Pretty much going to go out on limb here and make the call: if you didn't find something that interested you at this year's pantheon of LinuxCon North America events, then you may want to start using Windows. Except Microsoft was there too, so you're out of luck. And Apple, so just settle down.
The list or speakers and sponsors was varied, to be sure, no less so than the visitor roll call. But the real variety was marked by the sheer number of events the Linux Foundation hosted in the Seattle Sheraton during the week of August 16.
For those scoring at home, here's the list of events:
- LinuxCon North America
- CloudOpen North America
- Linux Plumbers Conference
- KVM Forum
- Xen Project Developers Summit
- Linux Security Summit
- CloudStack Seattle
Yeah, that's what I thought, too. But despite jamming nine branded events into one venue for one week, the LF staff did an excellent job keeping the events focused, assisted in no small part by some excellent content. We're not above a little bragging when we mention OSAS provided two tracks of content as well: Infrastructure.Next for CloudOpen, and an oVirt Workshop as part of KVM Forum. There were even cross-event collaborations, such as the successful Xen/KVM hackathons and social events.
So was there too much content? I want to be cautious here, and not detract from any one organization or community group who may have hosted their own branded event, because from what I saw and what I heard, all of the events were on target, and no event diminished the others. But on a personal level, it was sometimes discouraging to see an event on, hypothetically the MesosCon schedule, and not be able to attend because I didn't have a MesosCon pass.
It made me wonder if it might not be possible to combine some of these events into tracks within a mega-LinuxCon event. Have defined, event-like tracks within a bigger LinuxCon, which would enable cross-pollination for attendees. I suspect this would also create smaller administrative overhead for organizers.
This would likely not be a universal solution... the Linux Plumbers Conference has always been a separate event by focus and necessity, and I am not about to presume on how the LF wants to handle its show brands. There is also the counter argument that combining shows might diminish the impact of the separate events.
If anything, this proliferation of free and open source software events is indicative that we as a community have a lot of opportunities to meet and share information. While this can come with the usual growing pains, it's also a sure sign that the FLOSS ecosystem is stronger than ever.
About the author
Brian Proffitt is a Manager within Red Hat's Open Source Program Office, focusing on content generation, community metrics, and special projects. Brian's experience with community management includes knowledge of community onboarding, community health, and business alignment. Prior to joining Red Hat in 2014, he was a technology journalist with a focus on Linux and open source, and the author of 22 consumer technology books.