Going to FOSDEM 2015

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Yeps,

I’m going there and I know several friends are going too, so this is just my way of pointing this out to the ones of you who still haven’t made up your mind! There’s still a lot of time left as this event is taking place late January next year.

I intend to try to get a talk to present this time and I would love to meet up with more curl contributors and fans.

fosdem

My FOSDEM 2014

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

I’m back home after FOSDEM 2014.Lots of coffee A big THANK YOU from me to the organizers of this fine and totally free happening.

Europe’s (the World’s?) biggest open source conference felt even bigger and more crowded this year. There seemed to be more talks that got full, longer lines for food and a worse parking situation.

Nothing of that caused any major concern for me though. I had a great weekend and I met up with a whole busload of friends from all over. Many of them I only meet at FOSDEM. This year I had some additional bonuses by for example meeting up with long-term committers Steve and Dan from the curl project whom I had never met before IRL. Old buddies from Haxx and Rockbox are kind of default! :-)

Talk-wise this year was also extra good. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Embedded room but this year there was fierce competition for my attention so I spread my time among many rooms and got to see stuff about: clang the compiler, lots of really cool stuff on GDB, valgrind and helgrind, power efficient software, using the GPU to accelerate libreoffice, car automation and open source, how to run Android on low-memory devices, Firefox on Android and more.

I missed out the kdbus talks since it took place in one of them smaller devrooms even though it was “celebrity warning” all over it with Lennart Poettering. In general there’s sometimes this problem at FOSDEM that devrooms have very varying degrees of popularity on the different talks so the size of the room may be too large or too small depending on the separate topics and speakers. But yeah, I understand it is a very hard problem to improve for the organizers.

As a newbie Firefox developer at Mozilla I find it fun to first hear the Firefox on Android talk for an overview on how things  run on that platform now and then I also got references to Firefox both in the helgrind talk and the low-memory Android talk. In both negative and positive senses.

As always on FOSDEM some talks are not super good and we get unprepared speakers who talk quietly, monotone and uninspired but then there’s the awesome people that in spite of accents and the problem of speaking in English as your non-native language, can deliver inspiring and enticing talks that make me just want to immediately run home and try out new things.

The picture on the right is a small tribute to the drinks we could consume to get our spirits up during a talk we perhaps didn’t find the most interesting…

This year I found the helgrind and the gdb-valgrind talks to be especially good together with Meeks’ talk on using the GPU for libreoffice. We generally found that the wifi setup was better than ever before and worked basically all the time.

Accordingly, there were 8333 unique MAC addresses used on the network through the two days, which we then can use to guesstimate the number of attendees. Quite possibly upwards 6000…

See you at FOSDEM 2015. I think I’ll set myself up to talk about something then. I didn’t do any this year.

Meet Haxx at FOSDEM 2013

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Keeping up with our fine tradition, we will be present at that huge open source conference called FOSDEM in Brussels Belgium at the beginning of February 2013. It will then become our… 4th (?) visit there. I don’t have any talk planned yet, but possibly I’ll suggest something later.

Fosdem is several thousand open source geeks in a massive scale conference with something like twenty different parallel tracks, where each room basically is organized and planned independently. There’s no registration and no entrance fee. I usually enjoy network and security related rooms and of course the embedded room, which unfortunately seems to be stuck in a very large room of the campus with the worst sound system and audio conditions…

I look forward to meet friends there and have a great time with open source talks and good Belgian beers at night! If you’ll be there too, let us know and we can meet up.

fosdem

curl meetup at Fosdem 2012

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

The FOSDEM 2012 dates were recently revealed (4-5 February 2012).

A pint of guinness

I’d be happy to arrange a get-together for libcurl hackers at Fosdem this year. To me, Brussels, Belgium seems mid-europe enough to be able to attract a bunch of us:

  • libcurl application users/authors
  • libcurl binding hackers
  • libcurl contributors
  • … and everyone else who’s doing related activities or who just is interested

Potential subjects to discuss at such a meeting:

  • what’s the most important stuff libcurl still lacks?
  • what’s the least documented/understood parts of libcurl?
  • are there shared problems several/many libcurl bindings have to solve?
  • can we improve how we work/develop libcurl and bindings?
  • what kind of beer is best at a curl meetup?
  • [fill in your own curl related subject]

I would like at least 4-5 people voicing interest for this to be worthwhile for me to actually try to do anything. Please speak up on the libcurl mailing list, tweet me or mail me privately! The more people that are interested, the more planning and stuff we’ll do for it.

Fosdem 2011: my libcurl talk on video

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Kai Engert was good enough to capture all the talks in the security devroom at Fosdem 2011, and while I’m seeding the full torrent I’ve made my own talk available as a direct download from here:

Fosdem 2011: security-room at 14:15 by Daniel Stenberg

The thing is about 107MB big, 640×480 resolution and is roughly 26 minutes playing time. WebM format.

libcurl, seven SSL libs and one SSH lib

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

I did a talk today at Fosdem with this title. The room only had 48 seats and it was completely packed with people standing everywhere it was possible around the seated guys.

The English slides from my talk are below. It was also recorded on video so I hope I’ll be able to post once it becomes available online

Going to FOSDEM 2011

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Fosdem 2011We’re going to FOSDEM again. This year we’ll ship over the entire company (all three of us) and we’ll join up with a few fellow Rockbox hackers and spend a weekend in Brussels among thousands of fellow free software and open source hackers.

During this conference, 5-6 February, I’ve submitted a libcurl-related talk to the embedded-room that wasn’t accepted into the regular program, but I’ve agreed to still prepare it and I then might get a slot in case someone gets sick or something. A bit ungrateful as now I still have to prepare my slides for the talk but there’s a big risk that I’ve done it in vain! I’ve also submitted a suggestion for a second talk in the opensc/security room (also related to stuff in the curl project) but as of now (with but 16 days left) that schedule is yet to be announced so I don’t know if I’ll do a talk there or not.

So, I might do no talks. I might do two. I just don’t know. We’ll see.

If you’re a friend of mine and you’re going to FOSDEM this year, please let me know and we can meet and have a chat or whatever. I love getting faces to all the names, nicks and email addresses I otherwise only see of many people.

Update: My talk in the security room is titled “libcurl: Supporting seven SSL libraries and one SSH library” and will start at 14:15 on Saturday the 5th of February.

My Rockbox talk at Fosdem 2010

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

As I’ve mentioned several times before in this blog, I did a talk about Rockbox and reverse engineering at Fosdem 2010 Feburary 6-7 in Brussels, and since there was no “pre-arranged” video recording of the talks in the embedded devroom, Peter D’Hoye stepped up and recorded the whole thing using his Nokia n900 phone.

I decided to not make the slides for this talk available separately, as they were more or less the same as the ones I used for my FSCONS 2009 talk, so you can go watch them instead if this video isn’t enough!

Rockbox-talk-Fosdem2010

To view it, I suggest you use VLC or similar and tell it to stream directly from one of these URLs, the file is a 1.1GB one with 848×480 resolution running for 51 minutes. Annoyingly, none of the usual free online video services allow this long ones.

http://www.qnapclub.be/rockbox/fosdem2010_rockbox.mp4

http://download.rockbox.org/movies/fosdem2010_rockbox.mp4

My Fosdem 2010

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Friday

Björn and I left work on the Friday afternoon and took a flight down to Brussels, Belgium. After having checked in to our hotel, we met up with Frank from the Rockbox project and we headed to the Fosdem beer event that took place on a pub quite nearby to the hotel.

The Beer event was crowded. I mean really really crowded. But we still managed to get seated and we got fine belgium beers and we had a good time. We met a few other Swedes that turned out to be the first in a long series of Swedes that were there. Petur from Rockbox joined up there as well and together we went over a fair share of their beer selection…Atomium

Saturday

For us tech guys, the Saturday morning had no really exciting subjects and weirdly enough the morning had only one track and the massive amount of parallel tracks didn’t start until after lunch. This gave us an opportunity to go sight-seeing, and we visited the city square and the Atomium before we headed into the FOSDEM premises and squeezed our way in to a presentation.

Peter Stuge from the Coreboot project explained to us that we were by far too many people crammed into that little room so if one of the responsible guys would come around a fair lot of us would get thrown out of there. With that heads up given, he started his talk and gave us insights in what coreboot is, what it does and so on. I’ve heard Peter talk about this topic before, but he’s still a good talker and the topic still is techy and interesting enough to listen to.

Embedded software development best practices by Adrien Ampelas turned out to be a bit boring. Basically we got the feeling that Adrien re-used a company slide show or something and told the audience a lot of things I bet the majority of people already knew. Yes we know we must use version control. Yes we know we should send patches upstream. No we don’t Fosdem Entryagree with you that there never exist any reason not to use git.

Sascha Hauer from the Barebox project (the project that was previously known as U-Boot v2) told us about this U-Boot project and what they’re trying to accomplish. It seems like an interesting approach to fix some of the worst mistakes of U-Boot but still leverage on all the things U-Boot did right. It’ll be fun to see if it gets adoption from board makers and companies in general. I guess there’s a lot of investment in U-Boot so lots of things will probably stick with that for a long time ahead…

Flash enable BIOS reverse engineering by Luc Verhaegen gave us an insight in the x86 based reverse engineering they do in the Coreboot project to figure out how to enable flashes and to make them possible to write to when you want to upgrade them to use Coreboot. It was only a quick run-through, but my general feeling was still that compared to Rockbox-style reverse engineering, their tasks actually seem a lot easier! Still interesting, as Luc is a good speaker.

Sunday

Sunday morning started earlier than yesterday. Interesting talks started right away, and we actually were too slow at breakfast so we missed the first part of the interesting Introduction to RTEMS talk by Thomas Doerfler. RTEMS is a fully open source RTOS that’s been around for ages and that has some very good realtime skills and can get shrunk to a rather small size. A slight downside with it is its slightly odd license, as it is a GPLv2+ license with a rather big exception that is made to allow proprietary applications link with it. It makes it incompatible with regular GPLv2 code.

The RepRap project was presented by Adrian Bowyer and I must admit that these 3D-printers are mighty cool and even more fun to see and witness in the real world than they are to see on tiny pictures on web sites.

Back in the embedded room, Roberto Jacinto told us about apt-get for android – with GUI which pretty much described the Aptoide project. It has nothing in common with apt: it doesn’t do dependencies and it doesn’t use its file formats. It has some pretty significant bugs still, and it generally seemed like a rather immature project that I’m not even sure I agree is on the right track. I’d rather actually see the real apt-get for android, with or without GUI.

The Cross build systems: Present & Future workshop could’ve become interesting. A lot of projects (PTXdist, Buildroot, Crosstool-NG, Openembedded, Emdebian etc) spoke about what they are, what they hope to do and how they’d like to collaborate. Unfortunately it took a bit too long time so by the time all had presented their projects the time was pretty much up. The most controversial and slightly off-topic of them all was Andy Green (formerly involved in Openmoko) who talked about how we all should stop cross-compiling and build directly on the target instead(!) and how booting Linux shouldn’t need a boot-loader and that designing PCBs with NAND is stupid(! again). I didn’t hear anyone agreeing with his ideas.

Next up was my talk on Rockbox. I did it in about 40 minutes and I think I covered a bit of what Rockbox is and how we work when we work with new potential targets. It later struck that I should perhaps have had a slide about what the future holds etc, but hey I think it went pretty smooth anyway! Peter recorded my talk on his n900 so hopefully it’ll soon be available online somewhere. After my talk we met a lot of guys wanting to talk Rockbox, ask about particular players and so on and it was mighty fun and interesting.

Greg Kroah-Hartman did the final talk and he is a very good and engaging speaker that really can catch the big audience in Fosdem’s biggest room. Write and Submit your first Linux kernel patch is his “standard talk” but he’s doing it so good and with such elegance that it is a pleasure to watch and learn from. And I’ll admit I wasn’t aware of the get_maintainers.pl script in the kernel tree. A very useful little thing!

Reflections

Some conclusions and general thoughts about the event:

Lack of gaps – there’s a problem when all talks in all rooms are made gapless. It makes people get up and leave 5-10 minutes before the end of each talk so that they will get in time to the next talk that will start on the full hour in another room. It causes pretty much all question-sessions towards the end to fail since the questions (and answers) can’t be heard.

Hard to find people – it is such a huge event and lots of people I have no idea what they look like, so trying to meet friends and people I’ve only emailed with or chatted with on IRC is very hard. Name tags would be really cool. I did have some benefitsHaxx from using my shirt with a big Haxx logo on the back since a fair amount of people recognized it and approached me!

Audio systems – the quality of the different rooms varied a lot (not only sound-wise but the sound was what bothered me). Unfortunately for me, the embedded room was one of the worst ones when it came to audio. It was a big room sure, but the biggest room had an excellent audio system and thus proved size is not what matters. In this case, I think a lot was to blame on the actual microphone we had there.

Phone apps – having phone apps with the entire schedule and a little map for each room etc was a great service. The app also reminded us when a talk you had marked as “favorite” was about to start. It was a bit strange though how the android and n900 versions of the app differed. The n900 version was buggy and slow, but it did offer the schedule in a time-based view while the android version only allowed us to view the schedule based on rooms.

Next year – yes. I think it was great fun and I will really try to attend next year again. Hopefully other friends will too, since meeting friends at the place really doubles the fun! Thank you all for a nice event!

Rockbox talk at Fosdem

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

I’m scheduled to do a talk about Rockbox at FOSDEM 2010 in the embedded devroom. I’ve got it confirmed, even though the schedule for that room is still not up on the fosdem site.

I must admit the planning for the schedule and the talks of Fosdem confuses me greatly so I’m not entirely sure how everything will work at there – this is going to become my first visit to Fosdem.

My talk will be based on and be similar to the talk I did on this topic at FSCONS 2009.

Update: fosdem info about the talk.

Rockbox

FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting