Keep the Conversation Going!

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Given the duration of the pandemic in France and most recent government health measures, we must expect travel restrictions and the impossibility of large group meetings to last beyond the planned date of OW2con.

Here is how we are adapting our annual conference:

  • OW2con'20 will go online and be held as a virtual event,
  • we are maintaining the event format: one day of online presentations and 1/2 day of break-out sessions,
  • a catch up with an additional face-to-face community day on November 3rd.

OW2online’20, June 17-18

OW2online’20 is the name of the online event that replaces our usual conference.

As this is our first virtual conference we chose to keep it simple:

  • a series of online presentations,
  • all presentations to be recorded prior to the event,
  • all presentations properly filed and ready for broadcast on conference day.

But, this is a community conference, and we must provide resources for interactions:

  • although presentations are recorded, speakers will be available online for Q&A
  • a chat channel will be available for Q&A with the speakers.

Community Day, November 3

This depends on travel restrictions being lifted. Offering opportunities for face-to-face meetings, the Community Day will feature:

  • a one day event at Orange Labs conference center,
  • a community dinner the evening before in central Paris,
  • a streamlined program essentially comprised of keynote addresses and roundtables, and the OW2con Best Project Awards,
  • ample time set aside for informal discussions,
  • and several project meet-ups.

Behind the scenes

We have been looking for a technical solution that would:

  • be as open source as possible,
  • require no client software installation,
  • provide opportunities for interactions,
  • be easy to deploy and operate.

The components of the solution we are currently working on include:
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kdenlive_logo.jpgKdenlive for video editing,
Open_Broadcaster_Software_Logo.png OBS as a back-end for recording and streaming presentations to YouTube Live,
YouTube_logo.jpgYouTube for live broadcast and archive,
Logo_de_PeerTube.svgBittube for the archive,
rocketchat_logo.webpRocket.Chat as a browser-based integrated front-end displaying presentations and chats,
pretalx-logo.pngPretalx to manage the program,
xwiki_logo.pngXWiki for the conference web site.

Depending on how the pandemic evolves, Orange Labs’ will support OW2online with its video control room to add a live element.

For more details and recommendations, check out OW2 CTO Antoine Mottier's blog

Call for Action

That's the big picture. Of course, dozens of details will have to be ironed out for proper execution and delivery of this online conference. Organising an online conference is a new experience for all of us at the OW2 Management Office. We will tread way outside our comfort zone to do things we have never done before. It is risky but we are committed to giving it our best. 

Like everything we do at OW2, the online conference will be a co-production between OW2 and its members. Here is what would greatly help:

  • OBS experts to stage the presentations and run the live stream,
  • Community members to beta-test our platform,
  • Speakers to deliver a recorded version of their presentation by the end of May at the very latest.