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FrOSCon is over

2007-08-27 by bsiegert@

Along with this post, I am inserting a vim modeline into the source of this page. Finally.

As said in the title, FrOSCon 2007 is over. IMHO, it was one of the best conferences I have ever attended. I loved the relaxed atmosphere, the cool people, the catering, and the Free Beer—sponsored by O'Reilly, who really deserve more credit for that. There were many niceties and little things that made the conference truly great—like the Wii lounge, where I played some tennis against Marius from AllBSD.

I was not at all happy with the way our booth was handled though: It consisted of a row of tables, the showcase computer standing with the monitor to the front. Behind the tables, three to six persons were sitting crouched behind their laptops, only one of which (tg@) actually using MirOS. The others were not even familiar with the project, with its goals or with the content of the flyers. The showcase was almost only ever used for showing something when I was present, doing so myself. Flyers and CDs were not proactively handed out to visitors, they had to get these themselves. Note: I will not accept this behavior again from someone with an exhibitor's pass for MirOS.

On a more positive note, my talk automake, autoconf, libtool—an introduction to the GNU build system was a success. The lecture hall was almost full; the audience was interested and critical, asking many questions along the way and at the end. (Thank you for that.) I started 15 minutes late because the video team did not have a new cassette for recording. They called a helper over DECT, asking for a new one. The helper came five minutes later, asked if we were the ones that called and went off again to actually get the cassette. It was truly a WTF moment for all of us, the audience waiting. I made it through at an impressive speed: All my original slides as well as the demo were in, and even with questions, I made it in about 50 to 55 minutes.

In the abstract, I had made a bold statement about cmake being a flawed concept compared to the autotools, but I did not have any data points to actually back up my claim, and promptly I got some questions about this weak point of mine. Sorry for the unsatisfying answers.

The slides in PDF format as well as the code examples are downloadable from the FrOSCon program website. If you attended the talk, I would be happy to receive some feedback, remarks and criticism via the form on the same page.

Oh, and it is true that the website here is somewhat broken now because I did not commit all of my changes. The point is that commit windows, with a r/w CVS repository, are rare now for some reason. Halfway through my commits, I was distracted and could not finish. By and large, and contrary to popular belief, a conference and exhibition where you have a booth is not a good place or time for hacking.

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