Answer to gerv and roc
By glazou on Sunday 21 May 2006, 17:36 - Mozilla
- What's Xtech ?
- Xtech used to be an XML-only conference almost totally
unrelated to the Web, and recently changed part of its focus adding a
browser track to the conference. Last year, Xtech 2005 also took place
in Amsterdam and was widely seen as a success. Mozilla, Opera,
Microsoft were there and even if the perception of the talks can vary
depending on one's technical level, the fact that all browser vendors
gathered in one single place was a sign of success. Robert O'Callahan
said he was not impressed by Xtech ; but he easily forgets that
EVERYONE at Xtech was impressed by HIS talk and demo. He forgets the
big applauses when he typed inside a textfield rotated 25 degrees,
rendering correctly not only the page but also the caret and the
selection. He forgot that a lot of people discovered XAML
with the talk Microsoft gave there. And, and, and.
- Was Xtech 2005 a success ?
- Definitely yes. I have said many times that Xtech 2005 was
as good as were the International Conferences back in the 95-98 era.
- Was it a success for Mozilla ?
- More than a success. Xtech 2005 was widely seen as the
first open conference dealing with browser innovation since 2000.
Mozilla's presence there helped a lot spread the word and gave us
europeans a lot of materials to chat with journalists or for our blog
entries. Overall, it was very positive.
- Why Xtech ?
- Because " There Can Be Only One ". The
International Web Conferences have completely lost momentum since
1999/2000 (W3C staff Ivan Herman told me that International Web
Conferences just started gaining attendance again...). So, because last
year's Xtech was seen as quite a big success, attendance to Xtech 2006
made perfect sense.
- Why not FOSDEM ?
- FOSDEM is another big Mozilla-related conf, but
it's not a WEB CONFERENCE. We definitely need a Web Conference focusing on
BROWSER-RELATED MATTERS ! Opera and Microsoft don't attend FOSDEM, and
have nothing to do there since they're not Open-Source, right ?
- Why not a Mozilla-only conference ?
- Oh, right, Mozilla could start its own cycle of developer
somewhere in the world, or twice per year once in US/Canada and once in
Europe. But that WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH because we desperately need to
confront ourselves to our "competitors". Ten years of W3C
membership/invitation have taught me that side-conversations during the
coffee break or in small groups in the corridor are almost more
important than the conference/meeting itself. A technical meeting or a
conference are not only a place you can show your skills, they are also
a battlefield. Don't laugh, you have no idea how much sensitive
information I have collected during all this years...
But could we really organize a Mozilla Conference ? Well, that's a
question of money and resources... Money does not really seem to be the
problem, but resources are definitely an issue. Who in the Mozilla
Community is going to spend time on the organization of that event ?
Don't forget that someone like Ed Dumbill is a professionnal event
organizer, backed by all the contacts and staff of IDEAlliance. Can we
really afford to organize a serious Mozilla-oriented event on a
continental or world-wide basis ? I sincerely doubt it. Not because we
don't have the skills, but because we don't have the time and we prefer
investing our time in more technical details. Hey, we're only geeks
after all, right ?
- So, Xtech 2007 ?
- Yes. Shouting at Xtech is, in my opinion, completely
counter-productive. It is certainly true that Hixie, vlad or dbaron did not learn a lot, but Xtech is - FOR THE TIME BEING - the best candidate
for a Web-based conference of high quality. The attendance fees MUST
decrease, the location MUST change for a better (and cheaper) one, and
all of us who attended Xtech 2006 must tell the people who were not in
Amsterdam this year that attending next year's conference is a good
idea. That's the only way we can attract high quality talks and
companies/groups/foundations/individuals that were not attending this