On February 3 and 4, 2024, the FOSDEM conference will again be held in Brussels.

What exactly is FOSDEM again?

FOSDEM (“Free and OpenSource Developers European Meeting”) is the largest conference for developers of open source software and open source hardware in Europe. The conference has been held annually during the first weekend of February since 2001 and takes place at ULB’s Solbosch campus.

The term open source includes open source software (also known by the term “FOSS”), open source hardware (“OSHW”), as well as open data and knowledge (think e.g. of the widely known website wikipedia).

FOSDEM is totally organized by volunteers and is free for visitors. In recent years, the conference attracts about 6000 visitors each year.

What does this have to do with our hobby?

Also amateur-radio uses more and more opensource technology, .. and because FOSDEM 2024 will , for the first time, have its own corner dedicated to the amateur-radio hobby.

But let’s first look at how FOSDEM operates: Given the large number of different topics, the conference is divided into about 40 different “devrooms” (literally, “a room for developers”). Each devroom groups a number of presentations and demonstrations on a similar aspect of open source and is organized by its own team of volunteers.

Previous editions of FOSDEM already included a devroom “SDR (Software Defined Radio)” but new for 2024 is that this devroom has now been expanded to “Software Defined Radio and amateur radio.”. 

In other words, for the first time, FOSDEM will provide a place for all open source projects around the amateur radio hobby.

If you are a software developer or a hardware designer of amateur radio project, this is a unique opportunity to showcase not only your project to other radio amateurs, but also to other developers! Since FOSDEM is a conference by developers for developers, this offers the opportunity to boost and grow your project with the help of other radio amateurs and developers from all over Europe.

Wasn’t there something about radio amateurs at FOSDEM in previous years?

Indeed, last years radio amateurs were already present at FOSDEM with an information booth about the amateur radio to promote our hobby to the more than 6000 visitors during the weekend.

However, 2024 is the first year that the radio amateur hobby will also be part of a devroom.

How does such a devroom work?

The first step in the organization of devroom is the CfP (“Call for Presentation”). That is ‑as the name says- the call from the organizers of a devroom to whoever wants to give a presentation or demonstration at the devroom.

The link to the CfP can be found at the bottom of this post.

If you have an idea for a presentation, demonstration or activity, the second step is to submit a proposal. To do so, follow the procedure described in the CfP.

You have until December 1 to submit your proposal.

Then, by December 15, the devroom organizers will publish the list of presentations selected. The selection is done based on the number and content of the proposals received and time constraints imposed by the FOSDEM organization.

But my project is so small and insignificant…

Although a lot of large and complex projects have already been discussed at FOSDEM, it is not that there is only room for those kinds of projects at the conference.

The open source world also consists of lots of smaller projects, each of which has a specific small niche application. This is something we also wish to bring to FOSDEM.

So, even if you only have a small project that you can discuss and demonstrate in 10 or 15 minutes, do not hesitate to submit your proposal! That too is part of the open source world.

I’m interested. How do I participate?

You can find the CfP here: https://​www​.gnuradio​.org/​n​e​w​s​/​2​023 – 11-08-FOSDEM24-CfP/

The CfP contains the procedure on how to submit your proposal.

If you wish to join the discussion about the sdr/hamradio devroom, you can do so in this matrix discussion room: https://​matrix​.to/​#​/​#​s​d​r​-​a​n​d​-​h​a​m​-​r​a​d​i​o​-​f​o​s​d​e​m​2​4​:​g​n​u​r​a​d​i​o​.​org

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