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Experiencing FOSDEM 2015

What, when, where, who, why?

IMG_2776The Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting, more fondly known as FOSDEM, is usually held in the beginning of February over a weekend in Brussels, Belgium. This year it straddled two months from 31.1 to 1.2 with a nice rainy/snowy backdrop at Université libre de Bruxelles. FOSDEM is a free and non-commercial two-day event organized by the community (a group of volunteers) for the community. It provides a venue for free and open source software developers and communities to gather and discuss, promote, learn about, and connect with different F/OSS projects. As many Jolla Sailors are passionate about and have our roots in open source projects, it’s a natural thing for us to be part of this event, not just to share about Sailfish OS, but also to get informed about various developments in projects we’re interested/involved in.

Recycle Your Android Devices

One highlight of the event (and there were many) was the presentation by our sailor David Greaves on the details of how to run Sailfish OS on your android devices with HADK (Hardware Adaptation Development Kit). It was part of the Embedded devroom track in a big lecture hall. During David’s talk, the auditorium was packed to the brim with several people standing by the door as they could not get a seat! David’s slides on the building blocks of the process including Mer SDK, libhybris interface and Qt/Wayland plugin can be found here and we’ll add a link to the video when it’s made available.

Jolla tablet and Sailfish OS community round table

These were activities organized by the community for the community. In spite of the fact that we were located in a hard-to-find classroom, the room once again filled up quickly to join in the discussions led by Carsten Munk and Marko Saukko. We covered many topics about the development of Jolla tablet as well as the Sailfish OS community. There will be additional blog posts going into specific details on the tablet development such as adaptation and UX, and you an join us in the continuous open-dialogue on community issues in our regular Sailfish OS collaboration meeting.

Community Dinner at Restaurant Vincent

What do a bunch of hungry Jolla and community sailors do after a long fruitful day at a conference? We seek out a maritime-themed restaurant serving top-notch Belgian and French cuisine. We were pleasantly surprised when almost 50 people signed up for the dinner event, and even more delighted when every single person showed up, including a couple of last minute additions! With excellent food, beers and conversations, it was the perfect way to end the evening. My only regret is not having enough time and opportunity to talk to everyone who was there.

FOSDEM15 Community dinner

The Jolla/Sailfish extended family

On day 2, in the Open Source Design devroom, we were treated to a presentation on the challenges of open mobile design by Michael Demetriou and Aleksi Suomalainen. They demoed Glacier UI for Nemo Mobile on a Jolla as they talked about the inherent difficulties of designing in the open, and ways to handle the risk of losing the vision and coherence of the design while still fostering participation. Dirk van Leersum, Mr. Funky TOH himself, was also with us in Brussels with the latest iteration of the TOHKBD prototype, appeasing our appetites temporarily as we anticipate the delivery of our TOHKBDs. It was a great getting together of hardware hackers, software developers, users and designers in the communities of Jolla, Sailfish OS and related projects!

FOSDEM presents from sledges

One of our HADK sailors, Simonas Leleiva, started distributing presents on his Google+ page in the days leading up to FOSDEM. Although the conference is over, these gifts are still cool and relevant, so I’ll share them here as well:

Comments and feedback from Pavithran/community

Events like FOSDEM are great opportunities to get some valuable feedback directly from the community in person. And the conversations do not stop there. Pavithran has graciously shared his thoughts about meeting us at FOSDEM – even though he missed the talk and round table on day 1 – on Diaspora* (part 1; part 2). He concluded with “That’s the beauty of Jolla and its respect towards community, here is a phone [company] which values community opinion.” Yes we do! So please continue to voice your thoughts and concerns to us, on this blog and other channels. Let’s sail together with people power!




Carol Chen

Community Chief at Jolla. Globe (and star) trekker. Ardent about open source and open communication. Makes decent music with timpani, drums, piano, and vocal cords.


  1. Avatar

    I really enjoy to read your blog and will be waiting for your next update.
    I appreciate all the work you put into this site,
    helping out others with your fun and creative works.

  2. Avatar

    Reading your article, how wonderful is FOSDEM. I wish I could visit it. It’s good that such conferences and events exist.

    case study writer

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