Conferences and conferences

In case you haven't heard, we announced yesterday the first Qt Contributors Summit, to be held in Berlin, on June 16 to 18. This summit is a brainchild of mine, which I've been pushing for a year, more or less.

One of the perks of my job is to talk to people and present Qt, latest and greatest, as well as my currently favourite subject, the Qt Open Governance. So I get to go to several conferences a year to do just that and also learn what people want from us in Qt. For the months of February and March, I have been quite quiet here in our little Nordic corner (Norway and Finland), working on getting Open Governance accelerated and implemented, but starting in April I'll be back on the road:

Camp KDE and the Linux Collaboration Summit

Yes, I'm going to Camp KDE!

[I'm going to Camp KDE 2011]

The North American yearly KDE conference will be this year co-located with the Linux Collaboration Summit, in San Francisco, in the same venue. Camp KDE will be on April 4 and 5, while LCS will be the other three days of the week (April 6 to 8). I have submitted a session proposal for speaking about the Qt Open Governance, how it can help KDE, and how its processes and tools could be applied to KDE as well. I got my confirmation that I was accepted two weeks ago and my manager confirmed my travels last week, so I'll be there talking about my currently favourite subject and taking any feedback people might have.

I'll also attend the LCS, where I expect to devote my attention mostly to the MeeGo Workgroup and BoFs, but I'll try to find other interesting topics as well as have the opportunity to discuss, well, collaboration.

This will be my first time attending either conference, so I don't know much what to expect. I've heard from people who've attended them that they are great events, with lots of opportunity for discussion. In fact, in the last Akademy, in Tampere last year, I spent most of my time outside the sessions, just talking to people. And in the MeeGo Conference in Dublin, I spent my time mostly just connecting people (hey, we should use that for a slogan...). No, really, every time I talked to someone, I found out they needed to talk to someone else I knew, so I spent my time remembering who needed to talk to whom and where to find them.

MeeGo Conference San Francisco 2011

And talking about the MeeGo Conference, we have a new one coming up in two months: the MeeGo Conference San Francisco 2011, on May 23 to 25, in the downtown Hyatt Regency. I'll definitely be there, as I'm technically part of the organising team. I've been working with Dirk Hohndel and Carsten Munk on the program committee, for selecting the talks we want to be in the conference.

The Call for Proposals is still open (click here to add a session) and we are looking for submissions on a wide variety of subjects relating to MeeGo. We want really to know what you've been working on and what you're planning to work on. And if you have subjects you'd like to see presented, sessions you'd want to attend, but you can't present yourself, be sure to add them to the wiki. If you don't know what you could present, do go to the wiki to see what people want.

You can also submit proposals for BoF sessions via the same system. Be sure to include clearly that you intend this to be a BoF -- that is, a discussion group, such as a roundtable -- as opposed to a directed presentation (one speaker, many listeners). We'll accommodate the BoF sessions differently in SF than we did in Dublin, trying to give more opportunity for interaction with the session leader and other participants.

A word of advice: when making the abstract and summary, please be precise and try to remember that Carsten, Dirk and I are very busy, so help us out. I often also apply the rule that "if you didn't take the time to write a good submission, I won't take the time to read it either".

We'll also have information soon on submission of lightning talks, which were quite popular in Dublin.

The first Qt Contributors Summit

Like I said in the introduction, this is a brainchild of mine, which my friends and colleagues at the Qt Marketing team have taken up and started to make it a reality. I don't remember now when I first thought of this, but I'm sure that I started pushing for it when I attended my first Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) last May. It was quite weird for me, as I had been wholly unprepared to the format. I expected an Akademy-like environment with some directed sessions followed by days of BoFs and hacking. Instead, I found an environment of collaboration from day one, without "powerpoint presentations" and with goals.

After that, I came back to Oslo telling everyone that we needed something similar for Qt. It was more or less at the same time as we started thinking of the Qt Open Governance project, so it seemed to fit. During one workshop between the Qt team and the MeeGo Computers' Harmattan team late last year, I got the OK from our management that this was something we really wanted to do.

The format of the conference will be a big unconference, in the style of a barcamp: that is, we'll be mostly scheduling sessions in situ, according to what the attendees what to discuss and see discussed. We will schedule several topics before the event, both as a way to "whet your appetite" and for some folks to get appropriate travel approvals from their management. But I want to leave the majority of the second and third days open for scheduling of new sessions.

The stated goal of this summit is to come up together with the next Qt versions, deciding together how to approach the problems we are and will be facing, how and who will take up certain tasks, etc. In the context of Open Governance (which we must have advanced far enough by the event), we also want to interact directly with the contributors who will be doing work inside Qt and figure out together how this will work for everyone.

Let me quickly address the naming: Qt Contributors Summit. Each word is important there. This is an event to discuss Qt in the broader sense, including the Qt-related projects and ecosystem (Qt Creator, Qt Mobility, Qt WebKit, Qt Quick, the Qt SDK, etc.). It's an event for Qt contributors, meaning we want to see people there who have activities related to improving Qt and making it better. In other words, it's not a user event (where "user" means developers who use Qt but do not develop it). A good rule of thumb is whether you've got the Qt source code in your hard disk compiled in debug mode. You can come and say "I fight for the User!", but we want to see you actually do the fighting :-)

Finally, we're calling this a Summit, in the sense that the Linux Foundation usually applies: it's an invitation-only event. It's not that we want to be elitist, quite to the contrary: we do want the most people who can make a difference. But we want to limit the number of people to make sure we have effective communication.

The Desktop Summit 2011

Finally, as if you didn't need more reasons to come to Berlin, this year we'll have the second Desktop Summit from August 8 to 11, where KDE and GNOME communities will meet and invite other desktop activities to join in the discussion about the future of the free desktop.

The Call for Participation for the event is also still open, closing next Friday, March 25th. To submit a session, click here. We're interested in any topics relating to KDE, GNOME or the free desktop world, as well as related technologies. I'm also part of this program committee and I'm looking forward to your submission.

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