There is a lot of talk in the Mozilla blogosphere about the role of conferences for Mozilla developers, fallout from Gerv’s post-XTech post. I just want to put my weight behind the idea of a Mozilla Conference in Europe. Hereafter is mostly a repeat of a comment I wrote in Gerv’s post.
I’ve never been to XTech, but it sounds like a developer’s meeting as opposed to a vendor conference where the big players show off their wares. And what developer conferences need to be successful is for a lot of developers to show up. And in the Open Source world especially, price is an issue. I’m lucky enough to get paid to work on Mozilla projects, but many contributors are volunteers. The pricing of conferences like XTech just shuts them out. Yet cost is not the only issue. The talks, BOFs, hackathons and the like have to be compelling enough for you to give up your time to go there.
Personally, I’d love to see a Mozilla Conference in Europe. The attendance in the Mozilla room at FOSDEM this year was huge, and if we could build on that momentum I think it would be a big success. I’d certainly go, talk if needed, and help evangelise and organise.
Daniel has some very realistic concerns about a Mozilla-only event. Fine, let’s brand it as something else, such as a ‘Browser-vendor’ conference, and invite other vendors and developers from other communities along. We’d need to be careful not to limit content to just browser issues. The real goal should be discussion on what’s hot in web technology, and future talk/innovation.
But before jumping into such a conference, a discussion needs to take place on the Pros and Cons. That’s for a different post and/or forum however.