Less than 24 hours ago, we arrived home from a great weekend in Brussels at FOSDEM (see the photos).
FOSDEM is an annual 2-day conference for free and open source software developers (or users, in many cases) in Brussels, Belgium. The conference programme describes the event as:
4000+ GEEKS 200+ LECTURES 2 DAYS 0 €
Yep, 0 €. That’s free and gratis! Which is rather impressive for such a big event.
My other half has been to FOSDEM a few times but this was only my second experience of Brussels geekery. Last year, I remember enjoying the weekend (we went with a lovely group of people) but apart from some specific talks (inc Jim Gettys on the OLPC, and a talk about the KDE documentation project), I wasn’t so blown away by the conference itself; my general memory is of being cold and tired.
So I wasn’t sure about going this year but in the end I did – if nothing else, it’d be a weekend in Brussels (which is a really lovely city) and good food and company. Which it was. *And* I enjoyed the conference itself!
As ever, I’m planning to write up some of the talks that I went to. As ever, I probably won’t (though I will try!). In the meantime, here’s what I saw:
- Tux with Shades, Linux in Hollywood
- How a large scale OSS project works
- Status updates on Software Patents
- OLPC Europe Kickstart Meeting
- Drupal theming
- Usability and Drupal
- Amazon WS with Drupal
- Free software in education
- Debian accessibility
- The long road to Debian Edu in main
As Tony says, none of the keynotes were that great; the Tux in Shades one, which I thought would be interesting, was particularly disappointing (though the guy seemed to know his stuff).
So, what was cool and uncool for me?
|Cool||Not so cool|
|Knut Yrvin, who did the OSS in Education talk in the CrossDesktop developer room. Best presenter I saw.||Having two presenters for the Linux in Hollywood keynote. Unnecessary, pointless, and annoying.|
|Lots of OLPC laptops around! 🙂||Mine’s not arrived yet. 🙁|
|The green OLPC hand-crank.||Not being able to find the guy to get a closer look at the green hand-crank.|
|Good presentation on accessibility issues (Debian and accessibility talk) with explanation of how Braille output works.||Developers who don’t realise thatCommand Line != GUI with your eyes closed.|
|Yummy dinner and beer in the evenings.||Yucky burger and crappy coffee during the day.|
|Chatting to lovely Josette at the O’Reilly stand.||Impulse buying at the O’Reilly stand – as usual!|
|Tony’s phone worked abroad!||Vodafone website not updating my unbilled usage for 72 hours – still don’t know what it’s cost me!|
|Getting there and back in a group of about 12 people and losing only 1 of them.||Arguing over directions – as usual. 🙂|