Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Bergen Gathering

Imagine a world where IBM is bragging about using $ 100 mill on building Open Source innovation labs in China and Brazil, where those two states have large development programs for rolling out Linux in their state administarations, and where HP is providing complete Open Source systems, where the same firm they develop all their printers in labs only running Linux machines, thus also unofficially supporting the Linux world with top quality drivers for all their printers. But HP does not ship these drivers with the printers (and with official support). They feed them to the distributors, such as SUSE, who then feed them to the end users, free of charge and with no warranty. But it might be that HP is writing their printers drivers for Unix before porting them to Windows and Mac. Isn't that strange? Well, anyway, and to me even mor fantastic: In this environment of coming Big Business, Open Source / Free Software is still also made by enthusisats. A couple of week ago, I slept on the floor in a classroom, thogether with about 20 "hackers", one week end in Bergen, at St. Paul school. People live cheap, travel cheap and eat cheap, in order to afford the gathering of as many people as possible. They hack, translate and talk about free software for a week-end, all for free, and to the benefit for the many schools (including St. Paul) that have installed "SkoleLinux" or similar Linux systems on their computers. Are you worried about the health of political engagement? Your worry should not be general. In a place like the free software there are plenty of engagement -- it is just a bit difficult to see it as it escapes classical definitions of politics. The size of open source / free software is vast. The impurity in terms of actors, intersets, projects and political commitments is equally facsinating. Above, there is an image to capture some of that size and impurity. The selection of actors represented here is arbitrary and makes up just a tiny fraction of a much bigger collage. And here is a bigger one: Collage (big) To give you an idea of the content og the gathering, here is a comment to the event, made by Frode Jemtland at the list debian-edu@lists.debian.org:
Hi all, and thank you, to everyone who attended the develper gathering in Bergen.

And a special thanks to St. Paul's catholic school. The schools location, in the city center was a great time saver... And also the accommodation at the school made the developers time for travel, to and from, non existent. :)

The school created user accounts for our translators on their production machine, so it took the translators minutes to get up and running. The network was a standard skolelinux net, and ssh, ftp, irc ++ and other protocoles we needed was up from the first minute.

So on behalf of skolelinux/debian-edu comunity, thank you St. Paul's catholic school, this was a very effective gatherings, with great accommodations  :)

(Even thou we had a lot of meetings that, in them self was very interesting, but they stole precious development time. But more about that in another mail. :) )
Next event, to me, is the much bigger "gathering", or conference, DebConf05. See you in Hel...

1 comment:

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