[Debconf-discuss] advice while making Debconf proposals
I should have shared this probably 2 weeks ago when proposal window
had just begin but the advice got triggered when a colleague asked as
any guidelines to follow. While I did share some things, I figured
later that bits of it might be relevant to the larger pool of people
who would attend debconf for the first time as well. Mind you this is
from my personal experience so it might vary from one person to the
I would be very very careful about what sort of things you would do in
Debconf. Last year I told 10 things and did not do even half of those.
The thing is Debconf is overwhelming, it's pretty easy to get into
touristy things, attending talks which you hadn't thought of
attending. What I mean to say there is a fair amount of
unpredictability in Debconf and it will be good to be open for that.
For instance, I found for myself socializing was my thing (meeting
people and recoginizing people who were just IRC nicknames) rather
than clunking down on the lappy because that is what I/We do anyhow
all the time.
As shared this is 'personal advice' but am sure lots of the
experienced people could also add their own 2 bits or share what they
think might be relevant.
Maybe we could get few advises and put it as a separate page on the
wiki as well (might be helpful for newbies) What do people think about
On a slightly different context, I was reminded of meeting a certain
gentleman from South Africa who was fond of high-brow words. For few
minutes/seconds I thought he might be the next 'Naom Chomsky' only to
realize later he just enjoyed using high-brow/power words.
While I found it better/easier to use as many common words as possible
because when people are trying to understand you, they have to
overcome your accent, your speed of talking (I tried to be slow but
still) , so having high-brow/power words might be good but only if you
have the audience who can understand the context. Having a varied
audience like in a debconf it might be preferable to stick to common
words when giving your presentation.
Having said the above, there are two half-formed/half-baked ideas in
my head which people -
1. Etymology of words - You could just have an etymological analysis
of just 10 words which are being used/being prolific in the last 2-5
years but sadly people use it in the wrong context/wrong construct .
One such word being 'hacker' which 'most' people think means somebody
who breaks into systems rather than somebody who is tinkering/problem
solving around issues plaguing her(is) system. The ideal word for the
former would be 'cracker'. I am sure there are many more like that.
I am sure there are people who have been part of CCC Germany (Chaos
Communication Congress) who could enlighten us quite a bit from some
of the words/terms spoken therein. English is a very funny language as
the word/s get particular context in the way they are laid. It would
be a pretty valuable service if somebody could provide it. I, at the
very least would be interested in attending such a talk.
2. Epistomological outlook about Debian - Debian is weird in the sense
it has some very passionate people. I myself got inflamed (more
involved) after visiting Debconf and this I guess is the case with
other people as well. I dunno if somebody has taken time to do an
epistomological study about Debian
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemology - why is it that it drives
people so passionately ? What could be to make it better ? There is
much to be shared here but would leave it at that as the e-mail has
become too long as well, what was supposed to be just two lines of
advice has quickly become 10 paragraphs long.
Look forward to response and till later.
Shirish Agarwal शिरीष अग्रवाल
My quotes in this email licensed under CC 3.0
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