[OSGeo-Conf] Questions for FOSS4G 2013 teams

Ari Jolma ari.jolma at gmail.com
Wed Apr 4 16:29:27 EDT 2012

On 04/04/2012 04:55 PM, Peter Batty wrote:
> (3) The core mission of FOSS4G is to be the "meeting of the tribes" of 
> the open source geo development community, which has one set of 
> requirements: it has a very techie focus, people it want to be 
> informal and casual and "non-commercial". Many people, myself 
> included, also see FOSS4G as an opportunity to introduce new people to 
> open source geospatial - to be more of an outreach event, have more 
> introductory level sessions, more non-technical sessions. But to some 
> extent the requirements for this conflict with the core mission of 
> FOSS4G - you risk losing the friendly techie collaborative atmosphere, 
> you risk being seen as "too commercial" etc. Some people in the 
> community would rather see FOSS4G be a strictly developer-focused event.
> So to the question ... to what extent do you see your FOSS4G having an 
> outreach function in addition to the core focus on existing open 
> source developers, and how would you address the challenges mentioned 
> here?

This is an interesting issue. First, I don't think the core mission is 
to be a meeting of the tribes. It is one, but by definition, IMO, an 
open conference is an outreach act and such are needed to get new people 
into the community (which consists of users too). The code sprint of the 
conference has the friendly techie atmosphere, but it's always been a 
bit separate, get on a bus and go somewhere else with 50 people, type of 

In one sense, one of the strongest aspects of FOSS4G is that there you 
can actually meet and talk with many of the persons writing the code for 
the software you use (not just the marketers - although other more 
typical technology fairs seem to have that aspect too).

I'm interested in bofs, sprints and other more interactive and 
innovative functions and I believe they have been very important for the 
whole community. So, enough support, resources, space, time etc. needs 
to be given to them.

I don't see much of a conflict in having a mixture of things - some more 
formal and some more informal - happening within the conference, it's 
just quite a lot of work to manage, I believe.

I let Pekka answer more formally the questions for the Finnish bid. I 
just say that I think we have a quite good community - although the 
local chapter is not very functional (my failure).

Cameron is asking for volunteers. I think I would go to students to ask 
for help, being from a university - besides the company we have as the 
main organizer etc. We have doers in our committee (the committee will 
be organized to ensure this) and community, and names of some of them 
are familiar on the osgeo email lists, but it's difficult to give names 
without asking first.



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