DebConf videoteam sprint - day 1

2016-11-17 - Louis-Philippe Véronneau


I've been working with the DebConf videoteam for two years now and I'm slowly starting to understand how things work. If you don't know DebConf or the work the DebConf videoteam does, let me try to summarize it for you.

Each year, the Debian community gathers for two weeks to hack on stuff (and drink beer). This awesome moment in the year is called DebConf. People come from all over the world to work on hard problems and to watch conferences given by their peers.

The job of the DebConf videoteam is to live stream and record these conferences so that people can participate remotely or watch the conferences they missed. You may think it's something easy, but the videoteam really does miracles. With very little hardware and very neat free software, we are able to record & stream three contiguous conference tracks for a whole week. That is quite a feat.

de res Sprint

From what I understand, the current workflow of the videoteam looks somewhat likes this:

  • make sure the video gear arrives at $debconf_location at least a week prior to the conference
  • sleep very little and hack the shit out everything during DebCamp to “Just Make Everything Work™

To be honest, it kinda works. The videoteam people are really good at what they are doing and each year we build on the things we did the year before. The main problem with that kind of workflow is we often cut corners and write very little documentation.

And that makes us sad :(

We want things to be better. For once, we would like to sleep more during DebCamp and worry less about everything not working until the very end. We thus decided we would try to hold two (2) sprints between DC16 and DC17, mainly to migrate to newer software/hardware. Our main goals for this first sprint are:

  • work on Voctomix
  • streamline the streaming infrastructure
  • play some more with the Opsis boards
  • write some more documentation
  • agree on the new hardware we want to buy

Chances are we won't be able to do all this stuff in such a short time though.

Stay tuned!

Debian was kind enough to sponsor our sprint, giving us enough $$$ to pay some train & plane tickets. I was thus able to make it to Paris \0/.

If you think the stuff we do is interesting, stay tuned! I'll blog our progress here daily. If you are around, drop-in to say hello (or come and talk to us on #debconf-video @ OFTC).

The current sprint will run from November 17th to November 20th in Paris, at IRILL offices.

Day 1

The title of this blog post is DebConf videoteam sprint - day 1 so you might expect a summary of what we did today. Well, we didn't do much. We mainly used the day to get to Paris and regroup at IRILL.

We did manage to talk about configuration management though. We have been talking about replacing our FAI build by something else for some times now. We discussed:

  • what development workflow should we use?
  • what configuration management should we use?
  • what kind of provisioning system should we use?