I’m not going to FOSDEM 2009

FOSDEM is a place where “free and open source software” really means “open source software” and “the “F” in FOSDEM is a token gesture to the free software movement” if you believe FOSDEM organiser Philip Paeps. If that’s so, I’m amazed they can claim “to promote the awareness” of free software with a straight face.

I’m not going to FOSDEM again because there are better value-for-money events around now, but I do understand the motives of the various anti-Novell campaigners. The Boycott Novell site linked to my explanation of Boycotts a few years back.

I really don’t agree that “A conference just is not “complete’ without corporate schwag and presence.” Presence? I don’t really enjoy being jumped by salesmen. Schwag? There was one long-term useful item in my last conference pack, that was from an association and I would probably have bought a slightly better one if I hadn’t been given it.

So, I really don’t understsand why FOSDEM are annoying people in part because they like branded cheap junk. I suspect most of it ends up in the bins before long. I mean, who needs a non-obvious bottle-opener? I have one on the waiters’ friend, another with a nice handle, one on my penknife, one on my wife’s penknife and even one on the can opener’s handle. There are probably a few more in my home and bottles aren’t even so hard to open without a special tool anyway!

Anyway, if you’re going, I hope you have a safe journey. Maybe you could mention Glyn Moody’s summary of the FOSDEM controversy to some people there. Call me when you’re organising a trip to something like a drupalcon, wordcamp or LUGRadio Live.

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