LPC Looking for Interested Plumbers

In September, for the second year in a row, Linux developers from all over will pack their pipe wrenches and low-slung trousers as they prepare to descend on Portland, Oregon to get down to business. Though the packing can wait a few more months, now is the time for developers interested in sharing their love of digital fittings and flanges to get their name on the list.

The Linux Plumbers Conference — so-called because it gathers top developers to work on the utilities and libraries that(the kernel, form the "plumbing" behind a Linux system — debuted to great success last year, even co-hosting the Linux Foundation's Technical Advisory Board elections with the invitation-only Linux Kernel Summit last September. This year's conference — running September 23 - 25 — will immediately follow the first-annual LinuxCon, the Linux Foundation's new conference aimed at all Linux users, scheduled for September 21 - 23.

However, conferences can't hold themselves, so the powers behind the LPC are looking for Linux plumbers interested in speaking during the microconferences — several smaller conferences that focus on a particular area of the "plumbing" — and its more open-ended general track. Microconferences already on the docket include (with their "runner"): X Window System (Keith Packard); Audio (Lennart Poettering); Security (James Morris and Paul Moore); Embedded Systems (Greg Kroah-Hartman and David Woodhouse); and Boot and Init (Dave Jones). While the general track allows for a much more free-form range of topics, Energy Efficiency, Performance, and Power Management; Networking; Kernel/Userspace/User Interfaces; Video Input Infrastructure; Storage (filesystems, SSDs, etc.); and Inter-Distributor Cooperation are given as "topics of interest" for microconference proposals.

Organizers say they will give preference to proposals "presenting a reasonable solution to a well-known or little-recognized problem" over those presenting only the description of a problem or on completed work. "The perfect Plumbers topic would feature a real problem whose solution requires the relevant community members to get together face to face, preferably producing a solution during the conference itself." Microconference speakers are encouraged to plan for twenty-five minutes or less, though the ultimate arrangement of speakers will be the responsibility of the microconference's "runner" — the general track will focus on short, discussion-oriented presentations, with regard to the nature of the accepted proposals.

Interested plumbers should prepare their proposals as extended abstracts of up to 500 words, including an overview of the topic, the credentials of the speaker(s) relative the proposed topic, and why the topic would appeal to a technical (Linux developers) audience — these extended abstracts will be published on the conference website. All proposals should be submitted to the general track, with microconference proposals so noted. Academics, and researchers looking for community feedback in particular, are also encouraged to submit proposals for presentations, including presentations on work already published, especially work not yet well known in the Linux community. All submissions should include, in addition to the abstract, an email address for the speaker, the speaker's bio (ready to be published on the conference website), an indication of whether assistance with travel is being requested, and optionally, any relevant notes or background (and if intended to be published on the conference website, a note to that effect).

Submissions should be made via the proposal submission interface on the conference website by midnight on Monday, June 15, 2009 — proposals made prior to the deadline may be edited until that time. Speakers will be notified via email by July 15 whether their proposal has been accepted, and at least one speaker must register and present at the conference. (Registration is complimentary for accepted speakers, and the registration fee will be refunded to any accepted speaker who registers prior to their proposal being accepted.) As mentioned above, limited need-based funds are available to assist speakers in traveling to the conference.

Of course, those interested in attending but not presenting at the conference are welcome to register as well. Early registration ($275) — a $50 - $125 discount — is available through July 31. Thereafter, regular registrations ($325) will be accepted until August 30, while late registration ($400) will be offered until September 21. (On-site registration will not be available.) Students may register through September 21 at a discounted student rate of $100. Additional travel and registration information is available on the conference website.
Justin Ryan is News Editor for LinuxJournal.com.
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