Originally Published: Friday, 4 February 2000 Author: Jeff Alami
Published to: featured_articles/Featured Articles Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

LinuxWorld Conference and Expo: Day 3

If there's anything to be learned about the Linux and Open Source movement, it's more of a social revolution than a technological revolution. Open Source technology has been around quite a while, and Linux is based on the same UNIX that has powered server systems for decades. What makes this community different is the belief that sharing information helps everyone, including commercial interests....

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If there's anything to be learned about the Linux and Open Source movement, it's more of a social revolution than a technological revolution. Open Source technology has been around quite a while, and Linux is based on the same UNIX that has powered server systems for decades. What makes this community different is the belief that sharing information helps everyone, including commercial interests.

At LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, I got to meet a great deal of interesting geeks who believe in the Open Source revolution. LinuxWorld has the distinction of being a Linux-centric event which appeals to geeks and "suits" (management types) equally. Being located in New York City means that the event was well visited by members of the Wall Street community, and this provides a unique opportunity for geeks to meet with the core of business.

I was looking for businesses providing interesting solutions for the Linux community, and one of them I came across was Chili!Soft. The first thing I noticed about the booth was a guy in a Microsoft shirt. Brave guy. Chili!Soft does revolve around Microsoft technology, specifically ASP (Active Server Pages), used for creating dynamic pages. Chili!Soft brings ASP to platforms other than Windows NT and Microsoft's IIS Web server. With their product, you can move an ASP-powered Web site from an NT server to a UNIX server and reap the benefits of increased stability. A Linux version is in beta and a full release is set to be available later this year.

Another interesting application for Linux is Blender, a small yet powerful 3-D modelling and rendering suite. Barely over 1MB in size, Blender rivals the power of the most well known 3-D creation packages on the market. It is also far less expensive that most of the common packages. If that weren't enough, you're not limited by hardware platform -- Blender supports Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, IRIX, and BeOS.

Andover.Net held the Open Source Achievement Awards (a.k.a. the "Beanie Awards") on Thursday night, at one of the most well-known clubs in New York. Winners included Linus Torvalds, the Debian project, XMMS. But most importantly, Slashdot's Jeff "Hemos" Bates, despite 48% abstains, valiantly won the Hemos award for excellence and achievement in the field of Hemos-ness.

On Friday morning, a panel for discussing recent DVD litigation was held. It was well attended despite the short notice that was given. This came to show how united the community is in its outrage against the DVDCCA and the MPAA for their reactions to the release of the DeCSS code. The panel included Eric Raymond, Open Source evangelist, as well as a (rather brave) lawyer working for the MPAA's case. The panel brought up the point that DVD's CSS encryption is not about copy protection; it's about the DVD "cartel" exercising absolute control over the DVD player market.

It seems that at every Linux conference, there's a much stronger sense of community among Linux users and developers. This is not despite commercial interest in Linux technology but because of it. In any case, I don't see any of this growth in both the Linux community efforts and the companies hoping to make money by providing solutions.

Jeff Alami (jeff@linux.com), the Editor-in-Chief of Linux.com, has been on the floor for the last hour of LinuxWorld. He's not talking about the exhibit floor -- he's talking about the floor. Jeff has been lying down on the floor typing this report on his laptop, and he's having trouble standing up again.





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