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Linuxtag Germany (Berlin) 2011 -- recap

Dear everyone,

we've had the great oportunity of presenting Debian at the LinuxTag 2011
[0] with a booth, kindly organized by Annette, that we shared with
Kanotix [1] and aptosid [2]. Our working together was fun and productive
as we had a lot of talks with each other as well as with guests that
asked about our relationship and Debian and its derivatives in general.

It was refreshing to see how many "normal users" care about giving back
and partly even know about ongoing discussions in Debian. We've had many
discussions about 'rolling', its possible implementations, its effect on
users, often even if it would bring back users that nowadays use Ubuntu.
Speaking of which, I, personally, found it interesting how many users
see Debian as the great effort but for some reasons prefer Ubuntu as
their desktop system. Particularly, when a single missing package (for
instance some funny desktop feature) would make the difference.

We all encouraged users to use 'reportbug', share their experiences with
Debian, help improve it in whatever way they can think of. Almost all of
them figured they could do something, even if it's "simple" stuff. "We
can't fix bugs that we don't know about" was possibly the most repeated
sentence during the four days of the event. And it seemed to make sense
to them. :)

Another interesting topic was appreciation of the work of others,
(seemingly) completely unrelated to Debian. For instance, while most of
our guests at the booth cared for stability, thorough planning of
releases, the Debian package management etc. and therefor don't like
using distributions that don't profit from that -- when it came to
interesting, new efforts like '/run', they all appreciated how other
distributions (or projects in general) go a different way and by that
work on things everyone can profit from in the long run. I, personally,
never saw that many people give credit to projects they usually don't
like much for whatever reason. I liked how this development in our
community improves Free Software more generally than just single

All in all, that were great four days. I don't know about official
numbers about visitors or anything. But I do know that we all had fun,
that we've met new, interesting people as well as "the old guys" from
the last few years. I'd like to thank Annette for making the effort and
organizing everything, Alex for shipping the merch stuff to us, and --
of course -- all our helpers at the booth, be that DDs or total newbies.
I can't list them all -- sorry -- but rest assured, we've had an
interesting, refreshing, and big team of about 10 to 15 people everyday
who offered their help. Everyone (as far as I know) was free to see
whatever talk they liked (except for Zack's talk that everyone wanted to
hear), and we still kept the booth running. Thanks to all of you who
registered on the wiki page [3] so we were able to plan; thanks to all
who just jumped in whenever it seemed neccessary. And special thanks to
those who worked just as hard and literally just started getting to know
Debian better!

Great fun; you should consider coming to next year's LinuxTag!

[0] http://www.linuxtag.org/2011/
[1] http://www.kanotix.com
[2] http://www.aptosid.com
[3] http://wiki.debian.org/DebianEventsDe/2011/LinuxTag

 .''`.   Jan Hauke Rahm <jhr@debian.org>               www.jhr-online.de
: :'  :  Debian Developer                                 www.debian.org
`. `'`   Member of the Linux Foundation                    www.linux.com
  `-     Fellow of the Free Software Foundation Europe      www.fsfe.org

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