“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” – Gloria Steinem
Exactly 3 years ago when one of my colleagues going to held his first international event, I began to involved in FOSS community project. My first task to be involved in that time is I am going to be there, holding microphone, leading the audience enjoying and following the entire morning and evening. The first experience took me by surprised because not long after that I realized that the same people from community event three years ago become my friend. From that day, a lot of things happened and changed my view about FOSS community. From that day, different places I visited as I involved more and more in the community.
The first event that I mention above is GNOME.Asia Summit 2015. It’s an annual event from GNOME for community in Asia. The event taken place in Universitas Indonesia, Depok, West Java nearly 800 kilometers from Yogyakarta, the place where I live. This 3-days events (including workshop on 0 day) attracts more that 630 attendees. Speakers, attendees and crew coming together creating FOSS ambiance in Balai Rung Hall, Universitas Indonesia.
As years go by, for my understanding that GNOME.Asia is culmination point of Asian community hard work in GNOME and FOSS community because basically it is one of the events held by GNOME in Asia and it is also an event to meet all people from Asian community. They are the one behind every release, every new applications. The community span from people who did code, design, documentation, translation and engagement.
This year’s GNOME.Asia Summit is is Taipei! Taipei is capital city of Taiwan. The conference was held in National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei City, Taiwan on August 11th-12th 2018. Taipei is to the northeast of my country, Indonesia. Taipei known for it’s highest building, Taipei 101. It is going to be my first GNOME.Asia Summit outside Indonesia since I didn’t attend GNOME.Asia Summit 2017 in New Delhi due to my medical condition.
The flight that I took from Yogyakarta (JOG) to Taipei (TPE) has 2 connections. First, I have to get from Yogyakarta (JOG) to Jakarta (CGK) that is my capital city of Indonesia. Second, I took flight from Jakarta (CGK) to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KUL). Third, I went from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Taipei, Taiwan (TPE). The total flying time is 8 hours but the layover is almost 24 hours *sad*
GNOME.Asia Summit 2018 is co-hosted with COSCUP and openSUSE.Asia Summit 2018. COSCUP is Conference for Open Source Coders, Users and Promoters, an annual conference held by Taiwanese open source community since 2006. It’s considering as a major force of Free Software movement advocacy in Taiwan. The openSUSE.Asia Summit 2008 is also an annual conference of openSUSE community in Asia. The three of these community bring together COSCUP x GNOME.Asia Summit x openSUSE.Asia Summit 2018.
I arrived at Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) at 1530, first impression of airport? It was a quite long queue at the immigration counter. Waited for more than 40 minutes, I think. All the passenger from earlier flight is jumbled together in the line, most of them are Koreans and Japanese. I guess they are about to spend the summer vacation in Taipei. Considering myself quite lucky to have a friend that is currently studying in National Taiwan University. It gave me several advantages including designated maps, a useful EasyCard e-money for MRTs and buses also several tips to explore the city including precaution on long-waiting-time in immigration counter when I find out my flight is at busiest time at airport. Oh well, I have my mint candy and Kindle!
From Taoyuan Airport, I took bus number 1819 and headed straight to Taipei Main Station and walk for about 10 minutes to my hotel in Zhongzheng District. The bus has covered window to reduce the sunlight. It’s comfortable for sleep considering my total trip from Yogyakarta is more thatn 24 hours but not really good for outside looking because it is blocking the view. The trip took about 50 minutes, mostly it’s a highway and flyover before entering the city.
Taipei Main Station is connection hub for Airport commute, all MRTs and bus to all over the Taipei. I am glad I choose a hotel that only took me 10 minutes — or 5 minutes because we have M5 exit 50 meters from the lobby — to go there. Uh, oh I need to finish preparing my presentation. This time, I am rushing to go to the hotel!
I think I remember the committee need us to meet together in Taipei Main Station East Lobby for us to go to One Day Trip once the conference conclude. Truth is, it near for me and I can’t wait to explore Taipei with all speakers and committee from this event.
Think it is as advantages. Taipei is GMT +8 that’s mean 1 hour early to Yogyakarta time. I usually woke up at 0430 in my hometown for praying and start my day. Now, here, I can woke up at 0530 and not feeling guilty at all! Tired of all trips, I decided to stay on the bed until 1000.
Well oh well, staying near Taipei Main Station has it’s advantage and disadvantage; it’s near from everywhere yet so far from the venue. To go to National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) for the first day conference and attend the COSCUP x GNOME.Asia Summit x openSUSE.Asia Summit 2018 I need to take bus or MRT at least 40 minutes ride. Today, I went with Matthias Classen and catch the bus to go to venue; walk 300 meters, ride the bus for 20 minutes and walk again for 750 meters. It’s only cost us $15, what a ride!
Because of the trip that I took with Mathias including several try and error. I am pretty sure we were lost and going to enter the National Taipei University’s Women Dorm if only there were no student call and say hi to us. She pointed out that we were in the wrong direction, even thought we took the pavement same way at first try. We ended up circling around university’s gate and finally headed to right direction that took us 15 minutes to walk.
In reception desk, the committee hand us a bag that is contain of 2 rings binder, brochures and some SWAG from the event. I personally love the binder, there is completed information about the class, about the map and all the things that is going on in the event. On this first day, I am attending one of the people in Indonesian FOSS community. His name is Rama.
RANIA AMINA OR RAMA
Rama lives in Yogyakarta but I didn’t casually meet with him. First time I met him I think it’s in casual FOSS event in Yogyakarta. This year, I met Rama more often than before because we unintentionally shared the event. Before met in Taipei, I met Rama in LibreOffice Conference Indonesia in Surabaya around March 2018 then we met again when he helped me creating video about that event. After that all conversation is always within online platform.
Rama created all artwork for LibreOffice Conference 2018. His presentation title is “Working & Contributing to Open Source Via Graphic Design in openSUSE “. He is began his presentation dengan mencoba menyapa teman-teman yang telah hadir di kelas. Rama started his class in IB304 at 1000 sharp. He showed us the first slide with some of logos. All of those logo looks familiar to me, including an institutional logo from where Rama still considering himself as university student. beserta seluruh open source project that he involved in. There it was; GIMP, BlankOn, LibreOffice, Ridon and Ubuntu Budgie.
Rama expained about GIMPSCAPE, a community focused on helping designer work with open source software : GIMP and Inscape. The goal of this community first and foremost is for open source software campaign, the other is for build confidence for artist to use FOSS. The other goal that is important is for providing Licence of Work art understanding and of course for them to openly contribute to the open source project. He also show us few sample of his projects. The presentation continue with some attendant throwing questions. Here is Shobha with GIMPSCAPE t-shirt as doorprize!
On second day, after I took MRT from my hotel, I am rushing to go to the venue. Had vegetable bun for breakfast, it was first time experience for me, had 2 buns and a tea. The second day of conference I decided to go more talks with GNOME and other community member. It’s a good way to understand more about Taiwan FOSS community ambiance. I went to Pak Iwan Tahari’s class at 306 and here it is about him.
First time I met Iwan Tahari was at GNOME.Asia Summit 2015 in Depok Indonesia. I call him “Pak Iwan”. Pak is a common way for an Indonesian to address elder people or someone we respect. It is a similar with Mister or Sir in English language.
During GNOME.Asia Summit 2018 in Taipei, Pak Iwan had a presentation of “Using Inkscape to Design Shoes”. He is a Director of Operation in a shoe company called Fans (meaning admire or supporter) with a mission to become a popular brand with quality improvement and continuous innovation. Fans was established in October 2001. The company used to use proprietary software. He explain that the company had some security issues with proprietary software because of malware and viruses.
To solve the problem,the company migrated to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). On his presentation, Pak Iwan explained how Fans adopt FOSS gradually. With one PC, in 2007 they started with dual-booting SimplyMEPIS Linux with Windows XP. It was a failure because the user almost never boot Linux OS. In 2012, the company tried Partial Migration with 5 notebooks installed with Linux Mint 13 XFCE, and 7 others PC were still with Windows OS. Fans started to implement RetailSoft (accounting software) with 13 Linux PCs and only 1 Windows XP PC in 2013. Finally, they Fully Migrated the company to FOSS in 2014 with 2 Linux Server(s) and 13 Linux Workstation(s).
In the next slide, Pak Iwan explained the shoe making process from drawing shoes with Inkscape at the early stage until the final result. Inkscape did a great job at the early production stage. Fans also used Inkscape to design marketing items along with another useful l FOSS called GIMP.
Now the company is implementing FOSS in every aspect of their operations in a way that Pak Iwan has never thought about it before. In the picture above, there is a Cost Comparison between Proprietary Software vs FOSS. Pak Iwan’s company has made a great saving by using FOSS. Because of all of the benefits, Fans has started to support the FOSS project. For example, the company has sponsored FOSS book “Menggambar dan Desain Grafis dengan Inkscape (Graphical Design with Inkscape)” written by Sokhibi. They also cooperate with Blankon Linux community to organize Writing Contest. Fans was also sponsoring FOSS event(s) like GNOME.Asia Summit 2015; LibreOffice Conference 2018 and several others local open source gathering.
Oh yes, have I mentioned before that I was sharing a room with my friend, Nuritzi? No? Oh well, let’s talk about her now.
I don’t recall our first meeting, I think it is when I was attending GUADEC 2015 in Sweden. There was a Woman Dinner as part of the event’s plan. Together with another women from GNOME community, we sit together for a nice meal. Nuritzi is not an engineer, she admits herself as a non-technical and non-programming person. I believe I remember one of her presentation slide for Endless Project that she mention herself as someone who keen to learn the new world, including open source community. Next thing I know, she is one of the Board of Director in, even better she is The President, Board of Directors of GNOME Foundation. Way to go, girl!
Nuritzi is one of the founder of GNOME San Francisco Community. On second day, Nuritzi and Kat gave Keynote as Keynote Speaker on first schedule in the morning. The presentation title is “Year of GNOME”. I am amazed by how GNOME has been change and develop in the past 3 years as I joining them in 2015. The significant change in community is now we use Gitlab for project tracking and management!
At night before the event started, we went to Welcome Party together. The committee held Welcome Party as a casual event, all speakers all allowed to come with RSVP first. That night, the MC using Mandarin to speak and host, basically everyone shouting in Mandarin, so I am just here, hanging with all of my friend who already came before the main event is happens (that is tomorrow).
I met several people from Japan, including Takeyama whom sincere to me and Sendy. Last year, he decided to gave Sendy one of the openSUSE.Asia Summit 2016’s t-shirt even thought I didn’t come to the event. Thanks Takeyama! I also meet with another people from openSUSE community and asking where I was this morning because apparently there was a Community Day at SUSE Office of Taiwan. Need to tell them that my foot had blisters 😦
I stayed till 2200 and decided to took same MRT route and apparently Umang’s and Jonathan’s place is not far from where I stay. We ended up took MRT together.
It’s a three events! I love how I meet other community from different area of interest. It gives a different view about open source as well. The main problem is there are too many people to remember hahaha but I love how diversity it can get. Hope I will attend another event is Taipei, next time.
I had amazing Bird of Feathers (BoFs) with people in Taiwan Open Source community, especially LibreOffice community. The place for our BoFs called A+A Space, I think I may left Taipei as well because we go on foot for about 700 meters and took a train, stop at the very last station. :))
The main talk in the BoFs is what we should do to strengthen Asian community in Open Source Software, including held several upcoming event. As I wrote this post, there was LibreOffice Conference happening in Tirana, Albania.
Some of my friends, including Estu Fardani in Taipei, openSUSE Asia Summit, Power of Community and Ahmad Haris in GNOME Asia Summit 2018 – Taipei, Taiwan are mentioning the non-existence of GNOME Booth in the event. I am kind of agree with them.
Last but not least, thank you to the GNOME Foundation for sponsoring my trip to GNOME.Asia! If someone is interested in travel sponsorship, come check this link at: https://wiki.gnome.org/Travel/
There are more stories came from my fellow friends. Check it out here!
- Umang Jain – GNOME.Asia 2018, Taipei
- Joko Susilo – My Amazing Trip To COSCUP x GNOME.Asia x openSUSE.Asia 2018
It’s not always about the place or event, it’s about the people.
Always about the people.