...making Linux just a little more fun!
By Felipe Barousse Boue
G A C E T A D E L I N U X ...Making Linux just a little more fun!
México is conquered by FLOSS
During the past week (17-19 Sept, 2003) an international crowd of free/libre and Open Source Software experts gathered at the Mexican port of Veracruz during the celebration of the third edition of the GULEV Linux Congress. (GULEV = Veracruz LUG)
Names such as Bruce Momjian from the PostgreSQL project, Miguel de Icaza from Novell/Ximian, Felipe Barousse from Piensa Technologies, Bdale Garbee from Debian, Gunnar Wolf a leading Mexican software engineer and contributor to Debian and many many more top stars of the worldwide FLOSS community gave conferences, tutorials and personal chat sessions during the three day event in Veracruz.
Weather was warn, attendees were excited and you could even look in everyone's faces the joy of being able to share experiences, ideas and learn more about the new libre technologies.
I could tell that most of the attendees were actually students and young programmers -in the twenties or early thirties- although you could see in each session a couple of business people and even some... lets say; seniors, interested in Linux when they stood up to ask a question or express a comment or idea. I was glad to see this mix in the various audiences.
In this third year of the GULEV Congress, the scenario was nothing less than the World Trade Center in Veracruz, México... What other place could Linux, free software and open source ask for to host an event like this ? The place was indeed superb.
The first year the Congress was held at a University's premises, the second year at the ball rooms in a hotel within the city. The main organizers of the event, Miguel Angel López and Lucy Guzmán Mijangos made a great job in making this year's show run smoothly, making everyone feel satisfied with the Congress' programme and returning home with an enhanced sensation that the FLOSS movement in Mexico is really growing up, getting mature and ready to compete with any other technologies out there. “We need to improve a lot more...” said Miguel Angel, I couldn't agree more, there is always room to improve an event like this, but I can also tell that we have come a long way since the first time, two years ago.
Some of the anecdotes about conferences and topics I have and that you could hear people commenting while on the hallways just after a conference and while waiting for the next are:
Bruce Momjian, who came with his son Mathew gave a session about Mastering PostgreSQL administration. The room was full and everyone attentive to all tips, hints and recipes that Bruce had to say. On a fun side of the Congress, I had a chance to briefly chat with Mathew who said he really likes “... traveling with dad and liked Mexican food a lot... yummy!” he said.
The second Bruce's conference was a bit more in the visionary side of PostgreSQL and what to expecting the next versions.
Larry Wall was expected to be in Veracruz with all of us, unfortunately he got ill and couldn't make it. We hope that by the time you are reading this, he is well up again.
Miguel de Icaza spoke about Mono and how it accelerated the productivity for software development in Linux. He is clearly concerned in providing the most powerful tools and technologies to Linux programmers as to keep and enhance their competitiveness while developing software.
Bdale Garbee on the other hand spoke about where is Debian standing now; meanwhile the well known technology research engineer Francisco de Urquijo Niembro gave a lecture regarding the current status of Mexico in relation to the ongoing digital revolution. “Open and Free technologies are the future..... we will have open specifications and standards in cars, home building, and everything else....” he said.
Felipe Barousse conference was about the Zope Corporation's Zope framework and how he has been using it to develop powerful business applications which are already being used by large companies; he concluded: “Zope is very inexpensive, great,powerful, easy to use and extremely scalable.... in short an ideal platform for web based business applications.”
Federico Mena Quintero participation was about the concepts and ideas used for programming applications in GTK+ where Drag and Drop features are required.
During his conference, Fernando Romo talked about the concepts of constructing application's logic within the data base itself rather than leaving all logic at the application level. A nice collection of suggestions and experiences where discussed in Fernando's conference.
On another hand of topics, Gunnar Wolf talked about Object Oriented Perl.
There were many more topics addressed in Veracruz, actually 53 conferences took place with themes ranging from building clusters, to designing and installing a WiFi networks, to programming in Perl and Python.
More than 500 confirmed persons went to Veracruz just to participate in this great FLOSS show in Mexico. A great touch to the event was that there was free WiFi internet connectivity in all conference rooms and during all conference times.
At the end of the event, the following day, there was a small trip to the prehispanic ruins site called the “Tajin”, about a 4 hours drive from Veracruz. Although I was supposed to get a phone call and or note advising me of the meeting point and time to leave, somehow I never got that note so I missed the excursion which I really regret since I bet it for sure was fun to be in the bus with all my fellow speakers..... maybe next time, now I have a great excuse for going next year.
I really expect next year's congress to be even better and to see it grow in many more aspects as it has been doing during these three editions. I can't wait to my 2004 trip to Veracruz.
In the mean time what we can say is that the port of Veracruz, México was indeed conquered by the penguins and by FLOSS enthusiasts just as it was taken by the conquistadores many centuries ago.