Over the last weekend, I attended FOSDEM, an absolutely mind blowing conference bringing together Free and Open Source developers from all over Europe. The scale of the conference, attracting as it does thousands of developers, and accommodating hundreds of different talks over 2 manic days, really can’t be described. You have to be there to experience it.
I made the journey to Brussels by train, a most civilised way to travel – especially given that Eurostar are quite happy to replace lost return tickets for a small fee! The weekend started with the infamous beer event on the Friday night (hence the lost ticket), before getting down to business on the Saturday. It’s hard to pick particular highlights from such a packed program, but the perl6 talk managed to be both fascinating and scary at the same time and the cmake talk was very useful given the way Stephen is going with build tools. In the dev rooms, Dan Mosedale unfortunately didn’t make it for the Thunderbird talk, but an productive discussion was had none-the-less, and Jens Kuehnel’s introduction to SELinux in the Fedora devroom helped overcome a lot of my fears (and, in fact, has succeeded in its goal, as I no longer just switch it off). The sight of 100+ folk all participating in a PGP keysigning had to be seen to be believed (eventually, we just had to go outside, as the lecture theatre just wasn’t big enough)
I signed up a few months ago to present a Lightning Talk on OpenAFS, in an attempt to grow awareness, and attract new developers. That talk certainly helped me with talking to other people at the conference, as well as being pretty well received. Both slides, and video, of the talk are available from the FOSDEM site.