[linux-elitists] What do you think of OLS this year?

Marc MERLIN marc@merlins.org
Mon Feb 26 06:53:59 PST 2007

So, here's a summary of some rumblings I've heard, and I was wondering if
you had heard similar things, and agreed, or not. I'm on the fence as to
whether to go this year, or not, and would value your input.

As you may, or may not know, the conference is now during June 27th ~ 30th
That's actually a good thing for me as the old dates were during my BD each
time :)

The more important part is that OLS used to be right after the kernel
summit, which meant that there were a fair amount of linux kernel hackers
who went to OLS and some also presented there, because, well, they were
already there.

Now, this won't be the case this year, so I'm wondering if there will be a
drop in attendance of those quality speakers.
The other thing negative feedback I heard a few times was either:
- "I'm a bit tired of OLS, been there, done that"
- "They are pretty cheap with speakers, especially compared to confs
  like LCA" and/or "they are commercial and keep the money left over
  instead of helping with the speaker accommodation/flights"

I don't know too much about the details of #2, but I guess that would
get in the way of getting quality speakers who aren't able to pay their
own way.

My personal beef, and maybe it is related to the above, is that OLS
looks like an academical conference to me: many presenters seem to go
because they need to publish a paper. As a result, I've seen too many
talks about a very obscure piece of development on a CPU I've never
heard of, and from someone who often had poor presentation skills.

The end result is that some years, it felt like most talks were very
boring, and OLS was more a way to meet some of your fellow hackers than
a way to see cool and interesting talks (the worst year for me being
probably the year I gave a talk on google, which wasn't all that earth
shattering, but I tried to make in entertaining. While I'm not the best
speaker ever, I still got best of talk, and I think it was because all
the other talks  were more boring than mine :)

I've found that last year at least was a bit better, but considering
that I don't know what the speaker situation will be this year (outside
of those who go to get school/research credit for their obscure topic),
I'm on the fence.

What's your take on this?

"A mouse is a device used to point at the xterm you want to type in" - A.S.R.
Microsoft is to operating systems & security ....
                                      .... what McDonalds is to gourmet cooking
Home page: http://marc.merlins.org/  

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