The LF Collaboration Summit is History

amcpherson's picture

The first ever Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit ended on Friday. I spent today de-compressing and summing up the highlights and accomplishments in a news release that will go out tomorrow. By my estimation (and most I’ve talked to), the LF Collaboration Summit was a great success.

Here’s the formula I used to make this determination:
The right people + collaborating on the right projects +having a great time = success.

The Right People
The summit was over-subscribed, with over 230 leaders from the Linux community, representing kernel developers, distribution and system vendors, ISVs, end users and community project leaders. This was the most important factor in the summit’s success. If we’d had 230 system vendors there, it wouldn’t have worked. If we’d 230 kernel developers there, it wouldn’t have worked. If we’d had 230 distro vendors there, it wouldn’t have worked. (You get the idea.)
This was the first event of its kind where a true cross-section of leaders from the Linux and open source communities met face-to-face to tackle today’s most pressing issues facing Linux, including technical development, legal issues, ISV porting and end user requirements.

Collaborating on the Right Projects
OK, so we managed to get the right people in the room, but what did we work on? Some press articles mentioned Microsoft as a catalyst or focus for this event. Actually, this event was designed to facilitate technical work to improve Linux, not as a defensive move against a competitor’s legal threats. Competition spurs everyone on to be better, and we want Linux to succeed on the widest possible scale, we want Linux to be better than the competition (in so many ways it already is!), but there’s plenty to talk about without even mentioning Microsoft.

The press release has much more detail. (Or you can read it in Infoworld.) But here are the highlights of some of the work that will come out of the Summit:

  • Accessibility. Representatives from the LF’s Accessibility workgroup explained the Linux model for writing accessible applications to key ISVs, end users, kernel developers and LSB workgroup participants. Accessible support is already much greater in Linux and open source than in proprietary platforms.
  • Device Drivers: A collaborative and problem solving session on device drivers was held with key representatives from the kernel community, vendors and end users. More information can be found at
  • Power Management: Throughout the Summit, Linux developers, including the Linux Desktop Architects, met to discuss the increasing need for efficient power management in Linux. As a result of these meetings, Linux Foundation is organizing a “Green Linux” initiative to improve power management functionality in Linux.
  • Printing. The Linux Foundation Open Printing workgroup announced the LSB Device Driver Kit to improve printing functionality in Linux. At the Summit, key representatives from major printing vendors met with Linux community leaders to discuss the new improvements in printer driver support and work on improvements in the future.
  • Testing: The Linux Standard Base workgroup presented their newly created LSB Test Framework and Testing tools to a packed session of kernel developers, ISVs, upstream maintainers and system vendors.

You’ll notice this isn’t cheerleading, or summing up all the advancements all ready in Linux (such as the fact that Linux supports more devices than any OS in the history of computing). We need to continue to do that in other more appropriate forums, but this is showing that the community is working together to make Linux better. That’s what I would want to see in my platform provider.

Having a Great Time
Realistically if you don’t have the proper facilities, organization and plan, innovation and community advancement just don’t take place. (In fact, you wouldn’t get the right people in the room in the first place.)

I have our hosts to thank for delivering an amazing experience: Google. Chris DiBona and Leslie Hawthorn of the Open Source Program Office at Google not only provided the facilities and support of this event, they went out of their way to make every experience unforgettable for our guests. Their support of open source projects and community is amazing in its reach and innovation. (Just take a look at summer of code and the many other initiatives they manage). It’s not easy to pull off an event of this kind, but Leslie and her team of talented initials (Tiffany, Cat and Kat) made it look effortless. We are truly grateful for Google’s support and dedication in advancing the Linux platform.

Keep an eye out on the Summit page. Many presentations and materials are available there. We will update it as planning for our next event shapes up. Thanks to everyone who participated. It was a truly memorable event.