Maybe it could be strange to speak about improvements whereas the event has not yet started, but there are already clearly areas where improvement will be needed if the event wants to continue being a reference one at least in France, and more over at european level.
For such an event, the Web site is key. This is the external face to the world. This year, up to last week it was a complete mess, without valid information. When I announced my various activities during OWF 2014, I gave some links to that Web site in order for people to be able to read more info. As of now, none of these links work anymore :-(
I’ve seen many times requests to update some content with what we were provideing without effect. Looking at the current agenda, I don’t see one of my sessions anymore, timing have changed also in between, … The change of location compared to last year is also a regression from an exhibitor point of view: The Eurosite site has no real structure to allow booth to be managed in a correct way and attendees to encounter sponsors on their booth in a nice way. I can ensure you that it’s very different compared to most events I’m attending such as LinuxCon e.g. where I was this month.
While different, the Solution Linux Event never exhibited such issues. Of course, the program and its role are different. I heard that the idea of uniting forces around a single event was considered. It could be beneficial wrt sponsors, reinforce the impact of the event and attract more audience, more contributions, enlarging the scope by uniting programs which do not overlap too much, proposing a real exhibition area, including communities as well as professionals. Also it could help having a larger group working on the overall program (I’m part of the Linux Solutions conference board, but even if I proposed many times to help, was never really included in the OWF’s one) so each could focus more on its area, and also have a larger set of permanent staff to help with the overall organization and communication.
I look forward to such an evolution and would be very supportive of it. I’m then ready to convince HP as well to continue to sponsor such a central event in France, whereas under its current format, I doubt it could be the case next year of OWF alone.
I’m also thinking it could help the french FLOSS ecosystem to speak with a stronger voice and be listened more by enterprises and the government and the various administration bodies. Today no serious infrastructure solution can be deployed without FLOSS components: Web based technologies, Cloud, Big Data, Software Defined Enterprise, Security, Virtualization (including NFV), SDN, … So it’s really time in France to stop the useless battles between FLOSS companies and unite all of them behind whatever structure that will be representative (such as the CNLL e.g.) to have a stronger voice and develop jobs, companies and business in our country at least. While supporting the OWF 2014, I don’t see the Open Source group of the Syntec Numérique able to play this role. It used to when the right people were involved, it’s not anymore (I know a bit attending the meeting through a conf call system), and hasn’t produced anything useful to the ecostystem since this guide IMO.
The french community of companies delivering FLOSS services/integration/software (the FLOSS providers, term advocated by Laurent Seguin which I like or the incubators I proposed earlier) shouldn’t stay quite: their customers need that they speak with a strong and united voice to defend their ideas and show the advantages of their solutions.
If you want to talk of that or anything else related to Open Source, feel free to come to one of the sessions I’m involved in… if the agenda is indeed correct (and timing respected as everything is very dense) you should find me speaking of FLOSS governance in Namur room at 9:00AM, collaboration in OpenStack at 11:15AM in room Luxembourg or OpenStack community in room Amsterdam at 12:10AM.