Call for Participation


Registration of speakers/talks is now closed. Thank you for your overwhelming support! Selected speakers will be announced soon.


This is the official Call for Participation for FOSS.IN/2012.


FOSS.IN is a series of annual events that focuses on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) development and contribution, especially from India.

From a “small, regional event” in 2001, it has grown to a large, well attended international conference, whose participants often represent a “Who is Who” of the FOSS and hacker world. You can find out more about the event at

Event Dates and Venue

The event will be held at the NIMHANS Convention Center in Bangalore, India, on Thursday, November 29th – Saturday, December 01, 2012, both days inclusive.

Important Dates

Mon 04-Jun-2012 Start of proposal submissions
Sun 08-Jul-2012 End of proposal submissions (23:59 GMT+0530)
Mon 06-Aug-2012 Final List of accepted proposals published & emailed
Sun 14-Oct-2012 Due date for final slides & talk materials (23:59 GMT+0530)
Thu 29-Nov-2012 Conference begins
Sat 01-Dec-2012 Conference ends

What we are looking for

We are looking for talks, tutorials and mini-conferences on cutting edge aspects of FOSS and technology – talks that will give the audiences solid substance, and a deeper understanding of the project or technology the speaker is involved with.And one of the core objectives is to get more Indian hackers involved in development and contribution (we are very proud of the “.in” in our name!).

We are not looking for introductory talks (such as “What is MySQL” or “How to compile the Linux kernel”) or advocacy talks – i.e. topics that are widely covered by material that can be found on the internet – but for talks and tutorials that go beyond the basics, including taking a technology and making it go beyond what it was designed to do (which is, by the way, the classic definition of “hacking”).

Unlike in earlier years, we are also inviting technology talks that go beyond just FOSS, but are about extending technology to do new and exciting things, pushing the envelope on what is possible today. This includes topics such as security, robotics, communication, etc. The proposals must be product neutral and FOSS-related (as in – the core talk should not be about a product or service, unless, of course, it is a true FOSS project).

Speakers must be prepared to interact with the audiences – not just from the stage during the talk, but after the talk and throughout the event, at Workshops and in the HackerSpaces.

Note that FOSS.IN does not restrict itself to any single platform (i.e. we are not “Linux-only”) – FOSS is inclusive and co-operative in nature, and development happens on many platforms (some of which may even be closed, such as Windows). The important thing is not the platform but the nature of the software/technology/project, which must be FOSS-based.

Topics of Interest

A list of some areas of interest and topics is shown below. This by no means an exhaustive list. The underlying questions a prospective talk-proposer would be

  • “Would this topicĀ  attract a hard-core technical person (aka hacker) like me?”
  • “How will FOSS benefit and get enriched by a discussion about this topic?”
  • “Am I sure that I am not replicating stuff easily found on the web, or taught in college?”
  • “I created something with existing tools, but applied in a novel way. Is it worth sharing with others?”

So here is a list of suggested areas of interest, provided by a bunch of well known hackers.

  • Filesystems & storage
  • Networking, including IPv6
  • Power management
  • Mobile development
  • Virtualization (low level) and Containers
  • Audio hacking
  • Embedded multimedia
  • FOSS OS design & low-level systems programming
  • Real Time
  • Fast Booting
  • FOSS based Telephony, including GSM, VoIP
  • Security infrastructure for mobile platforms
  • Scalable architecture
  • Open source game engines
  • Home brew solutions & embedded devices based on beagle board, arduino, etc
  • Web development using HTML5, PHP, Python, etc.
  • Managing multiple form factors for your s/w stack
  • Open Source Cloud computing
  • Next generation UIs – thinking beyond Windows & Mac UI emulation
  • Porting to new platforms and languages
  • Dealing with new UI paradigms, e.g. Touch
  • Mobile telephony
  • Open Source development for mobile platforms such as Android, iOS, WebOS, Windows Phone, Tizen, Bada, Symbian, etc.
  • Radio communications
  • Signalling intelligence
  • Surveillance, privacy & data protection
  • Reverse engineering techniques for hardware and software
  • DIY electronic music software / synthesizers
  • Electronic Art
  • Hacking popular devices to do more
  • Scaling your FOSS-based app
  • Building Highly Concurrent Applications using FOSS
  • Test-driven FOSS development
  • Education solutions for the 21st century
  • Open Source Robotics

Again, this is not an exhaustive list – just suggestions to get you started.We also want to hear from people what topics they would be interested in – mail or tweet them to us, and we will add it to the list of suggested topics at

And if you have an idea but just want some crowd validation, or throw it open for discussion – the “5 Minute Lightning Talks” that will happen throughout the event will get you there – you don’t even have to register them now!

How to submit a proposal

Have a look at the important dates shown earlier in this document. To submit a proposal for FOSS.IN, head to and select the appropriate proposal system.

Please note that Tutorials and Mini-Conferences require a formal proposal, but BoFs do not – please read the related sections below for instructions about these.

Important: FOSS.IN is not a business conference – audiences are developers, contributors and hard-core technology people. With this in mind, we do not accept any marketing or product-oriented talks. Understand that FOSS.IN is a community event – you are not speaking as a company but as an individual.

We also do not accept any “newbie” or advocacy-style talks – there are other conferences for that. Please keep this in mind when submitting your proposal.

Participation Formats


Talks are 45 minute sessions (including questions), presented as a lecture. These will take place in any of the three main halls, and will be given by a single speaker (we do not accept multi-speaker talks). All selected speakers will receive the full speaker benefits as listed below.


Tutorials on specific topics lasting 90 minutes may be proposed. There is a limited number of such slots available. Tutorials must be interactive in nature (i.e. not just presentation, but also exercises for the members of the audience). Attendees can be expected to carry their own laptops and/or computing devices. Note that tutorial speakers other than the primary proposer will not be eligible formal speaker benefits as listed below – they will be normal delegates who purchase their own tickets.


There is a provision for five (5) 4-hour mini-conference slots (9:00 am – 1 pm & 2pm – 6 pm, except on Day 1, which will not have a morning mini-conference slot). These mini-conferences will be on a specific topic/project, and can contain short and longer talks selected by the mini-conference organiser. Talk schedules must be published. There will be a separate proposal system for such mini-conferences. Note that mini-conf speakers other than the primary mini-conf organiser will not be eligible formal speaker benefits as listed below – they will be normal delegates who purchase their own tickets.

Lightning Talks:

Lightning Talks are brief, 5 minute presentations, where a single short topic or idea may be presented. No slides will be allowed, and the speaker’s mic goes dead at the end of the 5th minute. This is not a platform for intense debate or discussion – rather it is a good way to float an idea for greater discussion elsewhere. Lightning talks will take place once a day, and will be grouped into 6 talks at a time.


New to the event this year is concept of HackerSpaces (earlier known as WorkOut areas). The idea is to provide areas where people can work on projects in small groups, on their own laptops. A few whiteboards will be available as well (whiteboard markers can be purchased at minimal cost from the counter).

Located on the first floor of the venue, in a hacker-friendly environment (you will see what that means when you get there), each table cluster will be consist of tables, chairs, power and connectivity (wired only, WiFi will be for Internet-access only, not for inter-device communication). Each cluster will have its own LAN switch for connectivity between participants (no patch cords – these can be purchased at the counter for a minimal cost). Please note that FOSS.IN will not be able to provide any computers to participants, who are expected to bring their own laptops and/or computing devices.

The HackerSpaces are not meant for large/loud discussions but to get some actual work/hacking done. No formal registration for use of the HackerSpaces will be required, and any delegate, speaker or other participant may make use of the facilities.

Note that HackerSpaces are not cybercafes – anyone found using resources not in line with the objectives of the HackerSpaces will be asked to move on to make space for people who have important hacking to do. There will be free internet-only wifi available on the ground floor and the cafeteria areas.

Birds-of-Feather Meets (BoFs):

BoFs are small (5-30 participants) get-togethers on any relevant topic. While no formal proposals for BoFs are needed, they are generally expected to adhere to the general theme of the event, and BoF slots may be booked on the fly for a max of 2 hours at a time at the counter. Whiteboards will be provided, however there may or may not be projectors available.


As always, there will be an expo on the ground-floor – both commercial and community space will be available.

Commercial expo space may be rented by commercial entities. Information regarding rates and sizes will be available on the website. Booths are booked on a first-come, first serve basis. However specific booths will be blocked for primary event sponsors. Please note that taking a booth in the commercial expo does does not qualify you as a sponsor of the event.

Community expo space will be a large flat area, and will provide table and poster space for true, non-sponsored (no commercial branding) FOSS/community projects at no cost (on a first come, first serve basis). Power and network connectivity will be provided.

Speaker Benefits

We provide hospitality (accommodation and food) to all outstation speakers who request it, and of course all speakers will have all conference fees waived. The facilities will be available from the day before the conference to the day after the conference. All speakers will also be guests at the post-event speaker dinner (which, as past speakers can tell you, is spectacular).

We cannot, however, guarantee that we will be able to provide some or all travel costs, especially international travel. Our ability to do so depends entirely on sponsorship, and even then is quite limited. If you can make arrangements for travel on your own (company/project sponsorship, for example, or a pre-planned holiday in India), by all means explore those first.

Publication Rights

The conference requires non-exclusive, unrestricted publication rights to submitted presentations including the publication of audio and video recordings of the proceedings. Copyright is retained by the author.

To ensure this, no speaker will be allowed to present without first signing a permission document and submitting the talk’s final slides, allowing us to use the material (slides, video and audio recordings of the presentation, supporting material, etc.) in a non-exclusive, unrestricted manner, preferably under a Creative Commons License. Note: “My company does not permit the distribution of slides” automatically disqualifies your talk. Again, remember that you are speaking as an individual, not a company.


If you have questions, get on Twitter and ask us (@fossdotin), hop onto the mailing list, or use the contact system.

Quick Reference: