Open Cascade’s participation in Fosdem 2020 was a success

Open Cascade representatives for the first time attended FOSDEM this year and it was 100 percent worth it. Alexander Malyshev senior software developer, one of the main contributors, author of tutorials and certified trainer on Open CASCADE Technology (OCCT) presented the success story of perhaps the only open source full-scale 3D geometry library available since 1999. 

Free and Open-source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) is an annual non-commercial, volunteer-organized European event centered on free and open-source software development. Started in 2001, FOSDEM is one of the top open-source events on the planet, usually gathering more than 8,000 participants. Thousands of open source developers from all over the world are flocking to Brussels to collaborate and mutually exchange their ideas and experience.

Most of the talks are given in the so-called  “developer rooms” (devrooms) - conference halls where teams can meet and showcase their projects.  For the last 19 years devrooms of  FOSDEM are a traditional place for teams to publicly share news and present the latest achievements, hold discussions, give lightning talks and of course, hack a code.

Alexander Malyshev, who was given a very warm intro by the moderators,  presented in the Open Source Computer-Aided Modeling and Design devroom the keynotes of OCCT, within the talk he gave an overview of the technology itself, its licensing policy, evolution and also covered several interesting topics like modeling data, algorithms, visualization, and data exchange. After the speech, Alexander was asked a lot of questions by the audience, and warm communication with interested people continued even long after the end of all the speeches.

In the frames of the same devroom many other like-minded open source projects were also presented including such well-known names as FreeCAD, KiCad, CadQuery, Gmsh, which successfully utilize various Open CASCADE Technology capabilities. This room was so popular among developers that all the seats were occupied all the time, and many people just stood in the aisles, and moreover, to get into the room, they had to take a queue half an hour before the start of the desired performance. Fortunately, for those who failed to listen to speakers, all the performances were recorded by the team of organizers.

Two days at FOSDEM 2020 had gone for Open Cascade representatives with the speed of the light. Not only the tech conference, but also the exhibition of projects was very fruitful. Open Cascade made a lot of new friends and finally met in person the old ones. OCCT got a huge amount of useful feedback that has yet to be digested.

The appearance of Open CASCADE Technology at FOSDEM 2020 is not an accident, but a part of a new business strategy of the company, where open source core plays an integral role as well. FOSDEM is the second European event devoted to open source projects that Open Cascade took part in. It has been a long time the OCCT team was in the shadow, however, now people at Open Cascade believe that it is the good and right practice to attend open-source focused events, personally meet the community and stay in the loop. OCCT team is interested in attracting and involving new potential contributors, and events like FOSDEM are the best place for such agreements. 

 Open Cascade team would like to thank all the people they met, all the speakers and especially the organizers and the volunteers who made this event happen.

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