Flock 2017 Event Report

The fifth annual Flock conference for Fedora contributors took place from August 28 until September 1st in Hyannis, Massachusetts. Over 250 developers, contributors and Fedora enthusiasts from different continents that meet to learn, present, debate, plan, and celebrate! The type of the conference was similar to last years Flocks, held in a Hotel, and not in a University Campus as we used to organize previous Flocks and FUDCons in the past. This year’s conference was more workshop-oriented, trying to get more things done, and avoid having again pointless talks, and giving status updates of a specific subproject.

The first day kicked off with the traditional opening keynote “Fedora State of the Union” from the FPL Matthew Miller. The next big thing in Fedora is Fedora Modularity, and there were many talks and workshops about this topic. After Matthew’s talk, the organizing committee tried something new this year, a session called “Advertise your session”. The speakers lined up behind the podium in the main room, and in 1-2 minutes they advertised their session trying to reach out to more people and convince them to come to their session :) This was a great idea because you could quickly get an overview of every talk.

The Fedora Legal talk from Tom Callaway labelled ‘This is why I drink’ was extremely interesting. Tom explained what Fedora Legal actually does, and how he and his team set some rules about licenses in packages and eventually what they wanted to allow in the official Fedora repositories. The patent on MP3s was recently expired, and Tom explained us how eagerly they waited for this to happen and make it available to Fedora.

The Fedorator is the next big cool must-have-in-a-booth thing. It’s a 3D printed box with a Raspberry PI, a touchscreen and two USB ports exposed on the front side of the device. The basic use case is the user inserting a flash drive. The screen then provides a menu where the user may select a Fedora release, including the Workstation or Spins and Labs. Upon selection a bootable image is written onto the flash drive. The creator of this project, sanqui, organized a workshop at Flock to assemble 6 units, where each one would be given to each region.

I wanted to take a advantage of this session, and build more units for our region, that’s why I pushed forward a proposal to the EMEA community to secure the funds and buy the components to build 5 units during the workshop at Flock, just for EMEA. The goal was to distribute these 5 units to our most active communities in EMEA, so they can use it for their events.

I want to personally thank Sanqui from Czech Republic for his help even if we decided to buy the components to build 5 more units for EMEA just 2 weeks before Flock starts. He was extremely helpful and kind to 3D-print 5 cases just for EMEA.

I’m very thankful that I made it to this years Flock conference. I was very busy with my internship at Workable during the Summer, but I eventually managed to take some PTO and attend this amazing conference and meet again with old (and new) friends.

The event organizers did an effective and incredible job of planning everything, up to the last detail for the conference. Many thanks to the organizing committee and Mairin for the wonderful proposal this year!