Hello everyone! Live from Malta today attending the EuroBSDCon 2013 conference.
Today is the first day out of four: two days of tutorials and two days of actual conference. The tutorials are overlapped by two days of the usual FreeBSD Developer Summit (devsummit for short) and one day of the infrequent NetBSD Developer Summit.
The ambient here is pretty good already: lots of enthusiastic people catching up since the last time they met each other and, more importantly, discussing ongoing developments. Keeping in mind that this is only the first day of tutorials and not the proper conference, things look promising: many more people are expected to join on Saturday.
FreeBSD Developer Summit
The FreeBSD devsummit is a pretty popular event and, because this is the first time I have been invited to one, I would like to elaborate a little bit more on what this is all about.
devsummits are a chance for FreeBSD developers, users and vendors to join in the same room(s) and discuss hot topics and upcoming changes. It is also a chance for the FreeBSD developers to gather feedback from the vendors directly, although we will get to that part tomorrow. This atmosphere inspires confidence in attendees about the future of the project and gives motivations to the various developers about their plans: consensus is sought and decisions that stick are made (sometimes with controversy later on, of course).
Today's devsummit started with self-introductions from all attendees, which were not a small amount. The introductions were really short, but from the few words and the reactions that caused in the audience, it was clear who of those speakers are "important" within the community. Not everybody is familiar with the FreeBSD community (including me), so this hint is good.
One thing that is nice to see is the the FreeBSD Foundation sponsoring trips for attendees. There were quite a few GSoC students in the room, and I am pretty sure they were able to attend because of this. These few newcomers will certainly appreciate the experience and probably stay involved with the project.
On the other hand, it is also a bit sad to see how FreeBSD developers are struggling with the exact same issues that NetBSD developers have previously struggled (and maybe not fixed yet). I say sad because there seems to be no collaboration between the two sets of developers.
NetBSD presence... I haven't had a chance yet to meet anyone today —which is understandable— other than the founder of EdgeBSD, with whom I had an interesting chat on his new project. He is quite passionate about it, so you are encouraged to check out the project's page!
We'll see how things go tomorrow.