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

Hi Micah,

On Mon, Aug 11, 2008 at 03:56:26PM -0400, Micah Anderson wrote:
> I'm not even sure I know what the list 'debian-events-na' even is

It's the official list for discussing Debian events, or Debian presence
at other events, in North America.

> 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 did realize that shortly after sending my mail, and I was about to
forward it to debiannyc when I saw that David Moreno had just done it.

> 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.

Based on what I've heard at the conference now, nobody has done a lot of
prep work for any bid this year. Michael Schultheiss and I have spent
most of this afternoon making a presentation and adding info to the wiki
page, which is far ahead of any other bid for DebConf10. I agree it's
not ideal, but not a blocker.

> 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. 

Debian NYC people are not strongly organized currently, true. This can
change fast with some actual catalyst and some people driving it
forward, as I intend to do (in addition to anyone else). If you look at
the other criteria, NYC meets the vast majority of them with flying

> 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.

Space for conferences during summertime at these universities is usually
not hard to come by. (As opposed to space during times when classes are
in session.)

> 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.

Not a mistake, no. This year is in Argentina and next year is in Spain,
both of which are Spanish-speaking countries. Next year would be the
third year in a row if it's not in an English-speaking country.

> 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.

$131, I believe. Yes it is a lot, but we could see about sponsoring some
of that. The number of attendees from countries where this is a
requirement should not be large, so I doubt this would break the budget.

> 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
> together.

We have several people involved (see the wiki) who have been involved
in organizing DebConfs or other conferences before. Also, I don't think
most local teams had extensively worked together with each other prior
to organizing their DebConf.

- Jimmy Kaplowitz
DebianNYC mailing list

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