OpenBSD Journal

BSDay2003 from inside

Contributed by jose on from the view-from-inside dept.

Aleksander Czarnowski writes: "Hi,

I though it might be interesting for readers to have some insight look at the BSDay 2003 event. Please feel free to post this text.

As organizers of this event we have unique - and quite different from others - view on the whole thing. First of all I believe it is important that together with Edu-Tel we proved that commercial companies are willing to invest (at least in Poland) in BSD systems in different areas including education. We took the risk of organizing such event without even knowing how many people would come and without any business plan: we knew exactly how much resources and time it would take, we knew the additional costs like hiring a conference place, printing conference materials etc, but that's all." Keep reading for the rest of the story.

"It seems that even during recession there are small companies offering some sort of BSD support in Poland. Again this is a very good sign and a tendency I hope to see growing. I also hope that other commercial organization in Poland will be now more open to invest in BSD related actions. However we still have a long way ahead of us to build the proper knowledge regarding BSD in both management and IT groups.

I hope that everyone who joined BSDay 2003 had great fun and is willing to come next year. We certainly had a lot of pleasure to host this event and being able to exchange ideas and knowledge with other BSD developers and the rest of BSD community in Poland.

But the story would not be complete without some pitfalls we had. First of all I was really surprised then only one talk was strictly about OpenBSD - it seems that a lot of people doesn't know or understand security mechanism like W^X. This is certainly a area that needs a lot of improvements in terms of PR ;-). Secondly it's a pity that some people where starting stupid flame wars - what was interesting is the fact that all the flames where coming only from FreeBSD people - guess the polish FreeBSD FAQ should be updated with information on how to behave during events like conference ;-). On the other hand guys from NetBSD community were great.

Last but not least I must admit that I have never seen such hostile community as polish BSD groups. We had a really disappointing experience with one of developers of some security-related FreeBSD project who after submitting paper he only co-authored started very specific "negotiations" regarding his payment. The most sad think is that one of arguments used during our "discussion" was that his project is a freeware! There is no problem on earning on open-source security related projects: look at snort or tripwire. However to do that you also need a business vision - I guess it's easier to count on and wait for conference organizers to support your home budget ;-). He also gracefully forgot about the second author of "his" whitepaper. Because of this guy we had to change conference program and reprint invitations. It's a real pity because such people not only create bad press for FreeBSD community but also for the rest of BSD world.

Anyway I think that BSDay 2003 was a move in right direction and I would be very pleased if other people - especially in Poland - would follow this idea. The good news it that we hope to organize BSDay 2004 next year. This year we were surprised by the number of submitted whitepapers. It would be great if we could extend next BSDay conference from one to 2 days event.

At the end we have a lot of great fun and we learn a lot and we met a lot of great people. This is what really counts. So if you are willing to organize BSD event don't hesitate and start working. I will be very rewarding project.

Best Regards,
Alex Czarnowski "
This looks kind of interesting, now I wish I had attended BSDay2003. Make sure you also see Jacek's report.

(Comments are closed)

  1. By nephilim () on

    Jakie to polskie : "Secondly it's a pity that some people where starting stupid flame wars - what was interesting is the fact that all the flames where coming only from FreeBSD people" - ciekawe kto ? Ludzie, czy naprawdę jesteśmy spadkobiercami hasła "gdzie dwóch Polaków tam trzy partie'. Opamiętajcie się, patent na nieomylność miał Żyd co chodzł po wodzie i teraz papież.

    1. By Headache () on

      Ĉu iu povas traduki la supran alineon?

      Can someone translate the above paragraph?

      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        If it's a flamewar (in Polish), why bother?

      2. By m () on

        He said, that flame wars were typical of Poland. He also asked Poles for 'reflection'. I don't know why the author of that mail didn't say about the prices - Alex, tell them more *facts*.

    2. By marcin () on

      Translated: "Jakie to polskie..."
      How Polish it is: "Secondly it's a pity that some people where starting stupid flame wars - what was interesting is the fact that all the flames where coming only from FreeBSD people" - curious who? People, are we really inheritants of the saying "where are two Poles, there are three parties?". Realize that the patent for infallibility had that jew who walked on the water, and now it belongs to the pope.
      Well, I did my best. My hat is off to Jacek for putting up with seyming idiots.

      1. By Jacek Artymiak () on

        I wouldn't say that flamewars were a Polish speciality. In any community, you'll get people who choose to behave in an antisocial manner, or attack others for the lack of good arguments, or the lack of knowledge of other ways of expressing their views.

        I usually choose to ignore those who behave in an unacceptable way, there's too much good stuff and too many good people in life to meet to grieve over a couple of weirdos. And to put the record straight, I met people who were behaving in an odd way in NetBSD, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, Linux, Microsoft, and other communities. Hate it or like it, the bell curve applies to all communitites ;-)

        In my report I chose to focus on what happened on the day of the conference, what was said, and who said what. The difficulties in cooperation with some speakers are of not my concern, it was Alek's thankless task to coordinate this. It was his success that nobody save for a couple of people knew about the things he's writing in his report and everyone met in a friendly atmosphere. Overall, my impressions from the conference are positive. Of course, I agree that some people could have more respect for the NetBSD community, especially when one of the speakers is a developer with the project, but the readers of this thread should not develop a view that Polish BSD users are a bunch of morons. There are many bright people over here, some just have some growing up to do. That's all.

        Let's focus on the positives, like moving a ministry (Polish Ministry of Health, to be exact) from Linux to FreeBSD. This, not the differences in social standards, is something that should get more exposure (BTW. if anyone wants to get in touch with Marcin, write me and I'll forward your mail to him).

        1. By cc () on

          Since my Polish is, well, nonexistent, can you highlight a few of the reasons they gave for the Linux->FreeBSD migration, and what issues (if any) they had in doing so? Unless of course you think that will start a flame war here... ;)


  2. By Anonymous Coward () on

    As far as I know the `co-author' was arguing about getting paid at all, as you don't find it apropriate to pay the authors at all. It's a shame when one day ticket is $150.

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