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[Ghm-discuss] Planning the next GNU Hackers Meeting

From: Paolo Bonzini
Subject: [Ghm-discuss] Planning the next GNU Hackers Meeting
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2011 01:01:50 +0100

The amount of activity going on in gnu-prog-discuss at the moment is
unprecedented and to some extent overwhelming.

I don't think it is reasonable to continue discussing by email.  We
need a concrete occasion to wrap everything up that has been proposed
so far.

Hence, I am proposing to start organizing the next GNU Hackers Meeting
*now*.  Here are the obligatory "five Ws":

0) Why?  I already answered that above. :)

1) Who?  Whoever wants to participate, of course.  However, it would
be great to find experts on the various subjects that will be touched
even outside the "core" people that are most active in
gnu-prog-discuss and in GHM.

2) What?  The main topic would be the GNU Coding Standards and how we
can improve them for the next generation of GNU maintainers.  I
identified the following macro-areas.  I purposedly included in
parentheses some sub-topics that were not touched on gnu-prog-discuss;
either they have become common practice in GNOME, or they were covered
in the past by the FSF or other associations.

* C language and portability (C99, glib, gnulib, ...)

* other programming languages (C++, Scheme, Python, Perl, Vala, ...)

* interoperability (Guile, D-Bus, GObject introspection, ...)

* security recommendations (networking and in general)

* networking (frameworks, software as a service, data liberation, ...)

* mobile applications

3) How?  Lots of discussion.  As few slides as possible, except as
introductory material.  Lots of A1-size paper sheets and felt-tip

The general format I had in mind involved establishing workgroups
either before or at the beginning of the meeting.  Each workgroup
would roughly cover one or two of the above macro-areas.  Each person
can only be in one workgroup, though of course there will be a lot of
time for asking questions and talking to members of other workgroups.
I participated and co-organized similar events in the past---nothing
related to computing, but with a similar number of participants or
higher (up to 1000).

The outcome would be, of course, patches. :)  The patches might be
worked out during the meeting or after.  The changes will be presented
by the workgroups and voted.  Once the patches are ready, rms will
have veto powers, but I hope that the changes will be mostly of
technical nature and uncontroversial.

4) When?  There are a lot of things to do before the meeting.  We
should at least:

* define the workgroups more precisely;

* find 1 facilitator per workgroup that will head the group;

* find speakers that can give inspiring talks and perhaps attend (even
as guests!) the rest of the meeting;

* organize the travelling and the logistics.

I would say mid-April would be doable.

5) Where?  Europe.  If I am to participate in the logistics, that
would have to be either Milan, Italy or Brno, Czech Republic.  Both
cities have very good connections with cheap flights to all over
Europe (Brno is close-ish to Vienna, Bratislava and Prague). However,
I am not very good at that job.  Other people have already done it
very well and are recipients of this message. :)


Ok guys, flame away. :)


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