Goals of DebConf
This page describes the goals of DebConf, which should be borne in
mind when making decisions about any aspect of DebConf organisation.
Other documents describe the practical aspects, such as good network
connectivity and appropriate venues, which help work towards these
Note that the main annual DebConf is not the only Debian event which
can work towards these goals.
These are the primary goals of DebConf:
- Enable face-to-face interactions
Many Debian contributors find communication much easier
face-to-face than online.
Some of the informal interactions at DebConf can be more important
than the scheduled conference events.
Face-to-face interactions smooth over the grudges and differences
which might be perceived negatively when interacting only remotely,
which can often disappear completely through face-to-face
Intense technical discussions at DebConf can shortcut weeks or
months of mailing list threads.
- Provide talks and video
DebConf talks can help to spread information beyond those already
heavily involved in an area of Debian work, and can help to recruit
more people to work on areas of Debian.
Probably the most 'efficient' part of DebConf in terms of
cost/benefit is the video team work to provide streams and
recordings of talks: the recordings can be used as long as the talk
subjects remain relevant, by Debian contributors and others
anywhere in the world.
- Provide time to work on Debian
Some attendees find it very valuable that DebConf gives them
uninterrupted time to work on their Debian contributions.
This has been the major purpose of holding a DebCamp outside the
main DebConf period: when successful, the work we can get from
someone during this time is of far higher value than the amount we
spend on their accommodation and food.
Some additional points are subordinate to the primary goals above,
but as long as we are arranging DebConf for those reasons we also
work towards these secondary goals:
- Motivate contributors
We intend DebConf sponsorship to encourage future work, not as a
payment in return for past work, but it's of course good if people
feel lucky to be sponsored to attend DebConf.
Coming to DebConf increases the enthusiasm of many attendees, and
ultimately makes them better citizens of the Debian community.
- Motivate the local community
It is positive if DebConf leads to a greater involvement in Debian
from locals in the region where it is held.
Locals may get involved because DebConf is close to them, then end
up becoming Debian Developers, while existing Debian Developers may
be motivated by their experience of attending a local DebConf and
increase their level of involvement in the wider Debian project.