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Re: [Debian-NYC] DebConf10 pre-proposal: New York City

Ok, now that I've gotten that Obama rant off my chest. I want to raise
a few concerns that are totally on-topic, about this proposal. Please
do not take these concerns as blocking for this idea, I just think we
need to be clear here what is going on.

1. Making a proposal[0] to have NYC as the Debconf venue with less
than 24 hours notice to NYC people seems a little rushed and
disorganized to me. I'm not even sure I know what the list
'debian-events-na' even is, but asking on that list, at the bottom of
a long email:

       "Please speak up if you would be willing to help put in the
       significant amount of time it would take to organize DebConf10 in the
       US. I'll need to hear from some of you by Tuesday if I am to go ahead
       with the proposal."

Without even mentioning it on the list that has a much wider NYC
debian subscriber base (the Debian NYC Social list), strikes me as the
first step towards certain chaos. I would expect the debconf
organizers are expecting that a local NYC group of people are meeting
and talking about the possibility long before making a proposal. I
would expect a decision about the relative viability and how to make
such a presentation would be carefully planned, rather than simply
thrown over the wall the day beforehand and hope that people will step
up to the plate. If I were responsible for picking the venue for next
year, this would make my eyebrows raise and I'd be concerned that this
serves as a model of how the organization of the conference was going
to happen.

2. The criteria for hosting a debconf[1] do not seem to be met
here. "Strong, mature, experienced local team"? Getting a list of
people who say that they can help out, less than a day before the
proposal is to be made does not strike me as a "strong local team"
that has any sort of committment. This could change, but lets be
honest here, Debian NYC people are not strongly organized. We maybe
get together for a beer every 6 months, but only if someone just names
a time and place. 

3. Space is a premium in this city, and hard to come by for a large
group of people. I think its possible to get something, but I do not
think a major university is going to have space to give up for several
hundred people for a week (or more). Even with connections to NYU and
Columbia, I know that space is the biggest problem at these
universities, and I am sure at the others in the city as well. Perhaps
a warehouse in brooklyn is more realistic.

4. "everyone speaks English, so no language barrier for a 3rd year in
a row" -- I suspect this is just a mistake, as everyone seemed to
speak English in Scotland last year.

5. "Many countries (e.g. Argentina, Brazil, Russia) can get a visa
within a month". At least Brasilians will be required to pay $150 USD
for a visa, thats a lot.
6. Organizing debian NYC social get-togethers is not easy, and those
are just about drinking beer. I am having trouble imagining how it
would work or local NYC debian related people to organize an entire
conference without any prior experience trying to organize something

0. http://lists.debian.org/debian-events-na/2008/08/msg00004.html
1. http://wiki.debconf.org/wiki/PriorityList and

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