Interesting ideas

Interesting ideas
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First Published: Mon, Jul 28 2008. 11 40 PM IST
Updated: Mon, Jul 28 2008. 11 40 PM IST
Ottawa: The 10th edition of the Ottawa Linux Symposium (OLS) was held between 23 July and 26 July at the Congress Centre in Ottawa, Canada. As one of the premium conferences held on Linux, the open source operating system, it attracts developers from around the world, who meet every year and discuss various Linux projects and the road map for the future.
The conference began with Matthew Wilcox, a Linux kernel hacker who currently works for Intel Corp.,presenting the keynote on “The Kernel: 10 years from in Review.” He took the audience through the journey of Linux and also gave a brief account of how being part of the community had enriched his life.
The talks this year were dominated by topics delving into the kernel of Linux.
A kernel is the core of an operating system, the code that makes a computer’s hardware accessible, and takes care of essential basic jobs such as memory and disk management. There was also some coverage of performance, security, mobile, user interface, Web applications, and green computing.
I gave a talk on “Mobile application frameworks” on 24 July, which was well received.
The most controversial keynote of the event was presented by Mark Shuttleworth, chief operating officer of Canonical Ltd (the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu project that provides a free Linux operating system), 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 users. I personally think this would kill the diversity of free software, which thrives on people being individualistic versus a clockwork release cycle that applies to everyone. But the talk presented interesting ideas, which will be heavily debated in the times to come.
Craig Ross, co-founder of OLS, signed off the event by showing a graph of T-shirt sizes over the past 10 years and how they have grown linearly over time!
Shreyas Srinivasan is a co-founder of RadioVeRVe, a Bangalore-based Internet radio station that plays music by independent Indian artistes. He currently works for Geodesic Information Systems.
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First Published: Mon, Jul 28 2008. 11 40 PM IST
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