I was at FOSDEM last weekend and I liked it. There were loads of interesting talks in over a dozen tracks. Dev rooms, hacker’s corner, booths with funny gadgets and interesting software, you name it :). A huge thank you to all the people that made this happen!

In hindsight, we should probably have announced some sort of informal freenode meeting so people would have been aware that some of us went there. It is a pity that we did not think of that beforehand, but I will try to make sure we let people know well in advance next time!

Still, a few of us staffers got together and did something unusual: Talk with our mouths, not with our hands. It was pretty neat to sit in front of people and talk to them :).

I met quite a few people which I have known for years but never seen before. By chance, I even slept in the same room as one of them. One thing I did was to more or less systematically was to ask people about their opinion of freenode. I have gotten lots of feedback, some good, some great, some bad, some worse. While it is always nice to hear that we are doing good and helping people do what they like to do, I have to admit that I was mainly interested in the negative things people had to say. I spent quite a bit of time clearing up a few misunderstandings and minor issues, which was a really good experience for everyone involved.

One thing which stood out a little bit, and which also is sadly true for this blog, is that, sometimes, people will complain, but not to us. Unless you talk to us, we can not help you fix your problems! So please, do use any means of communication you want and tell us what ails you.

I will write a tiny blog post right after this one, feel free to use it to get back to us :).

Rob Levin, a man who will be greatly missed

As previously announced last week, Rob Levin aka lilo, the father of freenode, passed away on the 16th of September. He had been in a coma after being hit by a car while riding his bicycle.

Many of our users and sponsors have asked how they can help Debbie and Benjamin, Rob’s wife and son, during this difficult time. We can now inform you that financial aid may be sent to his family using their personal paypal account, [email protected]

Condolences can still be sent to [email protected] and will appear both online in our book of memories as well as being professionally bound and passed on to Rob’s family.

Although for many people Rob personified freenode, we would like to assure you all that the network will continue to run. Over the years lilo built up a large body of staff members, including a wide variety of people from all backgrounds, countries and ages. We have ex-NASA employees, psychology students, ham radio enthusiasts and Debian, Gentoo and Ubuntu developers to name but some, all with their own unique qualities and skills. Combined with a passion for the FOSS community, this made them Rob’s number one choice to run the network with him, and we believe that they are also the people he would want to continue to run the network in his absence. Together we will ensure that freenode keeps running, and in a way which would ultimately have made Rob proud. We are currently working closely with the PDPC board and Rob’s family to make sure that all loose ends are tied up and that the great service you have come to know and expect will continue as normal.

Questions can as always be directed to [email protected], or feel free to /msg christel or LoRez on IRC.