LCA09: Day 4 : Thursday

I noted that a couple of things were different about the start of each day than in previous years. The first was that the doors to the main area didn’t open until after 9am each morning. So the actual start time was something like 9:20. This was compensated by there being a smaller “pre-game” show than in previous years but the tone of things felt different. I also noticed that the sponsors seemed to be getting a bit less publicity than previously. Usually they hang a couple of sponsors have their banners in the main hall and on the pre-start slide show (along with useful announcements) but this year I didn’t see as much and the slide show seemed to be mostly about the art-project thing.

The keynote today was from Wikimedia person Angela Beesley Starling talking about various wikipedia and wikimedia stuff. I didn’t feel I learn’t a lot but I follow wikipedia a bit already so I am perhaps not a typical person. The speaker was also a little quiet.

Next was a good talk by Paul Wayper about how he contributed to the lmms ( linux multi-media studio) project with general observations and advice for both projects and potential contributors. Very interesting and useful. I liked Paul’s rendition of  the poem “How McDougal Topped the Score“.

I went to a a bit of a legal thing next on how the lawyers have problems grasping what the free software people are coming from. Interesting enough.

After lunch there was a bit of a change in the session I went to and it was split in two, the first half was on problems with the kernel API process, mainly with how new syscalls (and other kernel interfaces) are getting created and pushed out (and once the are live they are set in stone) and then people have second thoughts about if they were the best way to do things. The problem was highlighted ( and Michael Kerrisk mentioned that he would shortly be losing funding so his documenting of the calls would suffer) but solutions were missing.

The second half was a talk by OpenSUSE guy (and former journalist) Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier on publicising your project. Lots of good stuff on press releases, websites and setting priorities with a few good and bad examples.

I skipped the proper sessions next and went to a Puppet BOF. Some advice there for people implementing puppet ( which is a big item on my TODO for work this year).

Last up I went to a talk highlighting some tricks the speaker had learned from others. Interesting enough but I didn’t really pick up many I could use that I didn’t know already.

The Professional Delegates Networking Session ( pdns, not to be confused the powerdns ) was held at the Cascade Brewery’s visitors centre. Pretty nice place with lots of drinks on tap and nice food. I’ve decided I quite like the Cascade soda drinks , especially the raspberry. The main problem was the the weather got a little cold and wet ( actually it was raining) after an hour so almost everybody was crowded inside rather than being spread out. I thus found it a bit noisy and crowded so I perhaps didn’t enjoy it as much, however nothing much you can do about the weather.