Wineconf wrapup

Jeremy White jwhite at
Tue Feb 3 16:49:01 CST 2004

Hi all,

Say, I wanted to thank everyone for coming to Wineconf 2004;
as far as I can tell, a good time was had by all, and we may
even have accomplished one or two useful things <grin>.

I really appreciate that so many of you braved -30C
temperature and two days of constant snowfall to
come work with us on Wine - such insanity^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H
dedication is admirable.

I wanted to suggest that we get to planning Wineconf 2005
sooner rather than later; I'm curious to see which
European city hosts the event <grin>.  For the record, we're
willing to be the major sponsor for the next Wineconf;
we'll kick in some funds and person power to help make
sure it happens.  However, I think it'll only work well
in conjunction with one or more locals.

I did have some closing thoughts and advice I wanted
to get off my chest; there are some things I would do
differently next time, and it's probably also wise
to touch on the things that worked well.

In no particular order, here are a number of thoughts:

1.  Screw fancy audio/video streaming.

     Find an inexpensive telephone conference service,
     and use it.  Test it, several weeks in advance,
     *with the intended audience* (the stream worked
     fine on this side of the Atlantic, afaict), and
     *with the expected load*.  Our tests were always
     done with less load than we had during wineconf,
     because the streaming traffic used the same pipe
     as the 'net connection everyone was using.

     We wasted a lot of time and energy on this,
     against my initial better judgement, and it
     proved to be largely useless, afaict
     from the #wineconf comments.

     Go low tech.  Swallow your geek pride.
     Just get simple audio that works.

     /me kicks self

2.  Things that worked well:

     A.  An inexpensive location
         Not one person opted for the expensive
         hotel I listed; cost really matters
         to this crowd.  The last thing we want to
         do is scare away young people; they often
         have enormous energy and no cash.  Help
         with hostels and friends with floors was appreciated.

     B.  Breaks
         The only times that I was sure that productive
         conversations were occuring was during the breaks.
         Provide lots of 'em.  Go very light on
         scheduled topics.

     C.  Do lunch in; that worked really well.
         Have lots of food and beverages about, that
         also seems to work well.  Bring the water
         cooler down on the *first* day <grin>.

     D.  Internet connectivity is a must.  Really.
         And provide both wireless and wired.  We had
         some grumpy campers when we initially didn't
         have enough cat5 ports.

     E.  All of the professional conference paraphenalia
         was invaluable.  A wireless mic (preferably two)
         and someone to operate it.  A PA type system.
         A projector.  Even with the relatively small group
         we had it was invaluable.

3.  Suggestion - blue collar location

     I know it's fashionable to suggest fancy vacation spots
     for Wineconf 2005, but I honestly think it would be
     much better to pick a 'blue collar' venue.  Pick somewhere
     that is a transportation hub, with modest prices.
     Someplace where some Wine hackers live; having local
     help is incredibly valuable (thanks to Mandi, Chris,
     Jon, Aric, Zak, Newman, and all of the gang who did so much work).

     In fact, when we did go to the fancy tourist night spot,
     we ended up at a bar where it was too loud to talk; conversation
     amongst folks from 10 different countries is hard enough
     without load blaring music or odd ball distractions.

     A quite room and a good supply of ale, perhaps with a whiteboard,
     is what folks mostly craved.

     This is just my $0.02; I think others would differ sharply.

4.  The final, critical piece of advice

     Don't type 'ifconfig eth0 down' in a terminal Window
     on the Mac in an attempt to reinitialize it's DHCP
     settings, unless you're dead certain you haven't
     ssh'd over to the server that is the life blood of your
     community, and is physically miles away behind locked doors...

     ...and I still can't figure out why Alexandre won't
     take my patches! <grin>

At any rate, I feel much better now - thanks for listening,
and thanks for coming.



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