This past year I have mostly been focussing on my job, but there are a few highlights related to FL/OSS worth mentioning.
In March 2004, I was again able to attend the eGovOS conference in Washington, DC. This being the first year they charged for admission, there were fewer people and less energy. But the focus shifted also, with more content for government managers who are new to F/OSS and want to know what it can offer them - and less content for those of us who are already familiar with F/OSS. One thing that was memorable for me from this conference are several interesting conversations I was able to have with Bart Decrem from the Mozilla Foundation.
Also in the first half of 2004, a rather momentous event occurred when some government-funded software was released under the GNU GPL license. I was one of the handful of people who helped design, build, and test that software. Tom Adelstein wrote-up quite a good article about it for Linux Journal. The story got slashdotted, as well.
In May, I attended the first public hearing of the newly formed US Election Assistance Commission (EAC) - primarily as an observer from the F/OSS community. However, since I was attending, I also ended up writing a short article on the meeting for NewsForge. That story also got semi-slashdotted.
In September, I was able to attend one day of the three days of hearings for the newly created Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) - a joint venture between the EAC and NIST. This hearing, also, I attended as an interested observer from the F/OSS community.
And finally, in December 2004 another momentous event occurred in which I was able to play a small part. The Mozilla Foundation got the crazy idea of getting people to donate $50,000 USD to help them buy a full-page add in the New York Times to both announce the 1.0 release of the Firefox browser - and to celebrate and recognize all the years of hard work that went in to creating it. I was (and am) proud to be one of the many people who contributed a small amount to help get the world's first large-scale, FL/OSS community-funded advertisement published.