The next foss-north

This year’s foss-north was the tenth incarnation. I’ve been organizing foss-gbg since 2013, and foss-north since 2016 (two events in 2020 makes it ten in total). It’s been quite a journey – moving between three venues, working with amazing speakers and sponsors, finding a way through the pandemic, while getting to know so many people.

The conference continued when fscons moved from town. Henrik, who helped start fscons has been invaluable during the foss-north years.

Over the years, there has been multiple people helping out with things like announcing speakers, manning the registration booth, finding speakers and creating a program. One of the people who has been around the whole time is Tobias, who is ran a large portion of the show this year and is taking over the lead organizer role.

Private life has been rough over the past two years, so the decision to step back from foss-north has been more or less inevitable. So it’s a great feeling to be able to sit down and enjoy the show and know that the event is in good hands with Tobias.

Thank you all for speaking, visiting, helping out at, and sponsoring foss-north. See you at next year’s event. I’ll have more time to mingle than ever before! ;-)

A summer of catching up

The feeling of this summer is one of catching up. Last summer was intense due to changes in the family followed by decease and death, leaving with me as a full time single parent. To my great joy, I’ve met someone who is special to me, so this summer has been about getting our families to work as one. It has been fun, but also very intense.

This means that my focus on engagements that I used to do has been very focused on deadlines and what must be done, rather than what I take pleasure in doing. That means economic reporting for foss-north and such. I pushed hard to make foss-north possible this year, and am very happy that it did. However, I’m still catching up in the post event activities.

This means editing videos and such now, rather than in May, and trying to get them on-line during the fall. All speakers have been very understanding in this, so I’m sure it will be good eventually.

This also means that I’ve actively taken a step back from gbgcpp (and swedencpp), as well as not attending fosdem, nor any Stockholm meetups (tdbi, swedencpp, etc). It also means that there has been no gbgcpp activity for a very long time. Let’s see how (if?) I can reactivate that community at some point in time. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you want to help.

This post is a part of my 100 days to offload effort.

foss-north – two weeks left

It is under two weeks left until foss-north, so make sure that you have your tickets at hand.

The event takes place from Sunday April 23, with a Community Day. We have a couple of workshops lined up and a social event, but there is still room for more if you want to arrange something.

Then follows two days of conference on April 24-25 where we have a whole range of awesome speakers lined up. The conference is recorded, but not live streamed. As you know – it is only live once – so make sure to secure your tickets.

First face-to-face conference since COVID, so I’m psyched and nervous. Let’s make this a great one!

foss-north – Just one month left

As I blogged about earlier, life has been challenging the past months, but now things are getting back to normal. This means that some things are late, but also that I really want to do some things. foss-north is among these things.

In one month, April 23-25, foss-north 2023 will take place at Chalmers Conference Centre, in Gothenburg, Sweden. This will be the first in-person event since 2019 and I know it will be great. The speaker line-up has been set and it will be great. We’ve got a bunch of great sponsors helping out to make this possible. What we need are projects for the community day and visitors – this is where you come in to the picture!

So, to encourage you to get yourself a ticket. Tell your friends. And if you want to do a hackaton, workshop or just hang out with fellow hackers, reach out to me to get your project to join the community day!

Getting back to speed

The end of 2022 and beginning of 2023 has not been much to cheer about, but life goes on and it is time to do some fun stuff, and I’ve got some lined up that just might involve you.

First of all, foss-north is back as a physical event. The 2023 event will be the 8th (9th if you consider that we had two events back in 2020 in hope of COVID to be over after the summer) and it will be the 5th physical event. Last time around, in 2019, we peaked the number of speakers, community projects and visitors, so I hope that we can continue that trend and make it even bigger this year.

If you want to participate as a speaker the Call for Paper is still open for another week, so feel free to join in. We’re also looking for projects for the community day as well as sponsors and visitors. Tickets will be made available during March.

In addition to this, me and a couple of friends are getting back to podcasting. The topic is anything open source and we’ve setup a github project for you to contribute your ideas. Feel free to drop in your suggestions.

foss-north 2021 – Speakers and Call for Papers

TL;DR; Call for Papers closes on Sunday. Join foss-north 2021 and be a part of a great speaker line-up!

When planning foss-north, we always pre-announce some speakers early on. This helps set the tone of the conference, show sponsors that we have contents, and – interestingly – also increase the number of submissions to our call for papers.

This year is a bit special due to COVID-19 and the conference will be our third virtual installment, but we are still hoping to bring together great people and contents.

This year we have four pre-announced speakers who I’m very excited about. We have everything from stories from how the Internet is kept safe, how to use open source methods in your organization, how industry verticals collaborate around open source, all the way to how to write a Linux kernel driver.

So, in no particular order, I give you…

Anne-Marie Eklund Löwinder who will talk about signing the Internet root zone.

This will be the story from when Anne-Marie worked as Crypto Officer and attended the cermonies around DNSSEC. How do we protect the secrets that are used to protect the Internet itself.

Isabel Drost-Fromm who will talk about how to use the open source way beyond open source. By applying inner source principles, the magic that makes open source work can be used inside an organization too.

These are aspects such as sense of ownership, independence, and so on. If developers are willing to work for fun on open source, how do we create the same joy at work.

Leslie Hawthorn who will talk about strategic open source engagements for vertical markets. This is about how to work openly within an industry vertical and not a single component or project.

This is interesting from a foss-north perspective, as this is a conference about everything and nothing. I guess that makes it a horizontal event. How can vertical organizations meet to identify shared cross-cutting aspects.

Marta Rybczynska will give a talk appropriately titled Into the Jungle, about writing Linux kernel drivers.

In this talk we will look at writing a Linux network driver from scratch, diving into the deep end and learning how to swim.

The Call for Paper is still open until Sunday, so if you have a topic that you want to discuss, make sure to get your contribution in!

foss-north pod – a look at the stats

The foss-north pod about Licenses and Copyright has been around since May 1st, so I decided to talk a look at the stats. We gather very little statistics, but what I know is that we have 635 followers on YouTube and 108 over at (a peertube instance). We also serve the pod directly from, where we keep 14 days of access logs. What can we read out from them?

First of all – we decided to provide the pod as ogg or mp3, and it seems like a majority of you prefer the ogg version.

The downloads per day is a mess. From the episodes page I can see that we released the last two episodes on Nov 20, and Dec 4. I was a bit surprised not to see a spike on the 4th or 5ph, nor any apparent weekend vs workday pattern.

So, what was downloaded? Keep in mind that this is a two weeks window, and episode 26 was available for the last 3 days only. It seems like we have an even spread of listeners across many episodes, with a focus on episode 25, which was the latest during the time window.

Does this mean that we have a steady flow of new listeners? Not sure – the YouTube subscriber count raises steadily, so it might be the case.

Finally, let’s have a look at the user agent strings. I’ve tried to classify this into client OS for browsers, Apps for obvious pod listening apps, Bot for bots and other for the unidentified ones.

To my surprise, quite a few of you are listening from Windows machines. Then we have the Linux devices followed by Android, and Apps. Unless you count the bots, of course.

Another surprise is that OpenBSD is more common than OSX among our listeners.

It is possible to dig out more from the logs, but the evening is approaching. There are some surprises here, but it is good to see that we have had 800+ downloads over the past two weeks. To be honest, I was a bit worried when we shifted from YouTube to a podcasting format in August. Our views dropped quite dramatically on YouTube, but it seems that you found your way to the pod instead.

At the end of the day, the positive feedback given over social media and email is worth more than stats, so we will keep on going. Also, clocking in at almost 200 views on our episode on the definition of copyright and 250+ on the history of free and open source is quite amazing in my book, as this is a quite a narrow meta-topic inside the free and open source movement.

Intense weeks

End of October turns out to be one of the highs when it comes to workload this year. Everything happens at once – there are two public events that I’d like to tell you about.

The first one is running lights. This is an annual running competition organized by AIF Friidrott, the sports club my kids are active in. This year, this means organized by me and postponed due to COVID-19, but the virtual races started this weekend and the arena race will take place on the 24th.

If anyone of you are in the Alingsås area and enjoy I highly recommend you to join. The weather looks nice, and we will light up the arena with live fire, so it will be a great evening.

The second one is the foss-north 2020 take II event. This spring, we decided to try to organize a physical foss-north event this fall, as obviously the pandemic must be over by November. This seems to not be the case. :-)

Instead we are running a single day event on November 1 with six handpicked speakers. The event is virtual and free for all.

I would like to tell you about the speakers one by one, because I’m very excited about each and everyone of them.

Andrew 'bunnie' Huang

In the morning we welcome Bunnie Huang who will talk about the precursor project. Precursor is an open hardware platform for secure, mobile communications and computations. The focus is on security aiming to create a trustable platform.

Simon Ser

Next up is Simon Ser. He will talk about how to get pixels onto the screen in a modern Linux stack. This means a deep dive in the Kernel Mode Setting (KMS) interface. How it exposes hardware blocks and how to use it to get images shown on the screen.

Ramón Soto Mathiesen

The morning session then ends with Ramón Soto Mathiesen taking us into the land of Domain Driven Design (DDD) using Algebraic Data Types (ADT). Ramón has a background in functional programming languages and brings this knowledge into the world of multi-paradigm languages such as C#, Rust, and Swift.

Carol Chen

The afternoon session starts with Carol Chen from Red Hat Ansible. She works as a community manager for Ansible. She will be talking about how they move have moved from collections to contributions to conferences.

Lars Brinkhoff

We then continue with Lars Brinkhoff who will talk about the Incompatible Timesharing System (ITS). Lars works with restoring ITS and recreating the history from these early days of computing. ITS is of particular interest at foss-north at is the platform where tools such as Lisp, Logo, Scheme, Emacs and Zork where developed. This is where the foundations for the free software movement where born – quite literally.

Tor-logo by Stanchenko on DeviantArt

The day then ends with Alexander and Georg who will talk about Tor, the anonymity network. They will discuss why diversity is essential for reaching security and anonymity.

So, the next days will be crazy hectic, but it is all for something good. First a cosy evening of running on an arena lit by live fire, and then a day of talks about various FOSS projects.

I hope to see you there!

foss-north: Enablement Talks

During foss-north 2020 we had a group of talks related to using free and open source in various settings. I call them enablement talks. Someone with a more salesy mind might have said success stories.

This year we had tree such talks. One from about SVT’s (the Swedish public TV broadcaster) video streaming platform by Gustav Grusell and Olof Lindman, one from arbetsförmedlingen (the Swedish public employment service) by Johan Linåker and Jonas Södergren, and about Screenly OSE by Viktor Petersson, a digital signage solution.

We’ve also decided to experiment with a series of shorter videos, and we started by explaining licenses.