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Wrap-up On The Ottawa Linux Symposium 94

Joe Barr writes "David Graham wraps up his coverage of the Ottawa Linux Symposium with this report on Day 4, including the closing keynote address by Andrew Morton. If you've been turned off by the commercialism of LWCE the past couple of years, you might find the OLS to be breath of fresh air. Our fearless reporter has provided detailed, behind-the-headlines coverage each day of the event."
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Wrap-up On The Ottawa Linux Symposium

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Did I miss the headline coverage that his is behind? Canadian Bear wrestles Linux Penguin at the Hart Dungeon? Rematch scheduled for the Saddledome?
  • The Linux Trace Toolkit (LTT) is a neat kernel debugging tool, however, it hasn't been able to get inclusion into the main kernel source tree. I'd like to ask if there was any buzz about LTT during the conference and if there is any sense about whether LTT is likely to get included into the source tree or not any time soon?
    • I didn't really hear anything about LTT - then again, I kind of focused on topics more relevant to embedded systems development. There may have been some mention of LTT in the talks on the more high-end enterprise systems stuff.

      • I talked to Karim Yaghmour about getting LTT into the kernel. He said that the kernel folks didn't think there was enough demand from the community and that if you want it in the kernel, post to lkml explaining why. There was a nice session on relayfs but again, the claim was that netlink mostly does the job. Well according to the developers not really but rather than introduce relayfs, folks were encouraged to merge features into netlink.
    • Work was done on getting LTT in shape for merging, in the hallway BOFs. It's progress, but remember, Linus doesn't give a rat's fuzzy rear end about realtime support or trace tools. So the standard for merging is that much higher.
  • by static0verdrive ( 776495 ) on Monday July 26, 2004 @11:28AM (#9801863) Homepage Journal
    It's too bad the symposium is so expensive; they have often had very interesting people and interesting seminars.

    The funny part is half the people who do go are your average slashdot reader-types from outside Canada, so when the daily drinking begins, it only takes two hours for their frail geek-bodies to become overboard drunk! Luckily our Ottawa LUG practices year-round with a meet at the bar after each LUG meeting...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It's too bad the symposium is so expensive

      Don't worry, it's in Canadian Dollars, so the actual amount would have been ~$1.50USD or so :o)

      (Disclaimer: I am Canadian. :o)
    • Events of all types are expensive in Ottawa... which is weird considering that, even though we're the national capital, we're not that big.

      A friend of mine thinks it's due to a local, small "old boys" network who own most of the venues and real estate and jack up the prices together whenever they feel like it.

      It's insane, I tell ya.
      • Then, why don't they do it in Montreal or Toronto? Bigger cities mean better access with possible lower priced rentals, Hotels, trains, planes, bus, pubs, clubs, etc..

        Was there a particular reason why it's in Ottawa?
    • IMHO, this event is *NOT* expensive. $325 ($199 students) is waaaay cheap for a 4-day techincal conference. Compare that to any sort of SANS conference, or others....

      For the people who questioned Ottawa as a venue: Well, there are several reasons: There are many people who will not travel to the USA. Ottawa is also cheaper than Toronto, Montreal, and other bigger cities. Everyone I've spoken to at OLS seems to really like it here.

      • You're bang on. It isn't expensive if your job covers it or you plan to attend most (or all) of it, but if you just want to hang out and catch a session or two, it is expensive, which was my first implication.

        As for Ottawa, I think it gives tourists a nicer impression of Canada than other cities would (I feel Ottawa is one of our cleanest and most bilingual cities) and social (read: drinking) spots are nearby, as well as touristy spots like the parliment, etc.
  • by The Ultimate Fartkno ( 756456 ) on Monday July 26, 2004 @11:30AM (#9801884)

    Immediately upgrade all pc's at DeGrassi to Linux. Result? J.T. reaches new heights of nerd-dom, Emma now gets to argue with Snake over which distro to use, and Marco will become more alternative than ever. However, Paige remains bitchy and sticks to Windows out of spite.

  • Symposium? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by isorox ( 205688 )
    I love symposia!
  • LSB (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zorilla ( 791636 ) on Monday July 26, 2004 @11:32AM (#9801910)
    Linux Standard Base is something mentioned in the speech, and it does seem to be something that could help remedy the current spaghetti that is the file structure. With the ever-changing library names, the symlinks start to pile up.

    Probably not as related, but have you ever taken a look at the /dev directory? Each distro seems to have their own way of organizing devices. Of course, instead of making things neater, you end up with the new way of organizing it plus symlinks to all the old ones as well.

    Browsing files seems to be what makes Linux difficult for me. Cleaning things up ought to make things much easier (even compared to Windows)
    • Re:LSB (Score:2, Insightful)

      Just because your distribution organized your /dev directory one way doesn't mean you have to keep it like that. Use udev to organize it however you want.

      The reason some sistems will have both /dev/hda and /dev/ide/disk0 is because not all tools recognize anything other than the original naming scheme. And not all users, either.
    • by hey ( 83763 )
      Any can't the programs just go in C:\Program Files ;-)
      • HEY! My (work) Windows box has no C:\! Only E:\! You insensitive clod!

        ($DIETY willing, this breaks viruses as frequently as it breaks program installs)
    • Well, it depends on how you tell the deamons and kernel drivers to do it.

      Take a look in /proc, there's a lot of differance there too.

      I'm more worried about the mess in the /etc
      directory and the whole /usr /usr/local /opt problems.

      Gentoo try to fix runlevels /etc/runlevels
      not /etc/rc.d
      But the first time I tried to boot single user it too an age to work out that I should use gentoo's linux single run level not linux 1 like everything else.

      I would really like something that put init scripts into a dependa
    • It is odd that you would say this since /dev is actually quite standard..

      There is the legacy way (each possible device has a file in /dev, which sucks, badly, when you get into the sheer number of modern devices there are), and the devfs way (where devices are intelligently added to a filepath like /dev/ide/bus0).

      Most distros now (except probably Debian) use devfs (as it is a major part of 2.6) with symlinks to the old-fashioned device names (For backwards-compatibility).

  • I was disappointed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ron Harwood ( 136613 ) <harwoodr&linux,ca> on Monday July 26, 2004 @11:35AM (#9801934) Homepage Journal
    The symposium just wasn't as good as last year.

    The schedule came out late - by the time I received it, I'd already booked my travel arrangements - and ended up missing the keynote and some sessions that I would have liked to go to.

    The only sponsored session was snacks/drinks... and listening to an author talk about his (non-technical) books for what seemed like an eternity.

    The wireless network - while steady and up this year - had a crap-ass interenet connection that was less stable than a fainting goat [].

    All in all - the conference seemed haphazardly organized and last minute.
  • It would have been great to go. However, it was too expensive for me to go. I asked my boss, but with our predominately Windows network, it was tough. Even my "but our mail servers run linux" rebuttal didn't justify the expensive cost. My boss did say that I could have the day off with pay to go, but they didn't have the money to pay for the conference.

    Looking back on it, I think that they made the right choice not to let me go. The company likes linux because it is cheap and works very well. However
  • by manavendra ( 688020 ) on Monday July 26, 2004 @11:46AM (#9802039) Homepage Journal
    This report has some coverage of the discussions for fighting GPL violations.

    Interesting case in point made by Herald Welte that "If a company violates the GPL and negotiates with the FSF to stop, by the time they agree to stop the product is done and they're gone on to the next one -- which could also violate the GPL. Then they can go through the whole process again without really losing much. ".

    What I'd like to know is, if there are any steps to identify GPL violations? There are companies all over the world using and modifying OSS tools (most notably from the Apache foundation) and selling them (or selling them as part of their product suites). Is there any initiative to counter this?
  • For me, one of the most rememberable moments was watching Alan Cox and another guy whose name I've haven't noticed, playing an identify-the-os game with the KDE BSOD screen saver. :)
  • So far I have seen no mention of this symposium in the local Ottawa papers. Very sad.
  • In the UK we have the UKUUG Linux 2004 conference []. This years event will be in Leeds between 5th and the 8th August. Not as big as those events over the water but there's still usually a good turnout. The Register has a reader offer [] for those who want to attend.
  • Shameless plug alert. You can get my own report on the 4 days of the show on my my blog [].

    It includes a few pictures...with more coming tonight.

    • Re: giveaway:

      The Canadian government does NOT require a mathematical question be answered for giveaways.

      If you want to run a 'game of chance' (which a giveaway is), there are several qualifications you must follow: you have to represent a registered community charity (and have completed several forms, stating where the proceeds will go), you have to post odds of winning, and more.

      So, the workaround is to make it a 'game of skill' instead - and asking a 'skill-testing question' of the winners is the easi
  • Look out Microsoft (Score:2, Insightful)

    by quadra23 ( 786171 )
    It's good to see the Linux community uniting like this toward a common goal that solely commercial vendors (aka Microsoft) have been unable to do successfully - be secure and efficient and lean (The LSB test software is about 80,000 lines of code across 2000 files on the first layer. The second layer, which is the meat of the actual tests, is about 100 files and 15,000 lines of code) without the annoyance feature bloat simply because "you need it" or "because we want you to need it".

    Let's just hope t
  • I think the OP missed some of the best talks:

    XenoLinux [] - a virtual machine layer to support linux and other free OSes at almost native speeds.
    Alot faster than UML!

    CKRM []- not new but I didn't know about it. From their sf site:
    The Class-based Kernel Resource Management (CKRM) project seeks to develop Linux kernel mechanisms providing differentiated service to resources such as CPU time, memory pages, I/O and incoming network bandwith based on user defined groups of tasks called classes

    TIPC [] - Transp

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"