Moderating and Code of Conduct

Background: Ubuntu Community Council’s decision (linking to awesome LWN) to remove Jonathan Riddell as the leader of the Kubuntu project.

To me there seems to be a lot of similarities between above and personal experience with moderating. Basically: don’t moderate in threads you’ve participated in because you’re biased. If you think you’re unbiased, guess again and have fun dealing with the fallout if you still take a decision. I thought a few times that I really could be unbiased and was proven wrong each time.

One thing I really like from the GNOME Code of Conduct is:

Assume people mean well

I really like this one because even if you think the person is the worst ever, easily the biggest troll around, no good for anything and basically is just nothing more than a poisonous person who should be kicked out of the project for the good of the project: think again.
I’ve read some of the email communication, and I think there’s something missing in the communication between the various people involved. It would be nice if at least someone would state that the objections they have are not personal. There might be heavy disagreement, but that’s because both want the overall project to succeed and grow.

Something else that would help is expressing the feeling directly to the other person. There’s an anonymous email and the person who wrote it comes across as someone who is trying to do everything the person can and getting frustrated because it feels like the persons work is being considered as bad and nowhere good enough. I’m guessing if people would directly express their frustrations, the other person would quickly apologize for making them feel that way. This can be done while still keeping everyone opinion the same (started with some legal stuff; it’s not about this though).

Not liking some outcome is separate from being able to appreciate the person or persons. I really hope the focus can be on expressing that everyone has the best intentions. Best intentions might’ve lead to frustrations and whatever not, but hopefully once the intention is clear people can apologize and move on.

Ubuntu project is for human beings / humanity to others. I really like this. You can pretty easily recommend Ubuntu and it has pretty heavy brand recognition; so much that people automatically use Ubuntu. For a tv show technical linux is showing some terminal with dmesg; anywhere an easy Linux is needed people suddenly seem to somehow found That said, I contribute to Mageia and everyone (users+contributors) should switch to it 😛

I don’t think the current path is good for the Ubuntu project so hope above can be taken into consideration.

GNOME Asia, day 2

This will be a short overview as I underestimated how much travel time I’d need to the airport.

Keynote speech by Tobias
Second keynote was a question and answer session with 2 board members
Volunteered to hit the gong for the lightning talks
Understanding the release cycle by Alexandre Franke

Alexandre explaining the release process. Meaning, the various freezes, the various releases, etc.

I’m partly sponsored by the GNOME foundation.

GNOME asia, day 1

I’ll continue from the previous blog post and update as I can (depends on Wi-Fi, 3G).

Entrance to the big building Balairung
Conference stands. I'm guessing openSUSE will be big in Indonesia
Keynote by Mohammad Anwari - The architecture of BlankOn Linux (and how GNOME fits in the picture)

The keynote it’s quite interesting. Mohammad talks about many people still having very old hardware. My system is 7 years old. However, that’s still pretty new compared to what some people are using. GNOME 3 making use of hardware acceleration created a pretty big problem. BlankOn is an Indonesian distribution and latest versions are based on Debian. So my assumption about openSUSE usage might be a bit off 😉 Learned during a break that Fedora is also used quite heavily in Indonesia.

Mohammad also explained why there’s yet another distribution. In brief, the Indonesian culture is very different from what’s common currently in GNOME. It’s not ok to say no, so if that would happen to someone who just starts out, they’d leave and never come back. BlankOn guides this, acts like a shell around Indonesian culture and upstream.

OpenBSD at GNOME Asia 2015
Lightning Talk by Dwi Sasongko Supriuadi - How do I change my sysadmin mindset?

This lightning talk covered making use of configuration management.

Anjar Hardiena - Linux in cloud computing era. Talk is in Indonesian so couldn't grasp it
Adi and Azharuddin - Mapping the charitable efforts of Muhammadiyah (translated from Indonesian, might be wrong)

After the lightning talks we’ll have lunch. Then talks will be divided across 4 rooms. I’ll probably attend the Open Source software in shoes industry by Iwan S. Tahari.

Lunchbox! With Kroepoek
The university is beautiful. Various really nice buildings and spacious layout

The university grounds are amazing with really nice buildings. It would be pretty amazing to study here.

Open Source software in shoes industry by Iwan S. Tahari

This talk explained how Open Source was being used by a entire company. It covered the various problems that they encountered.

His summary:

  • FOSS is best for business computing
  • FOSS implementation most be top down
  • Start with a small pilot project, probably best to start with the accounting department
  • Purchase hardware which supports FOSS
  • Cooperate with the local Linux community
  • FOSS training is a must for successful migration
  • Contribute to FOSS development for continuous improvement and innovation in FOSS

Problems they had to overcome is dealing with rolling blackouts (electricity) and a major problem is documentation. The company provides a gift to anyone who improves the documentation.

Promote FOSS education to remote areas in Thailand and China by Shing Yuan Chen

Chen spoke about travelling across Thailand and China to explain FOSS hardware to children. He was part of a group of 24 people in total. The travel itself was quite intense, moving to cities and small towns. They trained it seems like hundreds of people at each place they went to.

He later explained that as in Thailand there’s just one child per family, there’s a real focus on that child. Parents encourage their children to do something special. This really assisted in having loads of people who helped to train as well as loads of children to be trained.

In a video you could see how the children used hardware to build a small device on wheels which could pick up small plastic bottles. I’m terrible at guessing ages, they seemed to be at most 10 years old, probably much younger.

Shobha Tyagi - It is really difficult to move people from Windows to Linux

Shobha talked about the difficulties to encourage people to use Linux within her university in India. The general feedback was that Linux is difficult and for coders. Strangely, this also came from people studying to become developers. They really didn’t want to even investigate or make any effort. This while they should have it easier because of at least knowing English.

One person at the talk commented that instead of switching, what worked for his country is to start at a really young age. Then they don’t really question. This approach worked well enough that it now is affecting decisions made by the government.

Typo fix. FreeBSD was at the conference, not OpenBSD

After that there were various lightning talks. Most were in Indonesian, so I’ll skip their pictures.

In the evening André and I bumped into two locals. They took us (wondered later if they wanted that as saying no is not done) to a local food place. They laughed quite a bit as you had to eat with your hands and I guess it was pretty obvious I never did that with this type of food. They also took pictures, wonder where those will end up 😛 I did get a copy, but not sharing them!

I’m partly sponsored by the GNOME foundation.

GNOME asia, day 0


Arrived at GNOME asia! Went here together with André Klapper. We followed the guide created by the locals to get from the airport to Depok. We’re staying quite close to the university, so we followed most of the guide. In the bus an Indonesian sitting next to is was quite amused that we had to pay 50000 IDR instead of the actual price of 40000 IDR. Basically a foreigner tax 😛

Currently we’re following an Indonesian talk about translating GNOME by Andika Triwidada.

Lunch box. Delivered to your seat!
Speakers get shoes, a t-shirt and more

David King gave a talk about the basics of GNOME development. There wasn’t much feedback, so wondered if we had the right audience.

Ekaterina and Alexandre gave a hands on explanation on how to contribute to GNOME. The asked for interested people in translation and documentation. There was also a person interested in engagement and someone else in testing.

Kat split people up in groups. Each group was paired with a known contributor. I volunteered to help with documentation. It was quite fun to assist with explaining things that you either know way too well yourself or bits that you hardly know (finding documentation bugs). We explained how the process works in practice, Bugzilla, IRC, etc. My group was first to assign patches to the chosen bug, and not because I explained everything very well. E.g. we initially cloned the wrong repository at 150KB/s.

I’m partly sponsored by the GNOME foundation.