This year DebConf was in Banja Luka, Bosnia/Herzegovina. The head organizer, Adnan Hodzic, had some very interesting comments in the aftermath, among them, this:
“I could write a whole novel about this, but to keep it as short as possible, for last two years as a side project I was working on an idea of Government or some of its institutions migrating to Linux. At first I was somewhat loud about it, then after Microsoft heard about it and after they tried stopping the idea by trying to scare me by trying to interfere with my private life; as that didnâ€™t work its lobbyist came even near of obstructing the whole conference within the Government. For the sake of the conference, I convinced the Government that by supporting DebConf it doesnâ€™t mean they need to move to Linux and publicly stopped talking about it. I also convinced them that our only goal was to have successful conference and promote alternative options and open ideas. I wasnâ€™t lying as I saw this as new opportunity of them concluding on their own why they should or shouldnâ€™t not move, the better conference was the more chances of success we had.
Thatâ€™s why I tried pushing as many representatives from various companies as in this case we would use reverse psychology where basically no one or few know what Linux or Debian for that matter is, but everybody knows who Google is, so if you have participants from i.e: Google or Austrian E-Health care system talking about how they are using your technology is better way to explain whatâ€™s it all about really. Eventually Microsoft even had their first ever conference in Bosnia/Herzegovina and you wanna take a wild guess where it was held? :-)”
So, how scared is M$ that they bother to hold a conference to distract from a conference by a bunch of developers for Debian GNU/Linux, one of the least “commercial” distros you will ever find? Maybe it was the grandiose announcement put out by the government:
“Republika Srpska hosts Linux World Conference
Banja Luka, capital of the Republika Srpska, will host the Linux World Conference “DebConf11″ from 24 to 30 July. The most eminent experts from all over the world who develop open source Linux operating system for personal computers will take part in the Conference. Mr. Mark Shuttleworth, a Linux titan, one of the developers of the Debian operating system and the founder of Ubuntu along with the other famous people from the global companies such as Google, HP and Intel will be present. Banja Luka will certainly be the center of the world in this field during these days.”
Well, it’s all good. Adnan Hpdzic and Mark Shuttleworth went to chat with the President anyway.