Remote Participation at the Porto DTF

Casey Cain

Dear Communities,

Please read this message from our VP of Ecosystem and Community, Heather Kirksey.

We are getting numerous requests for our June Developer and Testing Forum to be a hybrid event. We understand why: some geographies are still experiencing surges, corporate travel policies remain conservative, and some community members are not yet ready to travel. These are all valid.

The answer is, sadly, that we can’t. Bluntly, enabling a hybrid event would incur about a full 30% increase in total cost for what is a free event. We cannot do this and remain fiscally responsible. Additionally, it’s not a great experience for either on-site or remote participants. 

As Unix philosophy states, “Do one thing and do it well.”

Since Unix philosophy also asserts the "need to work together,” LFN staff have come up with some adhoc solutions to enable community participation that will be provided on an unmanaged, self-serve, best effort basis.  Please note that last sentence and note it well. We can enable but not ensure remote participation.

Here is what it looks like:

  • Zoom bridges will be allocated to all of the rooms just as we have always done, with these caveats:

  • All devices will be on the same Wifi network, including the presenter/facilitator slide show (i.e., subject to venue Wifi and public internet considerations) – there will be no managed network for presenter laptops.

  • We cannot guarantee integration into the in-room microphone and A/V set-up. Attendees can obviously use things like USB speakers to aid in listening to discussions, but obviously quality will be best-effort. This may work fine for small breakout sessions but will likely be inadequate for larger rooms.

  • Did I say Best Effort? That means there will not be full onsite technical support to troubleshoot audio or other issues related to remote connectivity. Please do not confuse your community architects with onsite IT. :)

  • Consider the experience of those on-site. Half an hour spent asking “Can you hear me now” is a poor use of time for those humans sitting together in a room halfway around the world. Nor does it advance our work.

  • We are setting up one virtual-only track for folks to use as they see fit.  

    • No meeting rooms will be assigned to virtual-only sessions. If folks on-site elect to attend a virtual-only presentation, they can simply join the associated zoom session just like any other zoom call on any day of the week.

    • The program committee will not take virtual-only sessions into account during their scheduling and planning. Please do not expect them to move things around to accommodate a conflict between an on-site and virtual-only session. Be kind to your programming committee.

    • Virtual-only sessions still require a Topic Page and the following all of the traditional ground rules.

    • Scheduling  a virtual-only session is first-come, first-served. Simply add your session to the wiki page:  

As our event team works with the venue and A/V team, we will let you know if anything changes.

Finally, one last bit of Unix philosophy: “Economy and elegance of design through resource constraints.” The pandemic lockdowns started suddenly, but we find that they’re not ending that way. Connecting in-person again turns out to be bumpy and sometimes painful. We’re all doing our best, as a set of communities under constraints. This can either be a source of conflict or a source of creativity. Our choice. None but ours.

I appreciate everyone’s optimism, flexibility, and patience at this time as we all figure it out.


Heather Kirksey
VP, Ecosystem and Community
LF Networking
Mobile: +1.512.917.7938
Email/Google Talk: hkirksey@...
IRC: HKirksey