FOSDEM 2009, held this weekend at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) campus in Brussels pulled together some excellent talks and sessions. The keynotes by Mark Surman of Mozilla and BDale Garbee of Debian on the first day had a packed auditorium of more than 3000 people. I really liked the lightning talks – the quality of the topics as well as the presenters was top-notch and everyone held to their 15 minute time limits. The hallways were teeming with attendees and the project tables from Mozilla, OpenOffice, BSD, Debian, Gentoo, Fedora, Ubuntu, KDE, Gnome, OpenSUSE and others were very popular.
For being a community organized conference, FOSDEM did a fantastic job in pulling together world class developers and technology leaders from across many open source projects. The audience in general was well informed and interested in the sessions they were attending. I was pleased by the questions as well as suggestions we received during OSI’s public meetings. I also liked FOSDEM’s idea of providing rooms for major projects where each project could dive into topics of interest to their communities. Only a couple of things that could’ve been improved – larger rooms for some of the talks (there was no space to even get in!) and availability of drinking water in the hallways for attendees.