Sunday, February 24, 2008

Fosdem 08, two days of open source talks, speeches, meeting people and discovering new stuff that's out there.  You can download most talks on the Fosdem website, so I'm not going to go over them again like I did in my previous post the last few years

Instead I would like to present some pictures, that might give you an idea how the event is like (if you haven't been before).

Outside a 2CV station wagon (is this a hack? i never heard or saw this type of 2CV before) was parked, advertising the Document Freedom Day 08

I'm a loyal Fosdem donator, each year I make my donation to this free event. It has an added bonus that from a certain amount you can pick a O'Reilly book and you get included in a price draw at the end of the conference. 'The Bash Cookbook' was my pick for this year, it contains a lot of scripting tips, a good guide for any Unix system administrator. Oh, and speaking of the prizes, I actually won this amazing piece of hardware, more on this when the box arrives.

Even outside the conference rooms there is action going on. Most high profile projects and distros have their own stand, displaying demos, gadgets, advice and friendly chatter.

OK, a few emering trends I saw this year. First, the amount of Apple laptops that were used. Here a picture taken in between 2 talks. In this shot you see both a MacBook and a MacBook Pro. It almost looked like everybody had them, there were that many. Also, for all the talks I 'd been to, There were only 2 non-Mac speakers (the guys from fedora/centos).

Another trend, when you don't have an Apple, at least show up with an Eee PC. I don't think they are available in Europe yet, still that didn't stop them from popping up everywhere you looked.

Aaw, who could ever hurt such a little cute foxy.

Nobody is going to pin me down.

Yep, the usual suspects, last year the OLPC was shown during an opening talk, this year a truckload of them were displayed and usable for everybody.

That's how a fried sliced potato looks like from behind. Poor guy, dragging laptops, water and all kinds of stuff around the place.

Most talks were hot, certainly the Mozilla dev talks during the first day.

The room was packed, all the time! I believe the most successful talks were given by the Mozilla people this year. Can you blame them? There are so many interesting project building on and around the Mozilla project, not just Firefox and Thunderbird. But also Songbird and Miro, check them out!

This was something new, never before seen on Fosdem - Beer. There was a lot of beer drinking going on. I had never seen this the previous years, but luckily everybody was smart enough not to get drunk so the only hindrance you got was empty bottles lying all over the place. I'm a Belgian, and thus I don't have anything against beer (I like it more then wine in fact), but this conference is not the place for massive beer consumption.

Outside view of one of the buildings.

Don't forget to wash your hands.

Did you ever code with the daemon in the pale moonlight?

I loved this idea, it's brilliant! Users of Gnome (the best desktop environment for Unix systems) had this up on the wall at their stand. On the left you could leave a post-it on what you really loved about Gnome, on the right side you could leave a message on the worst bug or most needed currently missing feature.

This year Fosdem was extremely good. A lot of quality talks, a lot of people. And that could be the rising problem. Fosdem is growing, it's getting bigger, but the location stays the same. Some rooms were so packed that there was no possible way of getting in anymore. Perhaps they should start looking out for a new location or get more rooms from the VUB for next year event.

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