Linux World Expo, summary

LinuxWorld 2003

I just wanted to write a few last thoughts on my experience at Linux World, lest I leave the wrong impression – or no impression at all, which is more likely to be the case – about the conference.

I arrived Monday evening, and left Tuesday almost immediately after giving my presentation. This was not condusive to actually experiencing anything of the conference, which did not start for real until Wednesday. I tried to get out onto the show floor, so that I could at least talk to a few of the companies there, even though they were not really set up for business yet. However, the various people in charge of such things did not feel very cooperative in that regard, so I did not even get to do that.

The nice things that did happen was that I was able to talk with some folks that I only see about 2 or 3 times a year, at most. In particular, I talked with Adam Turoff about the copyright/patent stuff surrounding Calendrical Calculations. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that here before, but I expect it will come up again.

And, as I was submitting an article to slashdot about the 2.0.44 release, Chris DiBono conducted a mini-interview so that he could write a few additional words about the topic for the article.

In all, I came away from the conference with just a few observations.

First, New York City is an awful place, and one would have to be a lunatic to live there voluntarily. It is cold, crowded, noisy, smelly, and everybody seems to be in an absolute panic of hurry. These people need to calm down, get their priorities in order, and move somewhere where people aren’t quite so reticent to look one another in the eye.

Second, I’m unclear how any conference even remotely connected to technology can not have network in the session rooms. Perhaps I’m spoiled, but I’m really coming to expect wireless networking, or, at the very least, wired networking, at conferences. IRC is an integral part of conference-going. And, no, I’m not being facetious.

Third, I know that conference budgets are really tight lately, but if I may make a comment/suggestion. The speakers are an integral part of what makes the conference happen. It is a Good Thing to encourage them (ie, pay) to stay for the whole conference, mingle with the attendees, conduct late-night BOFs, have informal “guru is in” sessions, and so on. In addition to the fact that I *hate* rushing around, it is annoying to fly in, speak, and fly out, being unable to participate in the conference, have people be able to ask follow-up questions after ruminating on the talks, or just being able to feel like more than a hired hand. I suppose I’m whining, but I tend to feel that I’m wasting my time doing these kind of gigs, where it ends up costing me a few hundred dollars in expenses, and I don’t really get anything out of it for my troubles.