Fwd: [foss.in] FOSS.IN/2007: CfP Process Restart

Debarshi 'Rishi' Ray debarshi.ray at gmail.com
Sun Oct 7 03:27:28 UTC 2007

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Atul Chitnis <listadmin at linux-bangalore.org>
Date: 6 Oct 2007 23:28
Subject: [foss.in] FOSS.IN/2007: CfP Process Restart
To: "FOSS.IN" <foss-in at yahoogroups.com>

Attention all:

 This note is going to catch many people by surprise:

 As we had explained, over and over: this is a FOSS developer and contributor
 conference. We are no longer a FOSS *user* conference.

 As was mentioned last year - in the end FOSS is about Free and Open Source
 *Software*, and somebody needs to *write* that software.

 FOSS.IN is about demolishing the contention that India is a land of FOSS
 consumers, with almost no contributors - that we only take, not give back.

 Our objective is to enable and jumpstart more FOSS contributors from India.

 But most people just don't seem to have understood that, and have submitted
 *user* oriented talks (even if they involve development).

 We already have more talks than we can schedule in the main conference, but
 many of the talks that we have received are not in line with the focus of the

 For example:

 "Using php to create attractive Web 2.0 sites"

 "Web hacking tools for XSS, CSRF, etc."

 "Building pthon applications using xyz tool"

 "Poweruser Javascript"


 You get the idea: these are all "using" talks, best summed up with "Using X to
 do Y", where X is some technology (usually, but not always FOSS) and
Y could be
 anything (including a closed source product or service).

 No one is denying that FOSS applications usage is important, BUT FOSS.IN IS

 To fix this, we are restarting the Call for Participation process.

 This is effective immediately, for a period of two weeks, ending Saturday,
 October 20th.

 This is a very difficult step for us to take, and if we don't get it
right this
 time, we are going to end up with serious egg on our faces. It is completely
 unprecedented (we haven't heard of any conference ever doing this before), but
 to ensure quality and focus at the conference, we have to do it.

 And *this* time, we are going to be a little more interactive, to make sure
 that we get the kind of talks we want:

 First of all, as you are reading this, every talk that has been submitted has
 been scrutinised, and either accepted (very few), rejected (more likely) or is
 status quo, with a note saying how it needs to be fixed.

 Starting from Tuesday, the 9th, any accepted talk will be listed online (we
 will post the URL ASAP) complete with abstract, so that people

 a. will know that their talk has been accepted

 b. can start preparing slides and make travel plans (if needed)

 c. can see what kind of talks we are accepting, so that they can orient their
     submissions around them.

 d. can see what talks are already in place, so they can avoid duplication.

 This extension is a double edged sword:

 + More time to submit
    This restart gives people more time to submit, and a chance to
    understand what kind of talks FOSS.IN is accepting

 - Less chance to submit
    The longer you wait, the lower your chances will be, as we will close
    submissions as soon as all the main conference talks slots have been
    filled. Also, the last date for submission of slides WILL NOT CHANGE -
    it is still October 22nd, and if you submit your talk on 20th evening,
    you only have a day after we approve your talk. Chances are that you
    won't make it.

 Because of the minus side, you should not wait till the last moment to submit,
 because you will almost certainly not be able to meet the slides deadline.

 Also, if talks run full before the 20th, we might stop accepting talks for the
 Main Conference. Remember, we have only 60 slots, not 200!

 Please note that the fact that we have accepted your talk does not mean that
 you actually get to speak at the event. You still have to send in your slides,
 which we will scrutinise. Any talks found to be too shallow or just badly
 thought out will be scrapped.

 All this applies to the Project Days submissions as well, except that we will
 not publish the Project Days submissions until the end, as the acceptance of
 these talks will involve discussion with the Project Days session proposers.
 Talks received for Project Days that we find acceptable will be forwarded to
 the Project Days proposers, who will then tell us whether the talk will be
 included in the Project Days session or not. You can discuss your
 submissions with the PD proposers.

 We have also noticed that many people by default submit talks to the Main
 Conference, probably because they think it has more "prestige".

 In reality what it has is a FAR higher chance of rejection.

 Unless you are REALLY good, well known for your work, have an
excellent speaker
 track record and are an active contributor in the work you are talking about,
 you probably have no chance of acceptance. And if your talk abstract is as
 shallow as some of the ones we have seen, riddled with errors, then you are
 definitely out.

 Instead, focus on the Project Days, where the rules are marginally laxer, but
 remember that the talk *has* to be about the some aspect of the project, and
 that it shows people how to contribute to the project.

 For example, don't try to submit a talk like "751 reasons why XYZ is the best
 Distro". One or two short intro talks for the Project Days session are OK, but
 after that it better be about getting involved, what to do, how to
code, how to
 write documentation, etc. if in doubt, discuss with the Project Days session
 proposer on what is suitable and desired.

 The new CfP process is in effect as we speak. We are already rejecting all
 those talks we deem to be unsuitable. You will be able to see the status of
 your talk by logging into your speaker account, the status of your
talk will be
 shown, along with a note from us, if applicable.

 Rejected talks cannot be edited, please submit a new talk. You will see the
 reason for the rejection in your talks management page

 Accepted talks can also not be edited for now - you will be able to fine tune
 them after the 22nd.

 Talks with status "NEW" or "OPEN" are as yet undecided. If you have a note
 there asking you to modify the talk, then do so, else just check back a little
 while later. There are a lot of talks that we need to tag.

 Many of you will see that your talks have been rejected. Don't go off in a
 huff, brandishing a huge chip on your shoulder. Remember, we don't recognise
 rockstars. You would be surprised to see some of the big names who have had
 their talks rejected. It wasn't because the talks weren't good, but because
 they weren't suitable for the conference.

 Just like a talk on .NET programming  wouldn't fit into a Windows Vista *USER*
 conference, non-developer/contributor talks don't fit into FOSS.IN.

 Accept that, and submit a new talk. You have 2 weeks to get it right. We will
 try and respond to your talk ASAP, to give you as many chances as you need to
 get it right.

 Go for it.


 F O S S . I N / 2 0 0 7
 India's Premier FOSS Conference
 December 4-8, 2007
 Bangalore, India
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Key server: pgp.mit.edu

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