Past Saturday April 28 I attended to the FLISOL 2012 Puno hosted at the “Casa de la Cultura” in downtown Puno. It was a great experience to deliver a talk after a while, the second speech since I enrolled into the UCSP’s Computer and Engineering Faculty to get my Computer Science BS degree.
Puno is really a nice city with a great landscape for those like me who enjoy the sun, lakes, wonderful mountains and, as it’s name says, the “Andes plane” 3860m above sea level. Pretty high and very cold at night indeed but a lovely place. FLISOL is short for “Latin American Free Software Installation Festival” that just aged 12 this year.
In my talk I wanted to describe the motivations behind the Free Software movement origins. I specially remarked the fact that the movement doesn’t look for technical excellence, even though this is something we thrive for, rather than preserving a common set of guidelines for protecting assets we do value such software and freedom. Later I discussed about how Debian have become a key actor in the free software ecosystem. Primarily as a huge software library, second as a building block for specialized distributions (such as Ubuntu) and third, but not the last, as a facilitator for new developments and contributions to the ecosystem, and I mentioned here the Debian GNU/Hurd project. Through such topics I explained what we do, why we do it and why they may want to contribute. There was a good reception from the audience and there were many questions on the subjects I elaborated on.
I was impressed to see many Debian users, some of them “power users”, and even tried to help one to configure his obscure Xorg settings on his laptop (didn’t succeed because lack of connectivity, will send him testing CDs eventually). I’d like to thank to the organization who made a great job. The team, nearly 30 students from Universidad Nacional del Altiplano plus local activists, started working in February collecting funds and managed to gather more than 330 attendees during the almost 10 hours of the event. Also special thanks for the coffee machine that was available!