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Nature, to Be Commanded, Must Be Obeyed

April 19, 2009

Freedays‘09 Recap

Freedays was great as usual. Seminars and workshops were interesting and informative. In my opinion organization was flawless as well. I think this is a result of LKD and Bilgi University teams’ coordinating together1.

How Not To Advocate Linux

Nice presentation by Enver Altın. Short slides2, confident, humorous and to-the-point style. Careful preparation is usually evident in good presentations. Overall I liked it very much. What he says basically is:

  • Don’t throw mud at M$
  • Be concise and empathize the audience
  • Linux is not perfect, but it has strong points
  • Emphasize freedom and independency
  • Free software communities must be united

Some LKD people tried to undermine the seminar becase it contained criticism of LKD. I don’t know what were they actualy trying to accomplish, but they didn’t distrupt the event for long enough. All they accomplished is to show what kind of people you’ll be dealing with if you join LKD. Well done!

The Efficiency of Open Source Software Development

Is open source way of development efficient? I don’t know. This very interesting seminar topic, and appereantly very interesting research, was murdered with lots and lots of details on research methodology and details on the particular data sample used. If more time was spent on the findings and observations, this talk could be much more interesting and informative for the audience. I think the conclusion was that the OSS way is more efficient.. no, no, it wasn’t.. or was it? :D

Django & Ruby Workshops

Can Burak Çilingir gave a nice workshop on Django. He first explained all the key concepts and then we did some coding. Even though we couldn’t create a working app, It was gentle introduction to Django. There certainly is a need for more Django developers.

I have been wanting to learn RoR for a long time. But I just wasn’t able to wrap my head around Ruby. After Erek Göktürk’s presentation I now, at least, have a rough understanding. Special thanks for his patience with my repetitive questions about blocks. I should learn Rails, and Ruby, better. I believe there are lessons to learn from Rails.

How Embracing Open Source Built Google

This seminar was the only one emphasizing hacker culture over software freedom. Jonathan Conradt of Google Chrome talked about the history of hackers and then the history of Google, Chrome’s implementation and vision and a little bit about Google’s vision. How “silly fast” Chrome is and will be.

The questions phase was a disaster though. Almost all the questions were aimed at Google’s don’t be evil motto, in the form of “you say you are not evil, but you do x and you do y”. One question was “why did Google buy a fighter airplane?”. Another one was “isn’t that creating a monopoly to require a Google ID for Android phones?”. Yeah, to get a Google ID you need to sign with your blood. But the dumbest question was “so you are collecting all these personal information. Do you share them with NSA?”. Do you guys really think all that SPAM you are getting is the result of harvesing e-mails from public websites? Wisen up a little bit please.

I wouldn’t be surprised, with this kind of treatment, if Google never ever EVER sends a representative again. Should we have kissed Google’s ass. No, that’s equally low. But trying to play I’m going to take you down with my questions is at the very least hostile. I have even heard one guy saying “oh, he didn’t take my question because he must have sensed that I’ll ask a difficult one”. We all witnessed someone else complaining the government to a representative of a foreign company for developing IE only websites.


This one, by Koray Löker, was by far the best seminar for me. The name of the presentation is actually something like; An Elegant Pass from Free Software to Culture Industry: Copyleft. He was well prepared, the topic was interesing and the rhythm of the presentation was almost perfect. If I was able to pick one session to recommend, this would be it.

Sometimes you need to step away, and even step out of your problem to gain a better understanding of it. Investigating open source movies4 may give us insights about sharing, freedom and, most importantly, originality aspects of open source software. Brilliant idea.

See You Next Year

Freedays is the only major event for free software community in Türkiye. I would like to thank everybody for their selfless efforts and the sponsors for making it possible.

Hope to see you there next year.

1: This year two events, Freedays of Bilgi University and Linux and Free Softare Festival of LDK, are merged.

2: Few in number, short in content. Mostly a few words per slide. I hate presentations with 1000 slides and 100 words per slide.

3: Compared to conventional development methods used for propriety software.

4: Such as Elephants Dream and Big Buck Bunny.

If you have any questions, suggestions or corrections feel free to drop me a line.