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LinuxWorld. Here, for what it's worth, is our attempt at an issue of LWN from the LinuxWorld Exhibit floor. Many thanks are due to the folks at LinuxCare and Debian who made it possible for us to be here, connected, and working. The LinuxCare folks showed great faith in making it possible for us to be on the Exhibit floor off hours. Maybe we didn't deserve it, seeing as we couldn't resist the urge to rip off a couple of candies from the Slashdot booth...

Trying to produce a coherent summary of this conference at this point is almost pointless. First of all because it's not over. But there has simply been a tremendous amount going on here. A year ago, announcements of the type that came from IBM, HP, Corel, SGI, etc. would have been inconceivable. This week, they just get lost in the flood. We've amassed quite a few of them on the Commerce page, but it's just a subset.

Not everybody has been happy with the overtly commercial nature of this conference. But, in the end, that's exactly what it was supposed to be. Here is where we are seeing the future of the corporate side of Linux. It's big, loud, and glitzy. These companies are serious.

The Exhibit floor is dominated by the huge booths of Caldera, Red Hat, LinuxCare, VA Research, IBM, Compaq, and Corel. Sendmail, Inc. bought itself a sizeable piece of prime real estate by the doors as well. Way back, in the opposite corner, was "the ghetto," where the likes of the Free Software Foundation, Debian, Slashdot, and others hung out. Fortunately, lots of people found their way back there; the Debian booth, for example, has been generally unapproachable.

Only a few times has the commercial nature of the show become a bit overwhelming. The keynote speeches by Corel's Cowpland and Oracle's Jarvis count high on that list. They both used the attention of the Linux community to demo and pitch their (proprietary) software products. Corel's interesting announcement - their new Linux distribution - was relegated to a seeming afterthought at the end of the talk. Little was to be seen in the way of vision, or understanding of what makes Linux special.

Linus's keynote, instead, was classic Linus.

It must be said that IDG has, for the most part, run a good conference. Things have worked pretty well here. There's always room for improvements (i.e. why have all the BOF sessions at the same time, and in the same room?), but they did well. Here's the other information we have from the show. Our notes:

Other people's notes: For all of you who have sent us mail that doesn't appear in these pages, please accept our apologies. None of it has been dropped; we'll catch up next week.

The Japanese translation of LWN is up (for real this time). They have a new URL; the site is at changelog.net.

March 4, 1999


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