Fosdem 2023

Hey folks,

So FOSDEM hasn’t even announced FOSDEM 2023 yet, so we’re not sure if it’ll be online, in-person or hybrid (my bet is on some form of hybrid!) but i was hoping to start a thread of ‘to dos’ to get ahead of the organisation for 2023.

for starters, do we want to apply for a dev room again in 2023?

next, we’ve tried a couple of talk lengths (with a few technical online platform snaffus…sorry!) but do we still want the 20 mins talk slots + 5 min Q&A + 5 min change over time? We did 40 min talks last year online as we were low on 20 min talk submissions and some folks had more content than 20 mins. What do we wanna go for next year?

Also if it’s in person, do we want to request a table in the exhibition hall for the UX clinic and/or promo?

I’d also love to do some early outreach for speakers ready for submissions.


I certainly think we should run a 2023 devroom.

About the length of talks, I think we keep them to 25 minutes. The original reasoning for the the length of time was 1) to give exposure to as many speakers as possible, 2) the length helped simplify logistics.

From 2022 FOSDEM, some people didn’t know they had been given a longer time slot, while other talks didn’t last the longer time. This made things harder to manage. Even more so when they were remote.

Instead of mixing long/short talks on the devroom day, some ideas we could:

  • hold a “FOSDEM fringe” event where longer topics could be handled
  • run 20 min talks on Day 1, and have longer talks on Day 2. This would allow for longer talks. But it would need to be clear to talk submitters to save the confusion from last year.

About the UX Clinic, yes I think we should do it also, as it is always popular and gets more interest. That will need separate organising from the devroom application.

About the to-do list, I’ll create a FOSDEM 2023 organisation thread and use @evalica’s very comprehensive list on of the previous years. (You can see it on FOSDEM 2019 organisation thread.).



Honestñy, I do hope we have at least some in-person FOSDEM experience. A Hybrid event would make total sense to me but I’d still go to Brussels as well as many of the Kaleidos bunch, as always.

In the past, I have been enjoying the fruits of other people’s work so I don’t think I’m entitled to suggest much but what I can say from the point of view of a speaker both in 2020 (in person) and 2021 (100% online) is that 25 min works like a charm for the same reasons @ei8fdb pointed out.

I recently attended a in-person conference in Oxford and we had a mix of short/not-so-short talks mixed together and I didn’t particularly enjoy it. If you think there’s an opportunity there I would make sure talk submitters acknowledge that the organization would place them either on short slot or long slot based on their better judgement for the overall devroom goals. And then, make sure they know which slot length they have been assigned to.

Having many online events have somehow adapted our brains but I remember experiencing online time as going twice as slow in terms of mental load. That is, that 30 min online resulted in an equivalent of 60 min in person. What I’m trying to say here is that favouring online attendees/experience will require shorter slots, while going after the in-person experience allows for more lengthy talks.

I think the team at Penpot would like to have a table in the exhibition hall too, it would be nice at least not to be too far apart!

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FOSDEM organisers have released an update on 2023:

FOSDEM 2023 will take place on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th of February 2023. We are aiming for a physical conference.
Update: We initially said “2022” which was a typo, of course. Sorry about that.
While there are still a lot of open questions, we are aiming for a physical FOSDEM 2023. It’s both exciting and scary.
We will open Call for Devrooms etc soon. One note: With the online format, we were able to host more devrooms than ever. In the physical world, we will be constrained by the amount and size of the rooms ULB is able and willing to offer us. We will do our best to accommodate the maximum amount of content, but we will likely need to be more deliberate in selecting devrooms again.

My interpretation of this is that they’re organising a physical only event. But I wonder if we could replicate part of the online experience, especially for speakers who can’t travel to Brussels.

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Good news! FOSDEM organisers seem willing to support remote speakers:

Technically, I think we have a way for that worked out, with one laptop in the room that has wired connection. A lot would be up to the devroom managers and their helpers, though, but at least the streaming part should work fine.

Comment from one of the organsiers this morning in their Matrix chat.