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September 9th, 2015

Looking Ahead to New Linux/FOSS Promotional Events

While the FOSS/Linux expo season is winding down – Ohio Linux Fest, All Things Open and the Seattle GNU/Linux Conference (SeaGL) next month, and Fossetcon in November in sunny Florida, before we ramp up for the first-of-the-year 2016 event at SCALE 14x in January – thoughts wander to other events that could possibly take place sometime in the future, with a little imagination.

Back in 2008 when Ken Starks and I put together Lindependence to bring Linux to Felton, California, one of the things that I had hoped would come of it would be more Linux events. Not to say the current crop of Linux/FOSS events are lacking — on the contrary, espcially in the face of individual FOSS programs spinning off their own events, like PuppetConf and NGINX among a myriad of others — but the idea behind Lindependence was to not only get Linux in the hands of Feltoners, but also to hopefully inspire others to dream big in the day-to-day-use-of-Linux promotion arena.

A couple of events I’d like to see sometime in the future – near or distant – include:

Linux/FOSS event called ELVIS

Everybody in the whole cell block would love to come to a Linux/FOSS event called ELVIS.
(Photo credit: LIbrary of Congress uncopyrighted)

Tuxstock/Fossapalooza/Pengaroo: True confession: I drift off to sleep many a day thinking about this. There’s a farm I go to occasionally that sits on the hilly ridge that separates the Pacific from the San Lorenzo Valley, where I live. I go there to pick up some organic vegetables, because that’s what you do when you live on the Central California coast. There is a hill that overlooks the water with a lot of land between Highway 1 and the top of the hill, and it’s a lot of space for tents, a stage, booths, etc. Logistical problems abound – connectivity and electricity for starters (the latter is simple – solar – the former, not so much…satellite Internet?), to say nothing of getting people to and from the event — hitchhiking is probably the best way to get there, though shuttles probably wouldn’t be ruled out. Minor details aside, it would be Three Days of Peace & Music…and FOSS. Of course, for those who don’t like camping and/or the great outdoors, there’s….

Expanding Linux Venues In the South (or ELVIS): A FOSS event fit for The King, this one would be held in Memphis, as close to Graceland as possible. Everyone would be required to wear blue suede shoes. We could have Elvis impersonators demonstrating various Linux distros and FOSS programs. Heck, we could have Linus impersonators doing the same thing. And Stallman impersonators doing the same thing. And Jon ‘maddog’ Hall impersonators…you get the idea. This is definitely something worth planning, and I’m so far from Memphis. Is someone closer that could take the reins? Uh, thankyouverymuch.

Some of you might prefer to get your motor running and head out on the highway. I wouldn’t mind that, and I’ll even get the proper licensing to drive the big vehicle. So if you feel like touring, how about….

LibreBus North America: Yes, this is directly taking a page from the LibreBus playbook. LibreBus toured Central America in May 2011, bringing Free/Open Source Software and the Open Source paradigm to various points in the region. In 2011, the bus toured Central America from Costa Rica to Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, to share experiences around free software, knowledge and bio-diversity, freedom of expression and freedom of sharing. It toured South America in 2012 as well. Our bus would do essentially the same thing around the United States and Canada, promoting Open Source and open projects both inside and outside the realm of technology, sponsored by those companies who want to be on board.

There’s more, but that’s enough to chew on for one commentary. See you Friday with the wrap.

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Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

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