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DebConf 7 location

Hi all,

After a long meeting on #debconf-team last night, it has been decided by
consensus that DebConf7 will be held in Edinburgh, UK.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank both teams for their hard work,
and exceptional presentation of the venues, and to thank all those who
participated in the meeting.

The minutes of the meeting are attached or also available with the log
of the meeting (plain and formatted) at

Many thanks,
Neil McGovern
A. Because it breaks the logical sequence of discussion
Q. Why is top posting bad?
gpg key - http://www.halon.org.uk/pubkey.txt ; the.earth.li B345BDD3
Meeting opens 18:52 UTC
Agenda at http://wiki.debian.org/DebConf7Meetings
In this text, SJJ = Sarajevo, EDI = Edinburgh.

vedran_sjj was recognised as the Sarajevo delegate, moray as the Edinburgh

1. Priority list
There was some discussion on the priority that various items should take when
deciding on a venue. The final version is at

2. Venue weaknesses and other venue strengths
AJ stated: so, what I thought (back when I was last awake...) would be
interesting, would be seeing what the SJJ thought EDI's strengths were (the
areas in which they'd have the most problems matching or beating) that matter
for debian, and vice-versa; and seeing what SJJ and EDI thought there own
weaknesses were?

1.	SJJ has no budget flights, while EDI has a lot of budget flights.
	This, obviously presents a problem for non-sponsored attendees, making it
	more expensive and complicated to visit SJJ
2.	EDI has a well-known debian community
	They have several DDs on their team while our team is a strong general
	Linux community but less involved with Debian
3.	SJJ might be less interesting to corporate sponsorship
	We had that problem when talking about another prospective FOSS conference
4.	The cultural issues
	We tried to remove such issues, but some people don't seem responsive to
5.	We have a four star hotel as a venue
6.	Everything is under one roof, and available 24/7
7.	We have an already established Internet link + prospective donors for
	wireless, with internet available in rooms.
8.	We have server & video rooms available
9.	There's lots of breakout space in the venue as well as outside
10.	The venues are flexible about network rearranging
11. We have a minibus for transportation of disabled people

1. 	The main advantage for Sarajevo over Edinburgh is that it's a cheaper city
	for food/accommodation.
2. 	The Bosnians hope that they'll create some more interest in free software by
	having the conference there
3. 	It's probably a more 'exotic' location
4. 	A lot of people prefer the 'self-contained' venue they're proposing.
5. 	The bid team has a lot of experience of past debconfs, as well as other free
	software events and academic conferences, so I think we have a lot of
	experience between us to work to organise a good event.
6. 	We're proposing debconf in a very central location, so we have all the
	amenities of the city right on our doorstep
7. 	The city as a whole is accessible, with e.g. the taxis required to be able
	to transport wheelchairs, as well as wheelchair accessible buses.
8.	The venues are flexible about network rearranging/mess etc.
9.	There's lots of breakout space in the venue as well as outside
10.	Edinburgh's a major network hub, we *might* be able to negotiate 1Gb/s from
	the venue, but it's certainly easy to get a nice (if slower than that)
	connection from one of our sponsor ISPs
Weaknesses of Edinburgh:
1.	We're competing with a lot of other events in Edinburgh to get
	venues/accommodation, especially since we're proposing a venue right in the
	middle of the city
2.	Edinburgh is a more expensive city than Sarajevo, though this is mitigated
	because we'd be right in the centre (zero travel costs once you're there),
	and all the city-run tourist things are free 
3.	Weather - when I visited Sarajevo, it was consistently bright and mid-30s.
	While I've already explained that Edinburgh isn't wet compared to Glasgow,
	people *are* likely to see some rain while they're here ;)

2a. If DebConf7 was held in the other venue, would you still attend?
SJJ: I would go.
EDI: I'm sure that there will be a good representation from our UK bid team,
     wherever it is.

3. Questions
   Q. For SJJ (from marga): If DC7 is in SJJ, who will be the local-team leader
      and how will that work? 

   A. Sapphire will be the leader, but our team works on democratic principles.
      There will be at least three deputies, Amar, Amila and myself

   Q. For SJJ (from marga): Who would be communicating with the orga team?
   A. All four of us

   Q. Both teams (from Maulkin): Why do you want to host DebConf?
   A. [EDI] 'to make Debian better' - or, more specifically, because we're
      really enjoyed previous debconfs and want to contribute something back.
   A. [SJJ] We have a strong Linux community, with this I believe that we would
      push that community towards Debian.

   Q. For EDI (from -discuss): What options did you explore for budget food?
	  Did you investigate different places like the mosque, to combine both
	  price and variety?
   A. The mosque kitchen is still an available option. The catering option at
	  Teviot (for example) is a flexible canteen, and is much cheaper than
	  other external caterers we've investigated.  Really the best solution
	  depends on how much money the organising team overall decides to devote
	  to food.  The precise details on food can be organised much closer to the
	  event than the main venue booking

   Q. Both teams (from marga): After the experience in MEX we've learned to
	  distrust things that are promised.  So it would be nice that whenever
	  stating a situation you would state if it's an actual fact, a fact that
	  is confirmed to happen, or just an informal promise... So, both teams, do
	  you have a 'Plan B' for things that were promised but haven't happened
   A. [SJJ] For networking, if switches were not available, we'd provide them
	  ourselves. Most other stuff I can think of is promised to be free, but at
	  worst we will pay for it.
   A. [EDI] I don't think we're relying on anything that isn't already in
	  place. There's still the question of negotiations on facilities falling
	  through before contracts are signed, etc. - I don't think our venues are
	  fly-by-night like that, but this is also why we've been keeping a number
	  of venue options open to get the best deal while we negotiate. Nothing
	  we've asked for from the venues is 'unusual' for them, so I don't foresee
   Q. For EDI (from stockholm): What about if the rooms are not 24/7 in edi?
   A. We now have both the ECA and Teviot offering 24/7. If we didn't have
	  that, we do also have a backup option of another space we could use at
	  night nearby

   Q. Both teams (from -discuss): will you bid for 2009 if you don't win?
   A. [SJJ] We will bid on 2009 but I doubt that we will get the same prices
   A. [EDI] I think some people will be 'burnt out' for another DebConf bid
	  after the length of time that's led up to this one; also at points in
	  this process it's been implied that the UK is simply too expensive a
	  country, and if prices are unlikely to fall significantly.  However, we
	  do have people on the team who would be expect to be interested in
      bidding again in 2009 if it doesn't happen this year

   Q. Both teams (from -discuss): Can we get food at 3am in both sjj and edi
	  after a long night hacking / is there food or restaurants generally
	  around the place?
   A. [SJJ] We can get food 24/7
   A. [EDI] Yes, we're right in the middle of the city

   Q. Both teams (from aj): If the other team hosts the conference, what will
	  your team end up doing? Helping out remotely as part of the orga team;
	  running something else? What ideas do people have?

   A. EDI: Maulkin stated that he would carry on working as part of the orga
	  team no matter who gets the conference.  From Edinburgh, we have various
	  people who are happy to attend and help.

   <aj> One possibility I see for Sarajevo is having a regional
   mini-conference, or a regional "free software" conference -- both those have
   been quite successful in Australia. Both teams: Are there other local
   conferences you can go to if DC isn't local?  

   SJJ: there are no other confs
   EDI: I think that depends what you mean by 'local'; there do tend to be
   Debian *social* events in the UK, though mostly down in the south of
   England, while it's quite easy to get from Edinburgh to events on the
   continent (e.g. KDE, GNOME conferences).

   <aj> okay, so this requires a little background
   <aj> in Australia, we have an annual Linux conference; it started in '99,
   missed a year, continued in 2001 and has been annual since then
   <aj> I was on the organising team for it in 2002 (we had about 250-300
   people), and have been more or less involved in most of them since then
   <aj> the focus of the conference is basically "it's too hard to travel to
   Europe for most of us to see all their cool talks, ditto America, so let's
   bring them out here"
   <aj> in 2002 we also started running a debian Miniconf, which attracted
   about 100 people, mostly debian users rather than developers, and has
   continued ever year since too
   <aj> it's different to debconf, since it's more about talks and users than
   hacking and developers, but is quite interesting
   <aj> it just strikes me that Bosnia/the Balkans are in a similar situation,
   and maybe a similar solution would be interesting; I know a few people I've
   talked to who are in favour of edi for dc7, also think that a
   "linux.conf.balkans"  every year would be a fascinating event
   <vedran_sjj> aj: interesting idea, but it's a bit hard to think about that
   when we don't know if we will host DebConf or not

4. Orga team comments

stockholm commented:
I asked sponsors if they would sponsor either debconf or Sarajevo when asking
for sponsorship last time around. And they consider both "Europe" and would
sponsor. e.g. the big providers in Germany etc.

gwolf commented:
As for the local teams, the EDI team looks more responsible/grown-up, and I
must acknowledge their balance - even on looking on Sarajevo information when
the other team could not answer something 
The SJJ team looks very enthusiastic, and they (claim to - should we believe
them? I do at least :) ) have experience on other non-Debconf conferences -
Now, as for my experience here, no conference gets you ready for Debconf... But
still :)
Both venues have great installations, but I think the Terme hotel provides a
more comfortable setting where we will be able to sit and work 

mooch commented:
nokia will probably not have a problem with the venue, in terms of sponsorship

marga commented:
It is the opinion of several people (mooch is the one raising it at this
moment), that should the conference happen in SJJ, Safir might not be the best
person to lead the group since it needs a lot of cold blood and controlled
spirit not to break apart, and he has demonstrated to be too influenced by
personal feelings and attacking attitude during the process.
aj followed up:
The term "impulsive" maybe have appeared too; I'd just like to say that I've
been very impressed by the excitement and enthusiasm of the sjj team, and while
I think that has boiled over into taking offence unnecessarily now and then,
it's that sort of passion that makes these sorts of conferences great
otoh, actually running them tends to teach you hot to deal with those sorts of reactions, because you get so stressed out you have to learn one way or another
amar responded:
The Bosnian team consists of 27 people. Safir initiated everything but the
DebConf will be handled by the TEAM.

5. Weigh up bids against priorities
It was decided to rate the venues against the priority list above, with venues
having a strong or slight advantage. The final list is as follows:
1. Equal
2. EDI strong(ish) advantage
3. Equal
4. EDI slight advantage
5. EDI slight advantage
6. SJJ strong advantage
7. Equal
8. EDI strong advantage
9. Equal

6. Decision
DebConf 2007 will be held in Edinburgh

Meeting closes 22:40 UTC

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