A Thriving FOSS Community on the North
Living in Sweden, conferences usually include travelling abroad. This is all fun, but it also means spending time away from family and work. This in turn means catching up on work, i.e. spending even less time with the family. Not exactly what I want to do all my life.
Recently this has changed. First of all, the free community conference FSCONS (held in Gothenburn Sweden), has gained more and more technical content (without losing the free community angle!). This means that it is more and more attractive to my flavour of geeks. This year, in November, they are even pursuing an embedded track and I definitively plan on both attending and speaking!
On the other coast of Sweden, Daniel Stenberg (of Rockbox fame) and friends started the foss-sthlm mailing list. The aim was to meet, have a few seminars and then go out for some beers and socialize. I don't know Daniel's expectations, but having to change the location due to getting 130+ visitors at the first meeting must have blown him away. Having been snowed in and missed the event, it still left me in a condition of light shock: are there that many in this small country?
On May 19th the second meeting arranged by foss-sthlm will take place. I for one will not miss it. The topics are: Smalltalk, FOSS and the law in Sweden, Cross Platform Qt, Women in Open Source, FFmpeg. After that, beer and socializing (or for me, taxi and flying back home :-/ ).
If you're in the Nordic region for any of these conferences, I can only recommend you to join in. The social part of free software is sometimes underestimated - and you get to learn something in the process.