FOSDEM 2008 at Brussels wasn't great it was much more then great.
I am very proud of PostgreSQL. I have never seen such a big PostgreSQL booth and never seen so much PostgreSQL guys at the same place (besides PGDay Italy of course).
Also I never did so less booth work then this year at FOSDEM. There were so many other PostgreSQL guys that it wasn't necessary that I will be behind the booth.
Because I didn't have to take care of the booth I could join several talks. I heard a lot of talks.
My own two talks were great too.
Unfortunately the organisation made a misstake and they scheduled my "encoding/libc" talk at the same in the same room as two other talks.
I got another room and another time for my talk.
My "encoding/libc" talk wasn't announced very well but that doesn't matter. Only a quarter of the chairs of the room were empty. I got lots of interesting questions during and after this talk.
I will look, that I find a place, where I can offer the slides because there was no camera at the room.
There was no free chair at my other talk: "What can you do for PostgreSQL community". I was surprised about that.
Instead of constructive questions about activities at the PostgreSQL community I got lots of MySQL comparing questions. Of course, here it was the right address to ask me.
There should be a MySQL and PostgreSQL comparing talk too. I wanted to hear it to make sure that nothing goes wrong. Nobody knew the speaker and at least the speaker canceled.
We are sure, he didn't speak about his talk with PostgreSQL or MySQL before FOSDEM.
Also it was the first PostgreSQL booth I ever saw where MySQL guys visited us. I am pretty sure, they all agree with me, that the PostgreSQL guys were very open and friendly to them and that there is no competition. It was really nice to see a MySQL guy wearing a MySQL shirt with PostgreSQL buttons.
PostgreSQL, Debian, BSD and a few others have were in another building. We kidded: "wow, we are so prominent, that we got a own building". The result was, that the group of visitors were very geek like. The usual visitors often didn't reach the other building.
The positive result was: At the PostgreSQL booth we didn't get the question: "What's the different to MySQL" so often. Also we didn't get so many MySQL question as we usually get when there was no MySQL booth at an event (they didn't have had a booth at FOSDEM).
The other advantage was, that we were very close to the developer rooms.
Of course, I made a little experiment with my gender too. It was really funny. Because I got new hardware the week before FOSDEM I needed installation CDs/DVDs. I was too lazy to download them.
I went to the OpenSolaris booth inkognito and asked for a DVD. Of course the guy was really gentle and helpful. I think it happens not often that a woman is interested in OpenSolaris. When I told the guy I need gcc and all this typical programming stuff his face was surprised. I was really amazing to see this face
A few hours later Simon Phipps introduced me to this guy and he said: "hey, why didn't you say who you are? I wouldn't be so surprised about a woman that has interest in OpenSolaris and also seems to have knowledge about C programming if I have had known who you are"
Also FOSDEM was the first birthday of the PostgreSQL European group. We started the founding last year at FOSDEM and it was leaded during the first year by Andreas Scherbaum, Magnus Hagander, Dave Page and me.
This year we made an official election of the board of directors for the PostgreSQL European group. We needed to do it mainly because of all this donation laws.
The new four directors are: Magnus Hagandar (Sweden), Gabriele Bartolini (Italy), Jean-Paul Agudo (France) and Andreas Scherbaum (Germany).
Gabriele Bartolini announced, that there will be a PGDay 2008 in Prato (Italy) in October. We will hope, that this will get a as big success as last year.
And of course we are looking forward to FOSDEM 2009.