This FOSSASIA was special as it marked its 10th year! It was quite impressive to witness a FOSS conference to continue growing this long with growing community. The four day conference schedule was packed with various interesting talks, workshops, hackathon and other engaging activities.
First day of the conference was single track with some insightful talks. This included speakers who have been long term contributors to FOSSASIA such as Harish Pillay and Hong Phuc. Hong talked about various FOSSASIA initiatives such as Open Tech Summit, Science Hack Day India and events conducted along with HackerSpace SG.
Another interesting talk was from Mitch Altman about the TV-B-Gone project. He started it because he was annoyed by TVs playing loud in public spaces. Little did he know that he wasn’t alone and lot of people wanted the device. Mitch went on to create hardware learning kits and teaches introductory electronics workshops. He motivated a lot of people to go and enjoy making new things.
Another interesting talk was from Huzaifa Sidhpurwala on attacking email encryption and security in general. It was quite interesting to know that the usage of enigmail spiked a lot roughly during 2014 (around the Snowden revelations). The talk also compared S/MIME and OpenPGP approaches to email encryption.
Hardware had a lot of presence at FOSSASIA. There were interesting talks ranging from ARM Development boards to preparing embedded products to be Production ready. From the benchmarks I saw, ARM based devices are getting quite close to their x86 counterparts. Along with ARM64 based servers, the future is bright even for consumer laptops (such as the Pinebook). Also, speaking of the future, we will soon be able to talk to our Coffee Machines! Meanwhile, we do have farmers doing innovative things with Raspberry Pi in Japan 🙂
On last day of conference, I and Sayan talked about Fedora CoreOS and Silverblue respectively. In general I felt that the attendees were quite excited about Fedora CoreOS and the benefits it brings. During Q&A we discussed how the release streams in Fedora CoreOS will be in comparison to Container Linux. Another frequently discussed topic was Podman and benefits of using it over Docker. There was also interest about how CI will operate for Fedora CoreOS. Slides from my talk is available here .
Other than talks, the conference had a lot of activity in the exhibition area as well. We had a CentOS booth (thanks to Rich Bowen!) as well which was very engaging and a place for attendees to ask questions about various Open Source projects from CentOS, Fedora, etc. There was an awesome demo of Open Firmware projects (like Coreboot, U-Boot etc) and how easy it is to flash FOSS firmware in modern laptops using flashrom. To add to that, I even learnt soldering like a pro! Thanks, Mitch.
I must say that conference was filled with wide range of topic and has something interesting to learn for most of the people. Organizers and volunteers has put really hard work in keeping this year conference awesome and engaging, kudos to all!