I got a couple of questions and comments about OpenSQL Camp in the past week, and I thought it would be worth noting down the history, because I think there is some difference in perception and memory about this series of events. The following is only my point of view.
I can say what I had in mind when I created the original event, but this is bigger than me, so I don’t get to dictate anything. I wanted a free technical event created entirely by and for a community of open-source databases, in an inclusive sense. Not created or heavily influenced by someone employed by a corporation whose job title includes the word “Community,” but really by a community themselves. There’s nothing wrong with Community So-And-So employed at a corporation, but they are by nature a liaison with that company, and it’s not the same thing. My original blog post about this topic is probably the clearest explanation of what I had in mind.
Nobody. That’s right – I deliberately abdicated control over things. I wanted it to be decentralized. Centralization is a problem; decentralization prevents problems. As just one example, Sheeri Cabral owns opensqlcamp.org the last I saw, and Technocation tends to be the default conduit for all things financial.
If someone wants to take things in a new direction, then they can do so. I don’t know if anyone would show up for an event that didn’t really match the spirit that I think is lodged in people’s minds now, but there is no stick you can brandish, other than threat of negative publicity.
Nothing whatsoever. MySQL Camp was a series of mini-conferences about MySQL, a particular open-source database. There the resemblance ends. OpenSQL Camp is not “the same thing under a different name,” and it’s not even “the continuation of MySQL Camp.” It’s not even a MySQL event. If you want to look at a particular MySQL event and see where a seed was planted, look to the commercial MySQL conference, not the free MySQL Camp; but you’d be much better off looking at beCamp as a root than anything to do with MySQL.
I created OpenSQL Camp to set off in a new direction. However, the idea was not fully my own. A brief timeline begins in the Spring of 2008, after I’d been to a few MySQL Camp events and could see that something was lacking:
I heard a rumor this past week that planning for at least one event is in progress, but isn’t public yet. I had not heard this news until then myself, which again I think is awesome. This is exactly the point: nobody needs to get approval from any “authority” to run these things.
This entire conference was born out of an “I see a lot of talk but no action” kind of situation. I generally don’t believe in surprise when a community is involved, but sometimes there is a lot of chatter, and talk is actually preventing action – to get things to happen, you actually have to stop talking. These events were born out of my realization that two things were true:
Sometimes, it’s simply time to shut up and do stuff.