SFD Hong Kong, we had so much fun!

I have been helping to organize a lot of SFD events in mainland China for almost a decade now. Being born and raised in Hong Kong, I was indeed very exited to organize my first SFD in my home town. It was a half day event starting at 13:15, we arrived at the venue at 11:00 to set it up and did some last minute promotion. As for myself I hosted a BoF about building communities in Hong Kong. Since I was told it lacks strong FLOSS communities locally we are considering to start one. Nick Jones from Network Box offered us a venue while Michael Iannini offered to run meetings in Wan-chai (different area so we still need to bridge the two proposals). There are still a few details to be ironed out but it’s a very positive start. Besides, from Naruhiko’s presentation, we learnt that the LibreOffice Japanese team is made of 50 people, so not so much in proportion to the project.

Below you can find snapshots of the great moments, please enjoy!

A huge thank you go to our sponsors, our speakers, our workshop hosts, our exhibitors and especially our volunteers, they are Graham, Michael, Mathieu, Jacqueline, Oi-to, Amity, Ray, See-ming, Messy, Cameron, Guo-feng, Hu-zhou, Xi-lin, etc. Right after the event, I received a lot of thank you notes from our speakers and volunteers for organizing the event and having them to participate. In fact without YOU it would have been impossible to have such a wonderful event! THANK YOU!

There were seven booths including LibreOffice, Stroke5, Blender, GNOME, Fedora, LinuxPilot and HKLUG.
Our exhibitions included LibreOffice, Stroke5, Blender, GNOME, Fedora, DFF, LinuxPilot and HKLUG.
Fedora 20 with GNOME 3.1 was demonstrated in our SFD HK 2013 event.
Fedora 20 with GNOME 3.10 was demonstrated in our SFD HK 2013 event.
An old friend from Beijing, Michael who is the BLUG founder. He was good in bringing the atmosphere up.
An old friend from Beijing and the BLUG founder, Michael was good in bringing up the atmosphere!
Graham from PolyU and DimSumlab, helped us in getting the venue for free and gave an introduction speech to kick start our event.
Graham from PolyU / DimSumLabs, helped us in getting the venue and gave an intro-speech to kick start the event.
Naruhiko Ogasawara, LibreOffice Japan team, came all the way to share with us their project and community in Japan.
Naruhiko from the LibreOffice Japan team, shared with us the project and community in Japan.
TK Kang talked about OLPC and announced his upcoming OLPC BaseCamp event in Malacca on 16-18 November 2013.
TK Kang talked about OLPC and announced the OLPC BaseCamp event in Malacca on 16-18 November 2013.
Nick Jones introduced us how NetworkBox Corporation is profiting from Free and OpenSource software.
Nick Jones explained how Network Box Corporation is profiting from FLOSS.
Fred introduced the Google Summer of Code program to some students during the event.
Fred introduced the Google Summer of Code program to students to join.
A BoF was hosted to discuss about building a stronger FLOSS community in Hong Kong
A BoF was hosted to discuss about building a stronger FLOSS community in HK.
At the end of the event we invited all the speakers to come to the stage to do a wrap up.
We finished the event with beer and local food in Tsim Tsha Tsui East and heading home at 2am with big smile on our face.
We finished the event with beer and local food in Tsim Sha Tsui East and left at 1am with big smiles on our faces.


JoomlArt & Candis, more regional sponsors

We are very happy to announce that two more regional companies have decided to support GNOME.Asia namely JoomlArt! from Vietnam, providing commercial templates for several free software CMS, and Candis Group from China, an IT solution service provider including hosting services in and out of China. Both companies have centered their business around using, contributing and making money with free software and we are very glad to be receiving their support for this forth edition of GNOME.Asia.

In fact Candis has been a supporter of Free Software communities as far as we can remember and hosting the famous Beijing GNU/Linux User Group since its inception. The decision to support GNOME.Asia was taken on the fact that we will be hosting the 2012 summit most likely in Hong Kong.

JoomlArt! actually provides their conference template for free to any interested Joomla! Day organizer , promotion which they have extended to GNOME.Asia. We have to say it’s been a great design which has enabled us to get the website up and running within a week. We were able to focus on our content rather than designing, css’ing and html’ing, which is not our main expertise. Hopefully the two companies will have the time to join next year event and for foreseeable future.

The cherry on the cake was when we received this email from Alvin Xue who set up our VPS at Candis:

“Dear Fred,

I didn’t notice that. If it’s for gnome.asia, I am very happy if I did sth for it.

Best Regards !”

What else can we ask for? 😉

Check out our brand new website now. We updated a few pages including the Business Sessions and Conference Program. Please help spread the word and see you soon in Bangalore!

SFD 2010 registration is open!

Software Freeom Day 2010

As a board member of Software Freedom International (and Secretary), it is with great pleasure to announce that Software Freedom Day 2010 registration is now OPEN!

For its 7th inception, the team at Software Freedom Day has finally opened registration for SFD 2010 teams to get free goodies to prepare their event. For those not familiar with SFD, it’s an annual event happening on the third Saturday of September (September 18th this year) which purpose is to reach out to the public to educate, discuss and demonstrate the virtues and benefits of Free Software. With around 800 locally managed events in 2009, SFI (the non-profit organization behind SFD) hopes to reach more than a thousand teams this year and hundreds of thousands of people. Indeed within less than 24 hours, there are already over 100 teams registered!

I personally started to get involved in Software Freedom Day since 2007 when I was the Vice President of Beijing Linux User Group. Organizer and winner of the Best 2007 Event Competition in 2007, I have then been involved in three events in 2008, two in Beijing and one in Qingdao. In 2009, supporting 86 events in China as well as a founding member organization of the SFDChina.org. Since, I have also been helping Software Freedom International to ship all the goodies worldwide, while making funny videos of it. I have to say it’s a great fun to organize and join all those SFD events! So will you also participate and join this passionate community in their world domination effort?

A productive day at “Coding for Fun”

As you may know Beijing Linux User Group has a lot of interest groups and one of the most popular groups is “Coding for fun“. The purpose is to bring together developers in an informal way to encourage them to share their projects and coding experience. It’s basically like a Hackathon, everyone hacks on their own code. Even you don’t have anything to hack on? Just look around and join anytime if you feel interested!

I personally found this group very interesting and joined numerous times already! Especially for computer science students, it’s a great place for them to learn how to get involve in FOSS projects as they can always get guidance from other experienced hackers. For other members, it’s their regular meeting place to meet and discuss about their projects. If you work alone on your own project? You can see from the pictures that the environment is very nice, it’s definitely a cool place to spend a day  working there. For myself, I always work on random stuff related to BLUG, GNOME.Asia Summit, Software Freedom Day , College OSS Society and Open Source deployment in schools. My projects of the day are mainly the BLUG website news / events announcement and TuxTyping localization. Here it is, the most popular group in BLUG!

Everybody hack on their own project there
Everybody hack on their own project there
Here is a group hacking on the Linux kernel
Hacking on the Linux kernel
Quadcopter Open hardware project
One of the projects is “Quadcopter Open hardware project”
All the projects of the day would be listed in every coding for fun
All the projects of the day would be listed in every coding for fun

First Joint Event with Beijing GNOME User Group

Beijing Linux User Group (BLUG) and Beijing GNOME User Group (BGUG), two of the most active open source communities in Beijing just celebrated their anniversary in November (one day after the other)! With 7 and 1 year of services for BLUG and BGUG respectively it was about time we organized a joint event. In fact being a core member of both groups and a close friend of Emily Chen, BGUG’s President, I can recall how it all started: in 2008 we worked very closely to organize the first instance of GNOME.Asia Summit 2008 in Beijing, bringing passionate GNOME people from all horizons together, discussing and willing to contribute to the GNOME project here in China. The rest happened “all by itself” and it is really nice to see BGUG growing up strong with now a few core members taking over some of the group management responsibilities!

For this joint event we presented to both groups a report of the second instance of GNOME.Asia Summit which happened in Vietnam this year. Emily, Fred, Ray and myself were giving presentation there and we gave a summary of what happened, who we met, how vibrant the local Open Source scene is and showed of course many pictures of the 3 days event. In the second part of the meeting Peter Junge, core member of OpenOffice.org community, presented his experience while representing the BLUG and attending the OpenOffice.org Conference (OOoCon) in Italy. It was really a wonderful evening flooded with event highlights, innovative technology, travel and funny stories. After witnessing the success of GNOME.Asia Summit in Beijing and Vietnam, I can’t wait to know where it will be hosted in 2010 and of course participate again!

Emily Chen, President of Beijing GNOME User Group
Emily Chen, President of Beijing GNOME User Group
Peter Junge, OpenOffice.org community member
Peter Junge, OpenOffice.org expert, represented BLUG to join the OpenOffice.org Conference
First joint event of BLUG and BGUG, over 60 members joined!
First joint event of BLUG and BGUG, over 60 members joined!