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Thank you, Linux Conf Australia!

by Molly de Blanc Contributions Published on Feb 08, 2018 11:37 AM
view  of Sydney

Recently I was lucky enough to get to travel to Sydney, Australia for Linux Conf Australia (LCA). Along with Free Software Foundation (FSF) executive director John Sullivan, I spent the better part of a week in Sydney, getting to know members of the global free software community I rarely get to see.

LCA is Australasia's grassroots free software conference, organized by Linux Australia. Even though GNU wasn't recognized in the name of the event (which we would love to see!), the spirit of software freedom was felt in sessions covering topics from F-droid to Australian Computing Academy's programs to teach free software languages to students.

In addition to enjoying the coffee, views, summer -- it's winter in Boston -- and food, we most of all enjoyed seeing hundreds of people enthusiastic about free software.

While at LCA I gave a talk entitled "A division of labor: Attempting to measure free software." This compared the results of several surveys of free software communities carried out from 2003-2017. I attempted to see what the data could tell us about who participated in building free software and what they do. A video is available online here.

John Sullivan presented his talk "Freedom embedded: Devices that respect users and communities," which some of you may remember from DebConf 2017. In this, he discusses the Respects Your Freedoms certification program, and devices that run on entirely free software. You can watch the video here.

group photo at LCA

There were a number of other great talks as well, including some by people you'll be able to see at LibrePlanet 2018.

During the conference, we hosted a lunchtime meetup for FSF members and friends. There was such enthusiasm that we had to move restaurants to accommodate everyone.

Going to LCA was completely worth the twenty-one hour flight from Boston. In addition to everything else, the voices heard at the conference were those of people who work on and advocate for free software every day. Listening to them, meeting them, seeing what they do, and the reminder that I am part of a community is what attending conferences is all about. It was simply inspiring.

Photo credits: Copyright © 2018 Chris Lamb, photo licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0; copyright © 2018 Free Software Foundation, photo licensed under CC-BY 4.0.

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