Reflections of the FrOSCon 2007

Saturday morning, the second annual FrOSCon commenced. FrOSCon is a conference that takes place at the Fachhochschule (Polytechnic College) Bonn-Rhein-Sieg in St. Augustin near Bonn. Obviously, after the success at the latest exhibitions, it would have been unacceptable not to represent Kubuntu with its own booth. Consequently, early in the morning, the first of us gathered in order to build up the booth. Fortunately, we were located right next to KDE and Amorak. This gave us the opportunity to jointly present the highlights from the Qt community. Another group we welcomed in our section of the building was the musical project Jad. Hence, our presentation was accompanied by nice background music, taking into account one or the other erratic feedback.

The surroundings of the exhibition location has apparently quite a lot of Open Source Software users. Two of our volunteers are living close to it and therefore we had very good contacts to the event organisers. Many thanks to Thomas Erdmann (datten) and Sven Herfs (motti) for the contributions before and during the exhibition.

There was some fear that the booth would look a little empty without the Canonical Kubuntu posters that we had been using at the LinuxTag in Berlin, and which had been sent to the Academy in Scotland. However, we received ample material in form of Feisty Fawn Kubuntu CDs which together with the already existing materials and our business cards helped to create a visually pleasant and eye-catching booth. The volunteers in our booth are convinced that it would be proper to claim our booth being one of the best presented one in the whole exhibition. A big benefit for this was certainly all the KDE merchandise presented on the neighboring Amorak table and the impressive presentations of Amorak 2 by the development team. One of ours, Harald Sitter (apachelogger) is also a member of this team. Hopefully, some of you have taken advantage of the opportunity to see our booth through our webcam. We were able to put up our webcam at the sidux booth opposite of us, while they placed their webcam on our booth.

Despite our focus on Kubuntu, we also distributed Ubuntu CDs at the exhibition we participate in. This, in particular, leads often to very interesting discussions. As usual, there have been debates about the advantages of the various desktops. These discussions always offer good starting points for new users to ask questions. Furthermore, the talks often develop into more far reaching topics of the spirit of the Open Source movement and the muliplicity of the developments in the community. Positively, these efforts gain new *ubuntu users.

The KDE developers were responsible to give numerous very interesting presentations about KDE4. Sebastian Kügler (sebas) gave a very interesting introduction into this new KDE version. This meant a lack of volunteers being able to be present at the KDE booth. Consequently, and since Amorak's volunteers were very busy presenting Amorak 2, we had a lot of opportunities to show KDE4 to visitors. This also created more interest from our visitors for the adoption of KDE4 into Kubuntu. The sponsorship of Newthinking Store in Cologne in form of a mini-PC allowed us to demonstrate to our visitor not only feisty, but also gutsy. The visitors had also the opportunity to use both versions themselves. Many thanks to Thomas Braun for his support.

The social gathering on Saturday evening was introduced by the smell of barbeque and Kölsch (the local beer). The event had the motto "Kölsch 0.2 (litre), Web 2.0". After the interest of the visitored had stalled and we heard noises similar to wolves from the Amorak crew, we moved from our booth to the courtyard and enjoyed ourselves. This open air party was a very successful closure to the very successful day, even it ended far to late.

Henceforth, the Sunday morning came far to quick and it could have been feared that a hungover and tired community would not be capable of acceptable presentations anymore. However, the rescue came in form of a comprehensive breakfast buffet, which gave everybody the necessary energy to cope with an even higher number of visitors than the day before. Overall, the organisers and volunteers of the FrOSCon deserve many praises for this interesting and community building event.

Kubuntu will surely be represented again next year.

More photographs from the FrOSCon can be found at http://www.kubuntu-de.org/bilder/events/froscon-2007,