Talks at ConfSL

Last weekend I went to Ancona to attend the sixth edition of ConfSL, one of the most important Italian conferences about Free Software. It has been a great opportunity to meet old friends, get acquainted with new ones, and share some thoughts about FLOSS.  I also delivered two talks during the meeting, getting quite a good response from the audience.

ConfSL, Main Room
The main room of the Engineering Department in Ancona, who hosted the ConfSL, in a great picture by Marco Alici.

The first talk I presented was about a project started by the LUG I am member of, in the city of Fermo in Italy. It was about creating a computer room in a school in the city, salvaging some quite old hardware and powering it with 100% Free Software. The idea was started by the brave Cristian Minnucci, a good friend of mine and a teacher in the school itself, who submitted to the LUG the proposal to give technical assistance to the school in setting up the room. It needed several weeks of work, but we reached our goal and are pretty satisfied of the results. I presented the project, gathering a great interest from the audience. Slides are available online (italian only).

Talk delivery
(Photo courtesy of Marco Alici)

The second talk was about Ubuntu/Debian Development. I delivered the talk together with Iustin Pop, a nice Googler and Debian Developer who reached the party from Zurich. I really liked the idea to have an Ubuntu Developer and a Debian Developer together teaching how to get started with development, so I accepted with great pleasure the invitation from the organizers of ConfSL. I started the session with a general introduction to what Ubuntu is, how it is done, what a new contributor can do in the project, how to get involved. Then, Iustin packaged from scratch the popular GNU Hello application to give a taste of how a Debian package is done pragmatically. I was quite happy to see that several students followed this session, all of them showing great interest in the topic: I hope I’ll see them around soon. Slides of my talk are available too (in english, this time).

Debian packaging
Iustin Pop showing how to build a Debian package (Courtesy of… try guess? Marco Alici!)


Ubuntu-it Meeting Report

Saturday, June 2nd we held the bi-annual meeting of the community of Ubuntu Italy in the gorgeous city of Bologna. These meetings are a great opportunity to gather all the ubuntueros scattered around Italy and share some great time all together. We spent all day speaking about our community, plans for the future, ways to attract more contributors and let ubuntu-it grow even more. But there are many things behind the scene that usually don’t appear in the official chronicle…

Ubuntu-it Meeting group photo #1
Ubuntu-it in all its glory. (Courtesy of Dario Cavedon)

The venue and the earthquake.

Bologna is very close to the area that has been hit, a few days before the meeting, by two big earthquakes, killing 26 people. Fortunately, Bologna just got very limited damage, and we enjoyed the beauties of the city center under a shiny (and quite hot) sun.

Bologna City Hall
The City Hall of Bologna, in Piazza Maggiore. (Courtesy of Jeremie Tamburini)

The Meeting on air!

For the first time ever, a real-time audio/video streaming on the Internet has been available, giving the farthest users the possibility to follow the meeting comfortably sat at their own home. All of this was made possible by the extraordinary work of Marco Buono, who proved (again) to be a valuable asset of Ubuntu-it. Marco brought three webcams and found a way to deliver the stream by the only mean of Free Software. I really appreciated the effort. Of course, in the best tradition of the greatest meetings around the world, we faced some technical difficulties at first, but they managed to fix everything and we even can provide the full set of videos of the meeting (italian only).

Marco Buono vs The Streaming
Marco Buono (in the center) charging up the buddies during a coffee break (Courtesy of Dario Cavedon.)

 The Ubuntu-it official t-shirts.

The second great news of this meeting was the t-shirt we were all equipped with. And again, this was an idea of the hero Marco Buono, who cared of buying and printing the t-shirts for all of them. And the greatest thing is they are customized too! We paraded it in the evening across the city center, back from the dinner. Don’t know if the people thought of us as the players of a weird soccer team, or just a gang of crazy. I’d bet on the second option, though.

Ubuntu-it Meeting Photo Group #2
The Ubuntu-it gang in a photo group again, showing its b-side. The best one, actually. (Courtesy of Dario Cavedon)

 Talks, talks, and more talks.

Lots of sessions were hosted during this meeting. From Davide Miceli presenting its graduation thesis about online communities to Paolo Sammicheli reporting its impression from the latest UDS, from Jeremie Tamburini who announced plans regarding the Italian Documentation Team to Dario Cavedon who held a great talk about communication (and who personally defied me to blog more1), we had some very intense time all day long.

Ubuntu pride
Michele Mordenti waving a DIY Ubuntu flag while Fabio Colinelli (in the foreground) thinks about new features for MyUnity 4. In the rear, Dario Cavedon is tweeting (how strange!). (Courtesy of Marco Buono)

Crazy friends…

The guys from this community are simply amazing. And crazy too, especially when they are enjoying great times around a table with other fellow ubunteros.

Dario Cavedon
Dario Cavedon in one of his best disguise. He is tweeting even now. (Courtesy of Jeremie Tamburini)

…and great food.

One says “Italy”, and everybody think about great food. Ubuntu-it loves this stereotype, and has a longstanding tradition in the matter. I have never seen an Ubuntu-it event where great feeds were not a central part of it. This meeting was no exception to the rule.

Great Food at the Ubuntu-it table
And that was just the end of the lunch! (Courtesy of Jeremie Tamburini)
  1. Challenge accepted: this blogpost is just the first direct consequence.