C’est au premier étage de la Tour Eiffel, lieu symbolique de la France, qu’une grande partie de la communauté de l’open source s’est donné rendez vous pour fêter les 10 ans de Mandriva. 230 personnes s’étaient réunies afin de célébrer l’évènement. La soirée a commencé vers 19h avec un discours de François Bancilhon CEO, sur l’historique de la société. Puis, à tour de rôle plusieurs intervenants, partenaires de la société se sont succédés:
Ces différentes interventions ont pu donner aux invités le ton sur l’avenir de Mandriva. Cet anniversaire fut également très enrichissant en matière de rencontres et d’échanges. Un bilan qui s’avère être plus que positif pour la décennie qui vient de s’écouler, et qui annonce un futur très prometteur pour Mandriva.
Mandriva celebrates its 10 years anniversary at the Eiffel Tower
Mandriva 10 years anniversary took place at the Eiffel Tower, symbolic place of Paris, where a large part of the Open Source community got together to celebrate Mandriva’s anniversary. 230 guests were presents. The evening started at 7 pm with François Bancilhon ’s speech, the CEO of Mandriva. Then, several partners made a speech:
This anniversary was very fulfilling and rewarding for all guests. Everyone was very happy to be part of Mandriva’s party.
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This is my second trip to Angola. I went there last year for the first IT Forum, the local annual IT event. Last year, I initiated the discussions that led to us signing our first contract with the Angolan government. We now have a team of Brazilian engineers on site doing training and consulting. I went back this year for the second IT Forum, to check on the status of our current contract and to discuss future projects.
As in most of my trips, I haven’t seen much: from the airport, to the hotel, to the conference center and back. But I could not help be impressed by gigantic traffic jams, a visible haze of pollution, roads in terrible conditions, people quietly siting on sidewalks as if in their living room, continuous lines at gas stations, lack of public transportation besides the white and blue minivans, young people everywhere, women carrying huge baskets on their head, young peddlers selling the usual stuff and the most usual (stethoscopes?) from car to car in highway traffic jams, a no left turn policy forcing you do to long and convoluted detours, huge SUVs everywhere, garbage dumps and favelas, dust covering everything and turning into mud at the first shower, Chinese workers building highways, huge strange trees (at least strange to me), large and modern new development areas, major work on sewage (“the water is flowing better” says my friend Eric), steel and glass building emerging in the middle of the city, Wifi but little Internet bandwidth behind it, a beautiful conference center, etc.
The country has a major challenge developing its infrastructure quickly enough to keep up with the growth: Angola is the fastest growing economy in Africa, with an 18% annual growth, and it’s been going at this pace for more than 5 years now thanks to oil, diamonds, and agriculture (and peace).
Part of the infrastructure development is mastering and using IT. The man behind the development and use of IT in Angola is Pedro Teta, the Vice-Minister of technology and the head of CNTI, the national center for information technology. He holds a PhD in computer and control, speaks 8 languages, is smart, hard working, fast moving, visionary with an attention to detail. He understands one of the key issue is people and training.
Most companies and people at the conference were from Angola, Brazil or Portugal. We make sense here because of our Brazilian team.
Microsoft Africa’s Chairman was there and give a speech just before mine. The main topic was open source, so I assume I was one of the reasons for his presence. He made a few strange statements which I am not sure match the official Microsoft position: according to him, because of Nicholas Negroponte’s OLPC project, Africa lost four years waiting for a machine that never came. He also said that Angola is the richest nation in Africa, so it should buy expensive computers (by which I suppose he means high powered machines running Windows). And he finally explained that open source and Free Software are not the same thing (at least he got this one right).
I gave a talk on low cost computers in emerging markets. I presented the Intel Classmate and the Angolinux distribution we installed on it: as part of the program we have here, together with the local community we built Angolinux, a localized version of Mandriva. It is now getting a lot of attention and excitement and with the Classmate was one of the hot topics of the trade show. Lots of people came to the booth to get copies of the system and to play with the machines, and many wanted to see if they could buy it.
I had a formal meeting with the Prime Minister. Pedro Teta took me and a Romanian professor to meet him and present two projects: a project of academic exchanges with Romania and the Classmate PC/Angolinux project for school deployment. The meeting was very formal, with translators, pictures and interviews with the press at the end.
So, I found Angola a fascinating country, taking the right path to accelerated development, and we’re happy to participate in this process.
On another front, it seems that our position Nigeria is improving and we remain involved in the project. It is too early to give precise facts, but things are better. So it seems that the attention drawn on the situation is helping towards a positive resolution.
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First KDE-Edu Meeting hosted by Mandriva, Paris
The first KDE-Edu meeting, on the 1st& 2nd December 2007, aimed at polishing educational applications for the KDE 4.0 release and to start planning KDE 4.1. Debugging, testing, exchanging ideas, shaping libraries, getting to know everyone was the main focus of the meeting.
Anne-Marie Mahfouf (France) : Organiser of KDE-Edu project
Jeremy Whiting (USA) : KAnagram, KNewStuff (in kdelibs), KVTML2 with Frederik
Albert Astal Cid (Spain) : KGeography and Blinken
Frederik Gladhorn (Germany) : KVocTrain which has changed its name to Parley
Carsten Niehaus (Germany) : Kalzium
Aleix Pol (Spain): KAlgebra
Benoît Jacob (France): Eigen, use in KDE-Edu and KDE program, Kalzium
Johannes Simon (Germany) : Parley
Mauricio Piacentini (Brazil) : KTurtle
Vladimir Kuznetsov and Olena Kuznetsova (Russia) : Step
Jure Repinc (Slovenia) : Tanslation. Testing, bugs
Patrick Spendrin (Germany) : KDE-Edu on Windows
Peter Murdoch (Wales) : KPercentage
KDE-Edu était à Paris dans les locaux de Mandriva pour la préparation de KDE 4.1
Les développeurs de KDE-Edu se réunissaient pour la première fois les 1er et 2 Décembre 2007 dans les locaux de Mandriva à Paris. L’objectif principal de cette rencontre était la finalisation des logiciels pour la sortie de KDE 4.0 et la préparation de KDE 4.1.Cette réunion a rassemblé 14 personnes dont 2 Français, un Américain, un Brésilien, des Allemands, des Russes, des Espagnols, un Slovène et un Écossais. Elle a permis aux développeurs des logiciels éducatifs de KDE de renforcer l’esprit d’équipe.
Le projet KDE-Edu a été fondé en 2001 avec l’idée de rassembler les logiciels existants dans un module KDE pour les intégrer complètement à KDE. Le module kdeedu est sorti pour la première fois avec KDE 3.0 en avril 2002.
La réunion a permis de corriger de nombreux bugs pour la sortie de KDE-Edu dans KDE 4. Les développeurs ont aussi étudié l’utilisation des bibliothèques communes comme Eigen2, une bibliothèque de mathématiques. Son développeur a étudié avec les personnes intéressées les besoins non couverts actuellement par cette bibliothèque.
Divers sous-groupes se sont formés au cours du week-end afin de définir le travail des prochains mois. Les logiciels KDE-Edu sur la plate-forme Windows ont également été présentés. Une telle réunion redonne une nouvelle motivation aux développeurs et permet un travail intensif pendant deux jours.
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Last Saturday I participated in Mozilla24 a cyber and physical event organized by the Mozilla foundation. The overall event took place in France, Japan, Thailand and the US. The panel discussion I was in was only (I assume for time zone reasons) in France, Japan and Thailand.
In France, it was held at ENST (a Telecommunication Engineering School in Paris), in a rather ugly auditorium (like most auditoriums of French engineering schools). It seemed from the pictures on the screen that they had found similarly ugly places in Japan and Thailand. Which means the glitter was in the technology rather than in the setting.
The technology was indeed impressive: good and clear communication around the globe, possible interaction between the sites and good quality sound and video. On the other hand, there were lots of people busy pulling wires and frantically typing on keyboards, so I assume there was a lot of work behind the seemingly effortless exercise.
Participants in France were OpenOffice.org (Charles Schulz), Wikimedia (Pierre Beaudoin), Mozilla Europe (Tristan Nitot) and Mandriva (yours truly).
Tristan was his usual mix of fun, kindness and smart and told us some cute stories on the beginning of Mozilla in France, when life was tough (it is much better now). He had given each presenter a list of questions to answer and to my surprise everyone followed the scenario he had provided.
In my presentation, I explained the three key words which drive our strategy: simple, innovative and open. Simple as in “take technology to the masses by making it simple”, innovative as “include innovations in the distro to take them mainstream” and open as in “open source, free software and open standards”. Then I went to our focus on bringing Linux to emerging markets via OEM relationships, as we are doing today for instance in Brazil and Argentina.
I had a question on fighting Microsoft in emerging markets. This is a good question: we indeed met them recently when they offered $3 licenses to a prospect we were talking to in an emerging market country (more on this soon)! I had another question on the multiplicity of distros: 5 years from now, will there still be many distros? Our vision is we should see convergence on the lower layers of the distro, i.e., the core components and the added value of a specific distro should move up in the software stack.
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Just a quick post to let everyone know that Mandriva will be at the upcoming LinuxWorld conference at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. The conference runs August 6th to August 9th, and Mandriva’s Walt Pennington and Adam Williamson will be there from August 7th to August 9th. We will have a section of Intel’s Mobility Showcase display dedicated to Mandriva, and will be showing off the Intel classmate PC running Mandriva Linux, the Mandriva Flash USB key, and probably some other fun stuff too. If you’re going to the conference, please do drop by to say hi, check out our exhibits, or just bug us with requests to make your sound card work! We’d love to meet you all. If you live nearby but you weren’t planning to go, you might be interested to know that ‘Exhibits Only’ registration, which gives you access to the exhibition hall (where we’ll be) plus the keynote presentations, feature presentations and BOF sessions is free in advance - register here. It’s $50 onsite, so registering in advance is worth it.
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