Awesome amount of Microconference submissions!

The Call-for-Proposals for Microconferences has come to a close, and with that, this year’s list of Microconferences is to be decided. A Microconference is a 3 and a half hour session with a half hour break (giving a total of 3 hours of content). Linux Plumbers has three Microconference tracks running per day, with each track having two Microconferences (one in the morning and one in the afternoon). Linux Plumbers runs for three days allowing for 18 Microconferences total (2 per track, with 3 tracks a day for 3 days).

This year we had a total of 26 quality submissions! Linux Plumbers is known as the conference that gets work done, and its success is proof of that. But sometimes success brings its own problems. How can we accept 26 Microconferences when we only have 18 slots to place them? Two of the Microconferences have agreed to merge as one bringing the total down to just 25. But that still is 7 more than we can handle.

We want to avoid rejecting 7 microconferences, but to do so, we need to make compromises. The first idea we have is to add a 4th Microconference track. But that still only gives us 6 more slots. As it will also require more A/V and manpower, the cost will increase and may not be within the budget to do so.

Pros to a 4 track are:

  • Have 24 full Microconferences and reject one (or 23 and keep 2 as per the next option).

Cons to a 4 track are:

  • Increased costs.
  • Having 4 Microconference tracks running simultaneously will cause more conflicts in the schedule. People have complained in the past about conflicts between sessions with just 3 tracks, having 4 will exacerbate the situation.
  • Still may need to reject 1 Microconference.

Another solution is to create a half Microconference (Nanoconference?). That is an hour and a half session, run the same as the full sessions, with the 30 minute break between two Nanoconferences. Doing so will allow for 11 full Microconferences and 14 Nanoconferences which will allow for all submissions to be accepted and fit within the 3 tracks.

The difference between a Nanoconference and a BOF is that a Nanoconference still has all the rules of a Microconference. That is, all sessions should be strictly discussion focus. If presentations are needed, they should be submitted as Refereed talks (the CFP for them are still open). A BOF is usually focused on a single issue. A Nanoconference should still be broken up into small discussions about different issues with sessions lasting 15 to 20 minutes each.

Pros for Nanoconferences are:

  • Can accommodate all submitted Microconferences.

Cons for Nanoconferences are:

  • Shortened time for Microconferences, even for topics in the past that had filled a full Microconference may now only get half the time.

Note, as BOFs will be in a separate track, a Nanoconference may be able to still submit for topics there (BOF submissions are still open).

Currently, we also give out 3 free passes to each Microconference that can be handed to anyone in their session. For 18 Microconferences, that is 54 passes. This will not be feasible to give out 3 passes to 25 Microconferences (totaling 75 passes), thus one solution is to drop it down to 2 free passes. The problem with passes is still an issue with the Nanoconference approach, as you can not give out 1 and a half passes. Thus, the Nanoconferences may only get 1 pass each, or perhaps have both the Microconferences and Nanoconferences all get just 2 passes each.

Anyway, since the above solutions still allow for 11 full Microconferences, we have accepted 9 so far. They are:

  • Android
  • KVM
  • Kernel Memory Management
  • Scheduling
  • Rust
  • Kernel Testing and Dependability
  • Graphics and DRM
  • Safe Systems with Linux
  • Tracing / Perf events (This is the merged Microconference)

We are still weighing our options so stay tuned for updates on the situation, and thank you to all the Microconference submitters that make
Linux Plumbers the best technical conference around!

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