FOSDEM 2012 - My Saturday's schedule

This is the list of talks/presentations I attended on the Saturday of FOSDEM 2012.

Each talk contains a link to its FOSDEM page, where you can find extra links on the topic or the presenter.

  • Welcome to FOSDEM 2012: FOSDEM welcome and opening talk.

  • Free Software: A viable model for Commercial Success - Robert Dewar: This talk will discuss our experience at AdaCore, one of only a handful of 100% Free Software companies. All of our commercial products are licensed under the GPL and other Free Software Licenses. People often assume that there is a conflict between the use of such licenses and the needs of a commercial software company. Our experience at AdaCore shows that on the contrary, the Free Software model can be very successful both for us as a company and for our customers. We think this model can be used in many other circumstances, and want to encourage free software enthusiasts to consider this model in other circumstances.

  • An introduction to Ada 2005 and Ada 2012 - Jean-Pierre Rosen: Overview of the main features of the Ada language, with special emphasis on those features that make it especially attractive for free software development.

    Ada is a feature-rich language, but what really makes Ada stand-out is that the features are nicely integrated towards serving the goals of software engineering. If you prefer to spend your time on designing elegant solutions rather than on low-level debugging, if you think that software should not fail, if you like to build programs from readily available components that you can trust, you should really consider Ada!

  • Multiarch - why it's important - Wookey: Multiarch is a properly generic solution to the installation and use of library packages from one than one architecture at a time, which changes the way running non-native binaries and crossbuilding are dealt with in a fundamental way. It is both powerful and intrusive and has taken a long time to make happen.

    This talk explains what it is, how it works, and what you can do with it. We will also discuss future adoption by other distros.

  • Hacking in the real world: photography from above - Guillaume Emont: This talk is about taking pictures from above with a big latex balloon, helium, strings, duct tape and CHDK, and making a nice video with the pictures using python, GStreamer and OpenCV.

    Some friends of mine and I got pretty busy last year on a crazy balloon photography project. I want to share that experience, say what worked (helium, CHDK, GStreamer) and what didn't (crazy kite-balloon ideas, arduino connectivity, and some other things, all due to a lack of time). Hopefully, that would motivate hackers to get out of their basement and go do cool things under the Sun.

  • FLOSSing for Good Legal Hygiene: Stories from the Trenches - Allison Randal: The legal structures of free software projects go through phases of popularity reminiscent of fashion trends. The early days of free software were decentralized and individualistic, partially inspired by the "free culture" movements of the '60s. Over time, centralization and incorporated non-profit organizations grew popular, parallel with a period of time where FLOSS was struggling for recognition as a viable alternative to proprietary solutions. As FLOSS crested that wave, and won the recognition of the business world, people began to recognize an over-proliferation of special-purpose foundations, and the conservancies (foundations that host multiple independent projects) came to the fore. In the past year we've seen a movement back toward decentralized individualism, questioning the need of any formal legal structures. The fact of the matter is that free software and international law work just fine for a whole gamut of legal structures, from the lone individual hacker to the largest of incorporated entities. It's a free choice for each project. The important thing is for every project to think through their legal strategy. Not just the "What?" (-license? -contribution policy? -legal documentation?) but "Why?" (-pick option X over option Y? -are we doing this? -do we care?) and "How?" (-can we make this work for us? -will this affect our users and developers?).

  • Debian packaging for beginners - Lior Kaplan: An introduction for creating Debian packages. The lecture is meant for people who want to package for Debian (or any Debian based distribution) with no prior experience or people during their first steps in packaging.

  • Programming LEGO MINDSTORMS robots in Ada - José F. Ruiz: This presentation explains and demonstrates how Ada is effectively used to control a Segway-like self-balancing robot.

    LEGO MINDSTORMS are affordable and attractive robotics kits that can be used as teaching material, or as funny and interesting hobby. We have used this kit to design a Segway-like robot, where the control system is written in Ada and built with the GNAT compiler. The concurrency and real-time capabilities of the Ada Ravenscar profile are used to implement the dynamic interaction with the physical environment, respecting very stringent timing constraints.

  • I wrote Distromatch, shall we use it? - Enrico Zini: At the AppInstaller2011 meeting I started writing Distromatch which is able to map binary package names across different distribution using a wide set of euristics.

    Distromatch has the potential of being a radical change in cross-distro cooperation, enabling exchange of package screenshots, categories, ratings, reviews and many other interesting kinds of metadata.

    Since distromatch has existed for almost a year and (afaik) so far none of this has happened, I am taking advantage of the cross-distro room to show how it works and discuss how to move on from here.

The descriptions of the talks come from the FOSDEM site.