Happy Software Freedom Day!

Celebrate SFD with us on September 17, 2016!And today is the 13th edition of Software Freedom Day! We wish you all a great day talking to people and discovering (or making them discovery) the benefits and joys of running Free Software. As usual we have a map where you can find all the events in your area. Should you just discover about SFD today and want to organize an event it is never too late. While the date is global, each team has the freedom to run the event at a date that is convenient in their area. We (in Cambodia) are running our event on November 26 due to university schedule, other conferences and religious holidays conflicting.

So hopefully you’ll get hooked just like us and start a new journey into the world of learning, sharing and contributing to your needs!

Happy Software Freedom Day to all of us!

Meet the Guangzhou LUG

guangzhoulugWe happened to be in Guangzhou earlier this week and spent a wonderful evening with the core members of the local GNU/Linux user group in Guangzhou. They gave us an overview of their group history and progress: basically it is a two years old group with over 700 people subscribed to their mailing list and around 5 core members to manage the group activities. They host regular meetings on a monthly basis in different locations such as restaurants or classrooms. They also organized Software Freedom Day events the past two years and recorded over 100 participants in 2012. While we shared our experiences of how we ran and grew the Beijing GNU/Linux User group with them.

They also mentioned that half of their members are interested in “free” hardware highlighting the growing connection between two movements that we feel very linked. In fact we cannot ignore the fact that hardware needs software to operate and a bit of free culture to make those logos, the documentation and the potential courses that go together to bring it to more people. Each of the movements (software, hardware, culture, OER) should care equally about each others in order to exist as they need one another to thrive. I truly believe that bringing those concepts as one within our communities and to the world will create a bigger impact for everyone.

To conclude, Guangzhou LUG wants to grow in terms of attending members and meeting frequency so we offered to put them in touch with the Shantou Linux Association as they are planning for their upcoming activities right now, and sharing ideas can’t hurt. Besides, there are five universities in Guangzhou with computer science classes which are located in the same area and could become a very prosperous ground for cooperation and activities. That’s another lead right there!

In light of all those discussions and plans we will be hosting a round table discussion mid December on our next visit to Guangzhou. We hope that getting members from each university and setting up a plan together will create a more diverse group in the area with a more balanced workload for everyone.

I am always very happy to meet passionate people from different communities and can’t wait to meet them again soon!

SFD2013@ Shantou University

Group photos with the STU Linux Association members.
Group photo with the STU Linux Association members.

After organizing the SFD event in Hong Kong in PolyU, Fred and I were invited to join another SFD event hosted by the Linux Association from Shantou University (STU). We had the pleasure to meet an associate professor of the Computer Science Department, Mr. Liao who is actually a Free Software user himself. The three of us gave presentations about different topics related to software freedom: Fred began with introducing what is Free Software and why it is important, he gave an overview on how the audience could benefit from using and contributing to any Free Software project, including GSoC for next summer. Then I talked about who and what makes Free Software, I started with a quick history review of Free Software and followed by how the audience could get involved and contribute to the community (I reused the slides created by Mathieu for SFD Hong Kong 2013). Mr. Liao presented his experience with Free Software and GNU/Linux as well as introduced a lot of great Free Software projects to the audience.

The event ended up with local desserts and lots of great discussions about how to strengthen the Shantou Linux Association. We also agreed to follow up with core members meetings and mailing list in the following weeks. From what we learnt, they are having a meeting today to kick-start the discussion! By having a professor involved in the process, I believe it can definitely help to build awareness of Free Software in STU. We are definitely looking forward to our next meeting together and committed to help them grow stronger and bigger.

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.
sfdhk2013
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.

 

GNOME booth in SFD HK 2013

GNOME Booth, photo by http://blog.fedora-fr.org/public/bochecha/Nounours/IMG_0640.JPG

As a GNOME user and fan, knowing that the next major version GNOME 3.10 will be released two days after Software Freedom Day on 23rd September, we are happy to have a booth to showcase GNOME 3.10 on Fedora 20 at our Hong Kong SFD event which will be hosted at PolyU on 21st September, meanwhile I encourage every SFD team to celebrate the new release as well!

While I am still running Fedora 19 with GNOME 3.8.2 I can’t wait to check out the latest version myself with the new features such as maps and music applications, thanks for all the hard works by the GNOME developers, thanks Mathieu for running the booth and of course I will upgrade mine soon! How about you?