DORS/CLUC 2014 – 21. po redu konferencija o Linuxu, slobodnom softveru, otvorenim tehnologijama, normama i podacima

Pozivam sve da nam se pridruže od 16. do 18. lipnja, u novoj zgradi HGK na Novoj cesti u Zagrebu će se održati 21. po redu godišnja konferencija DORS/CLUC (Dani otvorenih računarskih sustava / Croatian Linux users’ conference). Ne samo zato što sam jedan od organizatora, vać i zato što će i ovogodišnji DORS/CLUC tradicionalno biti zakon! 🙂

Konferencija, ne samo tradicionalna nego sada i punoljetna, održava se u razdoblju IT-a kada je primjetna sve veća prihvaćenost otvorenih tehnologija i slobodnog softvera u javnom sektoru, u medijima, na startup i inovacijskoj sceni, poslovanju, industriji, obrazovanju i kućnoj primjeni.

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Sadly, openSUSE conference 2014 is finally over

openSUSE conference 2014 (oSC14) in Dubrovnik is over and there are new memories to keep. At times, being the one to push the organization on the road to oSC14 was rough and it took a lot of energy to achieve what was done. But after all that happened, I can say I am left with only positive feelings of a great achievement. Of course, I feel relieved that it is over and that everything that we planned went smoothly. Hanging out for five days with the awesome openSUSE community and awesome lectures made all the casual organization hiccups, stress and problems worth it. Actually, I didn’t get to see most of the lectures because organizing took all of my time, so watching the recordings is one of the first things on my checklist. Also, on-site feedback from other traveling Geekos has been very positive which gives me at least some reason to believe that my impression of the conference is not too subjective.

Geekos having a party
The Geeko party

Sadly, oSC14 is over and the feeling of achievement is only surpassed by the feeling of eagerly awaiting what Hans prepares for us at oSC15 in The Hague. Hopefully, I will also be able to help in some way.

In the end, to all the unsung heroes – everyone who helped make the conference happen – volunteers, University of Dubrovnik, lecturers, core team, video team, sponsors… thank you so much and continue having a lot of fun!

openSUSE conference time of the year is here!

oSC14 logoAfter months of planning, pushing the organization of the openSUSE conference 2014 at the University of Dubrovnik, and having more loads of work then ever before, it is almost time. Somehow I survived, and somehow my daily work survived too. I used most of this Easter weekend to sleep. That wasn’t the plan, but a few days that pushed me to relax exposed how much I actually exhausted myself in the last few weeks.

The conference work isn’t over yet, but the hardest and most critical things (preparations) have been taken care of. The execution of the conference and having fun part of it is yet to come. Although I know how hectic conference days can be, I feel that this will be a relaxing part. Geekos are coming, and we’ll have a great time!

So, in 3 days, April 24th, we will kick it off – the openSUSE conference will start with a day of venue preparations that ends with a welcome party in the Sesame tavern, at 6pm. The street address is Branitelja Dubrovnika 23, or Dante Alighieria b.b., more contact info is available at the tavern’s site – http://sesame.hr/contact.html. We prepared some food and drinks, so I encourage all weary travelling Geekos to join us and and prepare for the conference.

Also, if you are new to the openSUSE conference, entry is completely free, and so is the welcome party, so everyone is welcome to drop by and have fun with the Geekos! Topics are not something only openSUSE users will appreciate, there are interesting things for anyone interested in bleeding edge technology, open source, free software and Linux to hear. Take a look a the conference schedule, make your traveling arrangements and have a lot of fun! See you there! 🙂

Why “Open” matters

Be it computer science, data, government, science or NASA the importance of open is becoming pervasive. Openness, in all the various fields, implies community effort. A community of people that are passionate about something and open to contribute time and effort to experience a feeling of accomplishment. I’ve been using Linux and open tech for years now and only lately I started thinking about this. It was just something I took for granted, and the problem was, I assumed everyone else knew and understood what I did.

But many people with both technical and non technical background don’t understand or even know how important it is to resist completely closing down to a corporate mindset that is selling, having little transparency and keeping the knowledge “secure” because the competition will beat or steal from ‘us’. This closed tradition is the reason many companies do things that have already been done over and over again. Think about this and it becomes apparent that this way is extremely inefficient. It greatly slows progress and innovation.

Through cooperation and inclusion, we significantly increase our resources. Through secrecy and exclusion we have to reinvent and learn things other people may already know and may be very good at. In a nutshell, that’s all there is to openness. Accept other people’s gift of knowledge and work so we don’t repeat the same mistakes and work many times.

When “Open” has no alternative

So, does this mean I think closed stuff is bad? Like Microsoft or Apple? Not really. Closed also works and in some cases even better. There’s nothing that is as shiny or can be made to look as shiny as apple products. Also, they work for what they’re built for. And really well it seems. But there are things where open simply has no alternative. Science, education and government. These are the main areas where we should have no alternatives to openness.

These are also activities that push the world forward, activities that unify and develop communities and can achieve real long lasting progress! When you think of any of these, the first thing that comest to mind actually are communities – scientists, educators and students, countries – people connected in achieving common goals. I don’t think I know a person that would say they love the fact that everything is a product for the consuming masses. And some things don’t have to be. We who understand there are viable alternatives are bound to promote them and educate others until mainstream is the right stream. Croatia seems to be starting on that way, and I hope to get a chance to contribute and witness true success!

A trip to the ITI 2011 conference

Two weeks ago, with a couple of colleagues, I made a trip to Cavtat, a small town near Dubrovnik, where the ITI 2011 conference was held. The conference was nice and my talk for the paper “Nested componentization for advanced Web portal solutions” went fine. Most notable occurrences were the keynote by Richard D. De Veaux titled “The Seven Deadly Sins of Data Mining – and How to Avoid Them” and a workshop on presentation skills by George S. Nezlek. And of course my own appearance, which was the reason, no doubt, the conference room got filled to the last seat. Nezlek’s workshop didn’t introduce nothing really out of the ordinary or more than common sense would drive someone to try at the presentation (or not to try), but it was a set of really good and structured advice on how to perform and create presentations that no one else before him gave. Also, the man was an example of what’s a good presentation performance.

But, of course, more interesting than the conference were a few days before and after it, which we used to explore the Dubrovnik surrounding area. Read on

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