DebConf11 bid in Banja Luka?

October 7, 2009 – 9:11 pm by Adnan Hodzic

Yesterday was a glorious day for DebConf11 bid in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I had a scheduled meeting with Banja Luka’s mayor Dragoljub Davidovic.

We met in his cabinet, where I presented him with the paper “DebConf11 in Bosnia and Herzegovina” in which I tried to explain what it all means. From what Debian is, over what DebConf is, to why is DebConf important.

The thing I was most worried about was how am I going to explain all this in simple “non-tech” words Smile

Either way, I was in middle of explaining what Debian is when mayor interrupted me “I understand, I’m electrical engineer myself” … you have no idea what relief came from these words! Grin

Explaining what DebConf is and what kind of profiles attend one such event went smoothly as well, where mayor made some replicas on my story from the projects he worked on and so on. After my last “case” he also explained me how it’s good that we meet, since Banja Luka was known as “electronic” city in ex-Yugoslavia.

Mayor and I

And this is where things start going just ballistic! He says something along the line this is a great idea and that we have his full support, I think you should talk to the prime minister (Milorad Dodik) about this as well! Shock

I find my way to the government building, wait for brief period of time and I get called inside of the prime ministers cabinet. I tell him somewhat different story, in terms of more details, how we are competing with München for this bid, and how I’m actually planning if we win the bid, and if the bid is successful we’d most likely change the whole city’s infrastructure to Debian.

He picks up the phone and calls for someone, person comes in and I’m introduced to IT Center General Manager (Krsto Grujic). He tells me that they have few RedHat servers while he leads the way to his office where I’m introduced to director of Agency for IT (Srdjan Rajcevic) where we even have this informal talk where Srdjan tells me he used GNU/Linux user himself and that he still manages two OpenBSD servers.

We talk about various topics, in the end I tell them what we need for the conference, they write it all down and we exchange contact details, since I was called back up by the prime minister.

Prime minister, asks me what I need from him to realize this “project” and I tell him that I’d need everything I gave “IT guys” below, and binding papers that we’d have full government and city support by the end of the month, and that I’ll consult with people from Debian in case we need anything else. “No problem” were his words Grin

Prime minister and I

I walk out, really asking myself, what just happened, was that a Disney movie or what? Cool

I’d really like to use this opportunity to invite all Debian members to come and help us realize this bid. Help us put Bosnia and Herzegovina on map of the open source world!

Stay tuned Wink

  • just some guy


    I hope they wont get disappointed if you get to host it Smile!

  • Danko

    Hail AbsintheSyringe, Hail Dodik Grin

  • Dado.P

    Great news,congratulations !!!

  • Good job maestro, your achievements inspire me. Keep fighting, the good fight.

  • “Blame Dodik! Blame Dodik!”

    Good news, it seems that Banja Luka is winning the B&H DebConf bid Smile Unless ofcourse someone wants to argue that the food is bad Smile

  • Nice going! The problem is that you are screwed now and you’ll have to organise a Debconf! Ha, ha!

    Seriously, grats! Start searching for a good place and a good food provider. Vegans are very angry animals when left hungry Wink

  • Great news! Well done Adnan!
    As for the food and vegans, we’ll introduce you to the wonderful world of pies [all kinds!] in Bosnia Wink

  • Way to go, Adnan, and the whole team. Now you just have to sign up Kusturica for the social event and I’ll try to charter a whole train to depart from Berlin all the way to Sarajevo. Wink

    Go Bosnia and Herzegovina!

  • Ako bi uspeo da organizuješ DebConf u Bosni i Hercegovini, to bi bilo dobro za sve države u okolini jer mnogi nisu u mogu?nosti da odu do, recimo, Njujorka. Zato ra?unaj i na prijatelje iz Srbije, Hrvatske…

    Puno sre?e!

  • Bravo Adnan, I’m proud of you!

  • Good news all the way! Yay!

  • Christian Perrier

    \o/ Go, Bosnia, go!

  • Congrats! Those are really nice and positive news!

  • If a town converts to Debian, I think they deserve a Debconf Smile Congrats for having educated and enlightened government officials. And for your hard work.

  • Hey Adnan, you rock: this post was totally LOL and also brings you forward a lot (I think / hope) in dispelling fears of lack of local support and infrastructures.

    Keep up the good work.

    Go Bosnia and Herzegovina!

  • Way to go – Adnan! Thanks for your great efforts!!

  • It’s hard to overstate just how awesome this story is

  • Miroslav Rachev

    Greetings from Bulgaria Adnan! I hope you can bring DebConf11 to the Balkans!

  • Very impressive!

  • I still can’t believe how awesome this is! Dude, you got the support of the whole country to do this in Banja Luka! I’ll have to join Dodik’s party because of this XD

    So cool!

  • Adnan, leaving aside that this was surely an experience to remember for life, it is quite an amazing feat. Best luck, we all want to go to Bosnia! Grin

  • hey, that’s cool! i really enjoyed your story! thanks for sharing and good luck with the project Smile

  • ps: your site says i’m using firefox — i’m most definitely using epiphany Smile
    yay epiphany.

  • Thank you everybody, this whole “happening” really gave me additional motivation if anything Smile I’ll give my best to make it work, stay tuned since I’ll post new stuff right here.

    Janos, I had Croatia and Serbia in my plan Smile

  • James, I don’t know what’s happening but Epiphany is displayed just fine, but weird enough I just realized it doesn’t recognize Debian Smile

  • Kudos for the first step and good luck for the rest.

  • Eddy Petri?or

    I just read the post. Awesome.

    Stil waiting for those mails in English on the list. Grin

  • fo0

    GREAT! good luck

  • Gonéri

    Awesome Smile

  • Go Bosnia!

    And when you say “realize”, you most likely mean “make it happen”.

  • David,

    In other words, yes “make it happen” Smile

    What I got from that meeting with mayor and prime minister is that they are really interested in hosting one such event.

  • Torsten Werner


  • Super za DebConf Smile

  • Elma

    It is great that you managed to get them on your side that easily…but you have to ask yourself, could there be something behind their such an easy agreement…maybe Dodik and his followers have some hidden agenda…one should not trust so easily…however, I do wish you all the success…

  • Do you think I would get this far if I haven’t thought about all of that?

    Who said it was “easy”, I’ve been leading this campaign for 6 months now and so far it’s been nothing but sweat and tears, everywhere I went to I got to oppression and misunderstanding.

    I don’t trust anybody in this world, that’s why we’re having binding papers signed, and not keeping it on the “nice words and promises”.

    This is about organizing DebConf and moving whole country forward! Either way thank you for your concerns. Smile

  • Elma

    First of all I said that Dodik easliy agreed, based on your own two comments below. That is how I came to this conclusion.

    “No problem” were his words
    “I walk out, really asking myself, what just happened, was that a Disney movie or what?”

    However, I did not say it was EASY for you to set up DebConf, I am sure there was lots of sweat and tears like you said…These are two different things…

    Anyway, all the best…

  • Bice sjajno ako se ovo organizuje, ali vec vidim probleme. Dio iz dokumenta “Strategija razvoja elektronske vlade” kaze slijedece:

    “…Standardni administrativni portal je centralno korisni?ko mjesto za komunikaciju te pregled informacija i
    upravljanje dokumentima. Kao takav, portal mora omogu?iti…

    …Koriš?enje ve? poznatih alata ? Microsoft Windows Explorer?a, Office?a, i Web pretraživa?a u
    stvaranju, upravljanju i dijeljenju sadržaja…” (preuzeto 05.02.2010. godine sa )

    Vlada RS je vec godinama potpisnik strateskog partnerstva sa Microsoft-om. Nista od javnih institucija meni poznatih (banjalucanin sam) ozbiljno ne koristi Free/Open source, sem mozda Medunarodnog zdravstvenog centra (OpenBSD/FreeBSD) i par fakulteta (Elektro, Masinski, Komunikoloski… GNU/Linux) pa mi ovo sve djeluje nevjerovatno. Stavise, svojevrsna kampanja protiv FOSS-a u Banjaluci vodi se odavno, i sa raznih tacaka moci, koje mogu da biraju sta ce da se koristi u informacionim sistemima u javnim institucijama.

    Sta se promijenilo? Ili je ipak to bio samo Diznilend? Smile

  • @Vanja nazalost, stanje je takvo kakvo je, ali DebConf ce to da promeni, nadam se 8)

  • @vanja, nista licno, al malo me smaraju takve price, ima takvih koji su isto to rekli i u Sarajevu i sire.

    Ja sam licno uocio par ogromnih sigurnosnih i problema koji se ticu same IT infrastrukture citave vlade.

    Prva cilj je da se dobije DebConf, a kasnije idemo dalje, nemojte me umarat takvim izjavama, instead opustite i uzivajte u voznji, mozda je doslo stvarno vrijeme da se neke stvari promjene.

    A da li je sve diznilend? Pa vidicemo za 21 dan 23 sata 7 minuta i 21 sekundu Wink

  • @ vanja, u pravu si – za za ogramnu vecinu adminstrativnih radnika u BL i ostatku drzave softver se ne razdvaja od hardvera i sve je to kompjutor i jedino je bitno kakav ti je monitor Smile
    A konferencija, to je nesto tako fantasticno da ne mogu reci da je to veliki korak, nego ogroman skok u odnosu na dosadasnju situaciju i prisutnost slobodnog softvera.

    PS Hvala mnogo ljudima koji su doveli do ove genijalne situacije prepune pozitivnih sansi.

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