Notes from FOSDEM

Going to FOSDEM has always been a mix of feelings: is that time of year when you meet many friends from the Free Software community, you learn some interesting things that you didn’t know about, you share some knowledge, and you may have a fair amount of chocolate and beer in a usually cold weather.

Sometimes talks are not what they seem, and oftentimes you can’t get into a room because it’s full. But there’s always the chance to learn something new, so here’s my list of notes:

  • Play etcd if you want to try it and see what happens when you make changes.
  • Minikube: mini Kubernetes for developing on your laptop.
  • Software Heritage API is publicly available.
  • OpsTheater offers a stack for IaaS with Puppet, Foreman, GitLab, Icinga, ELK+Graphana, Mattermost (integrates easily with GitLab).
  • Recommendation: move things from Hiera to Foreman smart parameters. Debugging Hiera can be a nightmare if you have hundreds of YAML files.
  • octocatalog-diff compares two Puppet catalogs without deploying the changes. Facts are not live and changes in providers won’t show. A Foreman plugin is available too as a proof of concept.
  • Puppeteer helps find configuration smells that violate recommended best practices.
  • Legacy docs are big, comprehensive, and feature based. Modular docs are lean, concise, targeted, and user-story based. Content rot makes docs hard to find and navigate. Document only what users need, as user stories.
  • Perl6 grammars make it easy to implement informal DSLs. Reading recommendation: Domain Specific Languages, by Martin Fowler (2010).

Happy hacking!

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