Live from UDS Sevilla – Tapas, Guadalinex, Specs and Great People

It’s 3:21 AM and the hotel lobby is dead quiet. Except for the occasional maintenance and reception staff steps, there’s hardly anything I hear.

I’m really happy to be here after a crazy week ! After a long plane trip from Montreal to Madrid, Etienne and I took the metro, then the AVE high speed train to Sevilla and finally arrived to kick start UDS with a talk at Ubucon. My talk in spanish about Canonical’s support services and how they relate to the community got good comments and went very well. Shouts to my colleagues in Montreal holding the fort!

It’s a great opportunity to meet many people I only know by their IRC nicknames 🙂 Unfortunately I am still unable to remember most names and I can just hope everyone remembers to have their badges on the right side ! Seriously, the friendly atmosphere, the fantastic location and the great people just make it impossible to feel anything but good.

Sevilla is not only home to an important history and architecture, and an amazing variety of bars and cafes, with excellent food – tapas anyone ? It’s also where Guadalinex rocks. It’s an Ubuntu-derived distribution that has been deployed to several hundred schools, totaling almost 400 thousand users! I had the opportunity to visit the Junta de Andalucía where the Centro de Gestión Avanzado de Centros TIC hosts a call center fielding technical support calls, remotely controls and monitors, but also provides hardware certification for all schools and educational organizations using Guadalinex. Oh, and hackers are officially part of the organization. During a presentation one slide specifically gave credit to student hackers for helping out with this massive deployment. Several local companies and freelancers, and also other coming from the Canary Islands partner with local governments to make all this possible. They are great local guides too 🙂

I am working on several specs at UDS, and my job as a support analyst is to attend and contribute to other’s work in easy X configuration tools, Ubuntu server tools, supported packages policy, and many others.

I was particularly both nervous and happy to attend the spec about Ubuntu Planet Editorial Policy. A few minutes after it started Mark Shuttleworth joined us and just as in other sessions it just felt as if he was « just another participant ». It’s nice to see many good things happening from a bad decision on my part when I disclosed information I shouldn’t have. Explaining all the bad consequences of such disclosures on a Planet site is really difficult, but there are many. I think the recent changes and this revised policy will help a lot the Ubuntu members that are Canonical employees (and of course those who are not) have guidelines to prevent futures mishaps.

Tonight we decided to stay close to the hotel, I went out with two colleagues for a good meal and nice walk. It still feels strange to be here and be surrounded by so many people that are working directly or indirectly on almost every piece of software I am using on my computer right now. I guess it’s time to go to bed now that the Bery/Compiz hackers have decided they would stop fine tuning features and building whatever code they were working on all night since I sat here 7 hours ago 🙂 Stay tuned for another update.

Here’s a few pictures I was able to upload tonight.


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