[Foss4g2008loc] draft call for workshops for FOSS4G2008

Dave Patton davep at confluence.org
Thu Mar 6 10:59:46 EST 2008

Gavin Fleming wrote:
> Hi all, please review this draft by 16h00 SAST Thurs 6 Feb so we can
> distribute the Call on Friday. Thanks to Graeme for putting this
> together.

As Jeff suggests, the Workshop Committee should preferably be
established first, so they can review the call, etc.
Personally, I don't like the part about the Kahil Gibran
quote - it sounds "cheesy" to me.
FOSS4G2007 introduced "Labs" as the name for 90-minute
'Workshops'. If that same terminology is going to be used
for 2008, it needs to be decided up front, and therefore
the distinction made clear in all communications, and on
the website. For example, someone may not be willing to
submit a Workshop, if they can't be in Cape Town on the
days that Workshops will run, however they may be willing
to submit a Lab. On one hand it's a convenient way to
distinguish the two classroom formats, but on the other
hand it's sometimes not very clear, such as when a mailing
list is for "workshops"(i.e. where's the list for "labs"?).
In my opinion, there shouldn't be room for 'non-hands-on'
Workshops/Labs. For 2007, the feedback was clear that
people expected hands on, and lots of it.
The 'workshop submission template document' needs to be
available at the same time as the Call is announced, and
the Workshop Committee needs to revise the document used
for 2007, to fix some deficiencies. That document, and
possibly this Call, needs to clarify the 'free or half-
price' registration details (e.g. # of people), that
workshop materials will be published online after the
conference, etc.
Is the "three days prep per hour of classroom time"
still a good guideline?
I get the part about accepted presenters needing to
register for the conference, but I question whether
there is any need for people submitting workshop/lab
proposals to "create an account" on the website. For
2007, submissions were done via email. Maybe only once
people are accepted as Instructors should they need to
create an account on the website?
As I've said before, the mailing list used for the
'workshop discussions' should be "year-specific".
Frank setup "conference-workshops at lists.osgeo.org"
without mentioning the year, but in my opinion
that is a mistake. It will be fine for now, but in
the future you don't want an Instructor for the 2009
conference doing a search of the list's archive for
something, and finding postings that are for the
2008 conference. One list per FOSS4G conference is
my suggestion.

My specific suggestions for changes in the draft's wording
are inline below, bracketed with "#...#". "##" indicates
a deletion.

    #FOSS4G 2008 Conference Call for Workshops#

> The FOSS4G (Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial) conference
> is pleased to announce the Call for Workshops for the 2008
> conference, #which is# being held September 29-October 3 in Cape Town,
 > South Africa.
> FOSS4G is the premier conference for the open source geospatial
> community, providing a place for developers, users, and people new to
> open source geospatial to get a full-immersion experience in both
> established and leading edge geospatial technologies.
> This year's FOSS4G #conference# is a bit different #than prior FOSS4G
 > conferences#, #because# it incorporates GISSA
> 2008, the main GIS Conference on the South African calender#. GISSA is
 > primarily# attended
> by people who are not yet too familiar with FOSS4G#, however,# the
 > South African Government has made a
> strategic commitment to FOSS. This has created a certain amount of
> clamour for more information about FOSS4G. The FOSS4G2008 Organising
> Committee believe that immersive workshops could play a crucial role
> in convincing people that FOSS4G is "An Option for Developing
> Nations"#, working# alongside more well known proprietary tools. As 
> the famous wedding quote generator, Kahlil Gibran, once said, "Even as
> the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music".
> Not to stretch the poetry too far, but FOSS4G 2008 offers an
> opportunity to let people experience the FOSS and proprietary
> software strings playing nicely together.
> Come to Cape Town to showcase your favorite application, integration
> solution, or other topic#,# and get the excitement bubbling around it.
> You will use your superior classroom skills to lead a group of
> attendees through your chosen topic in {either a half-day workshop or
> ninety minute lab}.
> No restrictions are placed on topics for workshops, but we expect
> interest to be high for workshops on:
> * Practical Introduction to ___________ * Interoperability * Exposure
> to a Software Stack * Fitting FOSS4G into the enterprise * Using
> FOSS4G to solve __________
> #In addition,# FOSS4G plays strongly in emerging spaces, so workshops
> with NeoGeography-like themes or on new directions will be welcome
> and are likely to be fresh topics for many attendees.
> ##FOSS4G workshops are ##"hands on" events, with
> participants seated in front of computers and able to follow along
> with the instructor, working directly with the software and
> applications under discussion.
> Workshops require considerable preparation. Past experience has shown
> that a high quality workshop requires about three days of preparation
> for each hour of presentation time. As part of this preparation you
> will be expected to develop material for attendees to take away with
> them, such as handouts, a 'workbook', CDROM, etc.
> In recognition of this effort, workshop presenters will receive a
> reduction in the price of conference registration:
> * free registration for delivering a half-day workshop * half-price
> registration for delivering a 90-minute workshop
> #If your topic can be delivered in either a half-day or 90-minute
 > format#, you may want to consider submitting two
> versions of your topic, #because the number of Workshops and Labs
 > is limited. It is unlikely that your topic will be selected for
 > delivery in both formats. You are welcome to submit Workshop/
 > Lab proposals for more than one topic.#
> Please visit the Call for Papers page on our website to receive
> instructions for submitting a workshop#/lab# proposal at
> http://conference.osgeo.org/index.php/foss4g/2008/schedConf/cfp
> The deadline for workshop proposal submissions is 15 April, 2008. You
> will hear whether your proposal has been accepted by 30 April, after
> which you will be required to register for the conference to confirm
> your attendance#,# as well as subscribe to the
> conference-workshops at lists.osgeo.org mailing list, which will be the
> forum for discussing your workshop development, progress and
> logistics with the #Workshop Committee#, members of the OSGeo
> community#,# and fellow presenters.

Dave Patton

System Developer
National Forest Inventory
Pacific Forestry Centre
Natural Resources Canada

Degree Confluence Project:
Canadian Coordinator
Technical Coordinator

OSGeo FOSS4G2007 conference:
Workshop Committee Chair
Conference Committee member

Personal website:
Maps, GPS, etc.

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