The venerable Linux Foundation just this morning announced the schedule for LinuxCon, which happens in Boston, MA, August 10-12. The lineup looks pretty fantastic, with talks by Joe Brockmeier, Scott Remnant and Matt Asay of Canonical, Karen Copenhaver talking legal, my old workmate John Hawley on the state of kernel.org, Karlie Robinson on business (looks very interesting), plus the usual cast of awesome kernel maintainers—over 60 talks, plus bowling and rubbing elbows with luminaries. I just love these things. The sense of community and camaraderie is overwhelming, and the Linux Foundation does a great job of keeping things professional, intimate, and fun.

The day before, on August 9, I will also be helping to run the day-long Teaching Open Source mini-summit on education. This is a chance for professors, teachers, trainers, and others involved in educating people to get some pointers from industry on best practices for educating. If you are a teacher thinking about open source, or if you know one, consider joining this vibrant and important discussion.

At LinuxCon, I will be giving a talk entitled Desktop Linux Showdown, in which I will compare and contrast the various popular desktop offerings and find out just where the Year of the Linux Desktop went (hint: look in your pocket). This talk will take place Tuesday, August 10, in the Mediterranean room. Here’s the abstract:

Every year for the past five or six has been called the Year of the Linux Desktop by some number of pundits. Certainly Desktop Linux has become much more user-friendly. But just how friendly is it? In this presentation, we will examine several different normal, everyday activities on each of the three major Linux desktop distributions, and perhaps a few non-normal activities (e.g. configuring hardware) that we all endure from time to time. Who has the best overall user experience? Come find out & share your experiences. Distributions examined: Ubuntu 10.04, Fedora 13, OpenSuSE 11.2, all using the Gnome window manager. As time permits, we’ll look at key activities using KDE as well. Activities will include, but are not limited to the following: “time to live” (startup time comparison, power-on to usable desktop); installing applications from repository or from download; system configuration tools; online help; setting up new hardware (example: Epson scanner using xsane); setting up network services (Wi-Fi, Samba, NFS); one live activity at audience’s request.

That “audience request” thing is going to be tough given that I’ll have to reboot each time! My weenie little ThinkPad T43 does about as well with virtualization as I do at math skills before morning coffee. Anyone want to loan me a good fast machine?

I will also be hosting an embedded Linux BoF, although BoFs have not yet been announced on the schedule. More on that soon.