OSCAL 2017 - Event report

Last week I had the chance to visit Tirana, Albania for the 1st time in order to attend Open Source Conference Albania (OSCAL 2017) as a speaker. The conference was held during 13-14/May/2017 in the “Harry Fultz Institute” and gathered a lot of people interested in free & open source technologies.

Clicked by Justin W. Flory, (CC-BY-NC-SA)

Of course, the Fedora Project could not be missing from such an event. We had a great presence, and our Ambassadors organized great talks and workshops during the two days of the conference. We covered a wide range of topics, from packaging and building apps to gaming in Fedora. Of course, like every year we set up a very nice Fedora booth, where we communicated with a lot of people and answered generic and detailed/technical questions about Fedora.

I organized an introductory workshop about Fedora packaging and the Copr service on Saturday. Copr is a build service, where you upload your src RPM file and Copr builds it for you, giving you an RPM repository that every user can use it to install your package. It’s important to note that Copr is a community developed project, and it is not officially supported from the Fedora infrastructure team as of yet.

Clicked by Justin W. Flory, (CC-BY-NC-SA)

I started with an introduction to Fedora packaging, we discovered Copr and we saw what we were able to do with it, and eventually we build our own package with the Copr build service, getting our very own RPM repository at the end. The workshop last 1 hour, but due to some technical difficulties at the beginning (internet connectivity was down, and it took as some precious time to get all the computers in the lab back online), I think it was quite a success, and the audience (which was a full house :) ) was very interested. The internet connectivity was very slow, and the copr-cli needed for our demo took ages to be installed in users’ computers, and unfortunately we couldn’t finish the workshop on time. The goal was to discover Copr, sign up for a FAS account, install copr-cli in our machines, get an API key from Copr and configure copr-cli that we installed previously. Next, we downloaded the src RPM package of Transmission from the Fedora repositories, create a new project in Copr, and initiate a build with Copr with our src RPM package. After a couple of minutes, if our build has succeeded, we get a repository in the form of / that is activated and ready to be used by default!

Clicked by Justin W. Flory, (CC-BY-NC-SA)

I’m hoping next time to organize a complete packaging workshop, and apart from using Copr, we would also see how to create a src package from a given source code. Unfortunately the time was very limited, and we couldn’t do that with the given time frame.

Oscal is organized from Open Labs, a hackerspace in Tirana, Albania. This was the fourth year OSCAL was organized, and I have to admit it was once again a complete success. The people behind Open Labs are extremely passioned and they have built a huge community of very active members, contributing to many Open Source projects, including Fedora, Mozilla, PHP List, Nextcloud, LibreOffice, and more. Also, Open Labs is the most diverse community I’ve ever seen. More than 20 women are part of this awesome community.

Thank you Open Labs, and everyone who made this year’s OSCAL possible! I wish you all the best with your future activities!