42l's situation in early 2021

đź•’ 9 month(s) ago

Hello everyone,

Here we are in March already, it's time to review the latest activities of our association.

How is the event going ?

At the beginning of 2020, we were in the process of organizing a series of conferences on workshops and broadcasts in the amphitheater of our school, at the rate of two to four activities per month.

Unfortunately, this year, it is not possible to do so, because of the health crisis and the measures in force, but we will go into a little more detail.

The first cause of this lack of activities is not due to the health crisis, but to the fact that we (Neil and Brume) were on internship within the framework of our school curriculum, for a duration of about five months, since the end of the last year. As we discussed during the General Assembly, we are facing some issues in the distribution of the association's tasks: a very large majority of the tasks are carried by the shoulders of our small Administration Council, and our Bureau (we're two), which greatly limits our possibilities when we have to be away for a few months.

The second cause is related to the health crisis we are going through: in order to meet its legal obligations regarding the limit of places in the building, 42 has set up a reservation system that obliges all students to reserve slots online to enter the school. As the building can only accommodate 300 students as opposed to nearly 1,000 before, reservations are quite saturated and it is difficult to organize together.

We are also not allowed to reserve certain spaces, such as the amphitheater, where we used to hold our conferences.

Finally, the instability of the situation could cause us to cancel our activities from one week to the next, and given the effort and motivation required to organize them, we wonder if it would not be better to wait until we are back in a more comfortable situation.

And why not by videoconference?

We have started exploring the possibility of videoconferencing activities since December with the intervention of Maxime Guedj, but we have to face the facts: we are reaching much less people than before.

It was already difficult enough to find our audience in person: for most of our conferences, we welcomed between 30 and 60 people, out of the 800 or so students present in the building. In the meantime, that number has dropped to less than 20 people, and we find ourselves mainly with people who are already aware of the issues and ideas we are sharing.

In recent weeks, we have started to promote the Soirées de Conversations autour du Libre de Parinux in 42. We do not write articles dedicated to their activities, but we announce their events in the internal channels of 42.

This way, we take advantage of remote activities : a speaker does not need to organize a conference specifically for 42 students, any conference that fits our ideas can be relayed to 42 even if we do not organize it, no matter where it takes place.

Meanwhile, outside of 42...

We will participate in the Provox webinar, organized by CNAJEP, which will take place on March 20, 2021, on the theme "Social Networks, Civics tech, Big Data: Democratic Revolution or Political Control? ».

This intervention will take the form of an all-audience workshop in collaboration with the association Picasoft, Angie Gaudion from Framasoft and Sarah Durieux, executive director of Change.org.

What's new for your infrastructure?

Decision of the General Assembly

Last January, we held our annual General Assembly, during which we decided that we would announce to Proxgroup that we now have the financial means to cover the costs of our server hosting, which Proxgroup had until then graciously offered us.

Now it's done: we sent them an email and we are waiting for their answer.

A new small server!

We would have liked to host our secondary server at the Rhizome student association, but their datacenter is not yet ready. So we chose FirstHeberg, a French hosting company, to host a backup VPS for 42l which is mainly used to monitor the availability of services on our main server and report any anomalies.

It is therefore not a VPS on which we are going to host our users' data, nor new services.

Monitoring of our services

So we have put a brand new status page on status.42l.fr ! After testing Cachet and many other open-source status page software for a long time, we went to Statping, which can send us a message if one of our services is offline.

This service is still fresh, it still needs some finishing touches to be fully functional for us, but here you are with an overview of our work.

Collabora instance

Since the server still has resources, we decided to set up a Collabora instance so that our members who use our Nextcloud service can edit Office documents collaboratively.

This software consumes a fairly large amount of resources (about 600 MB of RAM with little use).

Vouchers for JDLL 2020

We finally managed to get a refund for the JDLL 2020 bus tickets, cancelled due to the lockdown, from the transport company. We do not know yet if we will organize a trip for the JDLL 2021, but it seems rather unlikely for all the reasons mentioned above (motivation, time, health situation).

However, it is unlikely that we will be able to get the 413 euros of hotel expenses back. We have a voucher to be used before June 2021; we will think of a way to use it.

Progress of the other work of the association

The update of our technical report and the complete rewriting of our website are still pending, we don't know when we will be able to complete these tasks.

What else?

The headmistress of 42, Sophie Viger, officially announced to the students that Ubuntu will be installed on the school's Macs "by October 2021": not as a dual-boot, but as the only operating system, because according to her, "the open-source values correspond more to the values of 42", among other reasons. This system would be installed on all 42 Network campuses worldwide.

Have a nice day and see you soon!

N&B