Linux, musical road-dogging, and daily life by Paul W. Frields
FUDCon F11 in Boston.

FUDCon F11 in Boston.

I’m starting to make some plans for the next Fedora Users and Developers Conference (FUDCon), to celebrate our 10th release and to jump-start development for Fedora 11. I have a couple self-imposed priorities to observe in putting together the schedule.

The conference needs to happen soon after the release of Fedora 10. That’s currently scheduled for October 28, 2008. However, we often slip for a week or two for technical considerations, which might mean November 4 or 11. A major US holiday falls on November 27, and therefore quite a number of people may be unavailable the weekend before (21-23) or after (28-30). Therefore an early December conference makes more sense.

Scheduling on December 5-7 seems like the best weekend overall. The following weekend, December 12-14, is also a possibility, but that may be getting too close to the December holidays like Christmas. Why not January? Take a look at the draft Fedora 11 schedule for a hint. ?

I’ve started a wiki page for all the logistics. It currently says December 5-7, but note that that date can change if we want it to. We really do need to have it nailed down in a couple of weeks though, so the logistical efforts can truly ramp up. Please leave a comment in the signup area (the last field of the table) if you have strong feelings about the scheduling either way.

We will probably not be doing this at Boston University due to the timing. The BU folks have been nothing but superb in helping us with past FUDCons, but they simply can’t help this time around. So we have several options to consider:

  • Hold the FUDCon events in hotel meeting space. Network connectivity could vary widely and eliminate a lot of otherwise decent hotels. Likely very convenient for evening food and libations. Not too expensive (maybe free) if we fill 50+ rooms at a hotel a few miles outside the city.
  • Hold the FUDCon events at a different university. Good network connectivity, probably. Requires a relationship with the school. Timing might be untenable due to end-of-term exams. Likely free, but might cause higher hotel costs to be close to the school, since most are in the city.
  • Hold FUDCon at the Red Hat offices in Westford. Excellent network connectivity, assuming the IT staff makes a segregated, unsecured wireless available (as in RDU back in January). Free. Might be some logistical issues on Friday, such as facility security and access, fitting a large number of hackers into open conference rooms, and not causing a nightmare for a business operation in progress.

Why are we doing this in the Boston area again? The fact that the Red Hat Summit 2008 was in Boston obscures this a bit. The plans I made with Community Architecture back in February were to alternate our locations. The summer North American FUDCon would be held wherever the Summit happens, and the winter North American FUDCon would happen in the Boston area. In both cases, it’s to minimize costs — so we can spend more during the rest of the year on other events in NA and around the globe.


  1. I’d like to see the Raleigh FudCON back on the table for every year even if we can’t fly a ton of people in for it and it doesn’t have a lot of budget. Not only are there a lot of Fedora projects out of Raleigh (Spacewalk, Genome, Func, Cobbler, thincrust/oVirt) we also have a gigantic corporate pull in from RTP — IBM, Cisco, Nortel, Lenovo, Tekelec, lots of pharma companies, etc. And three major universities (NCSU, Duke, UNC) which we should be advertising FudCON with more heavily. While this doesn’t have to the official one, I think it’s too good to pass up and we should advertise it more fully with corporate and academic Fedora folks there. General OSS topics could be covered as well as Fedora topics.

    I should also add Raleigh is a lot nicer in December 🙂

  2. @Michael DeHaan: I agree completely. As long as we can live with not being able to fly lots of folks in, we should have FUDCons WHEREVER there’s enough people to make it worth doing! And I’ll definitely drive down to RDU for any Fedora event that happens there.

  3. I still think it would be worth considering holding FUDCon in a more central location in the US. It might draw more people from both community users and community developers. Sure, more RH folks might need to travel but if more people could show up the change might be worth it.

    I know I wanted to come to the Boston FUDCon, but it’s too far to reasonably drive, plane tickets are pricey and the hotel room rates in Boston were outrageous – and I’m not even west of the Mississippi.

    I can’t help but think moving it to someplace like Indianapolis (or some place similar) – which is a convention center city and has many, many hotel rooms at reasonable rates, is within driving distance for a much larger portion of the country could reduce travel costs paid by Fedora for those who are reimbursed and allow many more of us who are not reimbursed to attend the event. Even if it cost a bit more, but brought in a larger crowd – the expense very well might be worth it.

  4. While I respect your promise of having it near the summit and the other in Boston, I disagree with it. I really loved having it in RDU, it was my first one and I’d definitely attend again if it occurred here.

    Unfortunately, a lot of folks think the world revolves around Boston.

  5. The other thing we need to do, if Summit isn’t on the West Coast next year, is make sure we do /something/ on the West Coast next year, ideally Silicon Valley. Separate is probably better given people at Summit feel like they have to go to what their employers paid for, and are often burned out after a long week of conferences to hit the Saturday event.

    At some point we should probably also be thinking about Austin (or thereabouts) as that’s usually in the top several tech areas. And perhaps pitch a DC compromise for the East coast and pull in new attendance that doesn’t usually go to either, including gov’t folks who might not have the travel budget.

    Bottom line — think about the future new audience, not the old audience.

  6. @Michael:

    I don’t think it’s at all worth targeting government folks specifically, given my experience and having come from the DC set myself. But back before the last Summit, I did suggest Austin for the next Summit.

  7. @Jeffrey: @Jesus:

    I’d love to have FUDCon move around the country from time to time, definitely. There’s no reason a FUDCon couldn’t center on users, meaning you might not need a lot of developers flown in. If the regional Ambassadors were up for participating in finding additional funding, we could go practically anywhere. Since there’s not a money tree labeled “FUDCon, please take some” yet, it’s kind of dependent on the usual financial blockers.

  8. Well theoretically the Red Hat summit should be moving around the country. At least to some major metropolitan areas so that’s something. As for Boston in December… my southern blood starts solidifying just thinking about it. While I’m not a fan of the cold I’ll see what I can do about getting up there. It’ll probably come down to cost and / or if I can get work to pay for it or not. :-/ What I can say is that I WILL make every one that happens in RDU. Perhaps alternating the winter conference between Boston and RDU each year might make since.

    The following weekend might be better for me as well but I don’t see anything already on my calendar at the moment. I’ll be pretty fried from exams but maybe a trip would do me some good.

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