"Linux Gazette...making Linux just a little more fun!"
Linux Expo a Smashing Success!
For three days of May (28, 29, 30), the normally tranquil Duke University
Campus was transformed into a raucous playground for geeks and hackers
as the Fourth Annual Linux Expo was held at Duke's Bryan Center.
By all accounts, this year's Expo was a smashing success. Red
Hat's Marketing Director, Lisa Sullivan, deserves special thanks for organizing
and directing the event. Many others, from Key Note Speaker Linus
Torvalds to the blue-shirted Duke University catering staff, were instrumental
in making it a memorable three days.
According to Sullivan, approximately 1500 visitors were registered as
paid attendees, while another 350 to 500 were registered as speakers, VIPs
or other gratis attendees. Attendees ranged from as far away as
Korea, Finland, Colombia and Alaska. Some 34 exhibitors
showed their products and services.
Some of the speakers included:
Some exhibitors included:
- Eric S. Raymond gave an inspired, scholarly overview of hacker
motivation in his ``Homesteading the Noosphere'' speech.
- Miguel de Icaza, despite troubles with the overhead projector, shared
much about the technical details and future features of ``GNOME, The GNU
Network Object Model Environment'' GUI.
- Mark Mathews described his success as a consultant and Linux programmer
in his talk, ``Developing Linux Software for Fun--Turns into
- Jon ``maddog'' Hall described his encounters with Linux users worldwide
during ``Linux Around the World''.
Of course, the single most popular event was Friday evening's keynote
address by Linus Torvalds. An estimated 1000 to 1200 folks were on
hand. In his typically unpretentious, casual and brutally honest
style, Linus filled us in on his future vision for the Linux kernel.
Linus first took a moment to thank everyone who has helped him with
the stable kernel releases, especially Alan Cox. Linus went
on to say he is happy with the way Linux is going, especially with
the way new markets are opening up and new applications are being
- Corel Computer Corporation displayed their new Linux-based NetWinder
- Digital Equipment Corporation exhibited their latest generation Alpha
- Linux Hardware Solutions showed off some of their line of, well,
Linux hardware solutions.
- Caldera, Red Hat and Turbo Linux were there presenting their latest
Here are some highlights of Linus's views on important topics for the
future of the Linux Kernel:
Of course, Linus had much more to say, but the gist of his speech was
that with more time and some more good luck, Linux will continue to move
towards complete world domination.
Judging from the air of excitement and the buzz of optimism pervading
this year's Linux Expo, Linus is exactly right.
- The 2.2 release: look for a code freeze in about a month with the
next stable release, Kernel 2.2, to follow as soon as late July or early
- SMP: Symmetrical Multi-Processing is currently one of Linus's favorite
features of the kernel; expect continued development and enhancement of
SMP in future releases.
- Merced: Linus is not particularly impressed with or concerned about
Intel's upcoming 64-bit processor, code-named Merced--he actually prefers
DEC's Alpha architecture. He did say porting Linux to Merced should
be no problem once GCC is optimized for Merced.
- Java: While Linus would like to see an officially supported Java Development
Kit from Sun, he is still not impressed with Java and would prefer to stay
out of the Microsoft/Sun clash over Java purity.
- Emulation: Linus would prefer to see native Linux applications and
does not like the idea of emulating other operating systems for the purpose of running
Copyright © 1998, Norman M. Jacobowitz
Published in Issue 30 of Linux Gazette, July 1998