Fosdem 2002 Report

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The Freehackers team is glad to provide you with the report of its FOSDEM trip.

Last year, we were at the OSDEM 2001. This was the first attempt of Raphael Bauduin to organise a developer meeting and it was a great success. We have attended presentations of very interesting projects, discussed with developers, etc. From KDE, there was only David Faure, Thomas and me. A bit disappointing, because more people certainly could have come. But it was still a very enjoyable experience.

This year, we knew the event was going to be better. Raph had more time to prepare it, the organisation team was bigger, the place was bigger and all the people of the last year would certainly come back. To have more KDE developers, I asked a room for us and other projects did the same (Gnome, GnuStep, Mozilla).

We wanted to share our experience and bring something back for others. Thomas took his camera and we decided that we would do some interviews of whoever would happen to be there.

KOffice, Raphael and RMS were planned. I had planned to interview some Gnome hackers, too, and probably some random developers. It turned out that RMS was difficult to find and that we were too busy to interview the KOffice team, while Raphael was easy to catch. And we got to make a surprise interview: Guido van Rossum, the Python author. He was there to receive the Free Software award. For someone like me who loves Python, this was great. We have also managed to do the KOffice interview later on IRC. It was somehow better because we could have some comments from the author of the MsWord filters for KOffice. And even though we did not interview RMS, he made a comment encouraging more cooperation between KDE and Gnome, now that "the war is over". This is an appreciated move.

Something horrible happened to two other interviews we had. I didn't know the microphone must be placed very close to the person speaking. Because of this, the interview of Michael Meeks (the Gnome guy) and Rob Kaper (a KDE developer) were lost. This is a pity, especially for Michael Meeks because the interview was thirty minutes long and very interesting.

We had great time, have been discussing a lot with KDE developers and even had a drink with some Gnome hackers. I had a look at GnuStep while Miguel clarified his aims for and thoughts about Mono in his talk. I discussed the eternal merits of C++ vs. C with macros a few times and we took some good photos

We have been working hard to provide you with these interviews, so we hope you'll enjoy them! Guido's interview is twenty minutes long, Raphael's interview ten minutes long. To give you and idea, it takes roughly one hour to transcript five minutes of interview. This doesn't include conversion from spoken english into written english, translation (Raphael's interview was done in french), html-isation. For the KOffice interview, I had to reassemble the IRC discussion into something consistent, which is not a simple task. Anyway, here you are:

Once again, the FOSDEM was a fantastic experience. I can assure you that we will attend it every year. We would like to give special thanks our host who provided us a place to sleep. His name shall remain secret because we want to sleep there next year, too :-)

by Bluebird and Orzel

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