FOSDEM 2018

FOSDEM is a free and non-commercial event organised by the community for the community. The goal is to provide free and open source software developers and communities a place to meet to:

  • get in touch with other developers and projects;
  • be informed about the latest developments in the free software world;
  • be informed about the latest developments in the open source world;
  • attend interesting talks and presentations on various topics by project leaders and committers;
  • to promote the development and benefits of free software and open source solutions.

Participation and attendance is totally free, though the organisers gratefully accept donations and sponsorship.


Location

ULB Campus Solbosch
50 Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt
Brussels 1050
Belgium

Event report:

For several years Haiku is somehow present at FOSDEM. This has not always been simple. The event is very crowded and the organizers have to make difficult choices in which talks and booths to accept. Some years, we had neither and mmu_man had to advertize Haiku as a “sandwich man”, wearing ads and demoing on an hand-held laptop.

Eventually we found a compromise by sharing a booth wih our friends from ReactOS. Since we are both small projects, we are happy enough to get half the space. This is what we had done last year and what was planned this year, however, when we got to the event place this year we found out that we had been upgraded to a full-size table!

Our booth was between ReactOS and Python, so we discussed issues with our Python port and eventually I debugged our Python 3 port. This was the opportunity to continue the work on porting Poezio that I had started a few month back at the Capitole du Libre. I could also report my progress and problems to the Poezio developers, even if they can't help much with problems in Python and missing dependencies.

This year there were several interesting talks, between the “history” track (with one talk about the continuous history of UNIX since the early 70s to current versions of FreeBSD - now all available in a single git repo to track everything, and another about the alternatives to UNIX that did not meet such great success). Between the talks we also took turns to hold the booth and show Haiku to visitors (and give away stickers). People attending were mmu_man, oco, kapix and PulkoMandy.

KapiX gave a talk about his work porting LibreOffice to Haiku. The LibreOffice people were very interested about his work and happy to see someone managing their buildsystem and the internals of their code. He could then discuss this further with them and set up a plan for sharing more code between platforms and upstreaming his work.

Oco gave a talk (not directly related to Haiku) about his work writing UEFI applications using the FreePascal compiler. This gave an overview of how an UEFI binary is structured and an example of making an “hello world” program in Pascal. As is often the case at FOSDEM, the room was completely full with a lot of people interested in the subject.

On saturday evening, there was a private event for GSoC and GCI mentors/students. We went there with Kapix while Oco and mmu_man joined another groups of FOSDEM hackers for dinner.

On sunday, the schedule was a bit complicated. This year there was a new “retrocomputing” devroom, started after mmu_man talk about retro things in 2017. However, the devroom manager could not attend FOSDEM and asked mmu_man if he could take the role. But, mmu_man had to catch his train during the afternoon so eventually PulkoMandy replaced him, and there was no one left to clean up our booth (which has to happen rather quickly on sunday evening, in order to leave the room back to its normal university usage on the next day).

Still, there was some time for nice discussions, lolliwaffles (waffles on a stick with chocolate), and a lot of fun overall. We were also personally invited to attend RMLL in Strasbourg this summer by the main organizer.