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I have finally updated my calendar of open source and embedded systems conferences.

There have been a lot of changes this year, most notably the Embedded Linux Conference moving from April up to February and also moving location from San Francisco to Redwood Shores, CA, USA. This is a premier annual meeting of embedded Linux engineers, and I am pleased to announce an addition this year. On Tuesday, February 14, the Yocto Project presents a Developer Day, a full day of embedded Linux training, free of charge. Seating is limited, so register early and get more information on the Yocto Project Developer Day page at the Linux Foundation.

I will be attending and speaking at several of these conferences. If you see me, say hi!

Catching up on education opportunities a bit:

Along with some free resources, like this white paper on getting started with embedded Linux and this short video of Jerry Cooperstein introducing embedded Linux, the Linux Foundation has announced three paid embedded Linux training opportunities:

Back on the free-as-in-beer side, Michael Opdenacker and the other fantastic folks at Free Electrons just announced the availability of three sets of videos from the Embedded Linux Conference 2010 and Gstreamer Conference 2010 last fall in Cambridge, UK. This is an excellent way to participate and learn without actually needing to travel to the events:

For more free education opportunities, check out this page on free embedded Linux training resources (and please suggest more!).

I have not written on this blog for some time because I have been “drinking from the firehose” lately in my new role as community manager for the Yocto Project. I am now employed by Intel Corporation, specifically the Open Source Technology Center (OTC), where people also contribute to the MeeGo operating system, the power management portal, and many other highly valuable open-source projects. Intel’s commitment to open source was my main motivation for making the leap.

Yocto is a Linux Foundation project that aims to provide a full build environment for embedded Linux distributions. Yocto supports builds for several architectures, including Atom, ARM, MIPS, and PowerPC, with a full build ecosystem. Poky provides the build tools based on the BitBake build tool and OpenEmbedded metadata set, while Yocto adds tools for building and testing, an Eclipse plug-in, and some very nifty features like pseudo and swabber, as well as lots of good documentation and other resources. One of those resources is a vibrant community that includes mailing lists and IRC channels as well as an active blog, and that’s where I come in – I get to help manage and monitor those resources, measure their effectiveness, and make sure that people are finding the information and contacts they need.

So if you are hanging out on the #yocto or #poky IRC channels or in the mailing lists, or on Twitter (@yoctoproject), ping me and let me know how you think Yocto is doing, and what you wish it would do. I’m here to help!

I just returned from LinuxCon, the Linux Foundation’s premier conference, held this year at the warm, muggy Boston waterfront. There were many interesting items to report, these are only a few:

  • MeeGo is emerging as a powerful alternative to Android, partly due to its excellent user interfaces (albeit highly Intel-centric driver support) but, in my mind, mostly due to its adherence to open-source standards. In opposition to Android’s divergence from mainline, MeeGo‘s central philosophy is very much in line with the Open Source Way, and that is a very good thing to see in embedded Linux. I am hopeful that they will adopt much of the incredible work being done by the Linaro folks in bringing ARM support to Linux in general. Note as well that MeeGo has been selected by GENIVI as the reference software for future in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems, and MeeGo certainly looks up to the task. I may be forced to revise my prior opinions about netbooks as a result of the demos I encountered.
  • Oracle had a large (though relatively ignored) table at the conference, and Oracle SVP Linux & Virtual Engineering Wim Coekaerts gave an interesting keynote the first day explaining some of the Linux-based work going on inside Oracle. This, however, was immediately overshadowed just after the conference when Oracle sued Google over the use of Java, a suit which appears to be not only baseless but outright hostile. News like this confirms the worries many of us have about Oracle’s stewardship of the valuable open projects they have acquired along with Sun Microsystems: Java, VirtualBox, and of course MySQL, which some have opined was the reason for acquiring Sun in the first place. (Personally, I tend to think it has more to do with Sun’s enterprise server customer base.)
  • Speaking of MySQL, Monty’s excellent team has countered with a new fork called MariaDB, which looks remarkably like MySQL under the hood. They have also started a community:, a meeting place for open database enthusiasts. is the central point for MariaDB and provides downloads, a blog, and a developer wiki.
  • On Monday, Teaching Open Source gave an education mini-summit that I was honored to help organize. Between 20 and 30 interested folks – educators, administrators, students, entrepreneurs, and industry professionals – came together to discuss the best methods for teaching open source and getting students involved in the processes and communities early. Many fantastic ideas were explored. Video and audio should be available soon, and Fedora hero Máirín Duffy has written up an excellent set of notes on the day.
  • Yours truly gave a resounding talk (standing room only!) on the subject of desktop Linux entitled Desktop Distribution Showdown. The slides are available [PDF], and look for an article on the subject very soon be sure to read the exciting companion article.

All in all, LinuxCon and the Education mini-summit were intense, informative, and highly community-oriented. I was glad to meet new friends and see old ones, and I am already looking forward to next year.