Flock 2016 Report

This time in Kraków, Poland.

This was, after Prague in 2014, the second Flock event I’ve attended so far. I got to my hotel on Monday evening and, given this was my first ever visit to the area, I hurried to explore the center a bit and, needless to say, find a decent local pub. The city was surprisingly beautiful and their refreshment wasn’t bad either. Anyway, to the main point!

The fourth year of the conference was held at Best Western Premier from Tuesday to Friday and, as always, it was packed with various talks and workshops, with the main theme, for me at least, being Modularity and Factory 2.0.

Modularity -- it's sweet

I spent most of the first day attending talks about Fedora infrastructure, Koji, COPR, even Docker, and, in the evening, learning about the city history and, well, socializing.

The big, long-awaited Modularity talk and demo took place on Wednesday. Langdon explained the basic idea behind the initiative and showed a short demo we managed to glue together just minutes before (and also during) the presentation — updates within selected update streams, switching between update streams, installation profiles and even a module build, monitoring its progress in a special service called Build Pipeline Overview, or BPO for short. For the time-constrained, Nils and Adam have prepared a quick video demonstrating some of the concepts. I’ll link to the full talk video once it’s published.

The room was full and the overall acceptance was unexpectedly positive, encouraging us to break things even more.

In the following talk, Ralph introduced the high-level concepts behind (not only) Modularity; what problems is our infrastructure and workflow facing today, and how to fix it.

Later that day I also attended the discussion on diversity in open source and a presentation about Insim.

We spent the evening on a boat, sailing the Wisla river, discussing the fascinating topics of the day over a beer.

Thursday and Friday were dedicated to lightning talks and workshops. The top secret Modularity session (it wasn’t announced until morning that day) was held on Thursday afternoon. During the two hours we had we explained how to build one’s very own module and submit it to our build pipeline. However, most of the time we had was dedicated to ad-hoc Q&A, which proved to be more valuable than helping people fight the difficulties of building things with the staging infrastructure — it is still too early and the hands-on experience is, well, suboptimal.

The Friday’s Server SIG Pow-Wow was mostly about Ansible and Rolekit. I didn’t have much to say about this but it got me thinking about how we could possibly integrate these technologies into modulemd and installation profiles. That’s for another post, another time.


All in all, I dare to say Flock #4 was pretty successful. I met a bunch of interesting and knowledgable people, exchanged ideas and opinions, and Polish beer wasn’t too bad either. I might be coming back someday.

Petr Šabata
Fancies freedom, free software, transparency, cleanliness, simplicity, natural and computer languages, and Oxford commas.