GUADEC Committee: 24 October 2011 Meeting

Meeting Information

IRC channel: irc://

Time: 16:00 - 17:30 UTC

  • 09:00 Los Angeles/San Francisco
  • 12:00 Boston/Montreal/New York
  • 17:00 London
  • 18:00 Berlin/Madrid


  1. Status from local team
  2. Update on guadec-planning email list, and web site status
  3. Status from sponsor group
  4. Distro summit: what was that like at GNOME Asia?
  5. Program committee - how are the members usually decided?
  6. Are there any special topics/tracks that should be covered at this GUADEC?
  7. Other items

Meeting Minutes


  • bobert_: Bob Murphy
  • gpoo: Germán Poó-Caamaño
  • karenesq: Karen Sandler
  • kittykat: Ekaterina Gerasimova
  • teuf: Christophe Fergeau
  • txenoo: Chema Casanova
  • williamfromtexas: William Carlson
  • yippi: Brian Cameron


Local team update

The university's Faculty Dean has confirmed the facility booking. txenoo described the facilities.

Publicity and Infrastructure

Since the dates have been set, consensus was to do a press release, and publish them on as soon as the local team can arrange that. txenoo has emailed the sysadmins, and filed a bug in GNOME bugzilla, to get control of the website.


Much discussion on the sponsor brochure; plans are to review a new draft of the text content at the next meeting. Further discussion on sponsorship levels, and on layout/design assistance.

Distro summit and other special tracks/topics

yippi described the summits at GNOME Asia and the DS. He summarized them as being very useful, but would benefit from more organization and publicity to get more distros engaged, make sure the right people from each distro attend, and make sure important issues are addressed. Some businesses in the embedded/mobile sectors may also want to send people, since they effectively create their own GNOME-based distros. txenoo suggested organizing a half-day track on the 26th or 30th.

williamfromtexas suggested UI/visual design as a special topic. txenoo suggested we get feedback from the advisory board; karenesq agreed to take it up with them.

Program committee

There were discussions of how this worked in previous years and how the members had been selected. The possibility of a "blind" approach (selecting proposals without knowing who proposed them) was raised, but several objections were raised, and the consensus was not to do this. txenoo proposed a sequence of steps to organize the program committee, and said jjsanchez from the local committee had volunteered to do them with txenoo's assistance.

Action Items

Local team

  • Sponsor brochure updates
  • Set up etherpad for press release draft


  • Add info to sponsor brochure draft on business sponsor benefits
  • Send email on sponsor brochure
  • Ask marketing list for assistance on sponsor brochure, especially visual design


  • Begin steps to organize program committee


  • Send out a press release announcing the dates.
  • Review legal terms for sponsor brochure
  • Add info to sponsor brochure draft on why GUADEC is in the public interest
  • Discuss possible special topics/tracks with the advisory board.


  • Sponsor brochure updates


[08:59am] teuf: hey
[08:59am] williamfromtexas: hi!
[08:59am] bobert_: Hi!
[08:59am] yippi left the chat room. (Remote closed the connection)
[09:00am] bobert_: It's 16:00 UTC - let's wait a few minutes to see who else joins
[09:01am] txenoo: ok
[09:02am] bobert_: There are a few people I don't recognize, so let's introduce ourselves. I'm Bob Murphy.
[09:04am] txenoo: I'm Chema Casanova from local team
[09:05am] teuf: I'm Christophe Fergeau, helped with paper selection 2 years ago, and mostly lurking during the meetings
[09:05am] williamfromtexas: I'm William Carlson, I helped on GUADEC 2010 and the DS2011
[09:07am] yippi joined the chat room.
[09:08am] bobert_: Okay, let's go ahead and start. How are things going for the local team?
[09:09am] txenoo: Last week we confirmed the booking of the venue with the Faculty Dean
[09:09am] txenoo: - Book the following premises for the dates (26th June - 1 August) last two days for hackfests
[09:10am] txenoo: The reservation nowadays includes:
[09:10am] txenoo: - Main hall (ground floor)
[09:10am] txenoo: - 2 big classrooms (third floor)
[09:10am] txenoo: - 2 wifi classrooms
[09:10am] txenoo: - grades room
[09:10am] txenoo: - meeting room
[09:10am] txenoo: - venue hall
[09:11am] bobert_: That sounds excellent!
[09:11am] txenoo: So we have the expected facilities.
[09:12am] txenoo: The last day we expect finishing at at 14:00
[09:12am] teuf: have the dates been publically announced yet? or is it a bit too soon for that?
[09:13am] txenoo: Dates had been confirmed by board two weeks ago.
[09:13am] bobert_: I don't think they've been publicly announced, but I don't see anything preventing that.
[09:13am] txenoo: And now we are confirming that as expected there was no problem with the booking. The dean himself has done the reservation through the booking system of the faculty.
[09:14am] msanchez joined the chat room.
[09:14am] txenoo: We would like to publish the new when we have something available in
[09:15am] williamfromtexas: yes, even if we just have a place-holder image, i think it would be good to have this on the webpage
[09:15am] bobert_: That sounds good. We should also do a press release - I'm not sure whether that should come from the foundation or the GUADEC team.
[09:15am] williamfromtexas: maybe we write it and they post it as news?
[09:16am] txenoo: But there is a pending point about the current status of how to deal with the bug i reported about in gnome bugzilla
[09:16am] txenoo:
[09:17am] yippi: it would be great if we could do an announcement or a press release
[09:18am] bobert_: Just a suggestion - it would be ideal if itself also pointed to the 2012 site, and pointed to the DS site.
[09:18am] teuf: txenoo: could you talk with bkor about this?
[09:18am] bobert_: Yippi, do you know who/if someone connected with the foundation does press releases for it?
[09:18am] txenoo: teuf: i talked to him and he pointed me to bugzilla
[09:19am] txenoo: because he hasn't read my previous email becuase he is flooded by log mails
[09:19am] txenoo: We can use as example
[09:19am] teuf: txenoo: I'd try to ping him again to know the status, or ask him who you can talk to
[09:20am] yippi: if you send an email to the marketing list with the information that should be included in the press release, I think they can take care of it.
[09:21am] bobert_: That looks like a great format for a press release.
[09:21am] txenoo: teuf: i'll try again
[09:21am] yippi: karen has been doing them lately, and she is on that list.
[09:21am] kittykat: yes, it would be great if the the dates were announced soon, and the website would at least show them and the location. txenoo, for the desktop summit, we had to email the sysadmins ( directly to get it done quickly
[09:21am] bobert_: Thanks, yippi. The last time I did a press release was in the '80s, and it involved lots of faxing - I think things have changed. 
[09:22am] karenesq joined the chat room.
[09:22am] bobert_: Hi Karen - we were just talking about you. 
[09:23am] txenoo: kittykat: i've already sent it to
[09:23am] karenesq: sorry I'm late, bobert_ !
[09:23am] txenoo: but i'll forward it again  pointing to bugzilla
[09:23am] bobert_: That's okay - we volunteered you to send out a press release.
[09:24am] bobert_: (Or at least suggested you as a person who might do it.)
[09:24am] karenesq: yes, I'd like to do that
[09:25am] bobert_: Well, we've very neatly knocked off item 2 on the agenda in the process of discussing item 1. Let's move on to item 3 - status from the sponsor group.
[09:26am] williamfromtexas: the sponsor brochure - i've pulled together most text i think but still need to work on some sections
[09:26am] bobert_: We have an etherpad up for the team to collaborate on a brochure, and wiliamfromtexas has put up an initial draft
[09:26am] williamfromtexas: from gnome i think a review of the legal terms would be good, especially since there were a couple differences between 2008, 2010 and 2011
[09:26am] txenoo: we have launch a request to have some nice photographs of the venue
[09:27am] williamfromtexas: pad is here:
[09:27am] bobert_: Photographs will be great.
[09:28am] williamfromtexas: did anyone else have a chance to read through it? it's basically an update of previous sponsor brochures
[09:28am] bobert_: I looked at it over the weekend and added a couple of comments
[09:29am] williamfromtexas: i strongly agree with listing all prices in Euros, as this is a European conf
[09:29am] karenesq: I'll take a look at the legal terms, and maybe get SFLC to help
[09:30am] williamfromtexas: i think the legal terms did say something about not soliciting for employment.. i will double check the past brochures
[09:30am] bobert_: I'd also like to add some info about what the benefits are for business sponsors - I can add a draft about those.
[09:31am] karenesq: that's a great idea
[09:32am] • karenesq added "GNU/" in front of linux to make our fsf friends happy
[09:32am] bobert_: Not that I want to turn GUADEC business-y, but my experience at a lot of companies is the people holding the purse strings often don't appreciate what things like sponsorship can do for them.
[09:32am] txenoo: would it be interesting include the extra-possibilities to Sponsors (organizing parties, coffee breaks, etc) ?
[09:33am] karenesq: actually, I think we can add more about why it's in the public interest too, I will try to add something to this effect, if that's ok
[09:34am] bobert_: txenoo, I think it would be very interesting - I think the sponsorship level grid for the DS had some good info about the extras
[09:34am] bobert_: kareneq, that would be great
[09:34am] bobert_: oops karenesq 
[09:34am] williamfromtexas: txenoo: that is legal term #6 as well as in the sponsor-level table from the DS, but we can mention it in the Become a Sponsor area
[09:35am] txenoo: we'll review the different opportunities available in the venue for including them in the sponsor brochure
[09:36am] bobert_: I may also mention it in the "benefits for business", along the lines of, "while you can't recruit as part of the official activities, GUADEC sponsorship is a great way to make contact with individuals and consultancies who have deep expertise in key open-source technologies."
[09:38am] bobert_: I think we're making good progress on the brochure. Let's plan to have another draft ready for review at the next meeting.
[09:38am] karenesq: bobert_: that sounds good
[09:39am] williamfromtexas: i put in the prices from the DS2011, will those be the same for this event?
[09:39am] txenoo: we'll try to do a hard work from our side in the local team this week.
[09:39am] williamfromtexas: me too!
[09:39am] bobert_: Good. I'll try to get my business-y stuff in this week, too.
[09:40am] txenoo: we need to review the numbers with 2010
[09:40am] karenesq: txenoo: a quote from the local team about hosting GUADEC might be really good for the press release
[09:41am] txenoo: I note down this task, we could work in another etherpad for the press release
[09:42am] karenesq: great!
[09:42am] bobert_: That all sounds good. By the way, who has historically decided on the sponsorship levels?
[09:42am] bobert_: E.g. money amounts?
[09:44am] bobert_: <dead slilence> 
[09:44am] txenoo: I don't know :-?
[09:44am] bobert_: ->silence
[09:44am] karenesq: I'm still new here... 
[09:44am] bobert_: Well, then I propose for this year it be the local team, with approval by the board. Will that work for everybody?
[09:45am] yippi: have you reviewed the sponsorship levels used last year?
[09:45am] yippi: do you want to change them?
[09:45am] karenesq: I'm asking the board if they know
[09:45am] txenoo: in the bid we incuded some reference numbers but as the main benefit of organizing the conference is for the GNOME Foundation we should think about an amount that sponsors will be interested in give as support.
[09:46am] bobert_: It strikes me that the local team will have a better handle on the projected financial needs, and the board approval will probably handle any legal issues.
[09:46am] williamfromtexas: here's what i see: in 2011 it was 1k/5k/10k/20k/45k, in 2010 it was 1k/5k/15k/25k/35k
[09:47am] bobert_: yippi: Yes, I think people have reviewed last year's sponsorship levels. One question in my mind is, because GUADEC is a smaller conference (e.g. KDE is not there this year), should the levels be the same or smaller? Or are there other factors that would argue for it being the same? I simply don't know.
[09:47am] txenoo: i our bid we included 3k/7.5k/15k/30k
[09:47am] williamfromtexas: so the DS made the top higher, and GUADEC had the mid-ranges higher
[09:48am] williamfromtexas: maybe the guadec2010 approach is better, because they only had 1 top sponsor (intel), but it may be easier to get more mid-range sponsors than top
[09:48am] toscalix left the chat room. (Remote closed the connection)
[09:48am] txenoo: which was intel level in 2010 ?
[09:49am] txenoo: because we usually have the Platinium level but since 2006 we don't have any sponsor with that level, IIRC?
[09:50am] txenoo: I've read in the minutes that the finantial result of GUADEC 2009 was available, it could be helpful for discussing this topic.
[09:50am] karenesq: I'll ask stormy too, to see if there's any historical knowledge about the levels of sponsorship
[09:51am] bobert_: That sounds good. Let's plan to discuss levels again at the next meeting, when we have more information.
[09:52am] bobert_: Let's move on to agenda item #4. There's been some question about what a distro summit might be like.
[09:52am] txenoo: In  2009 and  2011 with DS we had platinium sponsors Nokia&Qt and Intel.
[09:52am] gpoo joined the chat room.
[09:52am] williamfromtexas: ok
[09:52am] williamfromtexas: in the meantime we'll try to have the text ready, so all we do is change the numbers as necessary
[09:52am] williamfromtexas: is there any designer we can have help with layout?
[09:53am] gpoo: is the meeting real? or just a queued message?
[09:53am] bobert_: gpoo: Heh. Yes, it's real, but also yes, I just got four messages at once.
[09:53am] txenoo: williamfromtexas: we have alba in the local team, probably we could get support in the gnome-marketing team too
[09:53am] williamfromtexas: we are live
[09:54am] williamfromtexas: cool
[09:55am] bobert_: That would be great to have some real designers - that's definitely not my talent.
[09:56am] karenesq: I agre with txenoo, we should ask the marketing team for their help with the brochure for design and generally
[09:57am] yippi: yes, and the marketing team probably should have input on what the best sponsorship levels should be.
[09:57am] yippi: or, at least, they should review the plan.
[09:57am] williamfromtexas: maybe in bob's email about the sponsor brochure we can include the marketing-list for some feedback
[09:57am] bobert_: Agreed on the marketing team assistance.
[09:57am] bobert_: Sounds good.
[09:57am] txenoo: bobert_: we could use some pending  budget from GPUL if we need to contract a design professional.
[09:58am] txenoo: let's move to #4 
[09:58am] bobert_: Interesting idea.
[09:58am] bobert_: Yes, #4. 
[09:58am] bobert_: yippi, would you tell us what the distro summit was like at GNOME Asia, and why you think it was successful?
[09:59am] yippi: each distro was invited to send a few people to attend the meeting.  Not as many distros sent people as we hoped, but there were about 10 people in total who did attend.
[10:00am] bobert_: What all did they discuss/do?
[10:00am] yippi: we had a meeting, like a BoF, for about 1-2 hours and discussed problems we had.  Since people from the release team were there and attended, it was a good opportunity to have some face-to-face help.
[10:00am] yippi: everybody who attended seemed to think it was productive, but it could have been better organized.
[10:01am] yippi: we didn't really have a good agenda.  It would have been more productive, I think, if the different distros had made clear their issues beforehand, and if we had gone through the issues in a more organized fashion.
[10:03am] yippi: I think that we realized after the meeting that it is the sort of activity that is productive to encourage cross-distro collaboration, but I think we also realized that it requires a lot of organization to get the different distros engaged.
[10:03am] bobert_: I can see where something like that would be a useful meeting for this GUADEC, especially if we can provide more organization beforehand.
[10:04am] yippi: at the Desktop Summit the organizers didn't invest much time interacting with the advisory board beforehand to ensure the best people would attend with agenda items identified.
[10:04am] karenesq: yippi; which distros participated?
[10:04am] yippi: but it was harder at the Desktop Summit since it was a relatively small event compared to GUADEC.
[10:05am] yippi: It probably would be easier at GUADEC, where more involved people will likely attend anyway
[10:05am] yippi: Novell, Oracle, FreeBSD and Red Hat.
[10:05am] yippi: I believe Ryan tried to represent Ubuntu
[10:06am] yippi: however, not all the distros sent the best people.  like i said, it probably would be easier at GUADEC where more people will likely be attending.
[10:06am] yippi: e.g. more of the release team, for example.
[10:06am] bobert_: Hmmm. Yes, I would think Canonical would want to send somebody "officially", and other distros like Mandriva.
[10:07am] bobert_: There may be some non-distro businesses who would be interested in sending people to this, or something similar aimed embedded systems.
[10:07am] yippi: right.  The way it was organized at the Desktop Summit, it ended up being more of an unofficial meeting.
[10:07am] yippi: but, considering, I think it was quite productive
[10:08am] bobert_: A lot of companies wind up effectively building their own distros for embedded products.
[10:08am] yippi: right.  there was no representation from anybody working in the mobile space at that meeting.  It would be good to get more organizations like that to engage in this sort of activitiy
[10:08am] txenoo: We could organize a track of halfday about this topic, maybe the 26ths or 30th ?
[10:08am] bobert_: Definitely.
[10:08am] bobert_: I think that would be a great idea!
[10:10am] txenoo: We could propose it to the release team and try to get the interest of the different distributions.
[10:11am] bobert_: Codethink is working on a new build system for GNOME components aimed at the embedded space. So I'm sure they would be interested, and if they have sponsorship for that, the sponsor would probably be interested too.
[10:13am] bobert_: It sounds to me like this could be a great track.
[10:13am] bobert_: As long as we're on this, are there any other special topics or tracks we might want to emphasize?
[10:13am] bobert_: (that's item 6 on the agenda)
[10:15am] txenoo: About #5 ?
[10:16am] bobert_: I was thinking, since we were having a productive discussion of one special topic, we might see if there were any others, and tackle #5 after that.
[10:16am] txenoo: ok
[10:16am] williamfromtexas: well the DS was emphasizing 'design' as the conf topic in general. do we have an overarching topic?
[10:17am] txenoo: About the possible tracks we could emphasize i think that a feedback from the Advisory board would be really interesting.
[10:18am] karenesq: txenoo: I agree - We've got our next advisory board meeting tomorrow, but the agenda's pretty packed. I'll see if we can sneak it on, but if not we can add it to the next meeting
[10:18am] bobert_: williamfromtexas: Do you mean visual/user interface design?
[10:19am] williamfromtexas: bobert: yes
[10:21am] txenoo: There was a list of topics in DS
[10:21am] txenoo:
[10:22am] williamfromtexas: ok, many topics were included, but the keynotes had a design-orientation
[10:22am] williamfromtexas: it could be interesting if we had something similar
[10:23am] txenoo: i don't find a main topic for the conference 
[10:24am] williamfromtexas: it was subliminal 
[10:24am] bobert_: I think we have some great ideas for possible topics. Let's think about them some more, and talk about them in our next meeting.
[10:25am] bobert_: Let's talk for a moment about agenda item 5. Does anybody know how the program committee is usually decided?
[10:25am] bobert_: E.g., how the members are chosen?
[10:26am] txenoo: teuf: said that he had already participated in the paper selection 2 years ago
[10:28am] txenoo: my experience in other conferences is that we have a program committee that is responsible of deciding which taks are selected and which not.
[10:29am] txenoo: This committee should be composed by a group of people with experience in the field that could review if the proposals are suitable for the conference.
[10:30am] msanchez left the chat room. (Ex-Chat)
[10:30am] bobert_: Looking at previous GUADEC/DS websites, it looks like that's how things were done. I just wasn't sure how those people were selected - e.g. by the local committee, or someone else.
[10:30am] kittykat: bobert_: this year, one of the local team was picked to decide who should be on the committee, he tried to cover various distributions and areas with his choices. this worked well for us, but does depend on picking the right person to make the choices
[10:31am] bobert_: That sounds like a really good approach.
[10:31am] txenoo: In the local team jjsanchez will be our link with the program committee
[10:31am] gpoo: teuf, desrt, behdad have been part of the program committee before
[10:32am] bobert_: The 2011 DS call for participation lists its committee members, and I recognize a lot of names.
[10:33am] bobert_: Would it work for everybody to have jjsanchez and/or the local team approach suitable people to form this year's committee?
[10:33am] karenesq: bobert_: does it make sense to ask all of last year's committee for their suggestions as to how to organize it better this year?
[10:34am] bobert_: karenesq: That sounds like a great idea.
[10:34am] txenoo: I think that we could deal creating a program committee with people from the GNOME community based in previous experiences.
[10:35am] txenoo: bobert_: where is the list of the committee members in 2011 ?
[10:35am] kittykat: bobert_, there's another point I would like to add: for me, it was quite important that the team had enough confidence in the papers committee to trust them in their choices and that they should base their decisions on the quality of the submissions, not on what is "politically correct", which was not the case for all other organisation team members
[10:36am] bobert_: txenoo: bottom of the page
[10:38am] bobert_: kittykat: I definitely agree that proposals need to be judged solely on their merit and quality.
[10:39am] txenoo: Using a blind approach could be an option, but this has never done in previous GUADEC.
[10:39am] karenesq: I think a blind approach won't work - part of the submission is the credibility of the speaker
[10:39am] gpoo: doing it blind can be overkill
[10:40am] gpoo: if you get a proposal talking about rygel... >90% prob was sent by Zeeshan, systemd >90% lennart, and so on
[10:41am] gpoo: it is tricky
[10:42am] kittykat: blind would be like rating the proposals on charisma rather than knowledge and esperience of the submitter
[10:42am] txenoo: I think that a good approach will be having an big enough team of reviewers and try to give feedback to the speakers about their proposal, specially if it was not accepted.
[10:42am] bobert_: Those are both excellent points I hadn't considered. I'm more used to blind assessments in the area of academic papers submitted to journals, where it would be harder to guess who the author was.
[10:44am] txenoo: so at this point current ideas are:
[10:44am] teuf: the year I was involved in the program committee, I was approached by organizers (dneary and gmc) and asked if I wanted to lead the committee and find a few people to be part of it
[10:44am] kittykat: in general, most of the paper committee voted in the same direction for each paper, so we didn't have many overall "neutral" papers
[10:44am] yippi left the chat room. (Leaving)
[10:44am] kittykat: submissions, not papers
[10:45am] bobert_: txenoo: I like the idea of giving feedback. Also, it would be extra work for the reviewers, but I can see a situation where a proposal is "almost" good enough to be accepted, and they could suggest how to change it.
[10:46am] txenoo: - review with previous program committees how the process worked in the past.
[10:46am] yippi left the chat room. (Remote closed the connection)
[10:46am] gpoo: otoh, let the submitters know the criteria for elegibility should help, too.
[10:46am] txenoo: -create a program committee for this conference
[10:46am] yippi joined the chat room.
[10:47am] kittykat: also, please limit talk titles to 50 characters, we had some stupidly long ones (3-4 sentences) which made creating the printed schedules very difficult
[10:47am] txenoo: - define the process of the acceptance of papers
[10:47am] teuf: gpoo: txenoo: generally there are more good talks than slots available
[10:47am] txenoo: - choose the tool that allow us to manage the process
[10:47am] gpoo: kittykat: maybe long and short titles
[10:48am] teuf: so only the duplicate ones/off topic ones get dropped
[10:48am] kittykat: gpoo: that would also be great!
[10:51am] bobert_: What would be the difference between a "long title" and an abstract? At the Ottawa Linux Symposium, they require a short title and an abstract as the proposal.
[10:51am] yippi joined the chat room.
[10:52am] txenoo: bobert_: just having a short title to include in the schedule
[10:54am] gpoo: bobert_: short title: 'gnome 3 and you' long title: 'How my mom survided to her new computer experience'
[10:55am] bobert_: Ah - like book titles. 
[10:56am] bobert_: Okay, so I think txenoo has outlined a good set of steps.
[10:57am] bobert_: txenoo: Do you have somebody on the local committee, like jjsanchez, who can do those?
[10:58am] txenoo: jjsanchez volunteered to deal with that
[10:58am] bobert_: Excellent!
[10:58am] txenoo: i'll be supporting him on this too
[10:58am] bobert_: That sounds great.
[10:59am] bobert_: Are there any other items we should cover in this meeting?
[11:00am] txenoo: I don't have anything from our side, just a lot of pending work we'll move next two weeks.
[11:00am] karenesq: thanks for leading and organizing, bobert_!
[11:00am] bobert_: txenoo: lol
[11:00am] williamfromtexas: yes, thx bobert
[11:01am] bobert_: Thank you all for attending! See you in two weeks!
[11:01am] txenoo: thanks you all
[11:01am] williamfromtexas: cheers 
[11:01am] teuf: see you all, thanks bobert_ !

GUADEC/2012/Minutes/2011-10-24 (last edited 2013-07-08 18:51:06 by EkaterinaGerasimova)