Open Source, but don’t spread a word!

There’s a major event coming up: the 2010 edition of the Fosdem (Free and Open Source Developers European Meeting). Well, once it started as a meeting of developers but swiftly grew into a major European meeting of all kinds of Open Source addicts, developers, packagers, contributors of all kinds, and people who are “only” interested in today’s and future status of F/OSS (Free / Open Source Software). At least the latter applies to me, I’m sure.

I read that Mandriva will have a stand in the exhibition, at the same time I was invited to come by friends from the Sidux project. So I grabbed all my money and gave it away for a train ticket to Bruxelles and a hotel room. I inserted my name as participant in the Mandriva community wiki page and waited for further information. “You can add your name below if you plan to attend FOSDEM and precise if you can help on stand.“, so the wiki says and I added a “(can help if needed)” beside my name. Time passed by and every now and then I checked the page for any information about if and how I could help. Information where the stand will be, about any demo actions or other activities where I could possibly be welcome to help. But there wasn’t anything else than this one single sentence “Mandriva will have its own stand for FOSDEM.” Period.

I even checked the official Mandriva blog site in case somebody would write some information there, nothing. Yesterday finally my curiosity was too much to bear and I posted in the international Mandriva forum if anybody knows what will be happening at the Mandriva stand. To my surprise it looked like everybody knew except me! There were plans to bring One cds and a netbook for demo, docs to show such as the manifesto, and other documentation to attract people. They’ll even organize a dinner on Saturday evening. But where did people know that from?

The answer is simple: the Mandriva people who did the planning are mostly developers. So they did not use the common user’s area for all the information but rather planned and discussed everything in the cooker-chef’s mailing list. Oh yes, and they also published something in some French sites and on the Assembly page. Unfortunately I don’t speak French enough to read French websites (my fault, I know!). I am not a member of the cooker-chefs group nor am I a member of the Assembly, what should I read their mailing list for? In my blue-eyed picture of a community wiki I thought a wiki page named “Fosdem2010” was there to bring these information to such “normal” community people like me, I thought wrong, very naïve indeed.

Keeping the information away from the public community wiki and only giving it to a small group (Assembly, cooker-chefs) also tells me that this must be a developer thing only. Although I planned to show our latest products (new LXDE and Netbook Editions) to the Mandriva people,  I understand and accept the fact that they want to keep this among their little “community”. I admit I ‘m a bit frustrated and disappointed but nevertheless I will happily enjoy the exhibition and the conferences, and I’m sure there will be lots of interesting people to meet apart outside the little Mandriva world.

Of course I will visit the Mandriva stand if time allows. 🙂

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2 Responses to “Open Source, but don’t spread a word!”

  1. Skiper Says:

    I myself did not know what Mandriva would be organizing for the event. I did not find any information even through french websites.

  2. Skiper Says:

    Oh god, this post dates back from 2010… missed this part…

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