I had gone to Freed.in to talk on something slightly unusual. My talk was on "!0 Things You didn't know about Python" - and as usual, I overdid the technical bits of the talk. But at least someone will remember memoization can improve your factorial code. So, here are the slides and let's leave it at that.
The whole conference schedule was packed with familiars from #linux-india - but the absence of Lap_64 and Lawgon was felt rather heavily. Nearly all of ILUG-Bom was present at the conference, even the Panvelkar.
There were some interesting things which came up during the conference. One of them was the SME Panel discussion where the adoption of F/OSS in the small & medium enterprise was discussed. The hurdles to most of these arise from the lack of support and surprisingly, vice versa.
As one of the volunteers commented, the paid-for support structures in place are leaning precariously on the seniors in the community. Where there is an OldMonk or BigBeard, there isn't really a gradation into a lower echelon of cheaper support for simpler tasks which a newcomer can take up without incurring much risk. The vicious cycle of establishing a reputation versus requiring one is present in the system.
Repurposing the LUG to handle the responsibility as a contact point was discussed and IMHO was a waste of time. A community organization with democractically inclined operation cannot do that job effectively. Involving it in monetary transactions brings in a large number of problems which are best solved by incorporation elsewhere.
Secondly, there was f3ew's talk on Building Online Communities, which was mind-mapped unconference of sorts. I'm still working on my Breaking & Entering Communities talk, but this sort of served as a stage to throw out some of my material. I personally think that we need help in contributing to communities rather than going about building them.
And as the conference wound down, we all packed our bags and headed out to Manali.--
I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon.
-- Howard Chaykin