FOSSY 2024, Aug 1-4, Portland OR, CfP

Hi folks,

FOSSY 2024 will be Aug 1-4 at Portland State University in Oregon, USA

Along with some others from Snowdrift.coop, I volunteered to help organize a track on FLO software economics.

Call for Proposals is open for just one more week, please submit right away

This a a good chance to bring together updated ideas and conversations about sustaining FLO software and everything related to that

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I realize I maybe should have titled this emphasizing the FLO Economics track because the point is more than just having some open-source-related conference.

Anyway, besides people here seeing this, if anyone has suggestions for who to reach out to specifically about this, let me know. Or feel free to mention it to people you know directly. Thanks

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Looks beautiful, but that’s all. :grin:

The knowledge dissemination for this conference needs better KPIs.

  1. No links to archives
  2. No talks recorded (FOSSY 2023 | Presentation: Developing games with Godot Engine and other open source software)
  3. No source code for the web site to report these issues

Still needs improvements to be US based FOSDEM. )

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Yeah, I’m not happy with the site. The recorded talks from last year (including mine which was itself all about economics!) are at Internet Archive: Digital Library of Free & Borrowable Books, Movies, Music & Wayback Machine

I don’t know what else is happening with the organizing, I’m just involved in helping on the economics track.

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Talks about economics are helium baloons that escape to the skies, and we need something that is grounded to solve the ______ (sustainability?) problem.

Let’s ground this with the website, define the problem, and see if there are some data/metrics to turn this pain point into some kind of computational economics notebook.


Yeah, I’m not happy with the site.

Me too. So, in Open Source by definition we can fix everything, either by collaborating or by forking. So from the economics lens, why neither me, not you are fixing it? For me.

Reason 1. No web-site sources. To collaborate on that web-site, its source code needs to be open.

Reason 2. No feeling of community there. I better spend my time with GitLab where I contribute and learn something with some jokes and no obligations from my side.

Why I still care about FOSSY website? It is connected to organization that somewhat pulled out the impossible task of paying people for maintaining software that is not its own.

Can I switch my focus to the website if I am compensated? Take a look, write that needs to be done - sure. Actually fix things - maybe.

How much money do I need? I don’t know. Today I need $10 to go get some food.


Converting that into the form spreadsheet, sending that to open source folks. Do you think we can get some data here? Thinking a bit more, why there is problem with the web site.

  1. I don’t have time
  2. I don’t have interest
  • Can we buy your time?
  • Can we buy your interest?
  • What compensation do you need?
  • What will keep you on track?
  • If it is money, how much do you need?
  • How can me measure that?
  • What will happen if you’re not able to solve it?

With a freelance experience people will probably be able to answer these questions. Even if the answers are unstructured, they probably can be used as an input to AI to get some insights out of it. Provided that answers are public and people are sincere. If people are insincere, we need to understand that, and find a way to get them into the gameplay too.

(looks like my baloon escaped, so I better stop here. need more iterations)

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Economics Problem no.2. - Cost of Collaboration.

Grounded - collaboration during economics track @ FOSSY '24

  • How much does it cost to get to the conference?
  • Who can afford it?
  • Who would like to go?
  • Who needs to be there?
  • Who will actually make it?

  • Do contributors need to buy a ticket (no info on the web site)?
  • How much is the ticket?
  • How much is the accommodation?
  • How much is food?
  • How much is the travel cost from _____ to Portland OR?
  • How much is local logistics expenses?
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Still needs improvements to be US based FOSDEM. )

Do you see them trying to be the US version of FOSDEM? I don’t get that from their website or from knowing SFConservancy people. While many of the topics will be similar, I’m betting this is something that Conservancy is specifically starting to be a new conference, and one that they are leading (although I imagine they’ll welcome input, certainly).

In any case, for a new small scale event, they look pretty good to me, compared to plenty of other similar scale events. Comparisons to FOSDEM - both with it’s scale and long-running sets of proven volunteers - don’t seem to make sense; FOSDEM is unique in it’s management.

If this were east coast US, I’d definitely be there, but I don’t think I can travel any more this summer, sadly. Would really like to see some of the talks they had last year.

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Except when they don’t. The risk is real, and we should stick to plain air and not waste helium. Rest assured, we are looking for more specific and insightful talks, not generic big platitudes. And the goal is for people to confer in person indeed. The more proposals, the more we can pick the best overall.

Well, here’s as far as I personally have gotten: I know the site is FLO and is also used by SeaGL which also has CfP open right now btw: FOSSY 2024 | Call for Proposals but I haven’t looked into it otherwise. My impression is that FOSSY’s forms and other set up and info are not done as well right now. Someone has to actually do this work, and nobody (as far as I know) is being paid to make that their focus time. Meanwhile, many many people who have the capacity to do that are instead being paid to work at proprietary software companies or various other jobs, many of which are not helpful to the world really. I could go on and on about this stuff. I’m not getting around to writing many to-do blog posts for Snowdrift.coop or update other things because I too am just a volunteer with other priorities to juggle.

So, even if they linked more clearly to the website source code, it takes work to do stuff with it. But it is a problem indeed. I hope they establish better norms in the future.

Reason 2. No feeling of community there.

Not sure what you mean on this. FOSSY had a huge community-feeling in person last year, and I think that will be true this time too. But for the site and the pre-conference organizing, yes, I agree generally. Lots to improve to get that feeling better.

Yup. I have mixed feelings about it myself. I happen to live in the area, so it’s not a problem for me to get there. But I don’t really go to any conferences that involve significant travel. I have no budget for it, and I don’t like to support the emissions of airplanes. So, I think I imagine FOSSY to be especially drawing people from the Pacific Northwest, even though people may come from further.

On the overall costs and tickets and everything, yeah, there’s a lot of clarity needed still. I assume that will get out there sometime soon. I’m quite sure though that presenters and volunteers can both get in free. I think they are not covering food this time. Accommodation is expensive other than finding a friend to stay with, though people could coordinated shared rooms.

That is all correct. This is the 2nd year after a successful but tentative first year. There was a general “okay, so, we’re going to keep at it and make this really work?” question. And we’ll see how it goes, whether it can continue improving and become solid or not. Last year was pretty darn good for a first year.

I did post above already that last year’s talks are published at Internet Archive: Digital Library of Free & Borrowable Books, Movies, Music & Wayback Machine