FOSDEM '10 is a free and non-commercial event organized by the community, for the community. Its goal is to provide Free and Open Source developers a place to meet. No registration necessary.


Distribution Miniconf

The next installment of FOSDEM is 6 + 7 February 2010, and it's also our 10th edition.

As such, we've been reflecting on the evolution of the event (in the sense that our mission and what it has become is rather a platform for FOSS projects, much more than just a conference, or at least that's what we'd like FOSDEM to become), and we are introducing a change regarding Developer Rooms for distribution projects.

We are going to push the envelope of our mission even further by organizing something along the lines of a "distribution summit" during FOSDEM 2010.

The idea is that rather than having several distributions with their own respective and individual Developer Room, we will host mixed conference rooms where talks and sessions will be organized by topic, with contributors from all distributions attending and participating.

Incidentally, we had that idea long before we heard of the "distrosummit" that will be held at, a few weeks before FOSDEM but hey, that's in Australia, and FOSDEM is in Europe ;).

The reasoning behind it is manifold:

  • most distributions have their own events nowadays (FUDcon, debconf, openSUSE conf, EuroBSDCon, etc...), which are already used for topics and matters that are specific to each of them
  • FOSDEM is an almost unique occasion to meet and exchange with contributors of many major FOSS projects, given the large amount of visitors (~5000) and projects present during the weekend — we believe that not taking profit of that constellation is a bad use of the tool that is FOSDEM
  • the number of distributions requesting Developer Rooms at FOSDEM is very likely to rise in the future

To dive into a little more detail:

  • 2 (large) rooms will be allocated for that "distro summit"
  • sessions will be scheduled by topic (see below)
  • every project is welcome to join in :)

Note that stands are not affected in any way and will be handled as previous editions (i.e. send us a request).

Topics are something I need your feedback and ideas on: whatever you think is appropriate as a topic that is recurring issue for distributions (governance, feature tracking, trust mechanisms, ambassadors, ...), or something where you would like to present your solutions for specific tasks to other distributions (e.g. package building, translations, bug tracking, community infrastructure, ...), especially if you're interested in feedback, ideas and collaboration from and with other projects... we'd love to hear about it :).

Here are a few proposals:


  • present different toolsets for handling the burden of packaging a distribution as well as additional repositories (e.g. openSUSE Build Service)
  • have a few packaging subsystem sessions, where the current state of RPM/yum/zypp/..., dpkg/apt, emerge, ports, etc... are presented, as well as their respective roadmaps for the future
  • discuss about extending repository metadata formats (such as RPM-MD)


  • how to handle collaborative translations ? (e.g. transifex)
  • localization of distribution documentation, project wikis, etc...
  • how to coordinate best with upstream ?

Community Infrastructure

  • FedoraCommunity, opensourced LaunchPad, Bugzilla extensions, etc...

Test and QA


  • boards, elections, technical control of the distribution, ...
  • ambassador programs, LoCo teams, etc...
  • legal issues

Working with upstream

  • have a few sessions with major upstream projects present at FOSDEM (such as Mozilla, GNOME, KDE, ...) on how to improve/optimize collaboration between downstream (distributions) and upstream (developers), e.g. for patches
  • Unless somebody has some time to spare and steps up, which would be more than welcome, we will take care of handling the coordination of the session proposals, as well as the schedule.

    If you're interested in participating, subscribe directly to the mailing-list we've created for that purpose. We will be able to discuss details, ideas, as well as the schedule there.