SCaLE 5x, Haiku Tech Talks at Google, Picn*x XVI, CNSL 3 in Venezuela, FISL 8.0 in Brazil, NUMERICA in France, T-DOSE in the Netherlands, Kansai Open Source Forum in Japan. The list of 2007 events where Haiku had a presence is very long. In fact, never in the past has Haiku had so much public exposure as it did during 2007. And as the project keeps making progress towards its first release, this trend of increased exposure before the eyes of the open source and computing world in general is expected — and desired — to continue. In the first two months of 2008 alone, Haiku will be at BeGeistert 018, SCaLE 6x and FOSDEM 2008, not to mention the Haiku hacking event that is taking place this very same week. With very few exceptions, these events are all the result of initiatives by one or more community members.
In an attempt to assist the effort of these community members who drive such initiatives and to lure more of them to follow suit, we have added to the Haiku website the ability to easily publish information about conferences and events, as a means to increase their exposure and as a tool to further engage the participation of the community in this events.
In a nutshell, this is what we have added to the website:
For those organizing Haiku-related events or a Haiku presence at established conferences or trade shows, this allows them to give their effort exposure to a much wider audience (we have more than 1,500 registered users on the website!), increasing their chances of finding peers who can join them in their initiative. Furthermore, since each event entry is comment-enabled, this feature can also be used to obtain feedback and/or openly communicate and coordinate efforts among team members; it also possible to subscribe to any given event in order to receive email notifications when comment is added. You can also use the “email this page” feature (link at the bottom of the page) to let others know about the event.
On the other hand, this feature can also help those interested in learning more about Haiku or in actually becoming more engaged with the community. Specifically, the conference list, map and calendar pages may help people find a place where to gather with other community members in person near where they live. Even with all the online communication means that we have today, nothing beats good old face-to-face time to develop a sense of community or a personal relationship.
This tool has a lot of room for expansion, and as the project and community continue to grow, we can envision a system where each event can have it's own home page, forum, email notification and registration means. While we are starting with this somewhat simple (humble) addition to the website, we do have our eyes in something more ambitious for the future. As with any new system, this new feature of our website is bound to have bugs. Let us know if you find any glitches, or if you have any general feedback that may help improve the use of this tool.
Finally, we would like to emphasize that, as with everything else in an open source project, the degree to which this sort of tool becomes useful heavily depends on how much and how effectively it is used. We are making the tool available to empower the community: now it is up to all of you to make it work, for both you and for the Haiku community at large. If you have been itching to organize a local Haiku event or to represent Haiku at a conference, don't want anymore, and use this new tool to your advantage.