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My FOSDEM report

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Hi Debian Women

Here is my report of the visit of Free and Open Source Software
Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) 2005.

It was my second visit: I went also to FOSDEM 2004. The main differences
are that I now stayed from Friday till Sunday (I went only on Saturday
last year) and the Debian Developers Room (last year it was shared with
the Java Developers Room and it was located opposite the Debian booth).

Don't be afraid to ask for clarifications or more detailed information
(about anything actually) ...

I took the train to Leuven (Mind NV) where I would be sleeping during
the event. I had my dinner at a pub near the station, after which I
walked to Mind NV. There I dropped my gear and connected my laptop ;-)
If the CEO arrived we went off to the Pre-FOSDEM party at Le Roy
d'Espagne, Grand Place, Brussels. There I've met (or at least seen) jvw,
stargirl, mjg59, Alan Cox, _rene_, Uli Martens, Dag Wiers and many more

As I forgot to bring a pad (or some other kind of mattress to put
between my sleeping bag and the hard floor), I didn't sleep very well.
So at 8 am I was already awake and taking a shower next to the server
room (yes, there was almost some water damage at some moment). Being
awake that early I still managed to miss the Wikipedia talk, but I've
met my local LUG (Zeus) from the university at Stallman's talk. We ate
some chicken fast food after which I went to the Debian Developers Room
for aba's talk about the Debian Release Process. The room was very
crowded, I think they all thought to hear when sarge would release. The
question was answered not with a date, but with what still has to happen
before the release (as I expected). I stayed for wookey's Embedded
Debian talk and Frank Lichtenheld's Debian Web Services talk. It's a
pitty I can't find the slides online... I've met cobaco, fjp and others
who I only know from debian-l10n-dutch. Then I've met my other (not so
local) LUG (Lugwv) for a drink, after which I went for dinner and
apparantly a discussion on open standards and how to get Belgian Windows
end users to use Free and Open Source software.

The following day I visited the Debian booth for the first time where I
bought some shiny posters and donated some money. I went to the hackers
room as I had brought my laptop I thought I should use it ;-) In no time
it was time to head for the Debian Developers Room again as stargirl
would give a talk on The Debian Women Project [1]. I stayed for the talk
of mjg59. I admit more for hearing a candidate DPL as for the subject,
but "Free as in DFSG" turned out to be very interesting. As Yoe said
there was a keysigning party, I just got some sandwich for lunch. The
official keysigning party wasn't very well organised as you had to ask
the information desk when and where it was and the time changed twice.
As in the end the keysigning party was at the time of Alan Cox's talk
(and stargirl's Lightening Talk which apparently got rescheduled too)
Yoe decided to have an unofficial keysigning party at the booth (I've
met 11 people joining the party) after which the official keysigning
party took place (which I also attended, though I would have liked to go
to Alan Cox's talk) where around 25 people joined the party. It's called
a party as normally you would expect to drink and chat when doing a
keysigning party, but I only once had a real keysigning PARTY... As I
wanted to see the differences between stargirl's talks I saw 'Women and
Open Source'. As I expected the content was very similar, but I was
surprised to see also Naima talking. As I don't like presentations in
the dark (way too easy to fall asleep), I appreciated that their talk
was with the lights on ;-) Last, but not least I went to jvw's QA talk
[2], apart from leaving via the Embedded Developers Room (as I could get
a lift to Leuven where I packed and left to go home).

So, to conclude it was a very tiresome, but pleasant event. The thing I
liked the most was meeting different people (especially the ones I only
knew from IRC/mail), though I'm a shy person.


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