Friday Apr 11, 2008

The Linux Foundation Summit: Of Maddogs and Englishmen (and Sharks)

Earlier this week I attended the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, serendipitously held here Austin.  It was a fantastic opportunity to meet a lot of the people in the community whom I hadn't met before as well as to catch up with old friends.

 
Maddog (R) helping Executive Director Jim "Led" Zemlin to Flourish 

Great Speakers
(and I'm not talking Bose, which really aren't great speakers anyway)

There was an impressive line up of panels and speakers the first day of the summit ranging from Al Gillen of IDC to the Kernel Hackers panel to Brian Stevens, CTO of Red Hat (here's a good write up of the panel and Al's presentation).  My personal favorite, and I may be biased, was Marten Mickos' presentation.  I thought he came across as sincere and relaxed, yet authoritative.  Marten re-affirmed MySQL's commitment to GNU/Linux and talked about the "New Sun" characterized by, among other things, a "bold and humble new management."

One thing that struck me, particularly during the Q&A session of the kernel panel, was the preponderance of Englishmen.  It seemed for a while there,  one question after another was being asked by someone sounding like Hugh Grant (or at least closer to M. Grant than Ricky Gervais). 

A Super Location 

The event was held at UT's Super Computing Center about 10 minutes from my office and the exact same place where, six weeks ago I attended the dedication of Ranger: the Sun Constellation Linux Cluster.  In fact during the Summit they had tours of Ranger, aka"the world's most powerful supercomputer for open science research." 

If you want to get a feel of what its like to walk-through this uber computer check out this video that  Whurley shot during the tour.

 
Qua bottle lounge, where Tuesday's fete was held: Below the plexiglass dance floor swam sharks and manta rays.

Open Source, Open Bar

Of  course the biggest value in a summit like this comes in the after hours get togethers where you really get to meet people.  The Summit was no exception.  While the breakfast spread at the conference was put to shame by the breakfast spread that the Free Software Foundation (the Free Software Foundation!) offered at its member meeting, the food and drink Tuesday night was first class. 

I can't remember the last time I've been to a truly open bar.  I reflexively asked for a beer at the bar assuming that beverages would be limited to beer and two colors of wine.  I was quite surprised then a little while later when the hostess asked the person next to me what they wanted to drink he asked for a vodka tonic.  From there on it was margaritas for me!


James Bottomley (kernel SCSI god) picks the second winner in the raffle. I was the first winner and will be getting the new HP mini note running SUSE, Yippee!

 
Old Apple buddies, Mark Murphy (now of Canonical and who has the pleasure of dealing with me on a regular basis) and Zaheda Bhorat (of Google and tireless ODF champion) 

Pau for now.... 

About

I look after Sun's relationships with the various GNU/Linux communities as well as our relationship with the FSF. Last year, my family and I emigrated from Silicon Valley to Austin, TX.

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