Maracaibo SFD event review

Software Freedom Day 08 in Maracaibo was all about “awareness”. We had somewhere about 125 people show up for the event, and we were expecting somewhere around 100 people. Most of the attendees where students from the campus where we had the event (Universidad Rafael Belloso Chacín – URBE), However the event was of free admision so anyone could join in.

Getting ready for SFD.

We had everything set up for the day. we had flyers that gave info on software freedom and also on the different campaigns that are going around Venezuela and the world right now, (Play OGG, Digital Restriction Management, Accecibility), the university kindly printed 700 copies in total for us. We got the little snack covered, “Pastelistos and Tequeños” and soft drinks. We got the talks arranged in separate rooms, for “the average computer user” and for Developers. though people could choose where to go. We Received the canonical UBUNTU CD’s for this event and also the SFD t-shirts, ballons, badges and stickers, so we were ready to give those out in raffles after talks. the Sun Teams from URBE and from “La Universidad del Zulia – LUZ” Joined forces to provide us with more stuff to give out to attendees. about a 100 bags and Opensolaris CD’s, pens, T-shirts and lot’s of cool stuff. Attendees would really get a nice SFD experience.

The SF Day Came

People came, :D. One can promote enough, but it is quite a nice feeling to see people lining up to hear talks related to FLOSS. it is a great feeling. People registered and joined an initial welcome words given by me and from there on the talks got on their way.

The talks

One of the talks that really stands up this year is a talk on accesibility  called ” Software Libre y Discapacidad” given by Julio Hernandez and Johan Trujillo. they shared with attendees the current state of accesibility in Free and Opensource projects. Johan being visually impaired showed how he does his habitual work in his computer (browse the web, check email), He also noted that the campus university was not playing nice in terms of accesibility, since the text couldn’t be synthesized. He promised to send a letter to the webmaster. There are 5 people who are visually impaired in the URBE campus and for Johan that is enough to get this bug fixed. this talk was sponsored by MUNDO ACCESIBLE who provided with acomodations for Julio and Johan.

A talk on the DJango web framework promised to bring a bit of the new tendencies for web development to campus students. Many of them were impresed with the Django way of building up web aplications in no time. It was cool to see people saying “I gotta try this at home”.

The SUN team URBE and  SUN Team LUZ, provided a great talk on Opensolaris and Java with the participation of Antonio Amendolia. Al participants received swags full of Opensolaris (CD’s, books, pens). Attendees were amazed at how easy it was for them to take home a piece of openess and try it in depth.

Damian Finol, Wikimedia advocate, visited us from the capital city of Caracas. He promoted the use of Wikipedia as a Means of Free Culture. Attendees learned the importance of knowledge and how we all make sure future generations have access to learning. He introduced the different local campaigns for Freedom of Knowledge through the Wikimedia Organization.

Irais Mejia, freelance FOSS consultant and educator gave lightning talks on openoffice and portable apps to promote the usage of FOSS in everyday computing. The talk introduced newcommers to the experience of using a fully-integrated office suit and the advantages of using a free document format fr saving documents.

Other talks included Gerardo Curiel promoting Versioning for developers.


Ubuntu-ve, Actvistas x el software libre and Mundo Accesible shared a stand where they offered help to attendees on tecnical issues and also displayed kids playing educational games. UBuntu-ve shared CD’s with the crowd. Cesar Sevilla was incharge of holding the fort for Our Venezuelan  UBUNTU LoCo team, since I wasn’t available to sit in the table, I had to run around and make sure the event ran fine. Enmanuel Llanos provided with pins, Stickers and mugs available for the interested in geek apparel.

Flyers Flying around

Lot’s of flyers to share info, from PLAY OGG, to DRM and a triptic with some info on the most popular desktop FOSS applications, free stickers were also printed to hand out to attendees. This was handy to introduce topics we couldn’t find someone to give a talk about. Hopefully we can elaborate more next year.

Great Thanks to: CTT-URBE, Mundo Accesible, Ubuntu-ve, Sun TEAM-URBE, Sun TEAM-LUZ, Activistas x Software Libre.

Special thanks to the attendees who really make this worth putting together.

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