Linux Events: Two Views on Heidelberg
As this issue went to press, the Heidelberg “Linux & Internet Conference” met. Here are candid reactions from two conferees, garnered from e-mail messages.
In a letter to the Wine1 development team,
Bob Amstadt wrote:
For those of you that are curious....I arrived in Heidelburg two nights before the Linux Congress. My first night was spent sleeping (I know - boring). The next day around lunch we ran across a handful of the other Linux developers. I made the mistake of not recognizing Linus from his picture. Everyone had a good laugh when I asked him what his name was.
That night all of the speakers met for dinner and beer. Lots of beer was had by all (some more than others).
The next day was the first day of the Congress. Around 300 people were in attendence. Apparently, about the same number were turned away because seating was limited. Linus gave the keynote speech to open the festivities.
He was extremely well received by the audience.
We then split into two sections. In the morning I listened to Remy Card, Stephen Tweedie and Theodore Ts'o talk about Linux filesystem. Also, Eric Youngdale spoke about iBCS2. I must admit that I am very excited about the iBCS2 work.
I led off the afternoon with a 45 minute talk about Wine. I was extremely pleased with the audience response. People were quick to cheer when I spoke of desire to be independent of Microsoft. I was questioned numerous times about Win32. Also, later that same evening I was offered a large sum of money to pay an intern to work on Wine.... I was also lucky enough to demonstrate Wine using a PCI bus computer. I assume it also had a Pentium because Wine was very speedy (for a change :-) ).
The next day I presented a two-hour tutorial about using and hacking Wine. This was given to a much smaller group of people. Ted Ts'o followed with a two-hour discussion of Internet security.
All-in-all things went very well. My hope is that I inspired more support for our project.
There was some talk about holding another Congress next year although it is purely speculation at this point....
In a letter to the iBCS22 development team,
Eric Youngdale wrote:I am now home (and a bit jet-lagged) after having gotten back from Heidelberg (Note the time of this post - I have been up for 3 hours now :-). All in all, the meeting was an incredible success - there were 350 seats available and these quickly sold out and they reportedly turned away another 300 people. All of the talks were standing-room only, and there is already talk of another meeting next year in Berlin, though that is still speculation.
This is not really related to iBCS2, but there was a beta version of a Linux-native version of Maple on a machine that people could try out. I have a handout that they were giving out, but it is in German, so I cannot say that much about what they were saying.
It is not obvious at all in the English- speaking world, but a German computer user benefits from a much greater coverage of Linux in the media. This month's issue of iX (a German Unix magazine) has an article written by Drew about the PCI driver, and an article by Bob Amstadt about Wine. I understand that they have been running about one article a month for the past 6 months or so. A second magazine, C't, has also been running about 1 article per issue lately. In addition, there are a number of books available.
I walked down the main pedestrian street in Heidelberg and came across a store that sold computer stuff - in the front display window, clearly visible from the street, there were 3 Linux books plus the Yggdrasil CD-ROM. One of the books, written by Thomas Uhl and Stephan Strobel, has been translated into English by Springer, and will soon appear in the U.[S,K]. market. This book is a basic introduction for the new user, so other more advanced books would also be required for a new English-speaking user. The other two German books for Linux were more advanced one contained a bunch of man pages translated into German, and the other one had to do with kernel internals.
Pictures were taken of the developers present, and are included here. JPEG files should become available soon :-).
One thing that became clear fairly quickly was that there is a lot of interest in iBCS2 within the user community. I gather that a lot of people are trying binaries of one sort or another, and a lot of these are never formally reported to us even if the binaries work perfectly. Also, there was a machine set up with the demo versions of both WP and Xess running this was the first time I had seen either program.
Bob Amstadt graduated from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1986 with a BS in both Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. For the past five years he has worked as an independent engineering consultant specializing in embedded control and communications systems. His first exposure to Linux was in December 1992 when he installed it on his e-mail server. He began work on Wine as a result of discussions on comp.os.linux in May and June of 1993.