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Free Software Developer's Meeting In Europe 44

physicman writes: "This weekend (3 & 4 Feb.) the first edition of the Open Source and Free Software Developers' European Meeting will be held in Brussels, Belgium. I think it is the first time that such a meeting occurs in Europe and it is very exciting to see what will come out of gathering at the same place people working on very different projects like Fyodor of nmap fame, Jeremy Allison from Samba, Rasterman (Enlightenment) and many others (full list here). Richard Stallman will also give a keynote about the danger of software patents. So, if you're in the neighborhood (for instance at the LinuxExpo in Paris) don't miss the opportunity to talk and hack (yes, there will be a hacking room too) with some of the top developers of the Open Source and Free Software movement!"
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Free Software Developer's Meeting In Europe

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  • I can't resist a plug: come see me talk about Midgard, a kick-ass content management system.

    Oh great ! I've always wondered how to manage ass-kickings ! Good job ! ;-)

    You can be sure I'll be at the conference. But I have the feeling that this isn't what my girlfriend had in mind when she proposed to spend this weekend in Brussels. But hey : you've got to get your priorities straight. w00t

  • > What do they need to meet for? that's what IRC is for.

    And all this time I thought it was for downloading warez and pr0n.

    Oops, did I say that out loud?

    :q!
    ^Z
    quit
    agh!!!
  • It looks to me like the logo is a merge of:

    1. The Linux [linux.org] Penguin, Tux: note the black feathers and beak.
    2. The BSD [bsd.org] Daemon: note the fork. (Officially it has no name according to the copyright holder Marshall Kirk McKusick. But some call it Beastie -- 'bsd'.)
    3. The Free Software Foundation [gnu.org] mascot, GNU: note the horns.
    4. The GNOME [gnome.org] "G": note the feet.

    Cheers,
    Andrew
  • Ummm... Am I the only one to be bothered by the fact that this announcement comes two days before the meeting? Kind of late to arrange a trip to Belgium. Might've been fun, though...
  • by Ami Ganguli ( 921 ) on Thursday February 01, 2001 @02:16AM (#465273) Homepage

    Some good points, but it's still kick-ass for people who need it. That's not to say it doesn't have problems. Lets see if I can address your points one by one:

    Let's begin with the documentation. It's shit. There are functions described which don't exist or do what they should do. And if i remember right there are functions which are not documented but exist and work very well.

    Actually I think the current documentation is pretty good. Not awesome, but not bad. Check back on the web site to see. Of course, you sound like you've got some experience with Midgard, so maybe you can contribute some improvements :-).

    And it's written in PHP. I won't describe something written in PHP as ass-kicking. Sure there are quite some good stuff out there in PHP which do what they should do etc. but ass-kicking???

    Actually, it's written in 'C', with PHP as the scripting language. Version 2 will be language independant, with, at least PHP & Perl. Probably a few others by the time we're done.

    For something like Midgard i would have used Servlets. But maybe that's only a matter of taste.

    Very much a matter of taste. I'm not really a fan of Java. Still, it should be possible to build servlet support into 2.0, but I don't know if anybody will do it. We'd have to find a developer who likes them first. Again, we'd welcome volunteers :-).

    Don't understand be wrong. Midgard is a good peace of work but, until now, not more. Version 2.0 was planned to be released Q1 2000. So maybe the problem is that they have not enough time/ people.

    Actually I think the problem was getting wrapped up in 1.4. I wasn't involved in the project when the "original" 2.0 was planned, so I don't know why it never got off the ground. I've been pushing the "new" 2.0 for several months now, however, and it's moving forward well. The rest of the development team is just wrapping up 1.4.1, and will be going full-force on 2.0 after OSDEM.

  • RMS is a doer. You are a talker. Writing code is only one form of doing.

    The subject that RMS is going to speak about is the very thing that could kill free software dead: ubiquitous patents could make most free software illegal. So could laws like the DMCA. If activists don't fight them, free software is over -- unless programmers want to risk jail.

    We need activists more than ever. And an activist who doesn't ever piss people off is probably not an effective activist.

  • by divec ( 48748 ) on Thursday February 01, 2001 @02:20AM (#465275) Homepage
    but what've they [the FSF] done lately besides bitch and moan?

    I would say they do a lot. The point is not whether RMS, or anyone else associated with the FSF, is pouring out loads of code today (although Miguel certainly is). That was never the point of the FSF. The point of the FSF is to create the social forces neccessary to cause free software to flourish. In the beginning, that meant writing a free C compiler. Then it meant writing the GPL, and organising an effort to clone UNIX (but notice that the most important job they did was to ensure that the uncool, boring, essential bits got written). Another valuable thing they did was to help launch the Debian project, so that there would be a GNU/Linux distribution focused on freeness. More recently, they helped organise a lot of the infrastructure needed to launch GNOME (and hence a big factor in causing the existence of *two* free desktop environments). All those projects are now ticking along nicely and would continue if the FSF disappeared tomorrow, but none of them have quite the same scope as the FSF.
    They are a big force in finding gaps which nobody is filling, and ensuring that they get filled. The FSF is unique in that its primary goal is to foster free software, and it is working and has worked on things which would be outside the scope of any of the other projects mentioned above. (Also remember that they do a lot of behind the scenes work, e.g. on ensuring that the GPL is enforced, that the public never gets to hear about).
  • You might want to cut back on your intake of Diet Coke

    Yes, you're absolutely right. I'll cut back if I ever start drinking the vile, carcinogenic effluent. :-)

    Laugh! It's a joke!
    Paul

  • I think this raises the issue of all (ok, not *all* but *most*) software development made on the other side of the pond. All the programming is done in USA and we, poor European countries don't get the share. I mean, if you look at open source (and in fact any programs) they will be done in English, with no (or little) non-English documentation and for English users. That is one of the major problems that needs to be solved to make open source programs popular in other non-English speaking countries. So, this meeting in Europe could raise at least some of these issues and it would be very useful.

  • ... like the 2nd edition of the Libre Software Meeting, in the wonderful area of Bordeaux, France, this summer.

    Meetings, coffee, coding parties, Bordeaux restaurants, Atlantic sand beaches, nice people to meet, girlfriends welcome.

    Visit the site at http://www.armelle.org/ [armelle.org] or http://lsm.abul.org/ [abul.org]

    --
    mogdax
  • rms has repeatedly stated he's not against people making money off software. he just doesn't want ms to take some gpl code he wrote, hide the source, and make money off of it. wouldn't you want the same?
  • its trendy to complain about being trendy.
  • 1) The battles are *far* from being won. For example, the patent system (about which will be RMS's keynote) is constantly threatening free software community. We need speakers like him, and even more. Actually, the more GNU/Linux has been spreading, the more the "intellectual property" laws have been harsher. So while we now have a complete free OS, nothing can be taken from granted. The OS is there, but the philosophy is shared, or understood only by a minority.

    2) GNOME is the project of Miguel de Icaza. And Miguel is one of the people on the board of the FSF. So GNOME has somewhat been "produced" by the FSF. The same way Emacs was "produced" by the FSF.
  • There really should be a cover charge for this event.
    That way they could afford to get Natalie Portman [natalie-portman.net] as a guest grits [grits.com] tester.
    I suggest the charge be A DOLLAR
  • What is going on here?
    What do they need to meet for? that's what IRC is for

    Gee, that's a bit harsh. IRC is great for chatting with people who are geographically disparate but it's no substitute for honest-to-goodness face-to-face discussion.

    Humans are a gregarious bunch - we're generally much happier in a group than alone. Some people may wish to live "on" the internet but personally I enjoy having a beer with my friends FAR too much to do that!

    I've had brainstoming sessions over internet chat but I'm at my best when actually speaking with someone face-to-face. It's a far more stimulating environment for me that the faceless, emotionless, soulless IRC/ICQ/whatever.

    If everything is so open source, the developers should put all their discussion online, in newsgroups, and in mailing lists, rather than having undocumented and unaccountable conferences in places over half of the free software developers can't afford to visit.

    Now I think you're starting to sound paranoid. What is so threatening about these hard-working, dedicated people who have hacked with each other - possibly even become friends - meeting up and having a chat? Aren't the available sources, discussions, lists etc. enough for you? OK, so some equally hard-working and dedicated people may be excluded from the physical meeting due to inability to pay for travel or other committments but c'mon! People who want to should be allowed to meet without complaint.

    In fact, those who cannot attend the meeting will surely be in a far better position to learn of the proceedings than with other types of conference. I'm certain that after the meetings are done, many attendees will write up their thoughts and publish them in addition to whatever "official" write-up will be done. I seriously doubt that it will be "undocumented and unaccountable".

    I would think that companies and developers would rather let the sunshine in on all their deliberations, than be accused of congregating in a smoke-filled room.

    Evidently not.

    Read what you wrote again - it sounds rather silly. What is the point of accusing people of congregating in a smoke-filled room? Is this some kind of new threat to the world that we should be made aware of?

    No - you're making a rather mean-spirited implication that the people fortunate enough to attend the meeting are somehow going to co-opt the entire Open Source movement for themselves to the exclusion of the non-attendees. I doubt that.

    Here's a suggestion - wait until after the conference and see how much information comes out about the proceedings. See how you feel about that and if you reckon that there's still some conspiracy going on THEN complain.

    Sure you may not find out about all the conversations that occurred however important. Thing is, you don't have that priviledge now.

    Peace
    Paul


  • it's it me or is there just something uh, hmmm, werd w/ their logo?


    theories:

  • by Ami Ganguli ( 921 ) on Thursday February 01, 2001 @12:37AM (#465285) Homepage

    Good to see this on Slashdot!

    I can't resist a plug: come see me talk about Midgard [midgard-project.org], a kick-ass content management system.

    I'll be focusing on the upcoming version 2.0, but version 1.4 is stable and works great for content-rich web sites. That means anything where you have a lot of content that changes often.

  • by gdon ( 27012 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @11:50PM (#465286) Homepage
    > It's time to abolish RMS. Without apology.

    I definitely disagree. And I don't understand your point. RMS designed,founded and led the GNU project, hats off RMS ! He wrote the GNU GPL, and is still working on new versions and legal issues, nice work ! I wouldn't do it myself. He tries to fight software patents, to protect the right to code for the new coders you're calling. He also hacked gcc, emacs, gdb which are invaluable tools, the elementary bricks to build the whole Free Software House. He doesn't seem to code anymore, so what ?
    He's useful and has certainely more clues about the real wolrd than the average 15 year old nerd. RMS pours moral salt and pepper into the whole Free Software cauldron. He insists on Freedom being more important than wealth and commerce, cooperation being more valuable for Society than greed. What an unusual and refreshing vision of the world !

    Keep on speaking RMS, you're condemned to repeat the same old printer driver story over and over ! ;)

    Frankly, we need him.


    --
  • We don't need activists, anymore. Those battles have already been won.

    Battles have been won.. but is the war over??

  • I heard it! And we're going to sing the Free Software song with Stallman himself at the evening party on Saturday! :-)
  • All OSS authors do not live in the US, believe it or not.

    I don't think the original poster said they do. I think the point was that any particular spot on the globe will be expensive to visit for many people. I'm in SE England, 3 hours' train journey away, but I wouldn't have $100 lying around to spend on the journey. (Although in my case I am certainly not an essential free software developer!)
    Have you considered all the people in Europe who can't go to all the meetings in the US for the same reasons?

    The poster didn't appear to be advocating meetings in the US - rather online meetings.
    Have you considered that just *maybe* some in the open-source movement are tired of US capitalist attitudes, and find Europeans more open and accepting?

    I'm not sure I agree with the point that was being made by the original poster, i.e. that face-to-face meetings are no use, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that it displayed "US capitalist attitudes".
  • Who else is pissed off by this movement of being a geek is a statement, and self-celebration. Don't get me wrong, I'm probably one of the most geekish persons I know, but I'd like it to be more of a silent agreement. Don't make it a political movement.
    As it is written in the Jargon File for hackers(which I started to read yesterday the first time), you're developing these traits on your own, not by trying to become like this.
    I don't know whats going on in the US, but it seems to me that there is quite a split in the American education system and the sides are geeks and sports. This is ridiculous. I was a geek long before I knew the word, but I never assumed being smart has be communicational cripple(stereotype alert). One of the most talented mathematics I know (I was in his class and knew him since kindergarten days) became a hardcore biker with a deer scull on his bike celebrating christmas with a sprayed black tree with dead rats on it. And he is still one of my friends (though I see him rarely now). Or another person I lived with in one flat and I just can call a genius mathematician and hacker (an AI freak) was a die hard punker in his teens(though his hairstyle is quite normal now) and still is it in the heart.
    Or the most competent Linuxer I know gives the heaviest parties(with lotta chicks) I've ever seen and is a physically quite impressive bodybuilder.
    Of course they all have certain heavy, but always different, geek traits. But they are not limited to this.
    Quite a bit off topic.
  • Remember, by definition everyone was a newbie once. Even you.

    Peace!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    > I've had brainstoming sessions...

    Er, I believe those are called, "seizures". You might want to cut back on your intake of Diet Coke.
  • This is the problem with the Open Source movement at the moment. Extremists are, naturaly, the vocal ones, which is what is caring off a lot of users. RMS has an opinion which is part of the spectrum of Open Source opinions, but I agree with a lot of comments which show a lack of patience with his hardline views.

    I like Linux, I believe in a lot of the concepts of Open Source, but I emphatically believe that should someone want to bring a quality solution to the market and ask for payment, maybe even keep the source hidden, there is nothing worng with that at all. I would be happy to enjoy that software, assuming it meets the quality level I am used to with Open Source software.

    Open source has its place in creating high quality software, just as closed source has its place in incentivising companies wishing to protect their ideas to bring products to market. RMS: He's worth listening to, but he isn't the only guiding light of the Open Source movement.

    Wow, maybe I'm being an extremist!

  • when he worked on e. you know, its the one wm that actually allows a decent looking desktop. which is nice somtimes.
  • Are you being serious?
    1) Open Source has nothing to do with 'let's do everything over the internet'.
    2) All OSS authors do not live in the US, believe it or not.
    3) What's 'close door' about this? It's not like it's in remote Siberia. it's not like it's HARD to go to Europe...
    4) Have you considered all the people in Europe who can't go to all the meetings in the US for the same reasons?
    5) Have you considered that just *maybe* some in the open-source movement are tired of US capitalist attitudes, and find Europeans more open and accepting?

  • Yes we all know the terror of a +2 Software Patent of intimidation!
  • Yes he is. There should be many voices, of course, but his is a crucial one. He's the strongest and most legitimate voice for the philosophy of software freedom, as opposed to the details-oriented voices of open source and hackers in general.

    And as for this herring about what he's coded lately, (a) he's doing what really needs to be done now, and (b) he did the key work on several crucial pieces of infrastructure, pretty much in a dark hole, before "open source" became trendy. As far as I'm concerned, if he never writes another line of code, he's earned his voice.

    --Mike

  • Well, I think you're a bit confused here. RMS isn't trying to protect the whole "Open Source" idea; he's all about free software. It's not about the price, the openness, the quality, or whatever; it's about the freedom. RMS is not fighting for programs that are better because they are reviewed by many people, but for programs that are free to use, modify and distribute. And I respect him highly for that.

    Oh, and by the way, we do need extremists like RMS. If he hadn't been so persistent in his views, then perhaps he wouldn't have carried so many people along with him. We'll always need RMS to show us the way.

    Vasilis Vasaitis
    signature? i don't need no stinkin' signature

  • Please tell me this was a troll. If not it's time to stop reading /. and start staring at the wall instead. (no need for a scroll bar! less rants! more insightful! less biased!)

  • He knows that -- his point is that most of the work bearing the GNU name is being done by people who work outside Stallman's organization. GNOME, egcs, GNUStep... The FSF itself has produced precious little in recent years.
  • It's a question I've been pondering for a while, and I think I've arrived at an answer ("no") which many of you share. But for me, it's for an entirely different reason from most. RMS just doesn't go far enough.

    Let's face it, he's coasting. Ever since the lisp machine went out of style, he's been coasting. Ever since he founded the FSF, he's been coasting. He's been coasting on the name recognition he gets, and he's been coasting on his few small legal victories (notably over Apple for the objective-c extensions of gcc). What has he done lately?

    He hasn't released a new version of emacs in years, and frankly, that can only be a good thing. Gcc is now in other people's hands, so he's not actively helping with that development. He still heads up the FSF, which still owns much of the free software out there (through voluntary transfer of copyright), but what've they done lately besides bitch and moan? What new groundbreaking software have they developed?

    They haven't, and RMS hasn't. All the innovation has been coming from outside, from the people doing GNOME, GNUStep and all the rest. But you never see those people giving these keynotes. It's entirely undemocratic, really. We need real representation of the up-and-coming talent, not a tired rehash of a wizened hippy which may have been revolutionary for its time but is now old hat. Give us new blood.

    RMS doesn't define the free-software movement anymore, anymore than ESR ever did. They're both playing the same tune, singing the same song, dancing the same dance, and mowing the same lawn that they've been mowing for the past twenty years. And where has it gotten us? Well, it hasn't exactly gotten in the way of progress to the point where we couldn't get anything done, but it hasn't exactly made our progress smooth.

    We need doers, not talkers. We need doers to give these keynote addresses, because only then can people be inspired to pursue our dreams and do our bidding. RMS is letting his morality get in the way of progress again, whereas someone who is actually engineering our progress could tell us exactly how to go about helping.

    We don't need activists, anymore. Those battles have already been won. It's time to retire RMS, ESR, and the rest to pasture (or better yet, to the knackery), and let the free-software movement cast forth its green shoots and flourish. The old must give way to the new; I know this only too well. It's time to abolish RMS. Without apology.
  • by mirko ( 198274 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @10:43PM (#465302) Journal
    Brussels MIDI /Zuid) train station is around 1 hour from Paris "Gare du Nord" which makes it quite quick and relatively cheap to join the Linux Expo and Brussels.
    BTW, I lived in both town and I also invite cartoon lovers to make a stop at the cartoon museum ("Musee de la Bande Dessinee").

    --
  • by nmarshall ( 33189 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @10:45PM (#465303) Homepage
    working link [osdem.org]

    it's it me or is there just something uh, hmmm, werd w/ their logo?


    nmarshall

    The law is that which it boldly asserted and plausibly maintained..
  • Actually it's a PNG image that doesn't render very well in Netscape, though it does with Mozilla ;-)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ... will he bathe prior to this event?

    Thanks in advance.

    -- Patrick Bateman, Esq.
  • What is going on here?

    What do they need to meet for? that's what IRC [undernet.org] is for.

    If everything is so open source, the developers should put all their discussion online, in newsgroups, and in mailing lists, rather than having undocumented and unaccountable conferences in places over half of the free software developers can't afford to visit.

    I would think that companies and developers would rather let the sunshine in on all their deliberations, than be accused of congregating in a smoke-filled room.

    -perdida

  • Trolls, listen up. This forum [indymedia.org] allows you to post comments with images. I've started the trolling by posting the "Giver" and "Comp-u-geek" pics, but it's not enough. Get your asses over to rotten.com, download all those awful photos, and let's show those liberal nutballs something really offensive.
  • Isnt there going to be a fight between Torvalds and Stallman? Not sure who my moneys on... :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hi,

    They tell us that drugs are bad, they make us stupid, etc... yet lots of people take them and have fun. They tell us they destroy a person, yet lots of people think it's "cool" and good. But the truth is, these people only take drugs to be less attached to their voes.

    Geeks don't usually take drugs; yet they feel bad about themselves (they're ugly, no girlfriends, etc). They think that jocks who do pills and shit are having a great time, fucking cheerleaders.

    The truth is, jocks also have a hard life, maybe harder than geeks. They don't know what to do after school; they're too dumb to go to university. So they don't want school to end. They want to cram as much fun as they can in their school life; so they take drugs. To hide from the fact that after they graduate, they've got shit-all to do.

    So basically, Jocks have short-term fun, geeks have long-term gain. Why not have both? I am a geek, and I take drugs. I have fun, and a future.

    So all you teased, hassled, girlfriend-less geeks in high school -- YOU can end this today. Take drugs, go to parties, fuck chicks, write code. It's the only way to love.

    Cheers.
  • What new groundbreaking software have [the FSF] developed?... All the innovation has been coming from outside, from the people doing GNOME, GNUStep and all the rest.

    That's a particularly unfortunate set of examples to use, because GNOME == GNU Network Object Modelling Environment, and GNUStep == (er...) GNUStep. Better luck next time.

  • Is there a conference that Rasterman isn't at? Where does he get time to do his coding and so on?

    rr

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