I noticed there used to be a Haiku Support Association (http://haiku-support-association.org/index-eng.html) which would run a yearly conference called BeGeistert (https://www.begeistert.org/about) and a Code Sprint after that. Just curious as to what happened to it? Did it stagnate or was it closed down due to lack of interest?
Well, I think there are different reasons. One is that the hsa as an association now has fewer and fewer members. Furthermore, the hsa always let the event take place in a youth hostel. These had to adapt their flexibility so that you can no longer reserve a certain number of rooms / beds in the and then only access them when needed. The number of overnight stays / guests / rooms must be very reliable when the contract is concluded. Of course you can reserve more, then the organizer has to bear the costs, whether used or unused. I think that’s the main reason it fell asleep. I had organized one BeGeistert in Hamburg and it was not easy to find enough people for a certain date that could also be used in the youth hostel. At that time I chose the prepayment method to cover the costs, I think the way was not bad. Thus, as an organizer, you could keep the loss amount small if someone did not show up, as he had agreed in advance that it was a binding registration and that his money would then be gone.
But it was without Code Sprint, people missing. It was the first time after years without begeister, so the interest was not as much as we hope before.
But it was a nice event.
What makes you think it is “closed”? The association is still there.
Their main activity is organizing and funding coding sprints and BeGeistert. The BeGeistert event did not attract as much people as it used to in the more recent years, so there was not much motivation to organize it again (it is a lot of work, and then if there is only 4 or 5 persons showing up, it’s not worth the effort to do it in this form).
In 2017 there was an event in Toulouse that I organized, which was only a coding sprint. You can find information about it here: http://pulkomandy.tk/kdc/ and the HSA has helped fund it (the costs were shared between HSA and Haiku Inc).
In 2020 there was a coding sprint organized after FOSDEM, but interest was quite low (again with only 4 persons) that it wasn’t worth asking HSA for funding. We just booked a large flat on AirBNB and did the sprint there. However the HSA was useful in doing some paperwork to help Preetpal Kaur to attend the conference, as she needed a VISA to travel to europe, and for that, needed an invitation etter signed by an EU based organization.
After 2020, as you probably know, organizing any kind of event was not possible. We are waiting for better conditions. Given the low number of persons attending the events, we are trying to tie the coding sprint to other events like Capitole du Libre, FOSDEM, and maybe Alchimie someday. We also are trying to find cheaper options, for example using companies office space during weekends or during the week (my company is open to organizing such events on weekends, and I had planned to do this in april 2020 but…).
When the situation allows it again, we will surely ask the HSA to organize such events again.
Just like Haiku Inc, it does a not very popular part of the job (organizing and logistics is always a lot of thankless work) and as a result not a lot of people are interested in joining and helping running things.
I hope we can meet again this or next year in a safe way, to celebrate the 20 years of Haiku with a real life event.
Ah, thanks for the clarification. The reason why I assumed it was “closed” was because their website didn’t seem to have been updated for a couple of years (the copyright notice dates to 2016), so I assumed it was inactive. Great to hear that they’ve worked with us, though!