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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!


Open source is very big in embedded systems right now, and Linux is at its very heart, and the spring conference season has been breathtakingly busy. This spring, I attended Linux Collaboration Summit and Embedded Linux Conference, where we launched Yocto Project 1.0, as well as a busy Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Silicon Valley, and heard great things about the MeeGo Conference in San Francisco as well as Indiana Linux Fest, Texas Linux Fest, SouthEast Linux Fest, Northwest Linux Fest, Northeast Linux Fest, Palmetto Open Source Software Conference, Open Source Bridge in Portland, LinuxTag in Germany, LinuxCon Japan, and several others, including the perennial Ottawa Linux Symposium. NASA even hosted their first Open Source Summit, for which I am still making my way through the proceedings. The Mobile Computing Summit is going on right now in San Francisco, and the OpenSource Developer’s Conference Malaysia started today in Kuala Lumpur. I wish I could go to all of them!

Now the summer conference season is upon us, despite the odd weather. Summer brings my three favorite events – CLS, OSCON, and LinuxCon – as well as Linux Plumbers Conference, and it forecasts the busy fall season as well. Here are some details on the big ones for embedded Linux.

OSCON

For open source junkies, the Mecca of open source conferences is O’Reilly Media‘s OSCON which is held in Portland every summer, this year July 25-29. OSCON draws thousands of people every year, and with good reason – it is the largest annual mixture of industry and “pure” open source ventures to talk specifically about open source. You will find everything here, from expo hall to half-day tutorials, presentations to BoFs, lightning talks to after-parties, and never a dull moment. This year, O’Reilly is also co-locating two new conferences, OSCON Data and OSCON Java, which cover (naturally) open data and the Java language. This makes the week intensely busy, so keep a close eye on the schedule.

I’ll be at OSCON all week, talking about the Yocto Project as an opener for our premier build engineer Beth Flanagan talking about the Yocto Project Autobuilder, as well as at a (planned) evening BoF. It is also my intention to reprise the popular Hallway Hoedown afternoon jam session from last year, and possibly a music BoF, so bring an instrument! (Day & time TBA.)

I will also be attending the Community Leadership Summit during the weekend prior to OSCON. This is a free conference where community leaders can come together and share best practices, swap stories of good and bad experiences, and network with each other. The crowd is always very vibrant, and it isn’t just technical communities – we have had participants from all walks of life. If you manage a community, please check it out or write to me for more information. It is a free event, but please be sure to register.

The one thing about OSCON is that it is somewhat expensive, but I can help with that. Contact me by email or in the comments below for a registration code worth 20% off.

Also, join the social networks surrounding OSCON if you enjoy couch surfing or linking up with friendly, like-minded strangers to share housing, as that is quite common with this event. And for food, the Portland food carts are legendary, mystical places where everything is tasty, healthy, and cheap. Be sure to follow @oscon on twitter, and watch #oscon for late-breaking information.

LinuxCon North America, Vancouver, BC

LinuxCon is the premier general Linux event of the year, and this year is a doozy. As most (probably all) of the readers of this blog already know, this year is the 20th anniversary of the Linux operating system, and while Linus himself is celebrating with a no-stress major revision, the Linux Foundation has taken it upon themselves to throw a huge party in Canada.

LinuxCon starts off with a grand educational event – the “Linux Learners” Student Day – put together by the very good folks at Oregon State’s Open Source Lab. Then the conference itself begins, featuring keynotes from several Linux luminaries, a Q&A with Linus and Greg Kroah-Hartmann, a panel called “20 Years of Linux” with Eben Moglen (Software Freedom Law Center), Jim Zemlin (Executive Director, Linux Foundation), and Jon “Maddog” Hall, and several tracks of presentations.

Oh, and in case that wasn’t fun enough, don’t just fly to Vancouver – go to Portland instead and take the LinuxCon or Bust Bus for several hours of fun through the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Then on Wednesday night, the event of the year is the Linux “Roaring 20’s” 20th Anniversary Gala at the Commodore Ballroom, with a full dinner buffet, open bar, live jazz, and casino – you can event rent 1920s attire to complete the picture.

I’ll be participating in a 2-hour hands-on Yocto Project presentation with Saul Wold, one of the project’s lead engineers. There will also be a Yocto Project Community BoF, and several Yocto Project folks available during the event for one-on-one discussions.

Fall 2011

Some fantastic conferences are coming up in the fall: Linux Plumber’s Conference, Open Hardware Summit in New York (CFP is open through July 1!), ARM TechCon, Open World Forum in Paris, and the big Linux Foundation events in Prague: Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELC-E), LinuxCon Europe, and the Kernel Summit, plus LinuxCon Brazil in November, to name just a few. Watch this space for more information in an upcoming post.

Also keep in mind that you can follow all of these conferences from my open source conferences page, which contains a link to a Google Calendar that tracks them as well.

Ain’t it fun being social?


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: AskMonty.org, a meeting place for open database enthusiasts. AskMonty.org 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.


Thanks to all who attended the Desktop Linux Showdown! Had a great time. Slides are now available.

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