Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions (with Answers) about FOSS.IN:

Q: What is FOSS.IN?

A: FOSS.IN in an international event, held annually in Bangalore. It focuses on contribution to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), especially from India. People from across the world who contribute, or who are interested in contributing, come to the event to meet, discuss, brainstorm, innovate and create contributions to existing  and new FOSS projects.

Q: Am I qualified to attend FOSS.IN?

A: FOSS.IN is for anyone who is interested in FOSS. However, understand that the focus is contribution to, not use of, FOSS. So if your objective is to contribute (in terms of writing code or documentation, testing, developing artwork, etc.) then FOSS.IN is for you. FOSS.IN has no policy that excludes anyone from attending the event – there is no “qualification” other than your interest in FOSS.

Q: What will I find at FOSS.IN?

First and foremost, what you will find at FOSS.IN is people – people from across India and the world, people who are interested in the same thing you are: Free and Open Source Software. And you will find a lot of them, some of whom you will have heard of before, may have even interacted with on mailing lists, IRC, etc.

FOSS.IN has a huge number of activities happening at the same time, throughout the day, for all five days of the event. You will find a number of talks by FOSS contributors happening in some halls, and heavy-duty hacking sessions in others. You will find people discussing in BoF sessions, sitting on the lawns discussing FOSS ideas, people using their laptops to write, try out, test, or debug code, or chat with people on IRC, or catching up with some information about the project that is the subject of the next talk, connected to the wireless internet connectivity that blankets the venue.

Q: I am not a coder, or a hacker, but I like FOSS. Should I still come?

A: FOSS.IN is not just about the talks, and the hacking sessions – it is about people meeting people, all of whom have a common interest – FOSS. Even if you do not attend a single talk, or participate in a single hack session, you will still find yourself busy all day, meeting people, discussing with them, visiting the FOSS expo where FOSS projects demonstrate their work, and much more.

And you will find many way in which you can contribute. While FOSS.IN is very developer/coder focused, there are many ways by which you can contribute as well. Come join the discussions, and you will be amazed at how many opportunities exist for you to contribute.

Q: Why is FOSS.IN so developer/code focused? Aren’t you excluding people?

A: FOSS stands for Free and Open Source Software, but sometimes, people tend to forget that. FOSS.IN attempts to raise the level of actual FOSS code contribution from India.Rather than try and explain this ourselves, we encourage you to read this article by Prashanth Mohan, which explains things far better than we could.

However, the bottom line is – we do not exclude anyone. Anyone interested in FOSS is welcome at FOSS.IN, but people who come there to contribute, and who have the abilities to do so, will gain the most from the event.

The only place where we differentiate between contributors and non-contributors is at talk selection time. Only an actual contributor can give a talk at FOSS.IN, but non-contributors are welcome to sit in the audience and participate.

Q: Will there be WiFi? Can I bring my laptop?

A: Yes, there will be WiFi blanketing the venue, and high speed connectivity is available to all participants at the event. You are highly encouraged to bring your laptop, or WiFi enabled device, to better experience FOSS.IN.

And yes, even if you are running a non-free operating system like Windows on your laptop, you can participate. However, if you are running Windows, we request you to thoroughly check your machine for viruses, and make sure that your virus checker is updated. While Linux, MacOSX and BSD users do not have to worry about  viruses, other people running Windows on their laptops may be inconvenienced.

Q: Who organises and runs FOSS.IN?

A: FOSS.IN is organised and run entirely by FOSS community volunteers. The event is completely non-commercial in nature, and does not represent the interests of any commercial entity. Sponsorship received is applied directly to the facilities provided by the event, while delegate fees are used entirely for delegate food and refreshments.

Q: How much do I have to pay to participate?

A: The delegate fee is Rs.750 (US$16 or 11Euro). Bonafide students with school/college photo identity card get in for Rs.500 (US$11 or Euro 8). Corporate attendees coming from companies, and who require a receipt, pay Rs.3000 (US$65 or Euro 43). Spot registration is Rs.1000 (about US$22). The delegate fee covers lunch, coffee/tea and snacks for all event days for the delegate. The event itself is funded by sponsors.

Q: What are corporate delegates, and why do they pay more?

A: Corporate delegates are those delegates who are sponsored by their organisations. These delegates can pre-register in bulk and pay through a single payment from their company. They do not have stand in line to register at the venue, but have a separate counter where they can pick up their delegate kits and walk right in.

Corporate delegates pay more because this helps us balance the needs of the event. We want as many people as possible to attend the event, and do not want them stay away because they cannot afford paying fees which would otherwise run into several thousand Rupees. By making corporate delegates (whose companies pay for their attendance) pay more, we are able to keep the cost to normal delegates and students much lower.

For more information, see the page about Corporate Delegates.

Q: I have more questions, where do I ask?

A: The first place to check is the delegate guide. You can join the mailing list, which is the best place to ask about things related to the event. If you are shy, or have a question inappropriate to be asked on a mailing list, please use the contact form.