Report from FOSDEM 2010

Last weekend I was at FOSDEM (the Free and Open Source Developers European Meeting) in Brussels, Belgium and it was a great experience. The thing that hit me as soon as I got there was the energy. That, and the scent of French fries, better known locally as frites.

The conference was huge, with over 300 talks on the 6th and 7th of February. It was set at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (or ULB for short) and entrance was free.

Packed houseThe conference was organised around tracks for different projects or areas of technology. The two big desktop environments — Gnome and KDE each had their own track. There were also tracks on XMPP, Databases, ODF & Openoffice, Java, JavaScript, Drupal, and so much more that it was impossible to pick a set of talks to attend.

My talk on YUI-Flot was part of the JavaScript track along with Dylan Schiemann's talk on Dojo and Christoph Pojer's talk on Mootools. These were hard acts to follow and I hope I did justice to the chance. My talk also ran in parallel with Andy Tanenbaum's talk on Minix, which was one that I really wanted to attend.

Wim Leers had a good talk on Episodes in Drupal and the CDN integration module. It's good to see performance work going directly into frameworks where they can have the most impact. The talks on Jingle were also very interesting for voice and video-conferencing applications.

The closing keynote talk by long time Linux kernel hacker Greg Kroah-Hartman was an excellent ending to a great conference. Greg demonstrated in an interactive session how easy it is to get a patch accepted into the Linux kernel — a task that until then seemed very intimidating.

On the whole, this was a great conference. The talks were excellent, the audience knowledgeable and curious, and there was so much bandwidth available that the organisers put up posters asking people to "Please use more bandwidth." If you missed it, some of the videos are already online. Last, but not the least, were the two fast-food vans parked between the two buildings that talks were in, selling kababs and frites.

Until next time, Tot ziens.

Philip Tellis
doing performance stuff at Yahoo!

Line for frites

Photos by bluesmoon.