Originally Published: Monday, 3 July 2000 Author: Nico Lumma
Published to: Headline News/Events Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

LinuxTag 2000 Report

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It was huge -- real huge -- and organized by a group of devoted volunteers. This alone makes LinuxTag 2000, the largest free software event in Europe, something memorable. The organizers expected between 15,000 and 20,000 people to show up at the Stuttgart Congress Center, and roughly 17,000 came. LinuxTag started on Thursday, July 29, with a business conference. The business day featured a whole set of presentations that were specifically geared towards business people, most of them explaining the open source idea and focusing on what Linux can do for businesses. LinuxTag was open to the general public from Friday to Sunday.

For those three days, the German city of Stuttgart became the European mecca for Linux and Open Source enthusiasts. More than 100 companies and about 25 software projects set up booths in the fair and, if that wasn't enough, roughly a 100 talks and presentations were offered to the crowd. All of this for free, as in free beer.

The highlights of this year's conference included Richard M. Stallman's keynote address, Alan Cox' talk about Open Source Software Development and Illiad of User Friendly's talk about "Building an Online Geek Nation." It is safe to say that among 100 talks at this year's Linuxtalk, there was something to be found for everyone. Topics ranged from "What is Linux" to "Performance Programming for X" or "DCOP" or "Bonobo," just to name a few.

My personal show favorites included Sven Guckes' talk about "vim for vi users" which showed me that even though I use vim every day, I hardly know any of its features. I was truly impressed. Another cool thing was Robotux, an industrial robot that could pick up and put down golfballs and thereby "write" words you could enter on a Web interface. The robot was controlled by a small embedded Linux box manufactured by Emlix. Among the more annoying things at the fair was Corel's booth with a never-ending introduction of Corel Linux, presented by a woman with a strange voice.

If I were to compare LinuxTag 2000 to February's LinuxWorld Conference & Expo in New York, I must say that LinuxTag was far more geared towards the community, which I very much enjoyed. If you take giveaways as a standard, LWCE was clearly better, since the giveaways in Stuttgart where rather lame, not to mention that I didn't get a single free t-shirt. One of the things that make LinuxTag 2000 stand out was certainly the city of Stuttgart and the convention center, which was located in a nice park with some beer gardens nearby.

LinuxTag 2000 in Stuttgart was a great conference and I am looking forward to LinuxTag 2001.

Nico Lumma, rednix@linux.com

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