SFD Hong Kong 2012

This year Fred and I attended Software Freedom Day at City University of Hong Kong. It was a great event with plenty of talks. We met the leaders of the Hong Kong FOSS communities, Haggen and Sammy. We also made some new friends in the persons of Mart, his girlfriend and Mathieu. Since Fred presented Culture Freedom Day to the audience, we got in touch with a contributor from Videotage which is a NGO promoting and presenting video and media arts in Asia. We will definitely do something together in the upcoming CFD 2013.

On top of all this we revealed an extra information regarding DFI activities which we will publicly announce in the coming weeks. Stay tune by either following the DFI website or our identi.ca account (http://identi.ca/dfi/)!

Call for proposals to host SFD Summit 2012

Digital Freedom International (Aka Software Freedom International) is proud to announce it will start co-organizing Software Freedom Days under the name of SFD Summit with one local team each year starting this year, and therefore we are inviting local organizers to submit proposals to host our upcoming and first SFD Summit around September 15th 2012.

The purpose of co-organizing such an event is to raise the profile of our celebrations while bringing a public space for discussions about the future of our movement. Over the past two years DFI/SFI has been through important changes in its governance such as expending community involvement through various committees, tightening our budget to remain cash positive, surveying SFD organizers and enhancing the team pack to enable teams to reuse the materials they receive, just to name a few of our efforts. It is now time to raise collaboration efficiency by getting together!

While this will be the first occurrence of a SFD Summit we are still very open on the details and expect proposals to enhance our views on the matter. Our current vision is to initially organize a great local SFD bringing in international speakers and attracting both sponsors and media attention, thus boosting the reputation and influence of the selected local organizer. Furthermore an extra day or two should be planned to work on the year ahead, programs and actions which could be run under the DFI umbrella and status updates on ongoing activities such as software development, infrastructure, marketing and fund raising campaigns.

If you are interested in hosting the upcoming SFD Summit in September 2012 please submit a formal proposal to board (at) softwarefreedomday (dot) org before July 1, 2012 Sunday UTC 2359. The proposal should address all of the relevant topics listed below:

  • Introduction of the country / city / organizer – why is this a good choice?
  • Recommended venues and logistics
  • Internet access
  • Accommodation choices
  • Local 1 day tour
  • Local community / government / industry support
  • Detail budget estimation and potential local sponsors

The event is recommended to run for at least 2 days in mid September 2012, with a combination of parallel tracks (at least 2 tracks). The planning sessions for SFD contributors should not conflict with other SFD sessions. Other key points which will be taken into account when choosing a proposal, are listed on the Requirement List page . Please check it out when putting together your proposal and feel free to contact sfd-discuss mailing list (or the board) if you have any further question. Also note that all profits from the summit will go to the DFI to further help our actions. We are looking forward to receive your proposals!

Call for hosts for GNOME.Asia Summit 2012

The GNOME.Asia Committee is inviting proposals to host GNOME.Asia Summit during the 1st quarter of 2012. GNOME.Asia Summit is the yearly GNOME Users and Developers Conference in Asia. The event focuses primarily on the GNOME desktop, and also covers applications and the development platform tools. It brings together the GNOME community in Asia to provide a forum for users, developers, foundation leaders, governments and businesses to discuss both the present technology and future developments.

GNOME.Asia Summit was held in Beijing, Ho-Chi-Minh City, Taipei and Bangalore respectively over the last four years. We would like to continue finding new locations as we spread GNOME throughout Asia, and we are looking for local organizers to rise to the challenge of organizing an excellent GNOME event. The GNOME.Asia committee will assist in the process, but there is a definitive need for individuals to be actively involved and committed to the planning and delivery of the event.

You can learn more about GNOME.Asia Summit at our official website: http://www.gnome.asia

For those of you who would like to host the next GNOME.Asia Summit in 2012 you are hereby invited to write a formal proposal to the gnome-asia-committee-list (at) gnome (dot) org . The deadline for the proposals is July 4, 2011 Monday UTC 2359. Please send your proposal to gnome-asia-committee-list (at) gnome (dot) org. We might invite you to present your proposal in more details over our regular IRC meetings, or send you additional questions and requests. Results will be announced by the end of July 2011.

The conference will require availability of facilities for one week, including a weekend, during the 1st quarter of 2012 (January to March 2012). Dates should avoid other key free software conferences or other events that may have conflict and will be confirmed together with other GNOME teams which might get involved.

Key points which proposals should consider, and which will be taken into account when deciding among candidates, are:

  • Local community support for hosting the conference.
  • Venue details. Information about infrastructure and facilities to hold the conference should be provided.
  • Information about how internet connectivity will be managed.
  • Lodging choices ranging from affordable housing to nicer hotels, and information about distances between the venue and lodging options.
  • The availability of restaurants or the organization of catering on-site, cost of food/soft drinks/beer.
  • The availability and cost of travel from major Asian and European cities.
  • Local industry and government support.
  • Please provide a reasonably detailed budget.
  • Bear in mind that at GNOME.Asia Summit, the hallway track and social activities are also very important.

Please check the GNOME.Asia Summit check list [1] and howtos [2] when putting together a proposal. Please also feel free to contact gnome-asia-committee-list (at) gnome (dot) org if you have any questions.

Please help to spread the words and we are looking forward to hearing from you soon!

GNOME.Asia Committee

[1] http://www.gnome.asia/about/gnomeasia/event-organization-checklist
[2] http://www.gnome.asia/about/gnomeasia/summit-planning-howto

GNOME.Asia Summit 2011, our biggest event ever!


After Beijing, Ho-Chi-Minh City and Taipei, the forth GNOME.Asia Summit took place in Bangalore, India on April 2nd and 3rd 2011. Organized right before GNOME 3.0 release the feedback has been overwhelming with many people telling us it was the best Free and Open Source Software conference ever in India! Having chosen a theme to echo the changes GNOME is going through “The next generation free desktop: GNOME 3.0” we were able to deliver over 40 presentations and lightning talks from 30 speakers coming as far as Canada, USA, France, Germany, Belgium,  Sweden. Of course Asian countries such as China, Taiwan, the Philippines and India were well represented too. In short the whole world came to speak about GNOME at the GNOME.Asia Summit 2011 in Bangalore and apparently really enjoyed it!

On the attendance side out of the 1,400 online registrations a thousand participants actually showed up at the conference (very consistent ratio over the years when registration is free) with a split of 80% students and 20% professionals. Of course this wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our 15 sponsors and partners (yeah!), the 30 volunteers who helped us on site and the 6 exhibitors who took the time to bring valuable activities and discussions during our breaks. A special thank you also goes to the journalists who made it to the conference and helped to cover the event.

In terms of successes it was the first time we had over 90% GNOME related talks, which is a 20% improvement over our “previous record” in Beijing 4 years ago!  We can already feel the good things coming out of this event such as several GNOME User Groups in the making all over India (Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi, etc) as of now busy with website building and members recruitment, or GNOME.Asia new popularity generating a lot requests from various Asian communities to host the next summit.

Another major achievement of the GNOME.Asia Summit 2011 was the diversity and range of activities offered together with the summit. On top of the conference,  we also hosted :

A huge thank you goes to the GNOME release, marketing & GNOME.Asia teams, our speakers, our trainers, our volunteers and our participants as well as our sponsors and partners Google, Oracle, Mozilla, Novell, Lemote, Lanedo, EDF, Candis Group, JoomlArt!, Dayananda Sagar Institutions, Intel, Airtel, Convergent, Linux Format, Linux Pilot, and The Hindu. We also would like to specially thank Bharath who worked around the clock and allowed us to put things together in Bangalore. We couldn’t have made such a wonderful event without all of you!

And now you can enjoy those great moments that made the whole event unforgettable! For those of you living in Asia it is time to subscribe to the GNOME.AsiaGNOME Bangalore or GNOME India mailing list if you have done so yet, and for everybody else time to try out GNOME 3 and visit a launch party in your area. Last but not least, see you all next year!


Bangalore Hackfest – Day 4 & 5

While we had all those GNOME people around we took the opportunity to set up some extra sessions for the “public” to benefit of the event. March 31st and April 1st saw 4 extra sessions organized with specific objectives separate from the GNOME 3.0 release: student training sessions over 2 days, one full day for a business sessions and a distribution collaboration meeting while we had some of the right people on site.

The student training was very popular, all the tickets sold out within a day and the trainers nicely extended the session by doing an extra day in order to accept more students.  In total over 250 students were trained and introduced to the Google Summer of Code program. We received a lot of positive feedback and it was nice to see that participants are all very passionate about joining the GNOME community. As usual, we collected email addresses and will make sure they can join the local GNOME User Group later! For those who may not know I will talk about Building a GNOME User Group on Sunday (hopefully my voice will return – maybe too much GNOME people baby sitting?). It is probably a good idea to come and discuss if you are interested to learn some of the tricks to establish or grow your own community.

April 1st (yesterday) was the last day before the conference, so I spent most of my time with the volunteer team to make sure everything was ready for The Day including the three tracks, the exhibition hall and a few other details.

Being part of this hackfest really made me happy and I wouldn’t have thought being around all these GNOME hackers could be such an enjoyable experience! I was also very impressed by how productive each respective team – release, marketing and GNOME.Asia – has been on its own and in their collaboration with one another. Everyone has been working really hard to ensure the success of GNOME 3.0 and of the GNOME.Asia Summit. The hard work of the past 8 months for some, and more for others, was definitely worth it! Please stay tuned as I will continue to cover the two conference days on this blog.

Lionel sharing his experience of GSoC after a hand-on session given by Akhil about bug squading.
Josselin giving a speech about science computing with Free Software.
Distribution collaboration meet up in progress.