DebConf20 online closesOn Sun 30 August 2020 with tags debconf20 announce debconf
Written by Laura Arjona Reina and Donald Norwood
Artwork by Aigars Mahinovs
Translations: fr pt-BR
On Saturday 29 August 2020, the annual Debian Developers and Contributors Conference came to a close.
DebConf20 has been held online for the first time, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease pandemic.
All of the sessions have been streamed, with a variety of ways of participating: via IRC messaging, online collaborative text documents, and video conferencing meeting rooms.
With more than 850 attendees from 80 different countries and a total of over 100 event talks, discussion sessions, Birds of a Feather (BoF) gatherings and other activities, DebConf20 was a large success.
When it became clear that DebConf20 was going to be an online-only event, the DebConf video team spent much time over the next months to adapt, improve, and in some cases write from scratch, technology that would be required to make an online DebConf possible. After lessons learned from the MiniDebConfOnline in late May, some adjustments were made, and then eventually we came up with a setup involving Jitsi, OBS, Voctomix, SReview, nginx, Etherpad, and a newly written web-based frontend for voctomix as the various elements of the stack.
All components of the video infrastructure are free software, and the whole setup is configured through their public ansible repository.
The DebConf20 schedule included two tracks in other languages than English: the Spanish language MiniConf, with eight talks in two days, and the Malayalam language MiniConf, with nine talks in three days. Ad-hoc activities, introduced by attendees over the course of the entire conference, have been possible too, streamed and recorded. There have also been several team gatherings to sprint on certain Debian development areas.
Between talks, the video stream has been showing the usual sponsors on the loop, but also some additional clips including photos from previous DebConfs, fun facts about Debian and short shout-out videos sent by attendees to communicate with their Debian friends.
For those who were not able to participate, most of the talks and sessions are already available through the Debian meetings archive website, and the remaining ones will appear in the following days.
The DebConf20 website will remain active for archival purposes and will continue to offer links to the presentations and videos of talks and events.
Next year, DebConf21 is planned to be held in Haifa, Israel, in August or September.
DebConf is committed to a safe and welcome environment for all participants. During the conference, several teams (Front Desk, Welcome team and Community team) have been available to help so participants get their best experience in the conference, and find solutions to any issue that may arise. See the web page about the Code of Conduct in DebConf20 website for more details on this.
The Debian Project was founded in 1993 by Ian Murdock to be a truly free community project. Since then the project has grown to be one of the largest and most influential open source projects. Thousands of volunteers from all over the world work together to create and maintain Debian software. Available in 70 languages, and supporting a huge range of computer types, Debian calls itself the universal operating system.
DebConf is the Debian Project's developer conference. In addition to a full schedule of technical, social and policy talks, DebConf provides an opportunity for developers, contributors and other interested people to meet in person and work together more closely. It has taken place annually since 2000 in locations as varied as Scotland, Argentina, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. More information about DebConf is available from https://debconf.org/.
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Infomaniak is Switzerland's largest web-hosting company, also offering backup and storage services, solutions for event organizers, live-streaming and video on demand services. It wholly owns its datacenters and all elements critical to the functioning of the services and products provided by the company (both software and hardware).
Google is one of the largest technology companies in the world, providing a wide range of Internet-related services and products such as online advertising technologies, search, cloud computing, software, and hardware.
Google has been supporting Debian by sponsoring DebConf for more than ten years, and is also a Debian partner sponsoring parts of Salsa's continuous integration infrastructure within Google Cloud Platform.
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