Software Freedom Conservancy

[RSS] Conservancy Blog

Displaying posts tagged conferences

The Online Conference Has Been Liberated

by Bradley M. Kuhn on February 8, 2021

Something unique happened this weekend. Hardly anyone knew about it, in the grand scheme of the entire world population. But, in the FOSS community, it's not uncommon that we see what's coming that can change the world — if only we embrace it and fight for its adoption. We did this with Linux, and below I describe another FOSS solution that needs promotion and that same “accept nothing less” devotion that made Linux succeed.

This weekend, the largest international FOSS conference in the world, FOSDEM, attempted, and succeeded, to achieve what we all thought was not yet possible: They ran a massive online conference event with 100% FOSS0. This conference had more than 25 simultaneous talks at times, with accompanying interactive text-based chat rooms, live Q&A with the speakers on video, and “hallway track” breakout rooms after each talk where speakers and attendees could join video chat together and discuss the talk.

Still image from the online Organizers Panel at the FOSDEM Legal and Policy DevRoom in 2021

Organizers' Panel from Legal & Policy DevRoom 2021
Photo © by Bradley M. Kuhn, licensed CC BY-SA

In the Legal & Policy DevRoom (the FOSDEM name for what most events would call a “conference track”) that I co-organized this year (with Max Mehl, Richard Fontana, Alexander Sander and Karen Sandler), we had peaked at at least 225 attendees, and most talks had dozens of people interacting and discussing. According to the main FOSDEM organizers, they had a peak of 33,600 attendees and about 22,000 still participating on the second day of the two day event. There were no technical problems in our DevRoom, and I've heard very little about any technical problems in any of the rooms.

Of course, we'd have all rather gone in person to FOSDEM like every other year. But, necessity is the mother of invention, and what the FOSDEM team has done proved that there is absolutely no reason that any online conference should require proprietary software. There is no reason going forward that we should accept excuses; those who claim to be helping Open Source by running proprietary-software-based FOSS-related conferences are now on notice: you are actively thwarting the adoption of proven and working FOSS solutions by any insistence of continuing with proprietary platforms for conferences, developer meetings, and interactive online collaboration.

As always, FOSS is not necessarily free-as-in-price, nor should it be. Bandwidth and computing costs do exist for this. There was much integration effort of the various FOSS technologies such as Matrix, Element.io, and Jitsi to make them work together. But FOSDEM did this work transparently and documented it publicly, and any organization seeking to run a conference can either hire their own people to follow FOSDEM's recipe, or simply hire some of the folks who organized FOSDEM to deploy the technology for you.

We have at least another eight months of remote-only events. Those running events later this year, begin your transition to FOSS now. Our community will not accept a backslide to Zoom or any of the many other proprietary solutions. Proprietary software is what FOSS was made to fight against. Let's start fighting Zoom now.


0 And, regular readers of our blog know me. I checked at every step that what was being loaded was 100% FOSS. The only spot where proprietary software was involved was that the main element.io chat site for FOSDEM — to create your account — loaded proprietary “captcha” Javascript. However, I'm told that this was an option that the FOSDEM organizers had not meant to turn on in element.io, and also if I'd planned far enough ahead to set up my own Matrix server, which I plan to do eventually, I could have just used my existing Matrix account on my own server to authenticate to the element.io software (which is based on Matrix).

Tags: conservancy, conferences

Last Week in Brussels: FOSDEM, Copyleft Conf and More

by Conservancy's Staff on February 10, 2020

FOSDEM

FOSDEM is a great volunteer-run, community-driven event that has been going on for twenty years!! Conservancy staff and volunteers who attend the event are grateful to have the opportunity to interact with so many passionate free software advocates in one place each year.

The FOSDEM organizers invited Bradley and Karen to speak on the main track talk — the next installment talk on the difficulty in living in software freedom and making ethical choices today — a follow-up to their keynote from last year.

Conservancy staff also gave some DevRoom talks, including participating in the one-of-a-kind debates in the Legal & Policy DevRoom this year. Nearly all of these recordings are now available. The FOSDEM video team is amazingly efficient — with a fully FOSS system for conference video!

The well-attended Legal & Policy DevRoom (which Bradley and Karen help organize each year) occurred all day on Saturday. In the morning, Bradley participated in a debate entitled, Does Careful Inventory of Licensing Bill of Materials Have Real Impact on FOSS License Compliance? The debate format was an exciting new addition to the DevRoom this year. (Please note that per the debate format, some speakers took positions that did not necessarily reflect their personal or organizational views.)

On Sunday, Deb spoke about Building Ethical Software Under Capitalism, in the Community Devroom. Later that day in the same room, Bradley Kuhn discussed, How Does Innersource Impact on the Future of Upstream Contributions?.

On Sunday, Conservancy welcomed attendees to learn more about our organization at our booth. We thank our volunteers who greeted and discussed Conservancy's work with attendees; we appreciate your energy. Also, thanks to the many Outreachy alums (all of whom are still participating in FOSS!) who stopped by the booth — it's really gratifying to hear from you. One current intern even asked for a selfie with our staff!

Many of our member projects were also at FOSDEM. Coreboot ran a shared booth, Homebrew had their second in-person meeting on Monday and Godot had a booth and helped run the Gaming Development track.

Godot also hosted two pre-conference sprint days and a two day “FOSDEM Fringe” event — GodotCon.

Copyleft Conf

Sign that says Second Annual Copyleft

Photo is by Deb Nicholson and is available under a CC-BY-SA-4.0 license

We ran the Second Annual Copyleft Conf on Monday. The event sparked lively and respectful conversations about the use and future of copyleft. The event included an exciting, multi-faceted schedule of talks and panels. Our lovely program committee — Molly de Blanc, Nithya Ruff, Harald Welte, Josh Simmons, Beth Flanagan, Bradley Kuhn and Deb Nicholson — curated and selected excellent content for the day. Thanks also to our Copyleft Conf volunteers, who helped with registration, speaker introductions and time-keeping.

All the Copyleft Conf sessions and Deb's CHAOSS Con keynote (a Friday “FOSDEM Fringe” event), Ethics: What You Know & What You Don't Know should be posted within a few weeks.

Tags: conferences, Godot, Outreachy

Conservancy is headed to Brussels

by Deb Nicholson on January 24, 2020

Greetings software freedom friends! We will again be in Brussels for FOSDEM and the Second Annual Copyleft Conf. We would love to see you while we're there so here are few of the places and times where you can find us.

FOSDEM

Our Executive Director, Karen Sandler and our Policy Fellow, Bradley M. Kuhn are half of the team behind Saturday's popular and long-running Legal & Policy DevRoom. This year the DevRoom will have debates on critical current topics. Sustainability, the relevance of the Open Source Definition, privacy and open hardware are just a few that will be covered. In past years this room has gotten full, so savvy attendees should show up a little early for the sessions they want to catch.

On Sunday, Conservancy staff have two talks in the Community Devroom run by Leslie Hawthorn, Laura Czajkowski and Shirley Bailes. Our Director of Community Operations, Deb Nicholson will be discussing Building Ethical Software Under Capitalism just before lunch, and near the end of the day Bradley looks at how Innersource might affect the future of upstream contributions.

Conservancy will also have a stand all day on Sunday in K level 2 (we are in group E). Come by, say hi, load up on stickers, share some FLOSSip, etc. We could also use a few volunteers at the booth. If you like talking about free software and you can help out for an hour or two, please get in touch!

Conservancy projects Godot and Coreboot also have stands at FOSDEM so be sure to swing by and see what they've got going on.

Second Annual Copyleft Conf

Copyleft Conf is a one day conference on February 3rd, dedicated to -- you guessed it -- copyleft licensing! We'll be discussing theory, practice and the future of copyleft in a friendly and welcoming environment. Porfessional tickets are $200, student/under-employed/non-profit employee tickets are just $20. Both tickets include coffee and tea in the morning as well as lunch. You're going to want to register in advance so that we can get a solid headcount for lunch and get everyone checked in quickly in the morning. Please get in touch if $20 is prohibitive for you.

We could also use volunteers onsite for Copyleft Conf. Volunteer tasks include; helping with registration, time-keeping and recording. Email us if you can pitch in with these important tasks.

Bonus!

Deb is also keynoting CHAOSScon on the Friday before FOSDEM starts. She'll be talking about ethics and metrics. If you're in town early and want to join, the conference organizers recommend registering as soon as possible because space is limited.

Tags: conferences, licensing

Karen Sandler keynoted State of the Map on Saturday 2019-09-21

by Bradley M. Kuhn on September 20, 2019

Conservancy's Executive Director Karen Sandler delivered the keynote address on Saturday 2019-09-21 at the 2019 State of the Map Conference in Heidelberg, Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Germany. State of the Map is the annual conference for all mappers and OpenStreetMap users.

Karen's keynote was recorded and is available on the CCC media server!

Karen discussed her personal journey in software freedom, the challenges we all face maintaining lives of software freedom, and how that relates to the freedom of maps and navigation software.

Tags: conservancy, conferences, events

Next page (older) »

[1] 2 3 4 5 6 7

Connect with Conservancy on Mastodon, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Main Page | Contact | Sponsors | Privacy Policy | RSS Feed

Our privacy policy was last updated 22 December 2020.