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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 LessWatts.org 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: 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.


Some GREAT upcoming open-source conferences are now seeking speakers:

  • linux.conf.au 2011 is to be held in Brisbane, Australia, January 24 – 29, 2011. This is the premier large-scale open-source event in the region, and from all reports it is always a “corker”. I particularly appreciate that they sponsor an Open Day during the conference to enable the local community to participate. CFP ends this Saturday, August 7, so get a move on!
  • Also in Oceania, the Open Source Developer’s Conference will be held this year in Melbourne, Australia, November 24-26. 2010. This is the seventh year for this intimate, vibrant gathering of Oz-oriented open-source advocates. (Note that intimate doesn’t equal small – this conference has over 250 attendees.) Check out the schedules for previous years to see some of the fantastic content that has surfaced at this conference. CFP open until August 23, so hurry!.
  • The first MeeGo conference is scheduled November 15 through November 17th in Dublin, Ireland. MeeGo was just announced as the official platform for GENIVI – a very exciting time to be associated with this great project from Intel and Nokia, now shepherded by the Linux Foundation. CFP open until September 1.
  • The Symbian Exchange and Exposition (SEE 2010) is to be held this year in Amsterdam, November 9-10. SEE is the primary developer conference for the Symbian operating system, which has been open-sourced to great fanfare (and which now runs on some very interesting hardware, including the BeagleBoard). CFP open until September 3.

UPDATE: I just found out about Open Source Developers’ Conference France, which will be held in Paris and is free. This sounds like a great place for French-speaking open source folks to gather and network.

If anyone cares to sponsor me to travel to any of these shows from North America, I’d be happy to talk to you. 🙂 Meanwhile, I’m busy preparing for LinuxCon and the Teaching Open Source Education Mini-Summit next week, can’t wait!

By the way, these and many other conferences are listed on my Open Source Conferences calendar.


I am fresh back from OSCON and my brain is exploding. More on that soon, but first some news from the world of automotive “infotainment”.

First, go read Eric Brown’s piece on LinuxForDevices outlining GENIVI’s selection of MeeGo as the reference software stack for GENIVI. Also stop by ComputerWorld to read Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols’ summary from Friday’s blog.

For those who don’t know, MeeGo is the result of a merger between Intel’s Moblin platform and Nokia’s Maemo platform, managed by the Linux Foundation. I was able to speak briefly with folks at Intel in the booth this week at OSCON and they are definitely buzzing hard about MeeGo, and they have a right to be proud – MeeGo is a great accomplishment and a testament to Intel’s commitment to open-source. Kudos to Intel’s Open Source Technology Center.

For background information about GENIVI, go read this post on the MontaVista blog. In short, GENIVI is an alliance among auto manufacturers, in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) developers, and embedded Linux providers who are developing a new Linux-based reference platform for IVI. MontaVista is a member of the GENIVI board, as is Intel.

Now, for more background, see this blog post that explains MontaVista’s recently-announced relationship with Robert Bosch Car Multimedia, a premier IVI provider.

What does all this add up to? Hard to say, but from my perspective as an open-source philosopher and embedded Linux cheerleader, I’d say it is a big multi-way win among GENIVI and all of its members, Intel, embedded Linux developers in general, and, eventually, end users. Collaboration works so well it makes one wonder why some companies and industries still insist on competing the hard way.

What I want to know next… GENIVI has promised both x86 and ARM reference systems, so which ARM platform will GENIVI choose?

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