In about 8 hours I'll depart for FreedomHEC Taipei 2009, an event where members of the Linux development community try to help Taiwanese hardware vendors understand the Linux development model.
I personally believe this kind of event could not be any more important. The traditional PC and embedded hardware industry still has a very, very limited understanding when it comes to properly supporting Linux, aiming at the universal solution for best end-user experience. In order to achieve this, the FOSS development model needs to be understood, as well as the value of going mainline with the drivers/ports.
Once that point is reached, there needs to be understanding _how_ to achieve that. Availability of documentation is another key issue. If you want to enable people to help you with development, bug fixing and maintenance, you need to release programming manuals for the hardware..
I'm happy to see that this year the organizers were able to get prominent speakers such as Jon Corbet from lwn.net, and Greg K-H who is doing marvelous work with his Linux Driver Project. Last, but not least, Peter Stuge will be presenting on coreboot as a FOSS alternative to legacy BIOS.
I'm also happy to see more native/local speakers, such as the presentations by jserv (aka Jim Huang) on Qi, the bootloader that was developed as part of Openmoko - or the presentation on VIA's experience of merging code mainline by Joseph Chan.