LibrePlanet 2009 Conference
On March 21st and 22nd 2009, the Free Software Foundation held the first LibrePlanet conference, LibrePlanet 2009, at the Harvard Science Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Over the next two days, we covered a range of free software activism topics, with the first day of the conference dedicated to a traditional, formal conference style.
Day two was a new kind of conference for us at the FSF, with myself, GNU chief webmaster Rob Myers, and FSF membership coordinator Deborah Nicholson, leading the sessions for Free Network Services, Activism, and High Priority Projects respectively. James Duncan from Reasonably Smart spoke about his free software platform for building web applications, which led to a discussion from other participants on the role that companies should take when creating free network services, including public mailing lists and source code repositories.
The LibrePlanet Activism track had several discussions about software freedom and libraries -- it turns out that there are at least three distinct issues; whether archival material is scanned into the system using a free format that can be accessed by anyone, the absence of DRM in digital lending materials, and the sort of software that is running on the public terminals.
Last but certainly not least, while all this talking was going on, one room housed a much quieter group who were busy writing a book. The crew from FLOSS Manuals were running a textbook sprint with on-site and remote contributors all weekend. They produced an amazing text book titled Introduction to the Command Line, aimed at GNU/Linux gnubies. The book is available now for reading or download on the FLOSS Manuals website or you can help us fund the next book sprint by buying a printed copy.
The venue itself was nothing short of amazing, and the wonderful support from Harvard University allowed us to have the audio recordings available within days, instead of weeks, and encoded directly from the original audio CDs to the free software Ogg Speex format, a free variation of Ogg Vorbis designed for speech.