In-person and open

Saturday, March 18th, 2023 at 08:17pm

For three days last week I did something that I haven’t done in over three years, attended an in-person conference in the form of Everything Open.

To steal the conference blurb:

Everything Open is running for the first time in 2023. Linux Australia has decided to run this event to provide a space for a cross-section of the open technologies communities to come together in person. The conference draws upon the experience of the many events that have been run by Linux Australia and its subcommittees, starting with CALU (Conference of Australian Linux Users) in 1999, over the past twenty years, and the Open Source Developers Conference (OSDC).

Everything Open is a grassroots conference with a focus on open technologies, the community that has built up around this movement and the values that it represents. The presentations cover a broad range of subject areas, including Linux, open source software, open hardware, open data, open government, open GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives and museums), to name a few. There are technical deep-dives into specific topics from project contributors, as well as tutorials on building hardware or using a piece of software, not to mention talks covering the inner workings of our communities.

At the core of Everything Open is the community. The conference is entirely organised by volunteers who have a passion for bringing together the open technologies communities to share their collective experience. Everything Open is a not for profit event that aims to provide attendees with a world-class conference at a down to earth rate.

It was a bit weird but also quite familiar to be back at a conference. Although I had been back at in-person events for a while in the form of comedy shows and camera club meetings/outings, this was three full days of interesting presentations as well as a variety of dicsussions between scheduled talks. I have been attending conferences like this since 2004 (all twelve OSDC Australia and eight in-person conferences) and there are a number of people that I only know from these events.

There has been (and will still be) some discussion about whether the change from to Everything Open is good or bad, but I can say that for me I support the change. I will even admit that I did not attend for the Linux content, but for the other related talks, the talks about related open source technologies or activities. I wouldn’t be able to follow along with a talk about something specific to the Linux kernel, but I would happily listen to someone talk about how GPS works or the toxic (literally poisonous) history of wallpaper. I miss the content of an OSDC, and was glad that the topics of an LCA were getting broader.

It was always award to tell someone I was going to LCA and then have to explain Linux to them, so I agree that changing the name to Everything Open makes it more inclusive for everyone.

The recordings are still being uploaded to the Everything Open YouTube channel and once they are I will try to come back and update this post with links to my favourites, but for now I will link to the one talk that has stuck in my mind because what was demonstrated doesn’t seem like it should have been possible…

Houdini of the Terminal: The need for escaping – David Leadbeater (Everything Open 2023)

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