Originally Published: Tuesday, 11 April 2000 Author: Jeff Alami
Published to: featured_articles/Featured Articles Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

Linux Expo North America Report: Part 1

Linux Expo North America, being held April 10-12, 2000 in Montreal, is the first major Linux conference and tradeshow in Canada. This conference brings together many well-known members of the Linux community, as well as startups from around the world.

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Linux Expo North America, being held April 10-12, 2000 in Montreal, is the first major Linux conference and tradeshow in Canada. This conference brings together many well-known members of the Linux community, as well as startups from around the world. This is one of the first in a series of international Linux Expos; in the coming years, plans for similar events in Toronto, Sao Paulo, Paris, Moscow, Shanghai, Singapore, and Sydney are being made.

The first day of the event featured the tutorial sessions. Notable tutorials included Dirk Hohndel, CTO of SuSE, about the XFree86 Project, and Jim Fulton, Technical Director of Digital Creations, about Zope. There were eight tutorials that day.

The second day began with a battery of keynotes. The first keynote was by Dr. Michael Cowpland of Corel, discussing open standards, and the future of the Web and how Linux is going to be a part of it. With the Corel/Inprise merger, Cowpland said, Corel gets expertise in Web development software, enterprise JavaBeans, and XML. One interesting thing Cowpland mentioned was the fact that Corel will have 18 Linux software applications available by the end of the year.

Bob Young, Chairman of Red Hat, had a rather informal and interesting discussion about his job at Red Hat, and the emergence of open source, including his popular analogy to the automobile industry. Would you buy a car with the hood welded shut? Jacques Le Marois spoke next, speaking about the history of the Mandrake distribution, and cooperation among competitors in the Linux community. Dirk Hohndel of SuSE showed how Open Source was different. Other keynotes were made by Larry Augustin of VA Linux Systems, Eric Raymond of the Open Source Initiative, and Jon "maddog" Hall of Linux International, and a representative from Oracle.

The exhibits also opened on the second day. Several well-known Linux companies were present, including Red Hat, Atipa Linux Solutions, and Corel. Stormix also had a rather large presence, being a Canadian Linux distributor. Companies noted for their absence included Linuxcare and Caldera Systems. As for Linuxcare, given the recent events that would have prompted many a question from the attendees, maybe it's a good thing they didn't show up.

SuSE also canceled at the last minute, but they moved their equipment and people to a part of the VMware booth. [Correction: SuSE planned it this way all along. A SuSE employee told me that "SuSE had planned to be an equal partner in VMware's booth for over 2 months now. Unfortunately the sign displaying both our logos, which was to sit atop the booth was damaged in transit and therefore we were unable to use it." -- Ed.] VA Linux Systems was also there, but their presence was quite minimal -- more minimal than I expected. Also, the Generation Linux booth featured organizations including the Free Software Foundation, GNOME, LPI, LinuxFund.org, and NetBSD. LinuxFund.org was providing applications for their new Canadian credit card. As a whole, the exhibit floor isn't incredibly busy, but I look forward to some of the news that will come out of this event. Stay tuned for tomorrow's report from the floor of Linux Expo North America.

Jeff Alami (jeff@linux.com) is in Montreal, covering Linux Expo North America, and notes that in 1999, there was only one Linux event in Canada (namely the Ottawa Linux Symposium) and this year there are five. He's also hoping that someone will come up with a Linux conference in Whistler.





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