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Report on the GNU Hackers’ Meeting 2022

From: Luca Saiu
Subject: Report on the GNU Hackers’ Meeting 2022
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2022 00:28:41 +0200
User-agent: Gnus (Gnus v5.13), GNU Emacs 29.0.50, x86_64-pc-linux-gnu

“The GNU Hackers' Meetings or ‘GHMs’ are a venue to discuss technical
topics related to GNU and free software”, says the web site.  And GHMs
are in fact events structured as technical conferences, with
presentation slides and all.  But if we attend every year since 2007 or
so, and organise, it is mostly for the fun of spending time with our GNU
friends in a relaxed environment.

After many years in which GNU Hackers' Meetings took place in Europe for
no particular reason other than we GHM regulars living in Europe, we
opted to hold GHM 2022 in Turkey: .

I organised the talks, schedule, web site and most of the remote
communication with participants; Ege, a more practical person than I am
who speaks the language and knows the region, dealt with the hotel and
restaurants.  She also proposed the dates and the place: October, when
the weather is more comfortable; and İzmir, a large university city on
the Mediterranean coast.

Turkey has the advantage of being reasonably easy to reach not only from
Europe but also from several countries in the Middle East, from which
one can enter Turkey without a visa -- visas for Europe, on the other
hand, are notoriously difficult to obtain from the Middle East.  In fact
since the beginning we were thinking about one specific friend and GNU
contributor from Iran, that we would have really liked to finally meet
in person.

And then of course the main reason: reaching out to new people.  Local
people in Turkey who might see the announcement about a GNU meeting
nearby and attend out of curiosity; and then maybe become friends, and
contribute to some common project.

In fact several people from İzmir reacted to my announcement with very
enthusiastic emails, clearly excited.  On the other hand few people from
out of Turkey could attend in person even if there was interest, and we
had to resort to some remote and pre-recorded presentations.  Thanks to
José Marchesi we could stream most of the event live, to a few tens of

Ege and I arrived in İzmir two days in advance on Thursday September 29
in order to test the equipment at the venue; a very professional
organisation.  The following day we were joined by José, and then by a
few early attendees for the pre-event dinner.  There we had a surprise:
two of the participants, which whom we had exchanged emails before,
turned out to be extremely young: one fourteen, the other thirteen.
Both with GNU/Linux on their laptops, speaking good English.  They were
not expert programmers yet, but wanted to learn.  They turned out to
understand free software very well already, and were in fact interested
in free hardware.

The next two days were for the conference itself.  Of the attendees some
were professionals, expert low-level programmers working on embedded
systems; a couple of newly-enrolled students, about to begin their
university careers --- one of them a Lisper, who asked very intelligent
questions; and another who eventually found the courage of proposing to
give a talk, and did.  Awesome.

We covered a table near the entrance with free software stickers for the
attendees.  Another table was holding name badges, each card prepared by
me with my pathetically old laser printer and a cutter, slipped by hand
into its plastic holder.  If it was not as perfect as the hotel's
flawlessly arranged snack tables at least one must concede that our
hackish organisation was sincere.  Sincerity is worth something.

The event web page now contains most video recordings and presentations
A few more will come later.

However recordings do not tell the whole story.  Anybody interested is
welcome to subscribe to the ghm-discuss mailing list , and join us next

Luca Saiu
* My personal web site:
* GNU Jitter:  
* GNU epsilon: 

I support everyone's freedom of mocking any opinion or belief, no
matter how deeply held, with open disrespect and the same unrelented
enthusiasm of a toddler who has just learned the word "poo".

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