Looking forward to FOSS.in

In a few days FOSS.in 2007 will start. I'm departing from Germany on Monday next week. I have a ton of things to do until then, including a trip to my family in Nuernberg on Friday,, visiting a industrial festival in Chemnitz on Saturday and packing my suitcases on Sunday ;)

So this will be the fifth year in a row that I visit Bangalore in late November/early December for the event formerly known as Linux Bangalore. What once started like a crazy reason for visiting India the first time (after enjoying Indian food and bollywood music from Germany for a couple of years), has turned into a regular mark in every years' calendar for me.

I've been told that FOSS.in this year will be very different from all the previous events. The focus has been shifted from doing just another round of 'this is free software and this is how to use it' event, the focus is now entirely on the community developer.

India still has, to my deep regret, shown relatively few significant contributors to Free Software - especially if you relate it to the size of the IT industry and the number of people working as software engineers in that country. Thus, I very much welcome any effort to nurture and foster the active, contributing part of the FOSS community there.

Meanwhile, the Schedule has been published by the organizers. Looking at the speakers and topics covered, it definitely looks more than promising!

Also: My openmoko-induced absence to the major Linux events in Europe and Canada have resulted in a way too long time since I've last met Rusty and James, my former fellow netfilter/iptables hackers :) Make sure you don't miss any of Rusty's talk. It's going to be fun :) And be prepared to switch your brain's English parser into high-speed mode :)

As a final side note: I'm happy to learn today that my application for a five year visa to India has been granted. During the last five years, I had to obtain a total of seven 6months visas - sufficient evidence to support my argument in favor of a 5 year visa.