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Old 07-26-2012, 04:43 PM
Jon Stanley
 
Default Thoughts on the future of FUDCon/DoCon

Apologies in advance for the long mail, but having read
http://wordshack.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/the-future-of-fudcons/ (and
now the comments associated with it), I've got some feedback, and
wanted to get more visibility on-list vs. in a blog post. I wrote most
of this before I had the opportunity to review the feedback on the
post itself, but I think that it is still quite relevant (and a few of
my points haven't yet been brought up):

* Overall, the idea is sound, and basically says what we've known (at
least in NA) for awhile - this is contributor focused event. I
actually think that this is a Good Thing(TM) to keep on track. (I'll
add here that I have never been to a FUDCon outside of North America.
From reviewing the comments on the blog post, it appears that the
perception/actuality of the event may be different in other regions,
and I'm very interested in hearing that).

* Organizing a FUDCon as it exists today is a *ton* of work. When you
multiply the event by 4 (or more) then it becomes very unwieldy for a
person to manage, which may negate the idea of "whoever's passionate
about this organizes it" and turn it into a full-time job.

* I think that the openness of the current format is something that we
want to preserve. I don't want to turn it into a "invite-only" event
(ala UDS). If people want to show up, we should foster new
contributors at this event. But we should make it *extremely clear*
that is the purpose.

* There may be people that (for whatever reason) don't want to or
can't travel out-of-region. Just something to think about. Again,
reading the comments on the blog post got me thinking that proximity
to the majority of the people that are actually doing things would be
important - it's a quite different thing for me to head up to, say
Boston from NYC, than it is for me to go to London for something.

Last time we made a major change in the FUDCon structure, we had a FAD
in RDU to come up with the format - I think that's warranted if it's
decided that we actually want to do something like this (though I'd
prefer not to repeat the Raleigh experience - it was done in January
and they got like 3 inches of snow and the whole place just shut down
for some reason! This is *not* a big deal, guys! ).

Lastly, I think that we do want to preserve events for users. I'm not
sure how to do this off the top of my head, though. Just throwing an
idea out on the table would be to have something sort of like a FAD in
conjunction with major OSS conferences (thinking things like SCaLE and
OLF in NA, LinuxTag in EMEA, etc) that wouldn't need a ton of
contributors present, so it'd be cheap to do. I think that showing off
what (and who!) Fedora is makes a lot of sense.
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:46 PM
Kévin Raymond
 
Default Thoughts on the future of FUDCon/DoCon

Replying here is easier (don't have wordpress login).

Yes, keeping Users event is good, but that's one of the Ambassador role.
IMHO we could not have an efficient event for Contributors AND Users.
We have ambassadors who are dealing with users, that's enough. But
contributors events should always stay open to users.

One yearly event is a really nice idea. We always work with world wide
contributors and can only meet few. So sad to not be able to join all
FUDCons, having only one make it easier and more efficent.

Some regions are so wide that it is as hard to join the FUDCon as to
travel around the world.
See about EMEA going from Africa to Russia…


Yes, we spend so much time organizing FUDCons, and discovering how to do it…
Having only one big, yeah, *BIG* event let us really focus on the
schedule, with people gathering experience about this event
organization. Only one subject let us define one process for one
event. That would be "DoCon"-(meeting|trac
tickets|schedule|website|mailing list|.*) and not one tool for each
regions. We would get more free time.

--
Kévin Raymond
(shaiton)
GPG-Key: A5BCB3A2
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Old 07-27-2012, 06:19 PM
"Eric "Sparks" Christensen"
 
Default Thoughts on the future of FUDCon/DoCon

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On 07/26/2012 12:43 PM, Jon Stanley wrote:
> * I think that the openness of the current format is something that
> we want to preserve. I don't want to turn it into a "invite-only"
> event (ala UDS). If people want to show up, we should foster new
> contributors at this event. But we should make it *extremely
> clear* that is the purpose.

Definitely agree here. We should want people to come join us and work
with us. New faces are always great and at the same time we need the
old faces as well to help mentor the new faces.

> * There may be people that (for whatever reason) don't want to or
> can't travel out-of-region. Just something to think about. Again,
> reading the comments on the blog post got me thinking that
> proximity to the majority of the people that are actually doing
> things would be important - it's a quite different thing for me to
> head up to, say Boston from NYC, than it is for me to go to London
> for something.

This is one of the big turn-offs to this idea, to me. Travel isn't easy
or fun (for some (most?) of us). Sitting on an airplane for hours is
not even in my top 1000 list of things to do. I suspect that many
people won't make the journey, if not because of comfort then because of
time constraints, etc. We'll end up with an event that is attended by
mainly the locals and we would have not achieved the goal of a global
event.

> Lastly, I think that we do want to preserve events for users. I'm
> not sure how to do this off the top of my head, though. Just
> throwing an idea out on the table would be to have something sort
> of like a FAD in conjunction with major OSS conferences (thinking
> things like SCaLE and OLF in NA, LinuxTag in EMEA, etc) that
> wouldn't need a ton of contributors present, so it'd be cheap to
> do. I think that showing off what (and who!) Fedora is makes a lot
> of sense.

So maybe we're just not defining things correctly. IMO, the mission of
the FUDCon is to not only bring contributors together but also users.
And hopefully we'll turn users into contributors along the way. We're
not going to be able to truck users in from around the globe. Clearly
we need to keep a user event local to a region.

And we already have DoCons now only we call them FADs. Up until now,
I believe the understanding of a FAD was that it is a small event; why
should it be? Why can't we set aside funds to bring teams/projects
together to work once a year? I think the effect would be the same as
what's being proposed while at the same time we can attempt to have a
greater user focus at the FUDCons as I'm assuming they were meant to be.

Just a thought...

- -Eric
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Old 07-27-2012, 06:49 PM
Robyn Bergeron
 
Default Thoughts on the future of FUDCon/DoCon

On 07/27/2012 10:46 AM, Kévin Raymond
wrote:



Replying here is easier (don't have wordpress login).

Yes, keeping Users event is good, but that's one of the Ambassador role.
IMHO we could not have an efficient event for Contributors AND Users.
We have ambassadors who are dealing with users, that's enough. But
contributors events should always stay open to users.

One yearly event is a really nice idea. We always work with world wide
contributors and can only meet few. So sad to not be able to join all
FUDCons, having only one make it easier and more efficent.

Some regions are so wide that it is as hard to join the FUDCon as to
travel around the world.
See about EMEA going from Africa to Russia…


Yes, we spend so much time organizing FUDCons, and discovering how to do it…
Having only one big, yeah, *BIG* event let us really focus on the
schedule, with people gathering experience about this event
organization. Only one subject let us define one process for one
event. That would be "DoCon"-(meeting|trac
tickets|schedule|website|mailing list|.*) and not one tool for each
regions. We would get more free time.



Context for those who didn't see blog post:




http://wordshack.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/the-future-of-fudcons/



So a few comments:



* Much of this was around the idea of gathering people together at a
time where we can actually *plan.* Seriously plan, and have the
ability to participate in multiple sessions of planning - many folks
participate in multiple groups.



* Nothing about this excludes users who want to participate, nor
would it be an invite-only event.



* Nothing about this excludes:

** The ability to have regional events - whether they are
"User-focused" events, where we can get a few folks together with a
schedule/plan, appropriate speakers, in a location where we think we
can draw a good number of users/enthusiasts - or events like FADs
where we gather people together to *actually execute on a task* -
whether that is a regional ambassador FAD, or otherwise (we already
do this today in some regions).

** Having said event 2x a year, perhaps with different groups/teams
attending one event or the other, but still tied to
shortly-after-release-while-you-can-plan-ahead.

** Doing it somewhere not north america.

** Rotating the event around to a different global location each
year.



I think a lot of people - those who were not enthusiastic, I'll put
it that way - got confused by the names of events, etc.,or felt that
this was somehow diminishing the things that happen in their region
of the world. I absolutely don't want to abandon doing outreach to
users and having events in any region of the world and contributors
being able to gather in other areas of the world.



What this is about is providing a forum where people can gather
together to plan, at an appropriate time, with their team, which is
nearly always globally distributed.



More than anything else, and as I pointed out in my post: I think
that we are capable of great things, as a project.* We have
incredibly smart, creative contributors. But I think that a lot of
the time we are just looking at a list of tasks and going through
them, and never saying to ourselves - where do we want to be in 6
months, how can we improve this piece of the project that we work
on, the things we do as a team?



I would like to see people dream big, and be able to do it in a
forum where those ideas can be exchanged and sorted through rapidly,
and where the impact on other groups can be measured / assessed/
receive feedback.



But that's just my thoughts.* There's nothing saying we can't
continue as we are, and nothing saying we can't have FADs around
specific plans right now.







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Old 07-27-2012, 06:55 PM
David Nalley
 
Default Thoughts on the future of FUDCon/DoCon

> * Much of this was around the idea of gathering people together at a time
> where we can actually *plan.* Seriously plan, and have the ability to
> participate in multiple sessions of planning - many folks participate in
> multiple groups.

In my mind this is the difference, and where the value is in this
proposal. FUDcons are no longer really the place people plan for the
future of Fedora. There's onsite hacking, showing off what has been
done, etc, but precious little planning for the next release or two.

So how is that different from a FAD? In many way it isn't - but
hopefully DOcon would be a bit more a holistic in its planning view,
rather than $small_sig gets together and decides what they are going
to work and proceeds in isolation towards that goal.

--David
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Old 07-27-2012, 07:31 PM
Robyn Bergeron
 
Default Thoughts on the future of FUDCon/DoCon

On 07/27/2012 11:19 AM, Eric "Sparks" Christensen wrote:

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On 07/26/2012 12:43 PM, Jon Stanley wrote:

* I think that the openness of the current format is something that
we want to preserve. I don't want to turn it into a "invite-only"
event (ala UDS). If people want to show up, we should foster new
contributors at this event. But we should make it *extremely
clear* that is the purpose.

Definitely agree here. We should want people to come join us and work
with us. New faces are always great and at the same time we need the
old faces as well to help mentor the new faces.


* There may be people that (for whatever reason) don't want to or
can't travel out-of-region. Just something to think about. Again,
reading the comments on the blog post got me thinking that
proximity to the majority of the people that are actually doing
things would be important - it's a quite different thing for me to
head up to, say Boston from NYC, than it is for me to go to London
for something.

This is one of the big turn-offs to this idea, to me. Travel isn't easy
or fun (for some (most?) of us). Sitting on an airplane for hours is
not even in my top 1000 list of things to do. I suspect that many
people won't make the journey, if not because of comfort then because of
time constraints, etc. We'll end up with an event that is attended by
mainly the locals and we would have not achieved the goal of a global
event.


Lastly, I think that we do want to preserve events for users. I'm
not sure how to do this off the top of my head, though. Just
throwing an idea out on the table would be to have something sort
of like a FAD in conjunction with major OSS conferences (thinking
things like SCaLE and OLF in NA, LinuxTag in EMEA, etc) that
wouldn't need a ton of contributors present, so it'd be cheap to
do. I think that showing off what (and who!) Fedora is makes a lot
of sense.

So a few bits of historical stuff:
* FADs aren't user days. IMO: I think we could actually use a term to
describe a user-focused-day event. FADs should be accomplishing a task
that needs doing, or at least, that was the intended purpose for that
type of event. (I repeat tihs a bit below again.)
* When we have had regular FADs, or even FUDCons, alongside those types
of events ... it has the effect of people from the FAD or FUDCon wanting
to do the other thing going on. Which means people popping in and out,
distractions, etc. I think doing a user-focused thing at those events
makes sense, even if it's a full-day, figure out how to get a
sponsored-room type thing - people can dedicate specific time slot swhen
they're not planning on doing other things, etc.

So maybe we're just not defining things correctly. IMO, the mission of
the FUDCon is to not only bring contributors together but also users.
And hopefully we'll turn users into contributors along the way. We're
not going to be able to truck users in from around the globe. Clearly
we need to keep a user event local to a region.
Yes, but at some point, people can either (a) focus on a session with
users, or (b) be in sessions with their teammates / projects they
participate in.


That's not to say that "comingling contributors and users is a bad idea"
- I think quite the opposite, but I think that if people are using their
time to show up at an event of any sort, that they should have the time
to dedicate so that they can get the most value out of their time spent
there.


I would almost take it a step further and say: Maybe we're just not
thinking outside the box enough. We don't need to be attached to any of
these names - people have certain things they think about what a FUDCon
should be, and then think we have to live up to that, no matter what.


I also tihnk that the word "users" is really perceived differently by a
lot of people. When I think of "Fedora Users and Developers" - I think
of "people who are already using Fedora" as users who probably can fit
into and understand a lot of what is going on at a
barcamp-style-conference-focused-on-Fedora, whereas I think "prospective
users and people new to linux altogether" probably show up and wonder
what the heck is going on. But FUDCons are executed diffferently in
other areas of the world, also.




And we already have DoCons now only we call them FADs. Up until now,
I believe the understanding of a FAD was that it is a small event; why
should it be? Why can't we set aside funds to bring teams/projects
together to work once a year? I think the effect would be the same as
what's being proposed while at the same time we can attempt to have a
greater user focus at the FUDCons as I'm assuming they were meant to be.
I don't know that that was the original purpose of a FUDCon. From the
comments/mails I received from the "wayyyy back in the day" crowd () -
there was a more significant focus on "here's what we are going to do
for the next 6 months, and users are welcome to come, but we're here to
get stuff done."


Yes, a FAD is a small event. FADs were also meant to "get stuff done
with my team, usually a specific task/accomplishment." We now also see
FADs everywhere which are more like local user events, which wasn't the
intended purpose, as i understand things.


But I tihnk that what you're pointing out with FADs doesn't necessarily
solve any of the other logistical problems pointed out; we have globally
distributed teams, and people will have to travel. If you're involved
with more than one team, that could potentially be more than one FAD; if
we have FADs and FUDCons, people often have to choose between one and
the other, because while we can sponsor people to some degree, we can't
sponsor them with extra days off work, days out of school, etc.


In any case: I think there are a lot of good ideas and points here, and
I'm sure more will come in




Just a thought...

- -Eric
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