FOSS.IN/2006 Talks Submission closing!

For all those of you who have either forgotten about it, or are hoping that the date will extended:

The talks submission for FOSS.IN/2006 closes tomorrow (Sunday, October 8th) at 23:59 GMT+0530.

And no, the date won’t be extended, and no, we won’t take into account that you are in a different timezone, and no, we won’t take into consideration that you are God’s gift to FOSS – if you talk isn’t in, it isn’t in, and that’s that.

While we are talking about it, let me point you at Rusty Russel’s recent blog post about talk selection for, and quote the most important parts here:

  1. Have you done something related to F/OSS you’re excited about? If so, goto (3).

  2. Is there a great demand for information on some subject on which you are a leading, recognised expert? If yes, please submit an abstract[1]. If no, please do not.
  3. When you describe/show this to collegues, are they interested? If no, please do not submit.
  4. Is what you’ve done expected to be widely used? If yes, please submit[2].
  5. Is what you’ve done original and useful for other F/OSS projects? If yes, please submit[3].
  6. Is what you’ve done so insanely cool that it makes people say things worth quoting? If yes, please submit[4].
  7. If you reach here, don’t invent something to speak about. It’ll suck, because like me, you’re not inherently interesting.

[1] This covers “expert” talks like licencing talks, etc.
[2] “ development” vs “libmeanwhile development”
[3] “A new typechecking tool” vs “Haskall type experiments”
[4] “Build your own satellite” vs “My First Gnome Applet”

I am posting this because the number of people who think that FOSS.IN is looking for talks about how cool FOSS is, or who have submitted introductory talks, or who have submitted “BFOO” (Blinding Flashes of the Obvious) talks, is really frightening. None of these talks will be selected – they are boring, and if you haven’t taken the trouble to read and understand the Call for Participation and understood it, then chances of you doing any sort of research for your talk are remote.

Also – if you have submitted a “Computer Science, featuring Linux as an example” talk, or if you think you can do a joint talk with someone else – several of you are going to find out just how much we enjoy sending such talks to /dev/null.

Another thing that completely fries my brain is the subservient attitude some of the actual FOSS developers in India are showing by *not* submitting talks:

These people won’t submit talks because “XYZ is speaking at the event – he is the Guru of all things related to project ABC – how can someone like *me* speak about ABC when he is?”

I can only remind people of this poem

Little drops of water
Little grains of sand
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land

In the FOSS world, every contribution counts and is notable. For example, if you are involved in a FOSS project and have solved a problem in that area that helped the project improve its performance, then you are perfectly qualified to speak about this – no matter how small you may think that contribution has been. The reason is because it was *you*, not your “God” who made that contribution.

Get out of that colonial mindset – stop believing that your contribution was too small to talk about, stop believing that your “overlords” in the headoffice in the USA are the only ones who can think.

FOSS.IN is about highlighting Indian contributors – how do you think we can do that if you think your contribution is meaningless?

You have 24 hours to submit your talk, or to change what you have already submitted if it falls into the scope of talks that we are clearly going to reject.

Don’t you think you should be doing something important right now…?