Claes and I started the foss-sthlm initiative a while ago, back in 2009. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before. We’ve since then done a series of events where we’ve gathered foss hackers from the Stockholm region to speak about Free Software and Open Source for people interested in these issues. We’ve had 100+ persons attend to every event and I’ve considered them successful beyond our wildest expectations. Me and Claes originally expected to gather around 30 persons or so…
So out of the blue I got a question from Giuseppe (who were talking to RMS at the time) if foss-sthlm/me would be interested in organizing an event in Stockholm with mr Stallman. It turned out mr Stallman was already considering coming to FSCONS in Gothenburg and when doing so he was looking around to see if he could do some more talks while in Sweden. Given this chance, I simply couldn’t turn it down!
We coordinated with our pals behind FSCONS (the lovely crew at FFKP) so that we would jointly fund the event. We would split the bill for getting mr Stallman here and onward again to his subsequent gig, and the cost for his travel between Stockholm and Gothenburg.
Ironically, we already before had talked about not getting one of these super celebs to foss-sthlm events simply because of their immense popularity and the problem to get facilities to host events with them. How many would come to an RMS talk? I guessed at least 300 since among our previous events the most popular one got around 150 visitors.
Commercial rooms for at least 300 people are expensive and luckily we quite soon got in touch with friends at KTH in Sweden – The Royal Institute of Technology, and they graciously offered to sponsor a room for 500. Awesome, we were on our way!
South Pole didn’t hesitate when I asked them (you rock, Jakob!), but immediately said they’d help us to sponsor the event. With them on board, we had all the financial stuff we needed covered and we could say “full steam ahead!” to everyone involved .
Fiddle like crazy
FSCONS had a fixed date for their conference already, but when would RMS come to Stockholm? After FSCONS or before? When would we be able to reserve the room and how would it all fit into RMS’s schedule of other things. Several times we thought we had nailed it when something changed and we had to redo it all again. It took a good amount of emails back and forth until we finally scheduled and decided that he’d be in Stockholm first and then go FSCONS.
Open for registrations!
We went public about RMS coming to Sweden coordinated with FSCONS so that none of us would take advantage of this on the others’ expense. On September 27th 13:22 we told everyone about it, and within less than eleven (11) hours all 500 seats in the room had been reserved!
Oops, full already
Wow. That was a bit overwhelming and not quite what I had expected. A bit tough, but well our room only fits 500 so…
Find a new place
Friendly people on the foss-sthlm list very soon mentioned a new, much larger, facility that perhaps could be possible to host Stallman’s talk. The huge Aula Magna room. I was a bit pessimistic about it, as I was just so happy already with having gotten a fine sponsorship for that first room.
New place, new sponsor
What are friends for? I can hardly describe it, but we have good friends in good places and wow, not many days passed until I got the excellent news that the Stockholm University’s department for Computer and System’s Sciences would help us get the room and pay the bill for it. This massive room fits 1194 sitting visitors. (Thanks Beatrice, you’re awesome!)
Amazingly enough, it was just a matter of time until we ran out of tickets again. Sure, this time there were tickets available for a longer time but well over a week before the RMS talk there were again no tickets available. The demand was still clearly very high. When the event was just a few days away, we sent out reminder emails and we got lots of ticket cancellations, perhaps 60-70 of them, and the tickets that were returned were immediately made available again on the ticket site and were soon signed up for again by other lucky souls.
When we closed the registration, there were just a few tickets still available. 1180 or so had been registered to listen to Richard M Stallman talk in Stockholm, a dull and grey November day 2011.
Richard is a charismatic person. He can speak to a huge audience for almost two hours, with no slides and no images and no script and still keep us all alert and interested. He mixes in dry humor and reflects back and recites episodes from previous speeches from time to time.
The topic was of course Free Software. About doing the right thing. About freedom and how you need to be prepared to sacrifice some things in order to gain and fight for freedom. For mr Stallman things are often black/white. It is either free and therefore right and fine, or it isn’t free and therefore morally wrong and a bad idea. He also spent quite a lot of time explaining why calling it GNU/Linux is the right thing and how mr Torvalds doesn’t care about the ethics and about doing the right thing for humanity.
I’ve been involved in Free Software (and in Open Source too, a term that RMS despises and encourages us all not to use) for many years but this was actually the first time I heard RMS talk live.
This would not have been such a smooth ride with the efforts of Giuseppe, Claes and the eager help and assistance from all friends in #foss-sthlm. Thank you!
(The pictures in this blog entry are all CC-BY-SA licensed and are taken by Kjell Ericson)
First, allow me to mention that I like FSCONS. I’ve been there several years, I’ve spoken there every year I’ve been there and I know and like a bunch of the persons in the team putting it together. Good stuff!
I wasn’t supposed to do any talk at FSCONS this year, and I did feel a little empty and lost because of it.
… then an empty slot appeared, a question was asked, a subject was suggested and suddenly I ended up having agreed to do a talk and the void has been filled again. I’m glad. I hope someone else will be too and I will try to excite the audience with a talk titled “SPDY: An experimental protocol for a faster web” or something like that. It will have to do for now. It is currently planned to take place at 17:15 on Saturday 12th of November.
My thinking is to explain SPDY in detail, explain the reasoning behind it, the problems that have lead up to its creation and I’ll try to shed the lights on the alternatives and make some guesses what I think the future will hold in terms of web transports and what we will NOT see… I might even manage to acquire further insights of this from my ventures into libspdy.
If you have any related thoughts or questions, feel free to ask me ahead of time and I might be able to adjust my talk for it.
On November 8th 2011, foss-sthlm has the honors of welcoming Richard M Stallman to Stockholm and we invite you all to come and listen to what he has to say. RMS, as he is commonly known, is of course the founding father of both GNU and FSF and he has served his role of non-compromising believer in and the torch-bearer of the Free Software movement ever since he started it.
Date: November 8 Time: 18:00 Where: Aula Magna at Stockholm University
To get to enjoy this talk, and to be able to perhaps ask a question of your own, you must register and book your seat. You do this by going to the foss-sthlm nov2011 web page and reading the instructions.
We have this required booking concept for this only to make sure that we don’t overbook the room. Please make sure that you “return” tickets that you won’t use. Please help us pull this event through in an excellent manner.
This event is made possible thanks to our sponsors South Pole AB and DSV. We arrange this in cooperation with the great FSCONS team.
Update: we switched to a much bigger place!
The talk I did at FSCONS 2010 titled “Future Transports” has now been made available online and you can see the whole thing. It is split up in three separate video snippets. Click on the picture below to get started:
I originally put the videos embedded here on my blog, but it turned out to be a really certain way to kill Firefox so it turned out to be annoying. Now you’ll instead get handed over to the video on vimeo’s site.
The thing is about 107MB big, 640×480 resolution and is roughly 26 minutes playing time. WebM format.
So yesterday we held a little HTTP-related event in Stockholm, arranged by OWASP Sweden. We talked a bit about cookies, websockets and recent HTTP headers.
Below are all the slides from the presentations I, Martin Holst Swende and John Wilanders did. (The entire event was done in Swedish.)
Martin Holst Swende’s talk:
John Wilander’s slides from his talk are here:
In the series of Free Software and Open Source talks and seminars we’ve been doing in the Foss-sthlm community, we are about to set off the fifth meetup on February 24, 2011 in Kista, Stockholm, Sweden. This time we will offer six talks by six different persons, all skilled and well educated within their respective topics.
The event will be held completely in Swedish, and the talks that are planned to get presented are as following:
- Foss in developing nations – Pernilla Näsfors
- Open Source Framework Agreements in the Swedish Government – Daniel Melin
- From telecommunications to computer networks - security for real-timecommunications over IP – Olle E Johansson
- Maintaining – how to manage your FOSS project – Daniel Stenberg (yes, that’s me)
- Peek in HTTP and HTTP traffic – Henrik Nordström
- Cease and desist, stories from threat mails received in the Rockbox project – Björn Stenberg
As usual, we do this admission free and our sponsor (CAG this time) will provide with something to eat and drink. After all the scheduled talks (around 20:00) we’ll continue the evening at a pub somewhere and discuss open source and free software over a beer or two.
See you there!
We’re going to FOSDEM again. This year we’ll ship over the entire company (all three of us) and we’ll join up with a few fellow Rockbox hackers and spend a weekend in Brussels among thousands of fellow free software and open source hackers.
During this conference, 5-6 February, I’ve submitted a libcurl-related talk to the embedded-room that wasn’t accepted into the regular program, but I’ve agreed to still prepare it and I then might get a slot in case someone gets sick or something. A bit ungrateful as now I still have to prepare my slides for the talk but there’s a big risk that I’ve done it in vain! I’ve also submitted a suggestion for a second talk in the opensc/security room (also related to stuff in the curl project) but as of now (with but 16 days left) that schedule is yet to be announced so I don’t know if I’ll do a talk there or not.
So, I might do no talks. I might do two. I just don’t know. We’ll see.
If you’re a friend of mine and you’re going to FOSDEM this year, please let me know and we can meet and have a chat or whatever. I love getting faces to all the names, nicks and email addresses I otherwise only see of many people.
Update: My talk in the security room is titled “libcurl: Supporting seven SSL libraries and one SSH library” and will start at 14:15 on Saturday the 5th of February.