Day 2 was hectic! I had all 4 of my talks scheduled, three of them in sequence without any breaks. Now that I look back at them, there were more people in the audience than I really expected for my sessions. It was really encouraging to see.
I began with a session on RPMFusion: I covered things like licensing, patents and encouraged people to clarify their conceptions on FOSS. Quite a few people came forward with intelligent questions on multimedia codecs and the rest which, in my opinion, helped them understand the Fedora philosophy of being strictly FOSS better. Another goal of the talk was also to make people aware of the work that goes into RPMFusion, behind the scenes. It went really well.
My next two sessions weren’t really fedora related. I was to introduce people to LaTeX and beamer. The room was almost full (yeah, I’m bragging), which shows that people really aren’t afraid of learning new things. I kept my slides short. In fact, I had only 10 in total. I showed them how easy LaTeX is to use contrary to popular belief. A few of them already used LaTeX for their project reports etc., and helped to catch the interest of the newer users. I did cover the installation of required packages in my talk, but because a majority of the audience wasn’t running Fedora yet, we didn’t quite get to a hands on session like I had planned. Anyway, it seemed like the audience understood the advantages of using LaTeX over a WYSIWYG editor. I finished with both my sessions in under 40 minutes so we had more than an hour to spare. I took up 15 for questions and a walkthrough of the source code of my presentations. Once I was done, Rahul used the remaining hour for an on the spot QA session. Licensing, drivers, support, contributions were some of the ideas that people queried him about. I didn’t stay for the entire session. I ran to the next classroom where my RPM Packaging session was to take place.
I’ve done packaging sessions before. Quite a few of them. In most of these, we’d go through the hello package, get people to build an rpm and the sort. I wanted to try something different this time. Instead of getting people to make packages, I concentrated on putting the basics across to them. Those of you who make rpms for fedora know that the methodology varies based on the source that upstream provides. I therefore kept the talk as generic as possible. I tried to make the audience do most of the talking, so the method I used here was one of questions and answers. Luckily some of the students had compiled packages from source, so I mostly got appropriate answers to most of my questions. A few people did come up and discuss the process with me after the talk, so I really hope they follow up and begin contributing to fedora as maintainers.
With 4 talks in a day, I was sort of tired. I sat in Rahul’s session on askbot where he discussed his plans for ask.fp.o’s future.
I couldn’t let the fatigue get to me though, with the FUDPub later in the evening. It was great fun, to get together with fellow contributors and volunteers to drink and dance! The COEP volunteers had a lot of fun. A lot of photographs and videos were taken as well. You’ll get to see them as people upload them in the next few days.
It was a very constructive day. I do hope some of the attendees follow up and work on FOSS. If you need any help with any of the topics I discussed, please drop me a mail at ankursinha AT fedoraproject DOT org. My slides are available here: http://fudcon.in/users/ankursinha