[EuroPython] Starting to plan

Martijn Faassen faassen at vet.uu.nl
Fri Sep 19 06:29:31 EDT 2003

Jacob Hallén wrote:
> 1. I think it is reasonable that last conference track champions get
> to say if they want to champion the track again. If they are
> unwilling, we will look for somebody else to run the track, or
> consider if we want to strike it from the schedule.

I can do Python Frameworks again. Assistance would of course not
be unwelcome though. :)

> 2. How much time should we plan for for each track? This is of course
> dependent on what sort of speaker interest we get, but it is good to
> have a preliminary figure. The speaker interest is connected to the
> ambitions of each track champion after all.

This year the Python Frameworks track had 1.5 days (a day and a morning),
consisting of 6 blocks of 90 minutes.

> 3. Are there any important changes we should make to the format of the
> tracks?

I like the 90 minutes block structure; it allows 2 x 45 or 3 x 30.

In order to improve quality I'd like to be a bit more formal in what
gets approved and not, but this requires:

  * more information about the talks given (slides or even a paper, though
    I'm not sure we're ready for the whole-hog paper thing yet)

  * more submissions than there are timeslots, otherwise rejecting talks
    becomes a rather frustrating exercise.

Initially this year I had more talks than I could fit in. After going up
from 4 blocks to 6 blocks it became easier though still tight, but
then some speakers dropped out (as they always will). Then I had some
space to spare in the end (just half an hour or so).

So we have a bit of a paradox:

  * encourage people to submit more talks
  * but make it harder to get accepted, which means submission requirements
    become more extensive so we have enough info to decide..


> Last years tracks
> =================
> Lightning Talks, Open Space, Bofs
> Track champions: Anna Ravenscroft; Moshe Zadka
> Comments: We should have plenty of space for bofs and openspace sessions,
> and I think it is a good idea to have lightning talks at a time when little
> else is going on.

Agreed. This was difficult this year, as there were so many talks. It worked
fairly well though as the Zope track tends to be sufficiently different
(and it overlapped with lightning talks).

Perhaps Zope lightning talks in parallel with the Python ones could be 
interesting? Or perhaps it's actually nicer to have a wild mixture of 
all talks in a single track..

> New conference things
> =====================
> It is also time to consider what new things we should add. Personally,
> I would like to see a refereed paper track. It doesn't have to be long;
> a day or even half a day would be enough. The important thing is to be
> early with the announcement of this track, so that we have enough time
> for the authors to produce papers and for the reviewers to read and
> comment.

Ah, that's an idea I hadn't considered yet; make only some talks have
refereed papers. Would we be able to attract enough people willing to
submit a paper to this?

> I would also like to support sessions of the kind that Guido asked for
> in his keynote at EP2003, where he has one or more seminars with a
> fairly small number of people. This could be supported with other
> celebrities who are coming.
> Something that is a bit of a dream right now is to have something
> called "Consult the bots", where we would have Alex Martelli, Fredrik
> Lund and Tim Peters available for people to consult. "Bring your
> problem and get face-to-face advice from the gurus."

We had a very fun talk originally written by Moshez but presented by
Michael, myself and Alex Martelli about 'Dos and Don's in Python'. It was very
interactive and I think fun for the audience as well.

I'm not sure I understand what Guido asked for though. I'm thinking
more in the lines of panels. Panel discussions with lots of audience
interaction are fun too; I tend to be noisy audience myself so I appreciate
it especially. :)

> Website
> =======
> Can we keep the website where it is and as it is?

I don't think there's a problem in keeping it at amaze. One issue that
I'm not sure has been formally resolved is the domain name though;
europython.org is owned by someone else who's been letting us use it.
Not sure who knows the details on this one.

> Tom, are you willing and interested in continuing with the building of
> the EP webiste? What resources do you need for the work to go smoothly?

Note that there are plans to redo the site in Zope/Plone (as opposed to
Zope/hacks as it is now). These plans existed last year as well but did
not materialize due to lack of volunteers. My impression was that some
movement had happened already on this, but Tom would know more.

Is it your suggestion the Plone migration is not necessary and we should
continue as we are? I have no particular preference either way myself.

> Brochure
> ========
> Reportlab/Andy Robinson has already voluntered to do the brochure.
> Any reason not to accept this?

It seems to be a mutually beneficial partnership; we get the brochure
and Reportlab can use it for a demo and publicity. So no objections there
from me.

> Volunteers sought
> =================
> Apart from the people above, I am currently looking for suitable people
> for some jobs. I am sure there will be more functions needed later.
> Before the conference:
> * Interviewers
> (The interviews are a great idea. Attracts people to the website over
> and over again. Even gets people to come back to the website after the
> conference is over.)

Yeah, I really it when FOSDEM did it in 2002 I think (though this year they
did it less well, for some reason). So I copied the idea for EuroPython
in 2002. It went well last year as well.

I'm willing to conduct interviews. Tom's a great interviewer so I hope he'll
join in. We need to plan the interviews a bit earlier this year; start
a month earlier. Some of the interviews were online a bit too late, and
the stream of interviews was *so* rapid news sites couldn't keep up with
them properly and missed some. With a little bit of planning we can trickle
them out once every two or three days though. I like the quantity aspect
though; let's aim for 10 or more interviews again.

Because of this we need a little bit of coordination with interviews too;
someone to recruit interviewers and interviewees, and to make sure it
trickles out at the right rate, and that the news sites are informed.
Perhaps this should be merged with the person in charge of news message
on the website.

> * Coordinator for getting sponsors and exhibitors
> * Local information
> * Registration and room booking
> * Food planning
> * Badge design
> * Recruiter of keynote speakers and chief whip for getting interesting
>   speakers to the conference

I can help with it; I have some experience. I helped getting Guido, Jim
Fulton and Armin Rigo getting on board in 2002. This year I was very
happy to have Daniel Veillard of libxml2 fame on my track.


Seems I wrote a bit of a plan concerning interviews already. Tom should
definitely chip in on this too; he conducted by far the most interviews.



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