a postmortem on africasource
So much to say. It was wonderful to see fellow hackers, those on their way to being hackers, as well as other folks implementing free software solutions across the continent.
In the last days of the conference, the focus of the sessions shifted towards getting NGOs to use free software effectively. However, the developers couldn't really communicate in a way the users could understand, and the users were either too intimidated or not aware of how to state their problems that an effective dialog was hard to come by. A bit frustrating.
It was also odd because it seemed there was an underlying agenda, enabling NGOs, that was not spoken to by the name "African Free and Open Source Software Developer's Meeting". Free software (as a whole) has no agenda, no goal outside itself, no project manager, no subordinates -- it goes because people do things. Not people talking about things. If the NGOs need something, they need to find some way to motivate the right people to do the right things.
Ag, I don't want to be a negative bore. So I'll shut up here. It was good we were brought together -- I met a lot of quality folks. And if I don't hear the words "NGO" or "civil society" for another few months, I think I'll be a happy man.
... or not so much. I've got to get back into the swing of things.
Had a fine weekend at the coast with some people from allafrica.com. Real nice folks. But I think all the temperature and food changes sent my body for a loop -- I'm resting at home now when I should be teaching.
Happy 14th, Namibia!