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Re: [Debconf-discuss] Talk lengths

+++ Gaudenz Steinlin [2014-09-25 12:13 +0200]:
> Wookey <wookey@wookware.org> writes:
> > For any useful technical discussion (as opposed to presentations) a
> > longer session is needed (we could definitely do better at having
> > more engineering discussion and less presentation, (and I include
> > myself in that). It's one of the things UDS did better than debconf)
> I agree with this. We should encourage more technical design
> discussions. What's currently holding up teams to have such discussions
> at Debconf? In my perception these nowdays mostly happen at dedicated
> sprints.

For intensive work this is probably true. Nothing is stopping people
doing more of it at debconf (except total hours in a week :-), but we
just have a bit of a habit of giving talks, more than trying to get
input on design decisions.

> I'm not sure if the lack of such sessions has to do with the conference
> format or if it's just that someone from a team has to sit down and
> propose something and this is currently too much work and most of these
> discussions happen in ad-hoc sessions or the "hallway track".

The difference between UDS-style subject-oriented 'goldfish bowl'
sessions and the otherwise-excellent 'hallway track' is that the
former is inclusive of the people you _didn't_ already know were
interested. The hallway/debian-style way of working tends to mean you
only discuss something with the people you already know will find it
relevant. There are often some other people you don't already
know around, that would in fact make a really useful contribution.

Perhaps setting one room of 3 out goldfish-bowl style to make the
whole mic-passing game more efficient (or even better have 2-3 mics
on stands so remote participation and group discussion is possible
without a lot of mic-passing wait-states. (The IRC-on-big-screen
feature of that setup also works moderately well (an advocate in the
room is much more effective)).

Having one room out of 3 like this would encourage the idea that (at
least) 1/3rd of sessions are expected to be in this format.

It's quite hard to hold an effective BOF in a room set out
'presentation style' (where one person gets to monopolise a mic and
everyone else gets to wait a lot) even if you want to.

Principal hats:  Linaro, Emdebian, Wookware, Balloonboard, ARM

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