With great power comes fun conferences

The 10th edition of the Ottawa linux symposium was held between the
23rd and 26th July at the Congress center in Ottawa. Linux symposium
is one of the premium linux conference in the world, Linux developers
from around the world meet and discuss various linux projects and the
roadmap for the future.

I landed in Ottawa on the 22nd. The city is a beautiful mix of
historical and contemporary architecture. In the evening all the
speakers were invited to a cruise acorss the canal, the canal flows
next to a lot of historical monuments. The discussions on board were
focussed on linux as expected, with people discussing topics ranging
from “Ext4 file system” to the “ipv6 stack on Linux”.

The first day of the conference started with Matthew Wilcox presenting
the keynote on “The Kernel: 10 years from in Review”. The talk took
the audience through the journey of linux with various anecdotal
references to Linus. Mathew also gave a brief account of his own
contributions to Linux and how being part of the community had
enriched his life.

The talks this year were dominated by topics which delve into the
kernel or system level features of linux. There was also decent
coverage of Performance, Security, Mobile, UI, Web Applications, and
Green Computing. I did a talk on “Mobile application frameworks” on
the 24th, Although i was initially a bit tense to speak in front of a
room full of distinguished hackers, my talk was well recieved.

The most controversial keynote of the event was presented by Mark
Shuttleworth, CEO of Cannonical (Ubuntu) who spoke about the need for
Free software projects to align their release cycles so a well tested
and professional product can be delivered to the users. I personally
thought that this would kill the diversity of Free software which
thrives on people scratching to their own itches versus a clockwork
release cycle which applies to everyone. Irrespective the talk
presented interesting ideas which will be heavily debated by the
communities for time to come.

Craig Ross, Co-Founder of OLS signed off the event by showing a graph
of T Shirt sizes over the last 10 years and how the T Shirt sizes have
grown linearly over time! He also announced that the next years Linux
Symposium would be held at Montreal.

Harald who recently won the Google-O’Reilly Open Source Award summed
up the event well when he said “It is unique because the key people of
major open source project are in
one place, This helps us be aware of each others progress and learn
from each other”

Linux(TM) needs no introducton these days its become main stream but
the people who make linux happen continue to be more than just
colleagues, they are friends who enjoy and thrive in each others
company. They excel New ideas are formed and implemented when they
meet, this is why a event like OLS is so important for this ecosystem.
The conference for all practical purposes is a open source project in
itself and its maintainers Andrew and Craig need to be hailed for
making such a wonderful event happen. Its projects like OLS which make
Linux and Open Source special.

I initially wrote this article for Live Mint but looks like they had word
limitations and had to chop, so this is the complete version

You can read the published article here