Re: Survey: GUADEC and Akadamy co-location in 2011

On Wed, 2010-02-03 at 09:49 +0100, Dave Neary wrote:


> john palmieri wrote:
> > "Just do it" is the wrong attitude.  We "Just did it" last year and it
> > was a mess.
> A mess is a little harsh. Let's say it reminded me of earlier
> conferences where some stuff fell through the cracks.

I think everybody expected issues. Issues exist to solve and improve on
next time. Not to go into a panic mode.

> We had organisational issues and communication issues,

It still went surprisingly well for two big groups who didn't always
love each other as much as they do now, but should love each other even
more, to do something as intimate as their main event together.

And we probably should always do it this way.

> and (as you point out)
> integration issues (which were, as it happens, by design - the
> organisers were explicitly told by both boards (from the KDE side, that
> was a membership decision) that we were co-hosting two conferences, and
> that both conferences wanted to have a certain intimacy during "their"
> conference, with some overlapping sessions.

Of course, let's not lose identity on neither side. Nobody is calling
for that. I'm sure KDE isn't calling for GNOME to lose any of its
identity just like we aren't expecting them to give up their stuff.

It's called trusting each other.

> I think everyone who was there agrees that doing it this way wasn't
> ideal.

That's why we always have the next year (until it was decided to skip a
year, meaning that a lot of trust, goodwill and experience will be lost
the year after on both sides).

> Some small improvements would already make things better - having
> one schedule, with tracks labelled GNOME, KDE or XD, for example, would
> be an improvement on last year where there was a GUADEC schedule, an
> Akademy schedule, etc.

Sure, all good. Negotiate.

> > Nokia used it as an event to pimp their decision to move from GTK to Qt
> Not much we can/could do about that...

Nokia was going to announce this anyway. This was written in the stars,
it's not like it was any surprise.

I have the feeling this is the big reason... (and it's a false reason)

> > there were some who wanted to take over decision making for the next years
> > events before we even assessed the current year (Tempre was already a
> > chosen location by some before we put out the call for hosts, which is
> > on so many levels the wrong way to go about having a cohesive
> > co-maintained event).
> We were put in an impossible situation.
> First, we usually open the call for hosts in February or March for the
> year after - so that we can decide during the conference. But last year,
> both boards wanted to wait & see how the conference went before committing.
> Second, while KDE had a natural way to evaluate community will (their
> well-attended AGM during Akademy) for this year, GNOME didn't. We
> delegate that to the board usually, and the board didn't want to make a
> decision of that magnitude without consulting the membership. Which
> meant that the earliest any decision could be made & open a call for
> hosts for this year was August (that means September with holidays).
> Opening bids in September meant that the earliest a choice could be made
> would be October, and at that stage you're already 2 months late on your
> organisation timetable for getting a site, sponsors, etc. In reality,
> GNOME announced the Hague at the end of November - making us more or
> less 3 months late (but with an organising team who have been working on
> this since September, and have done great work so far).
> The Tampere bid manifested their interest in carrying their 09 bid over
> for 10 - and the KDE board thought that was a good option. Given the
> alternative timeframe (which we're currently experiencing), they said
> "Good enough - let's co-host, choose Tampere, and do a proper call for
> hosts next year". Given that Tampere was also one of the top 2 choices
> of GNOME the year before, seems reasonable to me.

In all fairness, I think KDE's solution wasn't bad intended nor was it a
bad solution.

Tampere was (is) a very good bid, and if I recall correctly it had many
votes from the GNOMErs.

> It's slightly unfair to say that Tampere was chosen before a call for
> hosts was opened.


It wasn't unreasonable of the KDE guys to propose this as solution.

> > To be fair there were some positives which is why
> > I voted to do it next year but my support is contingent on us choosing a
> > location which has GNOME members on the ground and the schedules
> > becoming better aligned.
> This year, Stormy & I actively encouraged the Dutch guys to put together
> a bid. Vincent, Reinout et al came through with a good bid, but were
> concerned (as we all would be) with the workload involved - and given
> the timescale, I think some compromises are going to be made this year
> between a budget for salaries of organising staff and the surplus that
> the foundation gets back.
> Until now, we have always opened the call for hosts and waited to see
> who comes in with a bid. Perhaps the new model is to decide where we
> want to go, and then find a group to organise?


Thanks for the overview of events, Dave

Philip Van Hoof, freelance software developer
home: me at pvanhoof dot be 
gnome: pvanhoof at gnome dot org

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