oSC14 took place in Dubrovnik, Croatia, attracting a large number of Geekos to give and attend talks, organize and attend workshops and have fun at the parties. Compared to previous conferences the attendance at oSC14 was unfortunately on the lighter side of things but never the less we all had a great time. Since oSC13 we certainly had our trials and tribulations which we have left behind us and the mood was extremely positive with everyone being ready to move forward. The many hallway discussions had people discussing the new booth boxes, the progress on openQA and the staging model for Factory development. We shared articles on the event already, had 13K viewers on Bambuser and here we try to provide a bit of a closing overview!
We made new friends in an area of the world where open source and openSUSE may not be as prevalent as it is in other parts of the world. The event organization was outstanding and the venue location close to the old town of Dubrovnik welcomed all Geekos with open arms.
The sessions were divided in a number of tracks, including:
* End user, where sessions about the Jolla phone, ownCloud and the Bodega appstore brought the user in each of us up to the latest state of affairs. * Business, mostly about implementation of openSUSE and related technologies like ARM and OpenStack. * Technology development gave room for learning about (and often discussing) openSUSE and FOSS technologies like High Availability and openQA. * Community and project about openSUSE subjects like the conference next year, the Travel Support Program, Marketing and so on
The event was streamed on bambuser and we had over 13,000 views! All sessions were encoded and uploaded just a couple of hours after the last workshop came to a close on Monday to the opensusetv channel on YouTube. With 50 sessions all of those that missed out on oSC14 have plenty to watch and you can start right now if you want!
Aside from these tracks, there was an openSUSE Project/TownHall meeting, Keynote and of course a track of BoF sessions where openSUSE technologies and plans were discussed. Last but not least, there was an opening party on on Thursday evening and a big party on Sunday night. We also tried something new this year in that we had no room moderators and with that bestowing the power upon speakers to “kick” a previous speaker that may overrun out. No one was harmed in any way and speakers stayed within their allotted slots. You can read more about the sessions in the daily articles: day 1, day 2 and day 3 and 4.
On Sunday morning, the Board chaired a townhall meeting where the conversation that included people in the #opensuse-project channel on IRC freenode centered around two primary discussion topics:
focus of the distribution
the release cycle
Strategy and Focus
With openSUSE having gone through a rough patch lately, related to a stranded ‘strategy’ discussion, the attendees debated what it really is that openSUSE, as a project, needs. A widely shared conclusion was that everybody always needs everything. A ruby hacker might want a good Ruby stack. But then, Apache has to work, too, and so does MySQL. Go on and it turns out you need it all. coolo explain this just perfectly here.
‘Focus’ on a distro-wide level is something that we do not want to dictate or pursue. Rather, we believe that the current model in which various teams focus on their interests provides the best approach for openSUSE. For example the various desktops are all well integrated and all desktop teams focus on providing a great “end user” experience. As such we want to continue to encourage the different teams in openSUSE to set clear directions and goals for themselves, something that allows potential new contributors to find out what speaks to them most and join that effort.
This keeps openSUSE the fun and open place it is and should be - yet allows clear goals to steer development. Relationships in the project are strong and good enough to navigate any conflicts and the board can play a role in that area if needed.
We all agreed that our “kick ass” feature of the distribution is the full integration of the build service and that this is not nearly advertised enough.
The lifecycle of openSUSE is still open for continued dialog and will be ongoing for a while. We recognized that nailing this down now may be a bit pre-mature. Work on the staging and ring model is still in full swing. It would be great to have more contributors to the effort to mold OBS into an even more powerful tool that will allow us to make releases easier and have a more stable “rolling release” with Factory Tested. In this new model Tumbleweed would continue to serve it’s current purpose of accumulating newer versions of packages considered stable by their developers on top of the previous release.
As usual, a party was organized by the conference team. The location was excellent, can’t beat a pub at the beach, giving a great view on the gorgeous coast line around Dubrovnik. Everybody was delighted to hear that the bikini Andrew had bought for the occasion was too small and he used a decently sized speedo shared with him by another visitor. In the end, we managed to avoid the worst (neither link for the faint of heart). Three Geekos even went for a swim but the rest considered it too cold, too wet or both and stayed away from the Mediterranean Sea. Meanwhile, we did a group photo with a thank-you to Hans, who plans to organize oSC15 but couldn’t join us this year.
After the group photo, there was great food followed by dancing into the wee hours, details of which will remain in Dubrovnik!
Looking ahead: oSC15 Den Hague, Netherlands!
The announcement shared by the board in the opening session and later detailed in a talk was the location and plans for the openSUSE Conference 2015. Unfortunately Hans de Raadt, the lead of the oSC15 organization team was unable to attend oSC14 and Bruno Friedman lead the presentation about Den Hague as the oSC15 location. As the only Dutchy on the premises, Jos Poortvliet read a message during the townhall meeting from Hans to the community in the best Dutch accent he could muster.
So, oSC15 will be in the international city of peace, justice and excellent Surinaamse Roti in the April-May timeframe next year. We hope that more of us Geekos will be able to come together to carry the spirit of openSUSE and share the invigorating conversations and knowledge exchange the conference brings with it. The organization for oSC15 will get rolling in the next month or so and help will be needed, so think about volunteering.
Dubrovnik was great to the Geekos, and we hope the Geekos haven’t disturbed the city too much! See you in Den Hague in 2015!
Article written by Robert Schweikert & Jos Poortvliet