LinuxWorld was fun, although it’s quite a corporate show – most of the space is big business booths, with the real projects segregated into the “.org pavilion”. David, David and Tristan (whose badge said he was from “Moxilla Euorpe”) at the Mozilla Europe booth were complaining about the lack of Internet access, which is a bit of a downer if you are showing off a browser.
Wandering around the show floor, I had some interesting experiences:
Non-Technical Salesman: Sir, can I tell you about <product>?
Gerv: Go on, then.
NTS: Well, it lets you run Linux applications on Windows, and Windows applications on Linux!
Gerv: Wow, that’s, er, quite impressive.
NTS: <looks at my t-shirt> Hey, you work for those Firefox people, don’t you?
Gerv: Er, yes.
NTS: Well, we could make Firefox run on Windows!
A couple of guys from Google were wandering around the stands – a sysadmin chap from Ireland, and his minder from recruitment ;-) They were giving away very cool magnetic Google logo badges with six coloured LEDs which flashed in sequence – one for each letter. Apparently they are looking to hire 50 developers this year for their Dublin office so, if you think you’ve got what it takes, visit www.google.ie/greatjobs.
I managed to get into the Technical track to hear Klaus Knopper on Knoppix, and some very interesting data from Alan Cox’s Masters thesis. I don’t know if Alan’s slides are online; basically, he was looking at “Linux on the Desktop”, the relative popularity of GNOME and KDE, and users’ perceptions. The most interesting thing was that users tend not to care which one they have, and perhaps don’t even know there is a difference – they just use what their vendor ships by default. The differentiators are now at the level above – the apps, like OpenOffice.org and Firefox.
I would have liked to have heard more talks, but when I went back for one on Open Source in Local Government, they told me that my Exhibitors pass wasn’t supposed to let me in :-(
Update: Here’s a writeup of Alan’s talk.