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Small LinuxDays 2008 report (was Re: Debian at LinuxDays 2008)

Hi there!

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On Thu, 17 Apr 2008 21:05:58 +0200, Luca Capello wrote:
> As previously confirmed on this list [1], on May, Wednesday 21st and
> Thursday 22nd, at the LinuxDays 2008 [2] in Geneva (Switzerland),
> Debian will be present with a booth and also a talk about the
> Debian-Med subproject [3].

Some words about the LinuxDays 2008.  General information as well as
some PDFs and recordings for various talks are available at the
LinuxDays website [1].

[1] http://www.linuxdays.ch/index.php/fr/Téléchargements

Disclaimer: I spent most of my time at the Debian booth, except when
talking about the Debian-Med project.

This was the first conference I was in charge of and while tiring I
consider it as a success for the Debian project (but read below for some
negative notes).

The Debian presence was managed by debian.ch, but because of work
constraints all the other debian.ch members couldn't come.  However, I
wasn't alone since Arne Wichmann from Munich kindly offered his help and
I thank him very much.

The booth was setup on Wednesday morning, just before the beginning of
the conference: we had one big table with a big board behind us.  In
terms of hardware, there was a PIII desktop machine (Debian
Etch-and-a-half) and Arne's and my laptops (which OTOH we didn't need
for demos).  As merchandise, we gave away Debian flyers (around 15, in
French and English [2]) and sold around 25 debian.ch T-Shirts [3].
After previous agreement [4], Debian CDs were available at the
Swisslinux.org booth, but AFAIK only 1/2 CDs were distributed.

[2] http://debian-flyers.alioth.debian.org/
[3] http://lists.debian.ch/community@lists.debian.ch/2008/msg00117.html
[4] http://lists.debian.ch/community@lists.debian.ch/2008/msg00177.html

The booth experience was good: there wasn't a massive participation, but
enough to keep us working.  There were different types of questions,
varying from technical one (e.g. missing firmware for ipw2200) to more
general (e.g. what Debian is).  On Wednesday there was a friendly
discussion with various people about the SSL problem, which then turned
into "how Debian interact with upstream": similar to what Noèl reported
for the Linuxtag 2008 [5], I don't remember anyone really angry about
that (and the OpenBSD booth was just in front of our...).  Pictures of
the booth were taken by the Swisslinux.org people and available at [6].

[5] http://lists.debian.org/debian-events-eu/2008/06/msg00001.html
[6] http://luca.pca.it/photos/geneve_ch/LinuxDays2008/Swisslinux.org/

My talk about Debian-Med went smoothly: however, because of a
concomitant talk by Microsoft, only 4 persons were present.  While their
comment were positive, at least one of them was expecting something more
general about Debian (philosophy, infrastructure, etc.).  The PDF as
well as the LaTeX sources are available at [7].  Many thanks to Andreas
Tille for guidance as well as the English version of the same talk [8].

[7] http://people.debian.org/~gismo/talks/20080521.22_LinuxDays2008/
[8] http://people.debian.org/~tille/talks/200707_lsm_med/index_en.html

The most negative aspect was the distinct separation between the
associations (Debian, OpenBSD, Swisslinux.org, and SliTaz [9]) and the
commercial companies (international and local [9]), especially given the
fact that the latters were more centrally placed that the formers.

[9] http://www.linuxdays.ch/index.php/fr/Exposants

Finally, I'd like to thank again all the people involved:

- Michaël Dupont (and Linalis) for the invitation
- Andreas Tille for the Debian-Med talk
- debian.ch for the support
- all the Swisslinux.org crew for having shared the experience
- Arne Wichmann for his help and presence

Thx, bye,
Gismo / Luca

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