Feedback wanted: one-day conference to teach and promote FOSS in Fall 2019

Hi all, from today’s discussion in FOSS Hours, we want to hear your thoughts and ideas to run a one-day conference in Fall 2019 around Free and Open Source Software at RIT.

One idea from Prof. Jacobs is to host a panel with alums from the FOSS program to talk about their experiences in open source and how those experiences translated to where they are in the world now.

We are evaluating scope and interested to know what topics people are interested to learn more about. Your feedback and ideas are useful for us to put something together in the fall.

This event would be open to the public: students, faculty, staff, alums, outside visitors, etc.

For a more detailed breakdown, check out the GitHub ticket linked below:

:arrow_down: Please leave your ideas and brainstorming in this thread! :arrow_down:

1 Like

I’m interested in this - but I’m not in Rochester for the Fall 2019 semester. :frowning:

What are some ways that I can contribute to this conversation, even if I’m not there in person? I can suggest topics, but, don’t want to misrepresent something since I won’t actually be present to benefit on the day of the conference.

With that said, I’m trying to get more engaged with this site in particular and wanted to share my thoughts :slight_smile:

I’m largely interested in practices that can make certain technologies more accessible to programmers (novices and experts, alike) from low-income backgrounds.

One tech industry that has yet to be disrupted by free and open source software is digital audio engineering and signal processing. Specifically, the popular DAWs are proprietary, but, the FLOSS alternatives have simply not had enough time to create competitive plugins. It’s hard to get a school to adopt FLOSS products if they’re not accessible to first-time learners.

VSTs, in particular are the big issue. They’re cross-platform and there are plenty of free plugins released for DAWs using the VST interface, but, the interface itself is proprietary. It’s not extensible like its open-source equivalents: LADSPA, DSSI, and LV2. The ones working on those standards largely communicate through the Linux Audio Development (LAD) mailing list. LAD generally holds conferences, but, if you could find someone to speak about it, maybe a focus could be brought to game development in IGM?

1 Like

The best way to contribute for now is to let us know your interests and questions. A goal for this event is to make opportunities with FOSS more engaging to more people. The idea of a panel of alums already out in the industry is one example of this.

So perhaps you have a few questions about FOSS that you have wondered for some time. Or maybe you have heard about FOSS being useful for job searching, but you are not sure how or what you should do. Maybe you already have a project and you are looking for more advanced advice. My point is, any questions and interests you have are useful to know because we can shape the event content around these questions and interests.

Even if you will not be there in person, your feedback and thoughts are useful and helpful. :slightly_smiling_face: My main purpose is to collect and gather feedback for this event.

Happy to have you here. :smile:

I’m especially interested in this topic too. I wonder if we could organize a panel or find a speaker for something like this. If there were a session offered for this topic, would you prefer a panel/talk format or something more hands-on / interactive?

This is a question best answered by Prof. Jacobs or @deejoe. Also, I know @wilfriede and I think @gen1e (?) have explored FOSS audio projects but I’m not sure how deep they went. Maybe they can add something here.

1 Like

I’m relatively new to HFOSS/FOSS/FLOSS in general and Professor @deejoe’s course has been really helpful at just getting me through the thick of that discussion. I’ve always had interest in the humanitarian aspect more than just free/open source and the cultural shift that’s currently occurring in the space really has me interested in things.

If I could give you some actionable questions:

  • How can we apply open source culture beyond software? Specifically, how do we bring it into the classroom for the everyday person that doesn’t have a clue?
  • Are we critical about open source’s accessibility for marginalized developers? Low-income developers who have assumptions about contributing to FOSS might not feel it’s worth the time because time constraints can result in financial burden. What can we do to alleviate these concerns?
  • In one of my blog posts, I explored some of my thoughts regarding the change in open source culture. What are some current thoughts about the next generation of developers about this? What change is positive? What changes are concerning/detrimental (and to whom)?

I think that having it be hands-on / interactive would require more logistics than setting up a panel on the subject. I’m not even sure off the top of my head what a good workshop would be for exploring this from the FOSS side of things.

1 Like

Wow! I really like this idea and this whole thread. So just replying to a few comments I’ve seen

MozFest has done this really well while keeping it fairly low overhead. If this ends up being a thing people like pursuing, I know the guy who helped create that whole format and might be willing to help.

I would love to see more content on this sort of thing. I think mchua (@jwf I think that’s her handle right?) Would be a great candidate to talk about this sort of thing.

I like this idea :slight_smile: Would be cool to bring back alums, especially with varied career backgrounds. As an alum myself, I still feel a bit young to be giving a panel to be honest.

Tim Duffy or beWhitty (if we can pull him away from Tesla) would be great for this sort of stuff.


Do you have a specific example in mind from MozFest? I’m trying to think of something we could implement on our own in a MozFest-esque style.

I’m not sure it is worth pulling in many external parties yet until we find our footing on who will lead / organize this event at RIT.

She is a good candidate – maybe we can convince her to come back to ROC for a few days from Georgia Tech. :slightly_smiling_face: I also think Prof. Jacobs can poll a few other local folks who might be able to pull something together for this.

Why not just fork their handbook?