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Prepare for more online participation?

Hi folks,

I think we should prepare ourselves for the likelihood that, given the
current pandemic, it may either be not at all possible to have a DebConf
this year, or have record-low in-person attendance.

Even if the pandemic comes to an end before DebConf, lingering effects,
such as more people being out of a job and not being able to afford
flights, people having had to postpone their paperwork running out of
time to get the necessary visa, economic downturn resulting in less
sponsorship so we can't pay attendees' flights, etc, may mean that this
year's DebConf will require more online participation, or in the worst
case be an online-only debconf.

We did run an experiment for a streaming-only event last year for Ben's
talk, and I think that was a success. If there will still be some
attendance, then we can reuse the method used last year in greater
numbers. However, I think we should also look in some detail towards
free software videoconferencing solutions. I recently learned that
Jitsi[1] has the ability to stream to YouTube; it should (theoretically)
be possible to adapt that to our own infrastructure. Jitsi really only
requires a webbrowser, has support for screen sharing, and is at least
working on a presenter mode[2][3], so this should theoretically be a
good match. I should note, however, that I haven't looked at things in
detail yet.

It would seem that we have a lot to explore if we're going to do this;
but given that DebConf20 is still a ways off, if we get started now we
should have the necessary time to get everything ready in time.


[1] https://jitsi.org/
[2] At least that's what https://lwn.net/Articles/815751/ seems to
    suggest (subscriber-only for now)
[3] https://jitsi.org/news/introducing-presenter-mode/ also, and has
    some more details.

<Lo-lan-do> Home is where you have to wash the dishes.
  -- #debian-devel, Freenode, 2004-09-22

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