On February 3-6, the XSF and members of the XMPP community participated in both XMPP Summit 11 and FOSDEM 2012 in Brussels, Belgium. This is a late report about the activities there, based on the notes made at the time about the Summit and FOSDEM in general.
With regard to community outreach, we had a very successful presence at FOSDEM. In addition to the devroom, where we brought together a full afternoon of talks about XMPP and related topics, we also hosted a “real-time lounge” in one of the buildings on the ULB campus.
As you can see, this approach was much more interactive than a table in a hallway: we held technology demonstrations, people were able to mingle more naturally and do some side-by-side coding, we showed a real-time microblogging feed on the wall, and we even patched in an encrypted video feed from the devroom using the Jitsi client. We also learned some valuable lessons about logistics and last-minute shopping at IKEA for things like tables and rugs. Let’s hope the FOSDEM organizers allow us to repeat the experiment next year!
On Friday and Monday we met at the Cisco office near the Brussels airport for technical discussions. The big focus this year was on finding better ways to integrate XMPP and the World Wide Web, from defining XMPP over WebSocket to using XMPP accounts as sources for authentication credentials in BrowserID. Various members of the XMPP community will be working on those initiatives in the coming months.
The FOSDEM weekend is always a lot of work to pull off, but it’s worth it. Special thanks this year go to Florian Jensen of Flosoft for his local knowledge and assistance, to Dave Cridland and the rest of the Isode team for lugging those t-shirts and hoodies around, and to Jerome Paquay of Cisco for finding space for us to store all the stuff we bought at IKEA. See you next year, or at Summit 12 later this year in North America — stay tuned for details!