OLS 2008 is over

Yesterday was the last day of OLS 2008. In fact, the last day of OLS in general, since from next year on, it will no longer be in Ottawa, but Montreal.

2008 marked the 10-year anniversary for OLS. Impressive. I have missed at least the first one (1999). I'm not sure if I started with the 2000 or the 2001 incarnation. Most likely 2000, since that was about the time I got heavily involved with netfilter.

I had the honor to be mentioned in the 10-year-anniversary talk in a reference to my fashion style (wearing skirts/kilts at earlier OLS's). If I only had known, I might have brought and worn it again ;)

As for the conference itself: I don't want to follow all the various people who have been voicing their discontempt with recent incarnations of OLS. Sure, due to the advent of the kernel summit, the UKUUG linux developer conference, linux.conf.au, the Linux plumbers conference and other events there now is more 'competition' to attract the Linux celebrities. However, most people should not be attending a conference like it was some kind of fan club. There are still quite many people at OLS who actually _do_ a lot of die-hard Linux development work. And those poeple have interesting things to say, and it's interesting to share ideas with them. OLS is pretty much a conference where mainline developers can talk to other mainline developers. It's not an event directed at users, and not an event directed at non-participatory 'consumers' of Linux like many commercial embedded vendors.

So after all, I have to say that the conference was a success and I'd be happy to attend it's future incarnations. Hopefully with my own paper and presentation.

There is one thing, though, that upset me a lot: At the closing ceremony, there was something like a lottery for a handful of Linux-based devices. Among those devices was the Motorola ROKR2 V8. For those of you who don't know: This is a device where the vendor chose to remove your freedom to 'run modified versions of the program'. It will not boot any non-signed bootloader, kernel or executables. And the user is locked out of his own device by means of SELinux. I think it is a grave insult to the Linxu developer community that something like that was chosen by both organizers and sponsors.