[Linux-aus] LCA2014 update

Anthony Towns aj at erisian.com.au
Tue Aug 28 18:26:13 EST 2012

On 28 August 2012 17:16, Jonathan Oxer <jon at oxer.com.au> wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 4:58 PM, Chris Neugebauer <chrisjrn at gmail.com> wrote:
> Yes, exactly. The very first miniconf (the Debian Miniconf in Brisbane
> in 2002) came about because LCA was scheduled for 3 days but the venue
> was empty for the entire week, and James Bromberger thought "hey, an
> empty venue is a terrible thing to waste, let's turn up a couple of
> days early and do our own thing" or something to that effect.

I think it was more "how can I get debconf to happen in Australia,
hmm, I wonder if those Brisbane guys have a spare room for a day or

> It was just a room that would otherwise have sat empty and dark for
> those 2 days, and it required (approaching) 0 involvement from the
> main LCA organisers.

There was a trip to officeworks to get some pens and badges so people
could identify each other. And a little coordination to avoid the
early attendees from getting in the way of Ray, Jason, Gaz and co
setting up the networking room, schwag etc.

Of course, we hadn't even thought of running LCA in Brisbane in 2002
until after LCA 2001 had already finished, so there were lots of
things that were at a less intense scale than they are these days.

> Since then obviously the scope of miniconfs and their impact on the
> main conference has grown, but returning to the "here's a room, but
> other than that you get *nothing*: no networking, no video, not even a
> mailing list, figure it out for yourself" approach may reduce some of
> the burden on the main conf organisers.

Why not make it even smaller: here are some suggested places that are
nearby and might let you hire a room. LA might be willing to do a
grant to cover the cost.

> On the other hand, arguing against my own point: ...

Looking at that idea differently; let's take four lca audiences with
some significant crossover: sysadmins, kernel developers, X
developers, arduino/hardware hackers. Let's say they each were their
own "sub conference", two days, one stream each. Coordinated to be in
the same city/suburb, and the same week.

 - do you want people to be able to pay for one ticket and attend
anything from any different conference? who do you balance the budget
in that case? if not, how many different registration sites are
needed? do they all get a different LA account and provide budgets

 - do you coordinate venue hire, so they're close to each other?

 - do you want to balance rooms out? if people can mix and match
subconfs, then one kernel talk might have a big audience while the
others are small, and one X talk might also be big while the rest are
small; do you have the big talks in the big room, or assign one room
per topic, like we do for miniconfs?

 - do you coordinate an overall schedule, or let each subconf choose
their own? do you limit the possible presentation lengths, so that
breaks can be aligned? how do you avoid conflicts -- so that the
"graphics in the kernel" talk and the "how X interfaces to the kernel"
talk don't overlap?

 - if a subconf goes haywire (no speakers, organiser goes insane, ...)
can you limit how much that hurts the rest of the conference? do
attendees get refunds? does someone else take responsibility for
making sure the doors are unlocked in the morning, and locked in the

I think these and others would be fun to answer...


Anthony Towns <aj at erisian.com.au>

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