FOSDEM!

Those knowing me from my blog for a long time will probably be .. amazed to know that I’m typing this while on an American Airlines flight over the USA … I left from Brussels with Luca directed to Los Angeles, but that’s a story for another day.

I’m happy I’ve been able to be at FOSDEM this year — and I hope I’ll be at the one next year sa well! I almost didn’t make it (or to be precise I almost decided to fly back to Venice ASAP) once my flight was diverted through Luxemburg, instead of landing to the Brussels National airport, due to weather conditions, but after a three hours bus ride, and a very welcome (although not really comforting) taxi ride with Luca and Josh, I was able to be at the beer event as well.

Funny tidbit: when I departed I took my hat with me, as I knew it was cold.. I got it just before the new year’s eve in “a new shop” that opened at the mall near me. Most of my friends and acquaintances found it funny and strange, so I was intending to use it as a way to be easily spotted … I did not consider that Celio (the “new shop”) is based in France, and seems to be well established in Belgium as well, even if it’s really just arrived in Italy… I have seen that most of the hats in Brussels, especially among the locals outside of FOSDEM, were not much different from it..

Honestly I haven’t been able to assist to many talks, although there was one I couldn’t miss, from the CentOS guys, about their efforts at applying continuous integration on the distribution; with my interest in the tinderbox it was natural for me to be interested in their method as well. While they didn’t solve the API/ABI compatibility checks in a more complete way than us, like I was hoping, they did give me an idea for the chance to implement a pkg_test() function, which would run post-installation tests, designed to be used only on tinderbox-like builds, and not user (nor developer) installs.

I was happy I finally met Fabio, Donnie, Sejo and the many other Gentoo developers (and ex-developers as well); I was also able to get back in touch with Jo (directhex) from the Mono team, and to greet famous developers like Charles from JRuby and Michael Meeks (now from LibreOffice), who was the one introducing me to the magnificient and scary work of ELF symbols’ collisions, and thus the main motivator (unbeknown to him!) for me to write Ruby-Elf together with the symbol collision script. And of course, I finally met the VLC developers, and I promised I’ll do my best to be in Paris at the next DevDays.

Unfortunately Hans couldn’t be there (and I hope to hear from him soon), so me and Petteri took over his talk — if you look up the video, please do not laugh too hard; I’m not used to speak in public and I think it was something like my third public talk in my whole life, and the first in English. Maybe I’ll prepare something more complete for next year, it might be interesting. In that case I hope Charles will be able to assist as it’ll certainly talk about JRuby!

For those who wondered why I wasn’t at the keysigning event; beside the weather, the printable list of keys has arrived on thursday when I was just tidying up a few customers’ tasks and I ended up not having the time to actually print it out.. this was made worse by changing my plan the very last day to get to LA instead of going straight back to Venice.

If you followed my twitter stream during the event you know already I’m very opinionanted about one of the talks I assisted… but that’s yet another story for yet another day, I’d rather not waste time writing about it here.

Anyway, just wanted to say I’m very happy to have been there, very happy to have met developers and users – and I’m sorry I’m not naming everyone here, it would be a very long list! I hope to be around more often for sure.

P.S.: if anybody who’s reading this has seen a clumsy guy with a black man-purse falling down the stairs within the AW building on Saturday morning.. that was me. Ouch! I hurt myself, but luckily nothing extremely serious.

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