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Libre Software Meeting was born 10 years ago

“Free On 17th December 1999 a strange idea saw the light. One of these ideas that makes you think : "If I do not do this now, I will regret it my whole life." Pierre Jarillon, then president of the Abul organization (OBS : the Linux User Group of Bordeaux), launched an appeal on the unique organization mailing list. Here it is :

“Free Software World Gathering
From : Pierre Jarillon
To : ABUL
Date : 12/17/1999 15:08

Hello to all ABUL Members.
This very important message is intended for you.

During the general meeting, Jean-Paul Chiron reminded us of the idea of a world gathering of free software creators. This idea was appreciated. Everyone who is presented it likes it and it needs to be made real.

The aims of these gatherings are :

  • promote the region and give it an aura of technicity
  • make free software progress.

Here is what could be done : Name : "Libre World 1". This name was suggested to me by Gaël Duval, creator of Mandrake.

Date : from 5th to 9th July 2000. This period is favourable :

  • the campus can host a lot of people.
  • Air France can offer good conditions at this time
  • generally, the weather is good and the region is pleasant.

Place : ENSEIRB, campus in Talence. It is the biggest Computer Science School in the area. Its director, Monsieur Marchegay, offers his premises and his help.

Accommodation, catering :

  • campus restaurant (RU 1). It has already provided this kind of service.
  • campus halls of residence, hotels or at ABUL members places.

Participants : all free software creators.

Progression of meetings from Wednesday, 5th to Friday, 8th : meetings of contributors around pre-determined themes. The aim is to have them share or confront their experience so as to bring out conclusions about techniques and development axis.

  • projects convergence and expression of needs for standards
  • divergence needed to develop different techniques before considering the contributions of each.

Each meeting will have a duration fixed by the participants. Writing observers will take notes and prepare reports in accordance with the contributors.

On Saturday each group will present the summary of their work during a plenary session. Sunday will be free : visit of castles and town, walk around the "bassin d’Arcachon", sea, surf, sex and sun in Lacanau, etc… The aim is to give the contributors the desire to come back.

We can also relocate one work group at a time in one of these locations for half a day.


All this still demands a lot of work to be fulfilled. We have to write to every free software creator, ask them which person they would like to meet, which subject they would like to approach. We also have to build up a database of the whole stuff. We have to look for funding to help everybody that could have difficulties in paying their trip. Even if we find partners and logistical help there will still be some work to do.

I would be thankful if you could answer this mail and precise if you agree or not to plan this event. If you agree you certainly will have to help with the organization. Indeed, it is very important that everybody has to take actions, which is really bearable and much more effective than put them on the shoulders of a few people. A lot of these actions can be done from home and do not imply to move.

I ask you for a quick answer because if it is positive I would like to make an announcement before Christmas. You can also give your ideas about the organization of this event, they will be welcome.

Thank you for your attention

Pierre Jarillon
Président de l’ABUL”

The Free Software Gatherings were born. There were already talks about free software and promotion of regions. About campus area and campus restaurants, which remained essential partners of the event. Talks about hotels and home-stay, which is now a lot more anecdotal with the increase of visitors number.

This event has become a must in the Free Software world. The LSF have conquered such towns as : Metz, Dijon, Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy, Amiens, Mont-de-Marsan ou Nantes

After 4 occurrences (in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004) the area of Bordeaux will welcome the eleventh edition of the LSF from 6th to 11th July 2010, for even more discoveries, exchanges and meetings. The region is still beautiful and it is still nice to stay there.

Thus we expect you even more numerous than the preceding years !