[geeklog-devel] FrOSCon 2007

Dirk Haun dirk at haun-online.de
Mon Aug 27 10:03:56 EDT 2007

So I'm sitting here, sipping my coffee from a "FrOSCon 2007" mug and
wondering how to phrase it ...

In a nutshell, the idea of having a Geeklog Day didn't work out. It
seems we're not well-known enough yet over here to draw interest in a
series of Geeklog-related talks. So what we did instead was to pretty
much abandon the program and concentrate on one-to-one talks and
presentations with those that dropped by.

The organization had an entire wing of the building dedicated to the
various projects (including PHP, KDE, Typo 3, Zope, and a few others).
The room[1] was nice and big, with a projector and 5 or 6 rows of tables
and chairs - and completely oversized for us.

Part of the problem was that the project rooms were separated from the
main conference area and somewhat hard to find, so we didn't get a lot
of people just wandering around in this part of the conference. But even
though Markus and Georg did their best with plastering the way to our
room with posters and handing out our new flyers, I got the impression
that we would have been better off with a booth (primitive as those were
[2] - effectively just a table and a chair) in the main area, where a
lot more people were just walking by. So I think that's what we will be
doing next year.

Well, it was worth a try. And we did get some good feedback from the few
people that did drop by.

To be clear: Even though I think that something could have been done to
make the project rooms easier to find, I'm not critizing the
organization here. FrOSCon was actually really, really well organized,
with things like free catering for speakers and helpers and a general
"need something? just ask" mentality.

We did use FrOSCon to launch our new "marketing campaign" based on the
designs and ideas that Markus posted here on the list a few weeks ago.
We're using the picture of an airplane and the phrases "reliability
built-in" and "Durchstarten mit Geeklog" (couldn't find a good
translation - something like "take off with Geeklog", again an airplane
metaphor) to draw attention and direct people to


where we list some arguments for Geeklog. This is still work in progress
but it's a good start. A big thanks to Markus who did all of the hard
work of collecting those items and also did the artwork and the flyer
(btw, we bought the rights to use that airplane image).

Okay, back to FrOSCon: Day 2 started quiet for me, as I finally had the
chance to go and see some of the presentations. I visited two about
copyrights, software licenses, software patents, and all that and also
attended one about WebTest (which reminded me that we really should be
looking into using something like this).

And then I had to give two presentations of my own. My Webspam talk was
well received and resulted in a lively discussion. No real new ideas
emerged, but it did seem to raise awareness of the problem somewhat,
which was one of my main goals. For example, an editor for O'Reilly
Germany came to me afterwards and mentioned that he was now thinking
about adding a chapter about webspam to the next edition of one of their
books about email spam.

My second talk was scheduled for 5:45pm, the last slot on the last day
of the conference ... But I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of
people who did show up (I stopped counting at 20 - I think there were
more than 30 in the end). The topic was why you should not rewrite an
applicatin from scratch. The audience seemed to agree with the basic
premise but also brought up some examples where my proposed solution of
using refactoring instead didn't quite work out. Something to work on
for the next iteration of that talk :-)

Despite the slight disappointment on the first day, I enjoyed being at
FrOSCon. It's really a good conference with a great atmosphere and a
superb organization. I think I know where I will be on August 23 and 24,
2008 - at FrOSCon 2008.

bye, Dirk

[1] <http://www.flickr.com/photos/dhaun/1247395854/>
[2] <http://www.flickr.com/photos/mhchat/1235217746/>
[3] <http://www.flickr.com/photos/mhchat/1243396952/>

more photos: <http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=froscon&ss=2&s=rec>


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