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Red Hat Summit in New Orleans - Day 3

Day 3 (the last day) at New Orleans...

This half day consisted just of keynotes followed by a bag lunch.  The
keynotes weren't as well attended which led me to suspect that a lot of
people had too much fun last night...  

The attendees were generally confused about what was going on at the IBM
offsite party.  All the schedule said was to meet in the lobby for the
parade.  Little did we know that it really was a Mardi Gras parade!  We
were given beads to wear, a Hurricane to drink, and we followed the
marching band to Generations Hall (a half-dozen or so blocks away).  We
were met by a fire-breathing entertaininer, given flashing lights, and
went inside to find a couple of excellent bands (yes, the place is
*that* large!), lots of food and drink (6 full-service bars!), and
friendly geeks.  The web site for the place says this about the hall:
"Originally built in the early 1820s as a sugar refinery and decorated
with with artwork by prominent artists George Schmidt and Zavier
deCallatay, depicting the history of New Orleans jazz, Generations Hall
offers a glimpse into a bygone era." 

If Thursday night was like any of the other 2 nights, people went from
the Summit party to Bourbon Street for more partying so that could
explain a half-empty keynote Friday morning.

The day started, as usual, with a hearty breakfast.  I happened to join
a couple of gentlemen and one of them was saying that "you know, there's
a guy by the name of Ed Wilts posting about the Summit to the mailing
lists."  I grinned and held up my name badge.  I'm glad that the Summit
attendees were reading this too - that wasn't my intention, but what the
heck - information is meant to be free, right?

At the first keynote, we found evaluation forms on our chairs and a CD
containing some hot tunes from Magnatune (if you havent' checked them
out yet, see http://www.magnatune.com - I'm listening to the CD on my
Linux desktop as I write this and it's a pretty good CD).  The first keynote was Mark
Webbink, Red Hat's Deputy General Counsel.  I didn't know what to expect
from a lawyer talking at a keynote first thing in the morning on the
last day but he was a good presenter - in fact, he got the most applause
(next to Matt Szulik's vocal performance) of any of the keynotes.  He
announced the Fedora Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit that will
responsible for all of the Fedora products, including the recently
announced Directory Server (http://directory.fedora.redhat.com/).  There
will be independent board managing it.  There isn't any more information
on the Foundation on Red Hat's web site, but I thought of the Apache
Foundation when it was announced.  Whether it ends up being like that or
not I don't know but the audience was very enthusiastic about this.
Webbink also talked about the work that Red Hat is doing with others on
the patent issues, both in the US and in Europe.

I was somewhat surprised by the reaction since I had just assumed that
the crowd would have mostly been Enterprise Linux users and not Fedora
users (frequently they don't mix).  I didn't attend any of the
Fedora-specific sessions to see how well they were attended, but I think
that there were quite a few Fedora users there after all.  That's good
to hear.

The second keynote was Richard Wirt, a Senior Fellow from Intel talking
about the non-chip work that Intel is doing and what they've contributed
to the open source community.  Intel has about 85,000 employees and
170,000 systems.  Of these systems, 20% are running Linux.  This doesn't
mean that 20% of their employees are using Linux since there are large
banks for things like simulations.

Wirt reported that Gartner recently released their "Top Trends in IT".
The number 1 trend on the list is open source software.  

Wirt also talked about the virtualization work being done in hardware
(with the VT technology) and in software with Xen.  He said that Intel
does not have a person here and there working on open source projects -
it's teams of 10, 20 or 30.  There are about 30 developers working on

The last keynote I attended was by Bruce Mau.  This was a visionary
keynote and had nothing to do with open source or Linux but it was
interesting anyway.  Matt Szulik closed the Summit with an awards
ceremony but I wasn't able to attend that.

I had a couple of hours to wander the streets of New Orleans.  I saw the
French Quarter and Bourbon Street but it was just too darn hot and muggy
for me.  I hit the air-conditioned Riverwalk shopping mall for the rest
of the afternoon before collecting my luggage and heading for the

I thought the Summit was over but it turned out that Jon Brassow from
Red Hat (formally Sistina) was sitting next to me on the flight home.
We talked some more shop for an hour before we both dozed off for
well-deserved afternoon naps.

I talked to quite a few people at the Summit with a variety of interests
and backgrounds but everybody agreed that this was a great event and we
really hope that this is the first of many.  Thanks Red Hat!


Ed Wilts, RHCE
Mounds View, MN, USA
mailto:ewilts ewilts org
Member #1, Red Hat Community Ambassador Program

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