[FOSDEM] requirement to start a devroom

Martin Braun martin at gnuradio.org
Thu Jul 6 20:47:53 CEST 2017

On 07/01/2017 12:10 PM, Kristoff wrote:
> Correct. In fact, the ham-radio infobooth we have had started out as an
> idea of some people who participated in the SDR devroom in 2014.
> But, as also replied by Daniel, amateur radio is more then
> signal-processing (SDR). There also is (e.g.)  digital voice, digital
> keyboard-to-keyboard communication modes, weak-signal communication,
> satellite-trackers, mesh-networking, repeater-linking-networks, and many
> other things.
> But I do agree that the ham-radio topics do overlap quite a bit with
> existing devroom: the SDR devroom, the EDA (electronic-design
> automation) and the "embedded" devroom.
> Another element in this is that the SDR devroom is already quite loaded.
> Adding ham-radio-but-not-related-to-sdr topics to that devroom is
> probably not a good idea.
> So I am still a bit puzzled on how to see this and how to do this the
> best. (hence my question here).

As the guy who's organized the SDR track for the last few years, I would
have appreciated if you had pinged me on this too.

Note that not only have we had multiple ham-related talks in the past
(including Daniel's), but also have I made sure to invite select members
of the ham community directly whenever I sent out the CfP. I don't know
that many European hams, but I've also asked people to forward CfPs to
their respective communities.
Now, of course you're right that ham software includes more than just
SDR, but if you've followed the SDR track in the last couple of years,
you'll have noticed that we have all kinds of talks, including
FPGA-specific ones, embedded Linux, and other non-DSP talks. Besides,
our mission was always to get people from various communities together,
such as telecomms, DSP, academia, and also hams.
An excellent talk about satellite tracking software wouldn't stand out
our program. A non-excellent talk about satellite tracking software
probably wouldn't be accepted, though, because we also have plenty of
submissions and have had to turn down talks. Our devroom has always been
packed, both in terms of attendees as well as schedule.

To be clear: I realise you weren't criticizing the SDR devroom or
FOSDEM, but rather making a suggestion. Creating a ham-specific devroom
would mean, though, cancelling something else. So what should it be?
Python devroom? Or the embedded devroom?
I'm being facetious, here, of course, to emphasize my point. Also, do
you really think that there will be 15-ish good speakers ready to speak
about non-SDR-related-but-ham-related stuff with an excellent
presentation? Even with broad subjects, it's some work to get a good
lineup of speakers.

For next year, I fully intend to propose another SDR devroom, and will
also, as usual, invite hams. We can broaden the CfP to make that clear,
too. Let's just increase the competition for slots, and make sure we get
the best speakers. And if a talk about satellite tracking lands in the
SDR track, oh well, what's the big deal. We'll put it after the talk on
satellite ground stations if we have another one of those.


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