[OSGeo-Conf] Questions for FOSS4G 2013 teams

Jachym Cepicky jachym.cepicky at gmail.com
Wed Apr 4 16:30:10 EDT 2012


for the Prague team:

On 4.4.2012 15:55, Peter Batty wrote:
> Here are three questions for all the teams:
> (1) How many (global) FOSS4G events has the proposed conference chair been
> to, and which ones? And please list the same info for any of your committee
> members that have been to previous events.
> (Note: I don't think it is a pre-req to have been to any, but obviously it
> helps with continuity and building on previous events)

Chair: Karel Charvat - Denver
Program Committee: Jachym Cepicky (me) Lausanne, Denver

Members of Organization committee:
Jan Jezek  - Lausanne, Victoria, Cape Town, Barcelona
Milan Novotny - Lausanne

> (2) To the conference chairs: are you willing and able to put in a lot of
> time to this? Has your employer agreed to give you a reasonable amount of
> time off from your normal work responsibilities, as you will need this? And
> in the event that you were not able to continue as conference chair, who
> would step in to replace you?
> (I ask these questions as in Denver our original conference chair did have
> to step down because of unforeseen circumstances).

This question will be answered by the chair (Karel) himself. I can only
say, that since he is the employer of himself, it should be possible to
find time for organization. The whole team already organized several
events (about half of planed size) and so people are partly

> (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?

Me, as Open Source GIS Software developer && FOSS4G Conference fan: I
like the idea, FOSS4G is more developer-oriented. FOSS4G is unique
event, where I know, I can meet developers, people, I know from  mailing
list, personally - to add face to the name. This is very important to me.

On the other hand, we are trying to be "open community" - we
(developers) are setting up mailing lists, writing documentation for
newbies and hoping, that community around our projects will grow - we
certainly like the idea, new people will arrive to your community for
various reasons.

We are also aware, that for development of our projects, needs to be
founded. And budget is generated by non-technical people, who just
believe in our technology. In Czech, there is national INSPIRE
conference round the date, FOSS4G 2013 is proposed to take place. For
the last year's bit, we proposed to join those communities together.
Naturally, we will discuss this possibility for 2013 again. INSPIRE
people are users (or even founders of development) of our projects and I
think, every developer wants to compete other projects and succeed on
the "market".

When I was in Denver, I met several people there, who were just for the
first time at such event and were amazed by the fact, what kind of
people is producing the software, they plan to use (they were really new
to the community).

So, to answer your question finally: As you mentioned, core function of
FOSS4G is to me bringing developers together. But FOSS4G never was just
meeting of geeks. Introducing software projects *and* development teams
to non-technical or technical users plays another key role. The scope of
FOSS4G is to put all those ingredients together and gently shake, not
stir. The unique spirit of FOSS4G is, we meat each other, but we are
also wide open to newcomers. Newcomers are warmly welcomed and handled
with care.


Jachym Cepicky
Help Service - Remote Sensing s.r.o.
jachym.cepicky at gmail.com | jachym at hsrs.cz
http://les-ejk.cz | http://bnhelp.cz

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