I was invited as a speaker from Arch Linux to speak at the first ever freenode conference on 28-29 October. Freenode is the largest IRC network for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) developers. IRC is one of the first successful communication platforms on the internet. Freenode is managed by volunteers and its servers are provided by sponsors. It is by far the most popular communication channel for FOSS development with ~ 90.000 users and ~ 50.000 registered channels.
Freenode #live was the first ever organised conference where everyone from the community met each other face to face. There were a lot of interesting talks of well-known community members such as Matthew Garret (Open source Developer), Chris Lamb (Debian Project Leader), Karen Sandler (Executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy) and John Sullivan (Executive Director of Free Software Foundation).
The topics varied from outreach for underrepresented groups, diversity, ethics and community collaboration to security, privacy and a few technical topics, forming a well-balanced program. A few highlights were; the reproducible builds talk about reproducing build binaries bit per bit so that users can reproduce the same binaries on their own system, the IRCv3 working group talk about modernising IRC, a talk about FSF certification for hardware and a talk about the freenode infrastructure and team operates.
My own talk was about what Arch Linux is, how the project communicates, it’s popularity and the future of the distribution. It was fun to have the Fedora project leader and an OpenSuSe representative in the audience :-)
Next year there will be another edition of freenode #live on 3-4 November. If you are a FOSS user or developer I would recommend attending the next edition! And special thanks to Private Internet Access for sponsoring the conference and all the volunteers for organising freenode #live!