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  • by ziggy (25) on 2003.07.17 12:43 (#22185) Journal
    The biggest issue I had with OSCon this year had nothing to do with the conference team, but with the venue itself.

    It was a wee bit inconvenient having everything layed out vertically. In San Jose, Monterey, and San Diego, there were many more opportunities to network because you could see someone down the hall, walk over and start up a conversation. This year, not only was it easy to be spread out across four levels, but the horseshoe configuration on LL1 didn't help. Going to Salon I felt like a trek to the bowels of the hotel. You needed to be certain that you were about to attend a worthwhile session, and had many more opportunities to choose something else on the way. Ditto for everything on the other side of the grand ballroom.

    Ask mentioned a few times that the lack of natural light on the lower levels was a little annoying. OK, he was trying to shoot some video, and this is Rain City, but the only difference between LL1 at 10am and 2pm was that your hangover morphed into a sugar+caffeine buzz.

    It's one of those classically unsolvable problems. It's nice that there were so many interesting tracks going on concurrently, but many small rooms meant that practically every one of them was standing room only. (Lisa mentioned that some of the rooms were just too damn small and overheated for a 3 hour tutorial.) Perhaps the Ruby talk was an extreme example of that, but I saw that in every session I attended (or tried to attend) not in the large ballrooms. I doubt it was as easy for first time attendees to plug into the open source culture like they did in previous years.

    Given this venue, O'Reilly did a good job. But a better hotel layout would be much better.

    • I would have liked a ladies' room on the main conference level. There was also a lack of general sitting space - the lobby didn't offer much space and there were very few tables outside the speaker room.

      But it was nice being able to walk down to the riverfront at night, and out to places to eat.

      If given a choice, I'd prefer to have some light breakfast provided at the conference rather than lunch.