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Several times each year, the community-driven, Red Hat-sponsored Fedora Project holds the Fedora Users and Developers Conference (FUDCon) at locations around the globe. FUDCon brings developers, contributors, and enthusiasts together to share knowledge about and visionary planning for the next generation of open source technologies. Insightful and educational technical sessions are followed by code sprint sessions, or hackfests, where participants work together to design and create the future of the Fedora distribution and contribute to the upstream communities where open source starts. You can watch this video to see how Red Hat later harnesses that upstream work to create additional value in Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

This past weekend, the Fedora Project held one of its largest events ever at the York campus of Seneca College in Toronto, Canada. Over 200 talented Fedora developers and contributors started off Saturday morning in the Stephen E. Quinlan Building using the BarCamp method of “unconference” organization. The crowd was so large that we overflowed into a second large lecture hall, joined by video and audio conferencing to the first. Speakers pitched their talks, and audience interest decided the final schedule for the day, which filled lecture halls and classrooms throughout the building. Often people attend professional conferences and report that their best experiences happened in the hallway, talking to peers and luminaries. Our approach to FUDCon takes this so-called “hallway track” and makes it the focal point of the event, and as a result the conference includes much richer and satisfying content. Featured FUDCon talks included:

  • A demonstration and lecture on the future of desktop interaction through the GNOME Shell interface
  • The state of the kernel and X graphical system projects, and what’s coming next in those upstreams
  • A wide variety of information on the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) and its application in Fedora infrastructure, the Fedora Community portal, and other projects
  • How to develop applications for Moksha, the new open source framework for real-time web collaboration
  • A full set of user- and contributor-oriented educational talks, from installing Fedora to filing better bugs or helping with design work


The full schedule of talks at FUDCon can be found here on the wiki.

Following the technical talks were two days of code sprints, or hackfests as they’re called in FUDCon parlance. Attendees applied the information they learned during the first day of technical talks, or met with developers involved in projects of interest, and sat down to solve specific issues and improve code and services in Fedora. In some cases, teams gathered to work on one project for the entire two days, as in the case of the new Fedora content management system based on Zikula. In others, they assembled and then remixed several times a day to accomplish smaller tasks in quick succession, such as focusing on quality issues such as our distribution release criteria, a media production tool for use by contributors, or the next generation of our package source management system.

FUDCon is always completely free and open to anyone to attend, and therefore attracts a broad range of contributors with different backgrounds and interests. Not only does that make for a dynamic, educational, and enjoyable event for everyone, but it also allows Fedora’s focus on innovation and relevance to bring expanded value to the community conference experience. Everyone from free software enthusiasts to people interested in the technology of future Red Hat Enterprise Linux products can benefit tremendously from that experience.

Our events calendar planning is underway for 2010 - we look forward to seeing you at a future FUDCon!