A Few Noticings at LinuxWorld SF

I had a few small problems getting in. They don’t care much for analysts masquerading as wizened party crashers with large yellow balloons depicting the faces of thousands of homeless linux users who’d like to make Moscone Center their home.

Not that I’d do that.

Virtualization seems to be quite the theme these days. The last LinuxWorld I went to was in Toronto and it was a very different experience. The Toronto show seemed a bit lackluster in comparison… however it felt more personal and had one of the most interesting keynotes I’ve ever attended. Namely the fascinating explanation of National Geographic and IBM’s genographic mapping project (can’t wait to participate). Of course that was rather loosely related. SF LinuxWorld and virtualization… After listening to several talks I don’t think I see quite what makes this such a hot topic… some cost savings in CPU licenses, etc. what else though?

There was a very interesting panel discussion on legal FUD with Eben Moglen, Christine Martino, and Stuart Cohen. It was a good combination especially when it came to the GPL v3 issues. The commentary was more multi-faceted and less extreme sounding then it’s sometimes portrayed in popular media articles. In particular it wasn’t as though HP came up heavily in contradiction to the draft content… much more in the spirit of recognizing the collaborative work-in-progress nature. In addition none of the parties seemed to feel this draft process was causing any problems with the development community–noting FOSS dev was continuing just as rapidly as ever. Moglen noted that it was all going according to schedule and he expected things to stay on course for completion in 2007 as originally intended. Why has there been so much media fuss acting as though the drafting is moving too slowly? Maybe that signifies a lack of background research and too many people repeating one another.

Another interesting bit were the database situations… EnterpriseDB winning best DB (nice for them and PostgreSQL) but also the presence of Ingres. Ingres now indepedant (mostly) from CA is an open source database to watch. They have thousands of customers and a long solid history to back them but at the moment they’re pretty much a CA-only solution. So it will be interesting to see how their new-found visibility and open source licensing will help them expand beyond CA’s shadow and get supported by some of the other major enterprise solutions. When I talk to open source enterprise vendors I’m still only hearing support for the major proprietary datbases and PostgreSQL or MySQL.

Finally, before I wrap this up, I’ll note that this is my first post from my new Sharp Zaurus c3200, which arrived just before the show. It’s a great little Linux device! I’ll say more about it later and I’ll have another post on LinuxWorld SF noticings.

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