FOSDEM 2014

11 February 2014 Comments Off

For the first time, thanks to Arxia, I had the opportunity to attend the open source’s biggest event: FOSDEM 2014. FOSDEM is a free event that offers open source communities a place to meet, share ideas & collaborate. The event is composed out of devrooms, lightning talks, 512 lectures, over 5000 attendees and it took place in Brussels, 1st & 2nd February 2014.

FOSDEM 2014

FOSDEM 2014

The host of the event was the Solbosch campus of the Universitry Libre de Brussels with 23 rooms spread across several buildings. There were essentially 5 different categories of sessions & activities: keynotes, main tracks, developer rooms, lightning talks & certification exams.
As with most open source events, FOSDEM started on Friday evening with a Beer Event, but unfortunately my flight landed in Brussels the next morning, so I missed the social gathering.
On Saturday morning, the event kicked off with the keynote Welcome to FOSDEM 2014 with event description & logics / practical information. From there on, every man for himself. Unlike any conferences I’ve attended, FOSDEM looks like an organized chaos, with so many people attending and such a variety of lectures.
It was hard to decide which tracks / devrooms / talks to attend to, but I think I got to attend some good ones. A nice talk was Why You Should Be an Open Source Project by Carol Huang where she compared humans to open source projects, quite clever. She made the case that we are a collection of code, our initial commit is from our parents and the pull requests of childhood influences are either rejected or accepted. More on this here.
Another interesting talk was about MyKolab.com, a business collaboration platform, that offers:
  • Synchronization with Mobile Devices
  • Free/Busy Information for Planning
  • Invitations for Appointments
  • Threaded Mailview
  • Server-side Mail Filtering
  • Multiple Calendar Folders
  • Different Calendar Views
  • Task Management
  • File Storage
  • Native File Integration
  • Customizable Webclient
  • Native Desktop Client for All Platforms
But the most important feature is maybe the bulletproof privacy that it offers being Open Source / Free Software.
Who ate my battery? by Jeremy Bennett & Kerstin Eder explains that the current problem with power usage on mobile devices doesn’t come entirely from hardware engineers, but the problem lies in the software. The lecture shows how ignorant developers are on power saving, ignoring efficiency in their applications / algorithm. Something really cool here was that you could test your algorithm and you would get a results in volts of how much energy did your algorithm consumed. Pretty awesome.
For an overall review of the event, I made an internal sharing session for my colleagues that can be seen on Slideshare.
FOSDEM is a nice opportunity to get in touch with people from the open source world, but also to feel the passion of thousands of developers reunited in one place.
Author: Tomita Militaru