Won’t get fooled again

April 1, 2013

I don’t know about anyone else, but I had an entertaining April Fools’ Day, especially thanks to the extent that Google went in providing us with the camouflage of yanking Google Reader by providing such diversions as Google Smell, the Google Map Treasure Edition and — my favorite — Gmail Blue (it’s so . . . blue).

In fact, I had plans of my own but never completed them — and my sincere apologies to Jef Spaleta for that. I had planned to write a campaign platform for Jef and me as a pair of candidates — Spaleta/Cafiero 2013 — for the upcoming Ubuntu Membership Board elections. This platform was going to liberally sprinkle quotes from last year’s Jono Bacon April 1 piece about Jono really being Jef Spaleta, and of course the multiplicity of reasons why you, as a faithful member of the Ubuntu Apocalypse, should vote for him, or for both of us.

But I never got around to it.

[Note to Ubunteros: You’re welcome to write-in either Jef or me on your ballot if you have qualms about the direction that Ubuntu is taking. Just a suggestion . . . ]

However, I am guilty of one prank. Blame Gareth Greenaway, a bad influence and the operations committee chair for the Southern California Linux Expo (not necessarily in that order). Toward the end of SCALE 11X this year, he had an idea for an April Fools’ goof that would involve SCALE and O’Reilly: SCALE would take over OSCON. Ideally, O’Reilly would be in on this — an opportunity on which they passed (shame on them) — and we’d both post a release on our sites saying that O’Reilly had handed OSCON over to us at SCALE (EDIT: I have taken down the release from the SCALE site, and it can be found in the comments). Alas, it was a one-sided affair, posted on our social media and on the SCALE 11X site. To my knowledge, it was received very well, in its own transparent way.

In case you didn’t get it, SCALE is not taking over OSCON. If you spell out the first letters of each paragraph, you get the message.

Some folks don’t like April 1. I’m not one of them. I like the free rein of having a day where you can exercise your wits in convincing others of something that isn’t true, and then move on. I can dish it out and I can take it — and I don’t mind so much being on the receiving end of a prank if it’s well crafted.

So tomorrow I pick up my guitar and play, just like yesterday, and I get on my knees and pray . . . .

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy, Larry the CrunchBang Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

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  1. April 2, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Pranks can certainly save a day when they are done well. Thanks for a good and fresh post. I expected something else but I was very positively suprised on this one.

  2. April 2, 2013 at 7:19 am

    [Here is the announcement that appeared on the SCALE site on April 1]

    SCALE to take over OSCON, calls it OSCON 13X this year

    After lengthy negotiations over the past several months, the Southern California Linux Expo has agreed to take the reins of OSCON starting this year, calling July’s event this year OSCON 13X.

    Portland’s premier Linux event was turned over to the SCALE Team after Tim O’Reilly, rumored to have been quietly seeking suitors for months for the largest Free/Open Source Software show on the North American continent, expressed relief that he was finally through with hosting the show.

    “Realistically, we couldn’t have thought of better hands to put it in than those of the SCALE Team,” O’Reilly said over coffee and a croissant in a cafe near O’Reilly’s main office in Sebastopol, Calif.

    In taking the show off O’Reilly’s hands, SCALE representative Gareth Greenaway said that the show in 2014 could change locations, and the team hasn’t ruled out the possibility of holding two shows in the Los Angeles area.

    “Logically, keeping OSCON in Portland would be a priority,” Greenaway said. “However, we like to keep our options open and we are looking at other locations, including hosting it in Los Angeles as a ‘encore show’ to the widely successful SCALE.”

    For this year’s show, the SCALE Team has decided to rename the show OSCON 13X, to reflect both the year of the show and the ubiquitous X that accompanies the numbering convention for each of the SCALE shows.

    Over a negotiation period which started late last fall, one of the sticking points was keeping the name of the show. This was ironed out to the agreement of both O’Reilly and SCALE. However should the show become a second Los Angeles-based show, the name could change.

    “OSSCALE — that’s what we’re looking at for the name of a summertime, Los Angeles-based show,” Greenaway explained. “What’s being ironed out now is where we start with the number and the placement of the X. The prevailing thought among the SCALE Team is to call the first non-Portland event OSSCALE 2X, but it hasn’t been decided yet.”

    Leaving Portland for another venue at this point “is a 50-50 possibility,” said SCALE Publicity Committee chairperson Larry Cafiero. “We’re also looking at other locations as well, and to be honest, the acronym seems to be the sticking point. As everyone knows, a good acronym is half the battle in having a successful show.”

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