FOSDEM 2019 — Robin Wils's website

Last modified: Sat, May 2, 2020

Table of Contents

What is FOSDEM?

The logo of FOSDEM a big purple gear with the text FOSDEM in the middle of it.

Copyright © FOSDEM - CC BY 2.0 BE licensed.
Changes: compressed the image and changed the size of the image.

FOSDEM is a free event for software developers to meet, share ideas and collaborate. Every year, thousands of developers of free and open source software from all over the world gather at the event in Belgium in Brussels.

My experience at FOSDEM

FOSDEM was a great experience. There were a lot of interesting talks. I didn’t really socialize with many people, but I talked to some of the stands. I was mainly there for the talks, which were interesting, but it might be better to go for meeting people. It is personal preference.

I am not saying that it is for everyone, since it is about free and open software and that might be a bit too nerdy/geeky for some people.

Projects that I had not heard of

Open Source Design

A community of designers and developers pushing more open design processes and improving the user experience and interface design of open source software.

Apache Beam

Apache Beam is an advanced unified programming model. You can choose your language and your runtime with Apache Beam. It is not the easiest thing to explain but it seems useful.

The illumos projects

I had no idea that solaris based OS’s were still around. It is probably something that many people know about, but I didn’t.

Google Summer of Code

You probably didn’t expect Google to be on this list, but I like the idea behind this. Summer of Code is something for students that is supposed to give students an open source project.

I think that it is a competition, but I am not sure. The cool thing is that it is all about open source. I haven’t checked of it also allows free software projects, but I think that it does. Open source is a great start though.

Other interesting projects


GuixSD is an advanced distribution which respects the freedom of computer users. This distribution is almost completely written in GNU Guile. This is a distro that I really want to run. It is just so cool.


LibreOffice is a powerful free (as in freedom) office suite. They were looking for contributors and LibreOffice is a cool project in general.


You know that I had to talk to the Free Software Foundation Europe people, since I am a free software enthusiast. Belgium did not have a local group yet, but that can change. I was not the only one who talked about that apparently.

Hey, it is me from the future!: I formed an unofficial local group with people. It might become official some day. Please contact me if you are interested. The FSFE is aware of this. I might write an article about the group some day.

Librem 5

A project by Purism (which is a pretty cool company). The Librem 5 is supposed to become the first free (as in freedom) phone.

I am not sure of it will be that free (as in freedom) when I listened to the answers of some people their questions. They also seemed to still have a few problems. I really want this project to succeed, but I am not sure of it will.

It is a great start for new projects. I find it a wonderful project. Many people would like to see something like this in free software.

Even more projects

There were too many projects to mention them all. Nextcloud, Gitlab, Ceph and many other unmentioned projects were also there. Most projects at FOSDEM are awesome, so don’t think that this list contains all the awesome projects.