[FOSDEM] requirement to start a devroom

Daniel Pocock daniel at pocock.pro
Thu Jul 6 20:59:01 CEST 2017

On 06/07/17 20:47, Martin Braun wrote:
> 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.

You've been doing a great job - my talk in your dev-room had more
attendance than the talk I gave in our RTC dev-room this year :)

> 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.

How would you feel about a slight name change, maybe "SDR and Ham
software dev-room"?  Would you want to have people like Kristoff join
the admin team for the room?  The RTC room had 4 admins this year, this
makes it easier for people to take breaks.

> 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.

Actually, as the FOSDEM team already commented, they do chop and change
dev-rooms every year.  So either RTC dev-room or the SDR dev-room could
be skipped in 2018.

In fact, we used to have separate Telecoms and XMPP dev-rooms (1 day
each) and they were combined into a single day (RTC dev-room).
Distributions used to have their own dev-rooms but now they get squeezed
into one room.

> 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.

One thing we tried with RTC the last two years is reducing talk slots to
20 minutes, like TED talks.  Then we don't have to turn away so many
speakers.  I understand some demos need more than that, up to a full
hour, but we felt good about this in the RTC dev-room.



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