[Debian-uk] Dropping Cambridge bid for 2017

Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo manuel.montezelo at gmail.com
Wed Dec 16 17:43:24 GMT 2015

Hey Tim (I didn't know that you were subscribed),

2015-12-16 9:47 GMT+00:00 Tim Cutts <tjrc at sanger.ac.uk>:
> I think the Genome Campus conference space might be possible (it's nominally reserved for scientific conferences, but we have hosted IT conferences and meetings in the past, especially when they're relevant to current IT suppliers to either the Sanger Institute or EMBL-EBI).  Debian definitely counts, from that point of view, I think - the Sanger Institute has long used both Debian and Ubuntu on its systems, and hosts some of the Debian infrastructure in its data centre.
> However there are definitely some downsides:
> 1.  I'm not sure it's large enough.  How many delegates does Debconf usually have?

Heidelberg broke records with 550 in the peak ("555 attendees from 52
countries (including 28 kids)"), Portland 314, Bosnia Herzegovina 335,
Switzerland ~300, NY 306, Edinburgh 392.

There are many German DDs, but I guess that a DebConf in the UK and
with airports low-cost nearby like Stansted, would be on the same
range (or at least >400).  Lowest levels of attendance in the last few
years were ~300, I think, except in Managua (Nicaragua).

Meeting rooms are probably OK, I think that there are several small
ones and the big theatre is large enough.

But since the idea in the last years is that people stay in the venue,
that's why I think that might be a problem to accommodate most people
in Hinxton Hall, and there are very few things nearby except the hotel
by Whittlesford (very difficult to be able to come back walking/public
transport to your accomodation after Debian birthday or Cheese&Wine
parties, for example).

> 2.  As Manuel says, public transport to the genome campus is less than ideal; bus service is poor and the Whittlesford and Great Chesterford stations are a reasonable walk (2.8 miles and 1.9 miles respectively, the latter on a main road).
> 3.  It takes 20 minutes or more (depending on traffic) to get here from Cambridge.  I live just north of the city, and my daily commute to work on the campus takes about 35 minutes.

Actually, bus service is mostly non-existent, other than the campus
shuttle -- when I couldn't take that, the earliest bus to Hinxton
arrives only at 9:30 or later, and then only every 1.5 or 2 hours (or
walking ~25 mins to/from Ickleton and also every hour or less

I guess that not many % of people will come by car from Cambridge.

Maybe hiring mini-buses as part of the conference arrangements could work.

> 4.  Local pubs are few and far between, so eating options outside the conference centre itself are limited, unless you make the trek back into Cambridge in the evening.

Yup, I had forgot about that.  Only two pubs within walking distance,
and one of them ~20/25 mins.

> On the plus side, the campus is beautiful, and is a location of world-leading genomic science powered, to a significant extent, by the software the Debian community maintains.  You're also near to the fantastic collection of old aircraft at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford (which is also a conference centre, but I don't know what its size limits are)

Neither do I.  I guess that the name alone would put some people off,
though.  Also, there's no relationship with Debian, as the use of
Debian @ Sanger that you mentioned.

(EMBL-EBI doesn't use Debian at all, AFAIK, except for personal choice
-- like my laptop when I worked there :-D).

Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo <manuel.montezelo at gmail.com>

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