Saturday Aug 11, 2007

FOSS.IN 2007 - announced!

FOSS.IN 2007 has been announced! And this time it is \*different\*. This will be the third time Sun will be participating. So, if you are involved in any of the opensource communities at Sun and interested in attending, drop me a note.

For more details:

From: Atul Chitnis
Date: August 5, 2007 18:14:07 BDT
To: "FOSS.IN"
Subject: [foss.in-announce] FOSS.IN/2007: Event Announcement

Dear all,

It's that time of the year again, when we reveal details about this
year's FOSS.IN.

FOSS.IN/2007 will be held from December 4th to December 8th. That's
Tuesday through Saturday.

The venue will be (for the most part) the National Science Symposium
Centre (NSSC) of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

As always, there are plenty of changes, improvements and new things at the
event.

The event itself is in two major parts:

- The Main Conference, which is on December 6/7/8 (Thu/Fri/Sat)
- "Project Days", which are on December 4/5 (Tue/Wed)

The formats of each of these are very different from each other, but both
are integral parts of the event. Both will take place at the main venue.

THE MAIN CONFERENCE

The Main Conference (Dec 6/7/8) is similar to the format of the event in
previous years, with some dramatic differences:

No Tracks:

Unlike in previous years, the main conference will not have tracks. Each
session will be self-contained. While talks will still be classified
according to the broad topic, they will not all be concentrated in one
hall. This will encourage movement between halls and getting exposed to a
wider variety of topics.

Talk slots:

Each slot will be 90 minutes instead of the usual 60 minutes. However,
this does not mean that talks will be that long - each talk will be about
45 minutes talk time, and about 30 minutes discussion time. And there is a
15 minute buffer between talk slots to allow audiences (and speakers) to
move between halls, grab a coffee or a snack, etc.

In addition, the main conference will only use the 750, 120, and 90 seater
halls. The 250 seater is still being considered - we will use it only if
the number of high-quality talks selected exceeds our capacity. The 60
seater hall will not be used for talks (we have other plans for it).

Talk Depth:

The Main Conference will differentiate itself from previous years in the
way talks are selected. Most of the talks will be by recognised experts in
their fields. Because our Talk Slot format dramatically reduces the number
of talks from previous years, we can afford to be choosy. And we will be.
While we will still have a formal Call for Participation (CfP) for all
talks, many talks will be invited, and others will be brutally scrutinised
for depth, context and value to audiences.

Talk Feedback System:

In addition, we are introducing a talk rating/feedback system that will
allow people to comment on and rate talks online after the talk completes.
The feedback system will be moderated and authenticated (you know, to
prevent our friends selling body-part enhancements from turning this into
a market place :), but the comments will be public and permanent.

This will achieve two things:

- The feedbacks for each talk will act as a reference for the speakers, if
they need to prove their bonafides as speakers, they simply have to
point at the FOSS.IN site where information about the talk and the
feedback from the audiences will be recorded.

- This will encourage speakers to be far better prepared than some have
been in the past. A last-minute preparation speaker is almost certainly
going to get bad feedback, so the tag "was a speaker at FOSS.IN" can
work against the speaker if s/he wasn't prepared, but work wonders for
those speakers who do prepare, deliver an in-depth talk and who
interacts with the audience.

Feedback will be on a per-talk basis, not per-speaker, but multiple-talks
per speaker will be an exception anyway - you'd have to be a superstar to
achieve that. :)

Focus:

Both the Main conference and Project Days (described below) will focus on
development and contribution to FOSS Projects. General talks will be
limited to a few, and in general the nature/background of the speaker will
decide whether the talk will be selected.

As it was last year, advocacy and basic introductory talks will not be
accepted. This is to avoid the "preaching to the choir" problem, as well
as avoid duplicating the efforts of other FOSS events in India.

PROJECT DAYS:

Project Days (Dec 4/5) are new to FOSS.IN. Loosely based on the
mini-conferences made popular by events such as Linux.conf.au (LCA), these
will be an implementation of the "topics" idea proposed in 2005.

Project Days will be full day sessions on a single topic, and the topic
will be a specific FOSS project. Led by project leaders/contributors, the
sessions will expose audiences to the current stateand future plans of the
project, and show where and how people can get involved. Workshops are
encouraged to be part of such sessions.

The number of projects will be limited. As the 750 seater hall will not be
used for Project Days sessions, sessions will take place in the 60/90/120
and 250 seater halls. That means there can be (2 days x 4 halls)=8 Project
Days Sessions.

To makeit clear what we are looking at, here are some examples of Project
Day Sessions:

KDE, Gnome, Fedora, Ubuntu/Debian, OpenOffice, IndLinux, etc.

Here are examples of topics that are NOT eligible for a Project Days
Session:

Web Development, Developing in PHP/Python/Perl/Ruby, System
Administration, etc.

If look closely, will that we are targeting contribution to the project,
not deployment of the project. For example, "Developing Python" is a good
topic, "Developing with Python" is not.

Talk slots:

Talk slots will be 1 hour in length, with no more than 45 minutes talk
time. This works because unlike the Main conference, all talks related to
the topic are in the same hall.

However, actual distribution of talks will be decided by both Team FOSS.IN
and the Session organizers. Since there will also be workshops involved,
things have to be a bit more flexible.

Talk/Workshop selection:

The actual Project Day sessions will be decided over the next two weeks.

First, discuss on the mailing list, identify topics, scope of topics and
who possible speakers could be.

Next, formal Project Days Session Proposals have to be made. These
proposals will be evaluated for completeness, scope, context and other
factors, very similar to the way talks will be selected for the Main
Conference.

The 8 sessions will then be selected, session organizers appointed and
sessions will be announced, and the CfP will open. People will now be able
to submit talk proposals, choosing either the Main Conference or one of
the Project Day sessions.

OTHER FEATURES:

The FOSS.IN HackCenter:

The Hack Center is a new addition to FOSS.IN this year.

It is a large area which will be open throughout the conference duration,
from 9:00am to 7:00pm, where people can get together to work on FOSS
projects.

The Center will be provided with PCs, power, switched networks and
internet connectivity, tables and chairs.

Rules

There are a few rules that are expected to be followed:

1. This is not a download or surfing centre. People are not expected to
settle in and use the bandwidth to download stuff from the net. The
area is provided for people to get together to work on FOSS projects.

2. PCs provided will be few. In general, there will be one PC per group -
people are encouraged to bring their own laptops.

3. This is not a general community assembly hall. People are requested to
only use this hall for actual development work, not for general
sit-downs and discussions. For discussions, BoF tents are provided.

BoFs:

Birds-of-a-feather sessions will happen throughout the main conference, in
semi-open tents equipped with wireless LAN, power and whiteboards.

PARTY@FOSS.IN:

New to FOSS.IN is a social evening on Friday, the 7th of December. The
party will take place at an off-site location, close to the event venue
(actual venue will be announced close to the event).

This party is open to all participants of FOSS.IN - speakers, delegates,
exhibitors, sponsors and of course volunteers. There will be a nominal
cover charge that will be paid by people wishing to attend the party, and
it is optional - only people who wish to attend will have to pay.

Exhibition:

As every year, there will be an exhibition of commercial and
non-commercial, FOSS-related products. Details will appear on the website.

COSTS:

As every year, we are restricting costs to cover only direct expenses on
delegates.

Because of the multi-part nature of the conference, conference fees will
be as follows:

1. Main Conference only : Rs.500

2. Project Days only : Rs.300

3. Main Conference + Project Days: Rs.750

4. Optional Party@FOSS.IN: TBA

Conditions:

Conference Swag (like last year's mug, T-shorts, etc.) is only for people
attending the main conference.

All packages include Lunch, tea/coffee and snacks for each day.

Corporate Support Package:

In addition, there is an optional "Corporate Support" package, to help
companies support the event. This package is identical package 3 above
(Main Conference + Project Days), at Rs.3000 per head.

This package is optional and meant for organizations who wish to help
support the event. Attendance of the Party@FOSS.IN is included in the
package, as well as all other benefits.

In addition, all passes and other materials will be sent to the
organization before the event, so that such sponsored attendees will not
have to stand in the queue to register at the conference.

Additional funds raised this way will go towards additional facilities for
delegates, subsidising the party, etc.

Travel Assistance:

As usual, we have a limited budget for aiding selected speakers to travel
to Bangalore. Speakers are requested to first attempt to get sponsorship
from other sources before asking for Travel Assistance.

All speakers at the event (Main Conference or Project days) get
complimentary passes to the event, and other speaker-specific goodies.

WEBSITE:

The website for the event will open in the next 24 hours. It will not
contain all details yet - this will improve as we pin down various things,
and as feedback and suggestions come in on the mailing list.

You are best served by adding http://foss.in/rss to your newsreader of
choice to keep track of changes on the website, and of course to subscribe
to the FOSS.IN mailing list.

This note does not cover a lot of details, so feel free to start asking
questions, discussing things, making suggestions, etc. Note that not every
suggestion can be implemented, so don't take it personal if we have to
reject one. Also note that FOSS.IN is one of four international FOSS
events (the others being Linux.Conf.Au, OLS and now Linuxconf.EU), and
because of this there are certain things we can do, and some which we
cannot.

As usual, we ask people to leave the politics at the door, and help make
this an enjoyable event for everyone. A lot of hard work has gone into
this event already, and a lot more will happen in the months leading up to
it.

For now, the best way to help is to spread the word (buttons, banners,
etc. will be on the website, as will be PDF brochures, posters, etc.), and
to discuss on the FOSS.IN mailing list.

Please remember - this is an to get people get involved in FOSS
development and contribution. Our primary objective is to get more Indians
involved, and to get them to interact with people from all over the world.

Expect a lot more news from us as time goes by. Tons of stuff up our
sleeves. :)

Cheerio!

Atul

--
Atul Chitnis
Project Lead
FOSS.IN
http://foss.in

 

Thursday Nov 30, 2006

Atul Chitnis on Sun Microsystems

I was a member of the Sun FOSS team for 2006. The best part of this year's participation were the words of appreciation from the FOSS community in India. Just check out these lines from Atul Chitnis, Lead Organizer for FOSS.IN 2006.

<start>
Here is an organization that has been consistent in suprising the FOSS community with lavish gifts of contribution of code.

They were Platinum Sponsors at FOSS.IN/2005, and they completely blew
us all away with their professional show of FOSS power, both in their well
arranged and extremely useful talks and tutorials, as well as their amazingly well designed and informative stall at the expo.

And they blew us away even more with their release of OpenSolaris, contributing a huge pool of valuable technologies and code to the FOSS code pool.

A hard act to follow, but they did it, resoundingly:

Today and as I am writing this, Sun Microsystems is releasing Java as
Free and Open Source Software under the GPL. Simultaneously, the previously released Glassfish project now also comes under the GPL.

And FOSS.IN is one of the first events where Sun will be showcasing all this and more, in addition to a series of talks related to the projects.

It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Sumitha Prashanth and her
team over all these month, and they ensured that at every turn,
FOSS.IN's requirements came first - an attitude that is both rare and welcome
with big name sponsors. We, in turn welcome Java to the FOSS world, and
thank Sun for making FOSS.IN the first platform in India to mark such an important point in the history of technology.

<end>

Three cheers to the India opensource community! Hip, hip, hooray!

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