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August 11th, 2014

Tentative Schedule Meets Tentative Schedule For ATO

If last year’s inaugural All Things Open (ATO) conference in Raleigh was primarily an event for developers and admins, that’ll be even more true when ATO II cranks up on October 22 at the Raleigh Convention Center. At least that’s how it appears when scanning the tentative schedule posted on the ATO website. There’s also much on tap for management types, but the main focus is on developers and system administrators.

At first glance, it might look as if there’s very little for what blogger Gary Newell calls the Everyday Linux User, those who have adopted free software at home or in a mom and pop business. To my eyes, there is barely enough — but that still qualifies as enough.

That might change. The schedule is still tentative and very much in flux. There are no descriptions of the presentations posted yet and there were still a few slots that remain unfilled, presumably waiting on schedule confirmations. However, the presentations’ names are usually descriptive enough and there are bios of all speakers, making it easy enough to get some sort of idea of what to expect.

For now, my my personal list of what I want to see is even more tentative than the official ATO schedule. Until the descriptions go up, I can only imagine and guess at what the presentations will cover. For instance, there is a presentation scheduled in the Design category for the second hour on the conference’s first day with the hopeful title “Designing for Different Audiences – Community Versus Enterprise.” Although this sounds promising, there’s no named speaker yet, which means no organization connection to offer a clue as to what will be covered in this workshop.

Nevertheless, there are more than a couple of things that are already “gotta sees” for me. During Wednesday’s second hour, for example, there’s a presentation under the “Open Government/Open Data” thread called “Software Development as a Civic Service,” being conducted Ben Balter, who is identified as “a Government Evangelist at GitHub.” Evidently he’s something of a lobbyist for open standards and open source. He’s also a DC attorney, meaning he’s probably somebody good to have on our side.

At 3:15 on Wednesday I’m probably going to check out “Great Artists (Designers) Steal” by Joseph Gagliardi because I suspect it’ll be a lot of fun, but that still depends on what the presentation looks like after the descriptions are posted. Even if that one ends-up seeming to be a dud, it won’t matter. There are a couple of other presentations I’d also like to attend on the schedule for that hour.

My second choice would be “Open Data + Open Government = Open Goodness,” again under the “Open Government/Open Data” heading. This one’s being led by Robert Bates, a geek at Phase2, an open source solutions company. He’s also an author or co-maintainer for several Drupal modules. This is an important subject and I’d certainly like to glean a little about what’s being done in that direction by the feds.

That same hour, “HTML for the Mobile Web, Firefox OS” is also on my wish list. This is a strange choice for me, as it’ll be a technical presentation and bound to be partly over my head. But I’ve seen Jason Weathersby before and I like him. Last year at ATO, when he spoke on designing apps for FirefoxOS, he was put into one of the smaller rooms downstairs — not a good move in retrospect, as he ended up talking to a SRO crowd. But I walked away with a pretty good grasp on how apps are designed for Firefox OS.

There are quite a few other presentations that are already on my list as well, spanning the course of both days. But my list remains tentative, for a variety of reasons.

For one thing, I don’t want to dismiss any presentation out-of-hand, lest I miss something I really should see. In other words, maybe I’m missing something. Perhaps I’ve skipped over something I would really, really enjoy. Maybe I’ve failed to notice a presentation that would be right up my alley if only I knew.

Many of these presentations are “on the circuit,” meaning some people who visit this site, meaning FOSS Force, might have attended the same workshop at a different venue, such as a LinuxFest or something. Or some may know something of a presenter or have some other reason to recommend a presentation. If any of these people were to look at the schedule on the ATO website and offer-up their suggestions in the comment section below, that might be a big help.

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Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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