#FOSDEM 2011 – Small visit on Saturday

Today, I had a trip to FOSDEM in Brussels. As a Belgian and an avid FOSS user, I couldn't miss it. Stll, I hadn't a ton of time to spend on it today, so I went for an hour, trying to catch some informaitons. Tomorrow, I'll go again, carrying some Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware folders with me. As a member of the marketing team, I should use this opportunity. Next year, I'll secure a slot, there are way too much cool things to show. Especially with version 7 that is about to be released. So, what did I learned as cool things today? Interestingly, I came across people from Novell, showcasing OpenSUSE. On one big screen, there was their buildserver system. It is a system that allows someone to build packages for a set of operating systems. You can build for SUSE, Debian, you name it. In fact, I wasn't as interested in the fact that it could build all that. I was interested that the build server is Open Sourrce. So, the open build server can be used for building and packaging C code of commercial nature. A free build server for C code with a neat front-end: exactly what I realized I was in need of to improve the current condition of one of my clients. I'll give it a shot and if it works right, go into that direction. Also, there was an XO (OLPC machine) demoing the Sugar OS. This was on the Fedora booth. The Fedora project lead (a fine guy BTW) told me that there a version of Sugar known as Sugar on a stick. So, I would be able to run Sugar directly from a stick on any machine. That's really something I want to try, especially when it comes to run Squeak (open Smalltalk) in a nice environment for kids. There were 32-bit Fedora 14 live CDs as 64-bit Fedora 14 install DVDs. I picked one of each. I am curious to see how Fedora is now. I had a 6.x a long time ago. The mozilla booth was pretty packed, and they gave goodies, like the wristbands with "I support the Open Web", badges, necklaces, and stickers. I had a look at Gnome3, which looks great even if not yet in a fully stable state. Bought a Gnome T-shirt to support a bit (and of course show off with geeky friends). Then, as a Ubuntu user, I had a look at their booth, picked a T-shirt and a mug. The T-shirts show off the new logo, which is kind of neat. They had the Ubuntu 10.10 and Kubuntu 10.10 media, which I picked up. Had a look at the Perl booth. I have moved off Perl some years ago, focusing on Tcl instead. Perl is powerful but really the syntax is turning me off. Too many things and idioms. Nevertheless, Perl is a fine language if you invest enough time in learning it and applying it to practical cases. I also had a talk with the guys staffing the LibreOffice booth. I was quite curious to see how LibreOffice would support DMaths, which we use with my wife to write equations (She's a math teacher). It turns out that the author of DMaths is german and is involved somewhat with LibreOffice. As such, it should work. I'll give it a shot. Also, we talked about equations. In fact the file contains the equations stored internally as MathML. Hey, this is cool because I may be able to get the MathML back for use on the web. All in all an interesting visit. Didn't attended a talk. But the talks are quite not associated with practical usage. And I am interested in practical usage, cases, labs, hands on. The hackers room is nice but always too crowded. When will they provide more than one of those?