Gearing up for openSUSE Summit

Article Source Dissociated Press
April 17, 2009, 2:38 pm

Some aspects of planning an event — picking the date, the venue, figuring out the budget — tend to be a bit tedious, but other parts are downright fun. Planning for the openSUSE Summit is getting fun, now. We just opened up the Call for Participation this week and we’re looking for some good proposals for summit.

The openSUSE Summit will take place in Nuremberg, Germany from September 17 through 21, and admission will be free of charge.

The summit isn’t all about prepared talks and presentations, though. A huge chunk of the conference will be working sessions, hackfests, and more spontaneous sessions put together on the ground by the attendees.

It’s also not strictly limited to members of the openSUSE community. We’d welcome participation from upstream projects and contributors. Since openSUSE is composed of many different upstream projects, it makes a lot of sense to have representatives of those projects join in to help shape the project.

Summit Tracks

We’re going to focus on five tracks for the summit:

  • Community: This includes translations, wiki work, marketing, forums, documentation, and governance.
  • Desktop: Topics related to the openSUSE desktop, including KDE, GNOME, Xfce, and applications.
  • Server: Use of openSUSE on the server or development of server applications.
  • Toolchain and System: The kernel, YaST, packaging, and openSUSE Build Service.And last but not least:
  • Open Day: Saturday will include a track for openSUSE users and people new to Linux.

One of the key questions we’re asking when looking at these proposals is “what will attendees get out of being in this session?” Everything should be usable and actionable. We’re also going to try to get everything on video so that those who can’t attend the summit will have a chance to benefit from it later on.

Do’s and Don’ts

A couple of things we’re keeping in mind while planning the summit:

  • This is the only chance many openSUSE contributors have to see each other face to face. Work time is crucial, but we‚Äôll have plenty of slack / social time built in for people to get to know one another.
  • A strong network connection is a must.
  • Everyone participates. We‚Äôre not looking for passive attendees, we want people to be engaged and the summit program will reflect that.
  • Presentations need to be relevant, timely, and short.
  • The hallway track is just as important as the planned tracks.
  • Give speakers guidance. Before the summit, we‚Äôll be getting in touch with speakers and providing some advice on how to make the presentations rock.
  • Give attendees guidance. We‚Äôll also make sure attendees have all the information they need to get the most out of the summit.

And, since this is openSUSE, of course the final do is “have a lot of fun.”