Classes at the university are now over and final paper is done. While I wait for the graduation ceremony it’s time to share some results of my research. Basically the paper is about the collaborative environment provided by the Internet era. Four different areas of knowledge were analyzed: information technology represented by FLOSS projects, biomedicine represented by the Human Genome Project, social mobilization represented by the NGO Navdanya International and economy represented by Amazon’s business model. Based on the study of organizational structures, ways of communication and evolution of those initiatives, the technological, economical and social impacts of collaboration were analysed. In addition, key aspects for the success of culturally diverse and geographically disperse collaborative projects were identified. Here is a summary:
Transparency: under two aspects. First: clear and public decisions. Second: open and broad communication, not only of decisions made but also of problems, accomplishments and general useful information. It’s important to state that transparency does not prevent misinterpretation or allegations of lack of information. On the other hand, transparency does help to provide crucial information for organizational/financial matters and to support current and future decisions.
Knowledge of legal context: global projects tend to act over different jurisdictions and all stakeholders should be aware of that. Contributors should be constantly informed of legal differences between states and countries. For instance, the patent systems in some countries represent a big issue here.
Conscience of cultural differences: participants should be aware that language and cultural differences might bring some asymmetries to communication. Even so, those differences must not prevent people from communicate and work together. Community organizers should be aware that societies from all over the world might have different interpretations of values such transparency and democracy.
Open and proper infrastructure: collaboration initiatives should provide the tools for contributors to work on whatever is necessary. In addition, the infrastructure should be extensive in order to enable contributors to create new tools from the ones that already exist. Internationalization support is crucial for this element as well as information systems capable of provide high quality communication and minimize information dispersion.
Face to face meetings: one thing common to the projects evaluated is that all of them foster face to face contacts. In big projects is hard to get everyone together, but conferences, workshops and training sessions, at least for key contributors, help to build trust and sense of community.
Creation of value: collaboration projects should create value for contributors, whether they are companies, volunteers, paid employees, universities or government agencies. The value created can be knowledge, a product, meritocratic recognition, personal satisfaction or even financial results. It’s important that contributors know what they can achieve depending of their level and area of collaboration.
Well, the paper has a lot more information and this is just a tiny part I wanted to share here. I’ll publish the complete document here but it is written in Portuguese, so I hope you have enjoyed this sneak peek in English!
Before heading to Panama I planned to host a hackfest session to discuss some ideas for the next FUDCons in Latin America. I registered the session on the wiki and prepared a few slides just to guide people through the topic. When preparing the event agenda in Panama I scheduled the session for the last hour of the last day of the conference. That was because I wanted everybody to be aware of what a FUDCon is before attending to the hackfest.
Before the session starts I asked Alejandro and Sebá to attend in order to share their experiences with everybody. Alejandro was the main organizer of FUDCon Panamá, and Sebá the main organizer of FUDCon Santiago held last year in Chile. Earlier at the event Alejandro told me that he doesn’t like to appear much, so I thought: “I’ll make him talk!”. And he did it great! He accumulated a lot of experiences organizing the FUDCon, so did Sebá. Jared also took the opportunity to say some final words and thank everyone involved in the FUDCon.
We only hosted 3 FUDCons in LATAM, therefore those experiences need to be shared because they are useful for next organizers, probably some of them were at the audience in the hackfest. I am sure that the experiences we shared that day will be useful for many Fedora contributors, but that was not the best thing. The best thing was the sentiment and the environment in that session. I didn’t plan it, but Alejandro and Sebá presented each other with a T-shirt of the FUDCons their organized. Alejandro received from Sebá a T-shirt of FUDCon Santiago and Sebá received from Alejandro a T-shirt of FUDCon Panama.
It might be subtle and only a symbolic gesture, but the important thing here is that this is exactly the kind of democratic, healthy, and friendly environment I would like to see and foster in the whole Fedora community around the world. Cheers!
Hoy fue el último día de FUDCon Panamá y fue muy provechoso para mi y creo que para todos que participaron de las charlas y hackfests. Empecé el día en la charla de Daniel acerca de la infraestructura latinoamericana de Fedora donde empezamos a discutir algunos cambios y mejorías necesarias. Jared Smith hice una presentación acerca de como ser el próximo líder del proyecto Fedora, con consejos a los embajadores y colaboradores para que hagan un buen trabajo.
Hoy también fueron presentadas las charlas relámpago, incluyendo un chico de 14 años, lo que fue muy interesante para todos. El día también fue lleno de mesas de trabajo, por ejemplo acerca de infraestructura, configuración de clusters y artwork.
En una de las últimas sesiones propuse una discusión con ideas para las próximas FUDCons, basadas en las experiencias de Alejandro, el organizador de FUDCon Panamá y Antonio, el organizador de FUDCon Santiago el año pasado. Aún que elles sean los principales organizadores es bueno recordar también que hay muchas personas trabajando en las FUDCons. La ayuda de todos es muy importante para un evento de suceso.
Después del evento fuimos al FUDPub, donde los brasileños mostraron que no son mejores que los argentinos solamente en el fútbol, pero también en el boliche! :P
Muchas gracias a Alejandro y a todos los panameños por la hospitalidad. Sin duda fue una gran experiencia para todos los colaboradores que fueron a la conferencia.
Hoje tivemos três trilhas de palestras na FUDCon Panamá, duas a mais em relação a ontem. Foram realizadas palestras técnicas sobre temas como virtualização com KVM, Koji, arquitetura ARM, empacotamento e também outras palestras de caráter menos técnico, como sobre o projeto de embaixadores e design.
O sistema de barcamps talvez pareça confuso para algumas pessoas que não estão acostumadas com esse tipo de evento. Nesse sistema vamos nos auto organizando e construindo a grade de acordo com uma votação dos temas mais desejados e editamos a wiki conforme necessário durante o evento. É uma maneira interessante de montar a programação, mas todos tem que ficar atentos às alterações que são feitas.
A minha apresentação sobre internacionalização e localização de software também foi hoje. Expliquei todo o caminho de internacionalização, desde o código-fonte até a tradução, passando pela gettext, intltool e Transifex. Os slides da minha palestra podem ser baixados aqui.
Today was the first day of FUDCon Panamá. After several months of planning the event finally started and I’m glad to see how things are going. The first interesting thing is that it was the first time we did a schedule using a barcamp style. Folks who attended to FUDCon Tempe helped to set this up and built a schedule. I did my best to create a good schedule, but I know it is impossible to please everyone. There are some things that we still need to fix, but it is in a good shape overall. The villas, our home for the next few days, is a lovely place and looks like a place where I lived in my childhood in Brazil.
The conference started with a talk from the Fedora Project Leader, Jared Smith. He did an overview about the Fedora Project, our core values, and how to spread the work about FUDCon. We took advantage of the availability of a big auditorium at the first day of the conference to host the most wanted talks in it. The other talks of the day were: Python For Sysadmins from Toshio; Network in Fedora from Gomix; Educational Robotics with Free Software And Hardware from Valentín, How People Make Money From Free Software from Edwin y Technical Documentation, another one from Jared. There was also a talk about Virtualization with KVM, from Dell, one of the event sponsors.
Panamanians kicked the event off really well and we will have more fun in the next days. Stay tuned on Fedora Planet and on Twitter and Identica following the #FUDCon hashtag.
The Fedora Ambassadors Steering Committee is setting up the upcoming Town Halls and need your input. We intend to host different sessions according to the regions of the world and their time zones. Of course you are welcome to attend to as many sessions you want, but accommodating them in a proper time for each region makes it easier for more folks to attend. Please, take a time to mark when you can attend to the Town Hall. You can mark more than one time slot:
So, the world did not end after all and FUDCon Panama is just a few days ahead! FUDCon Panama is a great opportunity for folks from Central America to get to know more about the Fedora Project and learn how to contribute. On the other hand, it is also a great opportunity for Fedora contributors from other regions to get to know more about the FOSS community in Central America. Certainly, FUDCon Panama will offer good experiences for all attendees from Latin America and other regions. If you are not able to attend and want to know more about the LATAM community, you might want to take a look in a presentation I did for FUDCon Tempe. In addition, keep an eye in the event reports coming from Panama.
In the last week we updated the event wiki page with some more travel information and specific details about the venue and Panama City. If you are attending to the event and have not visited the wiki page recently, I recommend you to check it back again. You might find some useful information for your traveling preparative and for your arrival in Panama City.
If you haven’t updated the travel planning wiki page with your arrival and departure times you still have time to do it. The local team is organizing to pick up everyone at the airport. If you prefer to take a taxi, it will cost around US$ 30,00 from the airport to Ciudad del Saber.
We kindly ask all subsidized folks to write blog posts about the event. You can write about a talk you delivered, a hackfest you attended to, or even a productive conversation you had with another contributor. You also can use social networks to spread the word about FUDCon. On Identica and Twitter, make sure to include the hashtag #fudcon on your posts.
The Fedora 15 release is just a few weeks away as well as FUDCon Panama. I’m looking forward to our third FUDCon in Latin America. It has been a long journey of learning and shared knowledge in the best way open source software can provide since our first edition in Porto Alegre.
I have been helping remotely from Brazil in order to keep a good communication between the involved parts. Despite that, all the hard work has been done by Panamanian organizers and we have to thank them a lot. Alejandro, Abdel and others are working hard since the beginning to put all pieces in place in order to make a good event. Those guys already managed to put us on the local press and this really cool! We have a lot of interesting talks and hackfests on the schedule, delivered by long term Fedora contributors from LATAM and from other regions as well, including the Fedora Project Leader: Jared Smith.
Panama City seems to be a pleasant place with lovely people. To be honest I don’t know much about the country itself but it is a good opportunity get to know it better as well as to learn more about the Open Source community in Central America.
We are starting to organize the room sharing scheme and if you are going to stay at the villas you can put the name of your roommate on the wiki using the existing column “roomshare”.
If you haven’t registered your session on the wiki, please, do it as soon as possible so we can have an idea of how many barcamps and hackfest slots we will need.
I have been using GNOME 3 since Fedora 15 Alpha but also used to play with earlier versions of GNOME Shell on previous Fedora releases. I realize that most people get upset when their usual way of doing things change and I have to say that I might not fit here, fortunately.
I really enjoy using GNOME Shell, the overall experience is a lot better than GNOME 2 and the fonts seem more clear to me. Although I prefer the original workspace switch concept, the changes made by developers right before the release turned the multiple workspace feature into an interesting automatic workspace creator.
The greatest feature so far is the integration between the notification area and Empathy. This little nice feature is part of the concept of focusing on the current task, what is good for me since a tend to multitask a lot. I don’t miss minimize and maximize buttons at all. Minimize doesn’t make any sense on GNOME Shell anyway, and a double click into the window title bar does the maximize trick.
I enjoy the GNOME 3 experience most part of the time, but some things are not nice. GNOME Shell lacks a clear way of shutting down the computer. The “Alt” trick isn’t intuitive and suspension has never worked on my laptop. Also related to energy, GNOME 3 doesn’t show an option to configure what to do when I close the laptop lid. Once again: suspension has never worked. I understand this is not really GNOME developers’ fault but since this issue is common on many devices should be an easier way to change this behavior. In addition, I like to keep the lid closed when I’m doing long downloads. GNOME 3 doesn’t cover this use case.
Despite the usual criticism that takes place when big changes happen, I believe that GNOME 3 is a leap in the right direction: less interruptions, a cleaner interface, and easier window management. I look forward for what’s next: deep integration with GNOME Activity Journal would be awesome as well as an easy way to keep my downloads active when the lid is closed.