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[edit] Agenda

  1. "DebConf Deutschland e.V."
  2. Contract HD
  3. Webpage
  4. Sponsoring
  5. Miscellaneous
    1. Do we want to have childcare?
    2. Reimbursements for this kick-off event
    3. Short, regular status meetings from now on?
    4. Who's going to DC14 / final report

[edit] Minutes


  • Hannes von Haugwitz (hvhaugwitz)
  • Marc Haber (Zugschlus)
  • Sandro Knaus
  • Ilona Hartmann (IlonaH)
  • Richard Hartmann (RichiH)
  • Andreas Mundt (and1bm)
  • Philipp Hug (hug)
  • Michael Banck (azeem)
  • Christian Steigies (cts)
  • Jan-Marek Glogowski (jmux)
  • Jörg Jaspert (Ganneff)
  • Penny Krafft (Mjollnir`)
  • Martin Krafft (madduck)
  • Rene Engelhard (_rene_)
  • Arne Wichmann (Plentyn)
  • Franziska Lichtblau (rhalina)
  • Margarita Manterola (marga)
  • Maximiliano Curia (maxy)

[edit] Lunch and venue exploration

The meeting commenced with a quick lunch to sample the quality of food, which was found to be good. Nobody voiced any concerns, and given that there is a certain flexibility from the side of the cooks, it can be assumed that DebConf attendees will be fed well.

Following lunch, our main contact at the youth hostel took us around the venue to allow everyone to get a feel.

Among the individual discussions were:

  • food is not only good, it's also obviously designed to fill you -- RichiH (talk) 09:50, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
  • main talk room has a balcony which will become a scenic hacklab with a view over the zoo, the Neckar, and a rugby field -- RichiH (talk) 09:50, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
  • We will need to deploy our own wireless in several places. Sleeping quarters and food area didn't seem to have network cabling -- RichiH (talk) 09:50, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
  • We have to take note of attendees sizes vs bed sizes. Beds in HD are between 1.90m and 2m and have a frame raised around them. Tall people will die in them. There are 12 "pull outs" available which have no frame around. One is reserved for Ganneff, so we have 11 we need to hand out to "people in need"
    • I am also on that list ;) - but I slept just fine in my bed. Not sure how long it was, though. More of a concern would be sheet length, imo. -- RichiH (talk) 15:48, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
  • fill in what you think is noteworthy

[edit] DebConf Deutschand e.V.

(Due to time constraints relating to the availability of a printer, this agenda item was done first)

After an hour's worth of discussion, it was decided that DebConf Deutschland e.V. should be the legal entity responsible for DC15, including its organisation as well as conference contents etc., and there are several reasons for this, including liability and appearance to the "outside world".

However, it was unanimously agreed that membership in the Verein is not required to contribute to DC15, and neither does membership make an opinion count more.

The Verein should be kept small and functional. As the Verein is ultimately responsible, it initiates sub-projects ("Ressorts") for the various aspects of conference organisation. Each such Ressort is to be led by a member, and where required, membership is given to anyone (not limited to locals, or German nationals) for this role. Within each Ressort, any number of people, members or not, can work together according to their own rules. The Ressort leader's only defined obligation is to report to the board of the Verein at regular intervals, and upon request.

The Verein was then founded (bylaws). The founding members were chosen to be seven Debian Developers (among them a Debian auditor) in an attempt to facilitate attaining the status of a Debian Trusted Organisation.

[edit] Introductions

The attendees introduced themselves in the order listed at the top. There were 18 people present, including several people relatively new to DebConf orga, who are interested to contribute, wanted to get a feel and would probably now appreciate being "taken by the hand" a bit.

[edit] Venue contract

Martin reports that the contract needs to be signed by the end of May. As we do not have to pay money up front until June 2015, we are in quite a comfortable position. Therefore, at the moment (even though a lawyer will look it through), the important thing is to ensure that we have everything in there that we know we'll want or need.

Please look over the contract and communicate your input as soon as possible!

Several attendees asked about the prohibition to bring their own alcohol (and food). Martin explains that the rule is not negotiable as it comes from the Landesverband (which governs the youth hostel). There will be alcohol sold by the venue and we can influence the selection a bit. Their motivation is less financial ("corkage fee"), but that they want to be in control and refuse giving more alcohol to intoxicated people. It was also pointed out that a reasonable selection and subsidised drinks might help to mitigate the problem; at least people won't go shopping drinks just for the price or availability.

The cheese and wine party will be made possible somehow, but the hostel is reluctant to commit to it in writing (due to the revision by the Landesverband). However, they're thinking about how this could be assured.

The idea was mentioned to sell all wine to the hostel and let them resell it to us, though this may incur tax consequences.

The assembly discussed what they would do in case people don't obey the rule. Obviously, we'd have to communicate this quite clearly (and make sure that the offering at the bar makes it most unlikely anyway that people bring booze from the supermarket). It's also not going to be a surprise if there'll be the occasional bottle of whiskey. In general, DebConf attendees can be expected to be decent about this, won't abuse alcohol, and not consume it right in the middle of public spaces. However, if the staff find out, they are legally enabled to kick the offenders out and ban them from the hostel. This has to be made very clear because we cannot risk being affected as a whole by the misconduct of a few. Should the venue staff approach us to complain (e.g. because they don't know names), we will have to act immediately and warn all attendees. Yes, this sucks and some of us would prefer this regulation to not exist, but the assembly also agrees that it's not unreasonable and simply has to be dealt with as there is no choice anyway.

The question about walk-in guests was raised: the youth hostel reserves 2 rooms with 4 beds each for walk-in guests. Concerns were voiced about the effects of these guests on the security of stuff lying around (though there could be rogue conference attendees too), but mostly about their comfort when they have to share a space with us, as well as our comfort (e.g. if they are raucous binge-drinkers). Martin will ask for statistical details on this and try to remove the clause from the contract. Some people feel it's better to get written confirmation of what exclusivity vs walk-in rights actually means. Martin feels this may be detrimental as the answer will be binding. Consensus leans towards asking beforehand.

[edit] Sponsoring

Unfortunately, Constanze Stohn (conny) wasn't present (excused). Martin reported a bit on a meeting with conny around Easter, including a mention of the idea to provide individual sponsorship items (e.g. cups, day trip, etc.) in addition to the existing levels.

Concerns were voiced that if we go too modular, complexity rises. Also, it might make us lose money as sponsors might just buy themselves e.g. t-shirt space if that were offered separately, instead of buying a (more expensive) pack.

Conny sent a proposal of sponsorship levels for the meeting, but we did not spend much time discussing them.

In the past, sponsoring was invoiced as "sponsorship", or "donation". However, given the level of added value we provide to sponsors (instead of e.g. a very simple "thank you"), we are actually providing advertising services, at least according to the interpretation of PricewaterhouseCoopers, who are consulting us a bit on the side and for free. We'll have to make sure to understand this and maintain a clear line to avoid surprises from taxes, which could be levied even years after the conference took place in case the authorities decide to look closer.

The team discussed the next steps. We should definitely try to be in touch with sponsors well ahead of time of them making their 2015 budget. As some companies make their budgets as early as September and it might take weeks from establishing contact until the request ends up on the desk of someone who can make budget decisions, we should not wait or delay the process. At the same time, however, we don't want to create artificial pressure.

It was agreed to proceed stepwise: the sponsorship brochure should be worked on, and independently, work on the logo and website should commence. For now, a generic logo and a simple web page will do, as well as the final report from DC13. As the logo develops, website and brochure can be updated.

Franziska took the initiative and agreed to work on the brochure. Michael, Philipp and Arne joined. It was agreed to deliver a status report by the end of May (next meeting, see below).

Penny volunteered for taking care of the logo.

[edit] Registration levels

Corporate/professional registration was briefly discussed. Marga said that DebConf13 registration was rather complicated/confusing for professionals because it wasn't clear how much needs to be paid at the end. And if we handle it like DebConf14 people might just decide to signup for sponsoring to avoid the complexity of having to register for accomodation themselves. By this logic, we should not tell professional/corporate attendees to go to the youth hostel directly for accomodation/food but make it as easy as possible to pay, no matter what type of attendee. On the other hand, there are benefits for letting the youth hostel charge attendees directly.

According to Martin and Philipp, there are tax issues involved here, and subtle differences that can cost a lot of money. Exactly how room & board will be paid for, collected and invoiced needs to be carefully assessed. We are in touch with PricewaterhouseCoopers, who are consulting us pro-bono at the moment.

Martin brought up the idea of having an additional daily rate for people who plan to stay only for a few days, in addition to the full-DebConf rate.

Finally, room allocation for corporate/professional attendees is an open question, i.e. whether they should get preferential treatment if they stay in the venue. Again, this has tax effects (it cannot be treated as a donation if there's a value in return, such as a room upgrade).

It was decided to end the brainstorming at this point and to wait for further information before working towards a decision here.

[edit] Website

Jörg and Martin gave a brief overview of the current situation. Pentabarf, which DebConf has been using since DC7 and up until DC13 has lately been a bit unmaintained, but there's a new upstream keen to work with us.

At the same time, Steve Langasek is polishing "Summit" up for use for DC14. At the moment, integration of e.g. the video team workflow is still missing from Summit. The assembly agreed that it's worth to wait and see how Summit performs for DC14 and to delay a decision for the conference management system until shortly after DC14.

Meanwhile, Rene will take care of the Perl Page Templates + XHTML webpage available in Git (debconf-data/dc15, subdirectory website) and report on progress at the next meeting.

[edit] Child care

Instead of professional child care, it was agreed to facilitate self-organisation between parents. The idea of a schedule was raised, but nothing decided.

Jörg and Richi will set up a private, unarchived mailing list to allow parents to talk freely amongst themselves.

In general, given how child-/family-friendly the venue is, we should make sure to include that in all communications and encourage family participation.

Martin mentions that if the budget allows, it should be no problem to find a professional care taker for a few hours a day, or specific events, in mid-August at short notice. This was not defined to be a goal and will be revisited if deemed necessary.

[edit] Status meetings

There should be status meetings around the end of each month until autumn. These shall be coordinated using dudle.

[edit] Ideas for pre-events in HD

Michael had the idea to enable e.g. a BSP and/or sprints, team meetings on a weekend in autumn in HD, to allow people to get to know the venue. It remains to be seen how this will be paid, but the idea was generally found good. Michael agreed to look into this.

[edit] Going to DC14 / DC14 final report

Martin wants to know who will be going to DC14. A number of people (ca. 6) stated interest, but the general limiting factor is sponsorship.

There was not a whole lot of enthusiasm (= none) about the idea of sprinting for the final report right after DebConf, as people would be exhausted or wanted to travel. However, a few hours on Sunday could be done.

In general, the team holds the opinion that the DC14 final report is the job of the DC14 team and not our responsibility. However, we'll help as we're interested in getting the report for our sponsors.

The idea to host a "hand-over" to DC16 people post-DC15 was received positively. We'll look into that as we get closer to the conference.

[edit] Reimbursements for this event

Martin reported that Debian will pay for the hostel (incl. lunch and breakfast) and dinner at a restaurant. Those who want their travel expenses reimbursed should send them to Martin (address available on request), along with their account details, and he'll proxy all payments. Unless there is urgency, he asks for a bit of patience to process all this.

[edit] Dinner

We ended the day with a (quite lengthy, 45 minutes) march to dinner at a local restaurant in the old city centre. Heidelberg's old town is reachable by foot in 20–30 minutes, but it's a big old town, so walking there from the hostel is more like 30–45 minutes and that's not going slow. There is a bus, however.

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