The week-long Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) meets every six months at changing locations to discuss what will be in the next release of Ubuntu. The mostly unpublicized FOSScamp always meets the weekend before. The FOSScamp un-conference has no program, no invited speakers, and costs nothing. Like some sort of geek Woodstock but smaller, the Ubuntu hip just show up.
On Friday morning, December 5, participants started arriving at the ost recent FOSScamp, held at the Google campus in Mountain View. The large whiteboard in the lobby advertising conference sessions was completely blank. Anyone can pick up a marker and schedule a presentation in one of the five conference rooms. The speakers are self-selected and self-proclaimed.
As a hundred scruffy hacker guys with backpacks mixed with jeans-wearing corporate types in the lobby, the whiteboard began to fill in with sessions such as Linux Audio, Easy LDAP Mgmt, Bug Triage in KDE, OpenID, Bootable USB Keys, Bzr/Loggerhead, Handheld Use Cases, encryptfs, Visualizing Digital Media Collections, OSS Writing, and many more. An un-conference like FOSScamp includes surprising open source topics you may not find at a chaired conference. And not every available slot gets filled with a topic. A hot topic may not have much scheduled against it, as speakers are also attendees and don't want to miss it.
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