I was a bit melancholy last week when OpenSourceWorld was happening in San Francisco. I have barely missed this event since I had my mind cracked open in 2001. But I stood firmly by my boycott of the event. If they were going to act ashamed of and stupid about the open source projects and community members that make the show possible, then they could do it without my help.
Looks like Jono had a similar reaction, seeing it up close last week, as he reports in Linux Pro Magazine:
Like many shows, an area is provided in which non-profit, volunteer-led upstream open source projects can exhibit for either free or a nominal fee. The .org area at the event was disappointingly pushed right out of the way of the exhibition to the back of the room, in a separate room with no line of sight to the other exhibitors. In this room, the open source projects were provided with a run-of-the-mill circular table and chairs. I found this a frankly embarrassing and degrading nod toward open source projects. Many of these projects form the backbone on which an event such as this can prosper, and event manager IDG needs to afford them more respect than was rustled up for this show. I was not alone in this view either; a large number of exhibitors not only were disappointed that the .org projects were shoved to the back of the venue but were keen that their commercial exhibits be in line of sight with the .orgs to promote more cross-pollination and discussion. Come on IDG, you can do better than this.
Glad now that I saved myself the time wasted and did something actually useful for the free and open source software world that week. To all friends old, new, and not yet met, I’ll catch you next time … at one of the nice regional events that do a really great job.