FOSS-North

Adriaan de Groot groot at kde.org
Wed Apr 25 09:15:39 UTC 2018


Hi KDE Community and e.V.,

On the weekend of 21-22 april 2018 I traveled to Sweden to the FOSS-North 
conference, in Gothenburg. I went there for two reasons:
 - to give a talk (submitted via the CfP and accepted)
 - to run a KDE booth (asked by the conference org)

The conference had ~150 attendees, 30 speakers, 6 sponsor booths and a KDE and 
a GNOME booth.

# Booth(s)

Gothenburg is a little bit "GNOME country", so it was good to have both 
desktops there. In the run up I had quite a bit of communication with the 
GNOME booth organizer, since community booths take up a lot of time. We agreed 
before hand to take care of each other's stands as needed. Any pictures you 
may have seen of us in a fist-fight are, of course, staged (but I beat the tar 
outta 'em). The community booths, with T-shirts and some computers showing off 
the desktops, did a very small amount of business, but we did have a fair 
amount of people to talk with.

Bastian, the GNOME guy, was looking at other merchandise options and we came 
up with something exquisitely silly, last I saw he was looking at CnC milling 
to make that silly idea come true.

In short, I think the community booths together worked well -- still, you get 
people, young people, coming up and going "huh, huh, GNOME and KDE side-by-
side, when's the fight?" I have *no* idea where this notion of viscious 
rivalry persists.

# Talk

I think my talk went well; it was recorded, so you can probably watch it 
somewhere. It was about KDE governance, but mostly "Free Software project 
Governance 101" with an emphasis on figuring out your moral stance as 
expressed by your license choice, contributor agreement choice (if any), 
organization choice, and manifesto, vision and CoC. A bit touchy-feely and not 
all that concrete.

I gave roughly the same talk two weeks earlier at a start-ups gathering, so 
I've been holding up KDE as *a* way of doing things. We get a lot of things 
right, although the order we did things -- historically -- isn't the order I'd 
recommend nowadays.

# Sales

We sold 3 T-shirts at 200 SEK each (~19 EUR). Gave out some folders, a 
lanyard, some buttons. We didn't have stickers. This continues, IMO, to be a 
real missed opportunity -- stickers are cheap, easy to hand out, colorful, 
etc. I'm seriously envious of the GNOME sticker packs.

# Booth (2)

The booth showed Plasma 5.12 running on low-powered ARM hardware. This was the 
same theme as at FOSDEM, so if you were there, it was the same set=up with 
blinkenlights and a Pinebook running the latest stuff. This continues the 
narrative of "of course Plasma runs also on low-powered devices, that's been 
driving 8 months or so of work on reducing resource use; it really is a lean 
environment." That kind of ties in to something else I noticed: people seem to 
hang on to grudges for a damn long time. "I used KDE 4/6/30 years ago, and it 
was slow". "I once submitted a bug and it was ignored." Bleh.

Now that I'm writing this down here, I realise I could / should have had 
Nate's this-week articles at hand, to better illustrate what's going on and 
what is being improved in the rest of the KDE ecosystem.

GNOME has a nice release-video that they just left looping -- it shows off the 
new stuff, and even if my response to most of the video is "yeah, we had that 
6 months/2 years/30 years ago already" it has movement, it has pizzazz, and 
saves the booth staff from talking about some of the basics.

On the other hand, I had blue blobs and Lays' gource video to talk about long-
term development.

# Booth Resources

The plastic IKEA box for booth-stuff (the roll of duct tape, the kensington 
locks we didn't have to use, pens, badges, etc.) broke on the flight; I'll be 
donating a new one.

Sune's blue tablecloth is still in my possession; it still has "KDE" on it in 
Frozen-brand duct tape (Olaf is so cute!). This could be better.

Left over T-shirts are now at my house, for whatever conference I go to next.

# Wrap-up

I'd like to thank Johan for organizing the conference overall, and Bastian for 
being a good neighbor in the Free-Desktop space. Thanks Helio for also 
spending a lot of hours running the stand.

[ade]
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