FOSDEM 2013

Brussels was, like every year in the first days of February, the center of the European and even galaxy-wide free and open-source world. Around 5000 geeks met this weekend at the FOSDEM conference to meet and greet, to key sign, to tinker, to hack, to exchange and to listen to the 486 lectures happening in the 25 huge, big and small auditoriums.

Part of the FOSDEM 2013 Schedule (Source fordem.org) Click to see more...
Part of the FOSDEM 2013 Schedule (Source fordem.org) Click to see more…

A look at the schedule gives an idea of what huge diversity of domains and what giant amount of knowledge was concentrated in Brussels during these days. F/OSS Technology pure!

Just to tease you, here the list of dev rooms, each running conferences during two days: Keynotes, Lightning talks, Certification, Operating systems, Open source challenges, Security, Beyond operating systems, Web development, Miscellaneous, Robotics, Ada, BSD, Cross desktop, Free Java, Cross distro, Embedded and mobile, Legal issues, Mozilla, Apache OpenOffice, Community Development and Marketing, FOSS for Scientists, Graph Processing, Jabber, Microkernels and Component-based OS, PHP and Friends, Testing and Automation, Wine Project, Virtualisation, X.Org, Cloud, Configuration Systems Management, LibreOffice, MySQL and Friends, NoSQL, Open Source Game Development, PostgreSQL, Python, Smalltalk, Telephony and Perl.

This year was, in opposition to last year where Brussels was quite snowy, rather cold and served us a mix of dry and rainy weather – but again, this was no reason for the geek crowd to not pass the entire weekend on the campus of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), like every year friendly host of the world biggest FOSS conference.

To me personally, the conference felt less crowded, in my opinion due to a better distribution of stands and attracting-to-niche talks ratio. Some new auditoriums have been added as well.

Another surprise was the amount of women at the conference. I would estimate a quota of 10% to 15% of female participation. For European conditions an amazingly good ratio! Well done ladies!

The Free Java dev room at FOSDEM is since many years the biggest OpenJDK meet-up around.You can not only see, but really high-five celebrities like – this year – Mark Reinhold, Chief Architect of the Java Platform Group at Oracle, Sean Coffey, Oracle JDK engineer and maintainer of OpenJDK 7u, Steve Poole, developer and evangelist working since ever  for IBM on the JVM, Simon Phipps, Andrew Haley, Charles Nutter, JRuby lead developer speaking about InvikeDynamic, Paul Sandoz, Ben Evans and Martijn Verburg, LJC and Adopt-A-OpenJDK/JSR evangelists, Heather Van Cura from the JCP program office, Dalibor Topic, Java strategy team at Oracle and OpenJDK manager, Doug Lea per video conference, Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, and many more…

The ignition of the Free Java marathon was made by Mark Reinhold, speaking about the state of the OpenJDK, which is actually the Java 7 reference implementation and providing 99% of the code for the “official” Oracle JDK.

Mark Reinhold giving the State of the OpenJDK
Mark Reinhold giving the State of the OpenJDK

The day continued with a lot of interesting talks and the sessions were closed by an OpenJDK Governing Board Q & A, with Dr Doug Lea as guest hooked in per video confcall. The first day was concluded at the Free Java speakers et al LibreDinner, sponsored by Oracle, iText and JFree! Thank you!

OpenJDK Governing Board Q & A Session
OpenJDK Governing Board Q & A Session (Mike Milinkovich, Georges Saab, Mark Reinhold, Andrew Haley)

With subjects like InvokeDynamic, Lambdas, Adopt an OpenJDK and the JCP, the second day was as interesting as the first and passed again very quickly.

A huge thank you to the team of the Free Java room – Mario Torre, Martijn Verburg, Tom Marble and the rest of the squad!

The Free Java dev room LibreDinner
The Free Java dev room LibreDinner

The Free Java room, was of course, just a very small part of the conference and I’m sure there will be hundreds of blogs and photo pages published about all the other activities very soon. To conclude my write-up, just check the impressions that I post hereunder.

Hope to see you at FOSDEM 2014!

The Lightning Talk Rooms was always crowed...
The Lightning Talk Rooms was always crowded…
FOSDEM is not only about software. A lot of hardware hacking is going on as well...
FOSDEM is not only about software. A lot of hardware hacking is going on as well…
The O'Reilly's - main sponsor - book corner...
The O’Reilly’s – main sponsor – book corner…
The Eclipse Foundation is not only the EDI and Java projects. Hardware interfacing technologies are also part of their agenda. Here the M2M (Machine to Machine) protocol project (m2m.eclipse.org).
The Eclipse Foundation is not only the IDE and various Java projects. Hardware interfacing technologies are also part of their agenda. Here the M2M (Machine to Machine) protocol project (m2m.eclipse.org).
One of the bigger Auditoriums...
One of the bigger Auditoriums…
One of the small hacker rooms...
One of the small hacker rooms…
Crowded corridors... usual at FOSDEM :)
Full house in all corridors… usual at FOSDEM :)
Classic meet-up place... the Belgian embassy :)
Classic meet-up place… the Belgian embassy :)
NAO was visiting FOSDEM as well!
NAO was visiting FOSDEM as well!

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