A Report on the LinuxTag

by Uta Szymanek and Karsten-Olaf Laux

Prelude


Some weeks before the Linux Tag we discussed whether we should present Worldforge on this exposition. I thought that our project was interesting and advanced enough for the largest Linux event in Europe. However Karsten said, that it was too late for registration. We were uncertain what we should do and thus didn?t do anything.

Two days before the fair's opening we thought about creating some handouts in order to recruit some new developers for the project; so Karsten made a phone call to the coordination team ... this was the point of no return. The coordinators told us, that two minutes before Loki Software had cancelled their attendance. So we got a chance to present Worldforge instead of Civilization: Call to Power.

Two days of action


Obviously we hadn't done any preparations until then. So we first had to think about what would be needed for a presentation and what aspects of Worldforge we wanted to emphasize. We came to the conclusion, that two days and two nights were by far not enough time. So Karsten started to brush up uclient and made a series of screenshots which Garg integrated into the revised promotion video. Florian was so kind to translate some of Bryce's postings into German. I compiled handouts, a poster and a portfolio containing artwork of the Worldforge artists. When going to bed late Friday night, I thought about how nice it would be to have a free weekend ...

Two days of even more action


Finally Saturday had arrived, a great day to achieve great things. ;) Naturally we had not finished all preparations; so we still had to take care of minor things. While the exposition had already opened it's doors, Karsten was adding a soundcard to the presentation PC and I was copying and cutting the handouts and the paper containing Bryce's project description.

The first Linux Tag took place a few years ago. It had been a meeting of about seventy students and it mainly consisted of lectures on Linux. During the last years it has evolved into Europe's biggest Linux exposition. 7000 visitors - 2000 more than on the Linux Expo Paris- vistited the exposition during the two days. Compared to the years before, the Linux Tag at the University Kaiserslautern is now being attended mainly by firms representing information technologies. The most interesting part, taking the number of visitors as a scale, is still the non-comercial section, in which the games stall could be found. This section still represents the atmosphere of the OpenSource Community. Therefore this section was called "t-shirt section" in contrast to the "suit-section".

Many people were surprised about the fact that a project like Worldforge was an OpenSource project. So finally we hung up a big sign saying "OpenSource". Most people were interested in playing Worldforge and thus the most asked question was: "When will it be playable?". Since we presented the clients as graphical frontends to the servers, precise questions were asked on the server design and the isometric artwork. Almost everyone was impressed by the graphical richness, the broad concept and the great advancements the project has achieved since it's beginning. We also got to know some MUD veterans, who signed in as beta testers. ;) On sunday there was a big surprise as sdt alias Stefanus du Toit showed up, because he was in Germany on vacation. He and a friend of him helped us to distribute the handouts among the visitors.

After all this talking, explaining and handshaking (some were happy to meet developers from Worldforge as they had kept track of the project since the very beginning) we think, that this event was a success despite the short preparation time.

On Sunday night, like on the evening before, we enjoyed our deserved beer together with the developers of the spacecombat simulator Parsec and the lemmings clone Pingus. - hey Johnny, the logo you have created for Pingus looks very nice.

Links:


Linux Tag
http://www.linuxtag.org
Parsec
http://www.parsec.org
Pingus
http://dark.x.dtu.dk/~grumbel/pingus/