Adam and I went down to Portland for Ubuntu Live. Eric and Andy made it down from Seattle as well. I don’t go to many of these things because the technical contact is low and the costs are high. They seem generally designed to learn your average joe, not the geeks and hackers. Most of what I was looking forward to wasn’t as interesting as the surprises.
The Keynotes were rad, but there were too many. At least, there got to be too much overlap. Keynote speakers were Mark Shuttleworth, Chris Kenyon and Matt Zimmerman of Canonical; Tim O’Reilly; Doug Fisher of Intel (talking about Mobile & Ubuntu and the Intel/Ubuntu relationships); Mårten Mickos of MySQL; Jeff Waugh; Mitchell Kapor of Louts 1-2-3 fame and Eben Moglen. There were others as too. The message is clear, Ubuntu has grown up fast and is in a great position to provide a open platform to solve problems for people. I hadn’t really expected the keynotes to be interesting and hadn’t really noticed them until I was in the first set.
From the sessions, I most enjoyed AppArmor with Crispin Cowan, Linux-based firmware testing with Rolla Selbak and hardware compatibility mainly with Kyle McMartin. Props to Kyle for taking a minute to look at my weird bug where sata disks are coming up as /dev/eth2 (lp 127404).
So technically though, meh. I know better. The best part was of course meeting other developers and admins. It was interesting hearing more about Larry Augustine and others at Medsphere and FOSS license/DMCA evilness, see GPL Medicine for a little background.
The Ubuntu developer conferences were recommended, and I might look at attending one but I think I’ll be sticking to cheap hacker cons for a while. I’ve got some Portland souvenirs, and had a good time bar hopping a bit, but I’ll have to make it back down sometime without so many plans and hike about.