selection of very sweet but tasty cookies and cookie-like snacks were always around.
A bit of great news is that video’s are beginning to appear on YouTube - check them out here!
Keynote about SUSE and openSUSE
The second day opened with the technical keynote by Ralf Flaxa, VP of Engineering at SUSE. He noted that he would talk from both a company and a community perspective about the evolution of the Geeko. He began with a short history lesson, showing how openSUSE went from tgz’s on floppy disks via CD and DVD to cloud computing.
“History we come from a single SUSE Professional box that everybody worked on to the model of an enterprise and a community edition. This change was prompted purely by money. If it was possible, SUSE would still be doing just ONE box. It was fun to do, but change came and the Geeko had to go with it. Today, SUSE does not make any money on the community product - and that is by design. The openSUSE contributions are paid for by a percentage of SUSE profit and that is how SUSE likes it. These changes of course resulted in more than openSUSE: the opening of processes and release of tools like OBS are outcomes as well. A major goal of SUSE was to give the community influence on the development and encourage a variety of derivatives and flavors of openSUSE.”
Results Did it work out? From the SUSE point of view yes! SUSE is a profitable business and can and will continue to support openSUSE; and as we grow, SUSE promises to also grow their contributions. Our businesses’ need for SLE12 is, of course, driving contribution at the moment. In general, SUSE wants to see openSUSE successful.
And how did it work from the openSUSE side? Good too. Building on the infrastructure of OBS, openQA, Studio, Hermes and our other tools, the community grew with more contributors and maintaining more packages. A big proof of this success is the community-organized conference that we are reporting on. SUSE has also expanded the role of the openSUSE Board, started the TSP and other open projects and promises to continue to give the community more control, in a quest for a lasting “win-win” relationship.
However, just like in any organization there are also challenges to be faced, things to improve. Let’s review some of them.
Challenges We have SUSE and openSUSE whose code bases have diverged. This has become a problem. Ralf wants his engineers to contribute to openSUSE and this is hard with vastly different code bases; it results in spending time on back porting or simply doing double work. The need for customers/users are different for each distribution but there are things which are the same. Both home users and enterprise users need stable and moving components. We need to think about how to bring things together. Then there is the upgrade path between openSUSE and SLE. There is none! We have customers using openSUSE who might want to move to SLE who cannot do so since the distributions are so different at this time.
But there is more. We received feedback from the openSUSE community. Looking at Factory where you can get an openSUSE-of-the-day distribution image. It is a flexible tool, up to date and easy to hack on. However, it can be terribly unstable. It takes a lot of complicated work to maintain and has no lifecycle.
The openSUSE release, the product we send out, is stable with a nice, 8 month cycle and 18 months of maintenance and offers a lot of choice. But for some, 18 months is not enough and all the choice can be confusing and create problems in itself.
Suggestions Based on SUSE’s own experiences and the feedback from the community there are a few suggestions Ralf shared. About Factory, Ralf suggested increasing the amount of automated testing and be “more picky” about what goes into the distribution. He also pledged further investment from SUSE and suggested that we should talk about improving our integration process itself as well. About our release we should work at the balance we have between the scope, quality and life cycle of our distribution. Perhaps by focusing on a more restricted set of packages we could increase our life cycle to improve quality. Last but not least, he stressed the importance of transparent governance and an open ecosystem. He made very clear that SUSE does not commercialize openSUSE but he is perfectly happy if other partners, be it commercial or not, come in and try to generate a revenue stream, building on openSUSE and contributing to it. The presentation video is online here.
Many More Talks
After the keynote many community based presentations took place with presenters showing how the openSUSE distribution is released, openSUSE in numbers and how to share the Linux Desktop, the new local coordinator program. There were also presentations about the MATE project, Enlightenment and LibreOffice, MySQL and Linux I/O. Moreover, there were interesting workshops giving attendees an opportunity to get their hands dirty on OBS coding with Henne Vogelsang and on Rasberrt Pi with Bernhard Wiedemann.
Board meeting: oSC14 location! At the end of the conference day the openSUSE Board chair Vincent Untz opened a session on project-wide issues. On Friday this session was used to have the various teams in openSUSE present on their work and progress.
On saturday a big announcement was made the: the next openSUSE Conference will take place in Croatia, in the city of Dubrovnik. You might not recognize the name Dubrovnik but you should. The popular HBO series ‘Game of Thrones’ is actually being filmed in and around many locations in this city! You can imagine that Dubrovnik is a beautiful, medieval-looking city. But it is not all old buildings there, there is change coming in the IT world. While the community is currently spread all over Croatia, the government is picking up on the Free and Open Source trend. The government has started supporting FOSS and the Croatia’s President recently opened the 20th local Linux/Open Source Conference. There is now a Linux Workgroup sponsored by the Croatian government in order to push for more open technologies!
The team pushing this local conference has now offered to take care of us “Geekos” next year! The conference will take place at the University of Dubrovnik, during the month April. An exact date will be announced later but the local Croatian team is already busy negotiating, pinning down the date, location, rooms and other details. On stage, Kostas (Greek conference organizer) gave Svebor Prstacic (Croatian community member) the official Conference Geeko and a bottle of Ouzo.
Board meeting There was a big thanks to conf team and sponsors for their contributions and hard work. The board then gave a report on the work done in the last year. They made progress in increased visibility; worked on setting up new/improved ambassador program; and discussed the foundation and money handling. A report on that last point will come. Of course there is always more room for improvement, and the board welcomes feedback. During the Q&A there were questions about the strategic direction of openSUSE as a project, technical developments and discussions that are happening since Ralf’s keynote this morning; oSC organization work and involvement of the board.
Find the talks online here!
Party party party party!
After a hard day of work a Greeko party was well-deserved rest. The conference atmosphere was excellent and everyone was delighted about the results of the conference so far. But it’s true that after the first day’s party outside the venue with lots of drinks and beers everyone was waiting for the main party and what ideas Greeks had about entertainment. Expectations were high and the Greeks met them!
After the conference everyone went for barbeque at a bar next to the venue! Steaks, souvlaki, sausages, Greek salad, beers, cocktails, shots and lots of drinks were available! Everyone ate, drinking danced and had fun! It was a night to remember!
If you missed the chance to be here with us and have fun you can attend the conference and all the fun online from the live streaming that is set up in the venue. Also if you have any questions for the presentation you attend online there is an IRC Channel set up in order to make your questions.
Last but not least we have our local newspaper!