Creating conference sites with OpenConferenceWare

Accepted Session
Scheduled: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 from 8:30 – 10:00pm in Burnside


OpenConferenceWare is the application running this site. The software is themeable, customizable and open sourced: anyone can use it to run their own conference site. OpenConferenceWare's developers would like to talk with users about making the software better, organizers about using it for other events, and with those interested in joining the development team.


The organizers of the Open Source Bridge conference needed software to collect presentation proposals and speaker bios, gather public feedback, publicize sessions, publish schedules, etc.

The conference team quickly realized there wasn’t anything available that met our needs and that we would need to build something. Rather than create another closed source app for just our conference, we decided to build an open source platform that we and others could reuse for other events.

OpenConferenceWare was born out of the necessity to support Open Source Bridge. It’s a much enhanced fork of the OpenProposals application we built to collect proposals for Ignite Portland . The code works well and is in production use on half-a-dozen sites by thousands of people.

In this BOF, the developers of OpenConferenceWare will give a quick demonstration of how to set up the software, administer it and add a custom theme. These tasks are the hardest part of getting started with the software, but once you get it going, it’s a quality Ruby on Rails application with generally good test coverage and sensible design.

We’d like to spend the rest of the BOF talking with the audience. We’d like to hear feedback from the software’s end-users about how to make it friendlier and more useful. We’d like to hear from event organizers interested in using the software. We’d also really like to hear from those interested in joining the development team for this open source project.

Speaking experience