FSFE Summit report
I've recently attended the FSFE Summit, combined with QtCon,
KDE and VideoLAN project gatherings, in Berlin.
This is the first time FSFE has run a summit and it was organized
to co-incide with the 15th anniversary of the organization.
The different communities combined their schedules in a single program
which is available on the QtCon website.
Only a small number of organizations had booths at the event,
mainly sponsors seeking to recruit people. I inquired a few weeks ago
if it would be possible for community organizations like Debian to have
tables and they weren't able to accommodate that in this first instance
of the summit.
As some people may already know, FSFE is not fundamentally a
development-focused organization, they focus on advocacy, policy and
social issues relating to free software. The people at the event and
the range of talks reflected this focus.
In fact, there was an extraordinarily diverse range of talks and by far
the biggest problem people encountered at the FSFE summit was choosing
which talks to attend because many interesting talks were always
happening at the same time. Looking at the diversity of the talks, they
included hands-on advice about free software for businesses, feedback
about experiences people have had promoting free software in the
non-profit sector, discussions about FSFE infrastructure issues, updates
on policy challenges coming from the European legislators, lightning
talks and a wide range of technical talks from the other communities
present at the event.
One talk I'd like to mention in particular: Marta Rybczyńska gave a
talk about how to give a talk presenting your favorite project, I
would encourage anybody who hasn't given a talk before to watch her
video and consider having a go at a Mini DebConf (Cambridge is very
soon now) or another event.
On the first night of the event people from all the different
communities dined together in the venue and then had a social evening
with fussball, darts and slot cars. On the second night the FSFE
community went to the c-base hackerspace, for a party celebrating
FSFE's 15th birthday. 15 years have disappeared quickly, but nothing
disappeared faster than the pizzas.
Personally, I gave a lightning talk about the Postbooks Qt-based
accounting/ERP software and a talk about strategies for increasing
the success of Free Communications with Free Software.
It is not yet confirmed when the event will be run again or what form it
might take, I personally feel it is a particularly valuable opportunity,
especially for European members of the Debian community and I would hope
to go again.