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Vint Cerf

Vint Cerf, a “Father of the Internet,” spoke at the recent Open Networking Summit. Watch the complete presentation below.

The secret behind Internet protocol is that it has no idea what it’s carrying – it just a bag of bits going from point A to point B. So said Vint Cerf, vice president and chief internet evangelist at Google, speaking at the recent Open Networking Summit.

Cerf, who is generally acknowledged as a “Father of the Internet” said that one of the objectives of this project, which was turned on in 1983, was to explore the implications of open networking, including “open source, open standards and the process for which the standards were developed, open protocol architectures, which allowed for new protocols to be invented and inserted into this layered architecture.” This was important, he said, because people who wanted to do new things with the network were not constrained to its original design but could add functionality.

Open Access

When he and Bob Kahn (co-creator for the TCP/IP protocol) were doing the original design, Cerf said, they hoped that this approach would lead to a kind of organic growth of the Internet, which is exactly what has been seen.  

They also envisioned another kind of openness, that of open access to the resources of the network, where people were free both to access information or services and to inject their own information into the system. Cerf said they hoped that, by lowering the barriers to access this technology, they would open the floodgates for the sharing of content, and, again, that is exactly what happened.

There is, however, a side effect of reducing these barriers, which, Cerf said, we are living through today, which includes the proliferation of fake news, malware, and other malicious content. It has also created a set of interesting socioeconomic problems, one of which is dealing with content in a way that allows you decide which content to accept and which to reject, Cerf said. “This practice is called critical thinking, and we don’t do enough of it. It’s hard work, and it’s the price we pay for the open environment that we have collectively created.”

Internet Architecture

Cerf then shifted gears to talk about the properties of Internet design. “One of the most interesting things about the Internet architecture is the layering structure and the tremendous amount of attention being paid to interfaces between the layers,’’ he noted. There are two kinds: vertical interfaces and the end-to-end interactions that take place. Adoption of standardized protocols essentially creates a kind of interoperability among various components in the system, he said.

“One interesting factor in the early Internet design is that each of the networks that made up the Internet, the mobile packet radio net, the packet satellite net, and the ARPANET, were very different inside,” with different addressing structures, data rates and latencies. Cerf said when he and Bob Kahn were trying to figure out how to make this look uniform, they concluded that “we should not try to change the networks themselves to know anything about the Internet.”

Instead, Cerf said, they decided the hosts would create Internet packets to say where things were supposed to go. They had the hosts take the Internet packets (which Cerf likened to postcards) and put them inside an envelope, which the network would understand how to route. The postcard inside the envelope would be routed through the networks and would eventually reach a gateway or destination host; there, the envelope would be opened and the postcard would be sent up a layer of protocol to the recipient or put into a new envelope and sent on.

“This encapsulation and decapsulation isolated the networks from each other, but the standard, the IP layer in particular, created compatibility, and it made these networks effectively interoperable, even though you couldn’t directly connect them together,’’ Cerf explained. Every time an interface or a boundary was created, the byproduct was “an opportunity for standardization, for the possibility of creating compatibility and interoperability among the components.”

Now, routers can be disaggregated, such as in the example of creating a data plane and a control plane that are distinct and separate and then creating interfaces to those functions. Once we standardize those things, Cerf said, devices that exhibit the same interfaces can be used in a mix. He said we should “be looking now to other ways in which disaggregation and interface creation creates opportunities for us to build equipment” that can be deployed in a variety of ways.

Cerf said he likes the types of switches being built today – bare hardware with switching capabilities inside – that don’t do anything until they are told what to do, he said. “I have to admit to you that when I heard the term ‘software-defined network,’ my first reaction was ‘It’s a buzzword, it’s marketing,’ it’s always been about software.”

But, he continued, “I think that was an unfair and too shallow assessment.” His main interest in basic switching engines is that “they don’t do anything until we tell them what to do with the packets.”

Adopting Standards

Being able to describe the functionality of the switching system and how it should treat packets, if standardized, creates an opportunity to mix different switching systems in a common network, he said. As a result, “I think as you explore the possibilities of open networking and switching platforms, basic hardware switching platforms, you are creating some new opportunities for standardization.”

Some people feel that standards are stifling and rigid, Cerf noted. He said he could imagine situations where an over-dependence on standards creates an inability to move on, but standards also create commonality. “In some sense, by adopting standards, you avoid the need for hundreds, if not thousands of bilateral agreements of how you will make things work.”

In the early days, as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) was formed, Cerf said one of the philosophies they tried to adopt “was not to do the same thing” two or three different ways.

Deep Knowledge

Openness of design allows for deep knowledge of how things work, Cerf said, which creates a lot of educated engineers and will be very helpful going forward. The ability to describe the functionality of a switching device, for example, “removes ambiguity from the functionality of the system. If you can literally compile the same program to run on multiple platforms, then you will have unambiguously described the functionality of each of those devices.”

This creates a uniformity that is very helpful when you’re trying to build a large and growing and complex system, Cerf said.

“There’s lots of competition in this field right now, and I think that’s healthy, but I hope that those of you who are feeling these competitive juices also keep in mind that by finding standards that create this commonality, that you will actually enrich the environment in which you’re selling into. You’ll be able to make products and services that will scale better than they might otherwise.”

Hear more insights from Vint Cerf in the complete presentation below:

maintainer

At Embedded Linux Conference, Sony’s Tim Bird discussed some of the challenges faced by maintainers of open source projects.

What are some of the challenges open source project maintainers face? One common issue is “The Maintainer’s Paradox,” which refers to the fact that open source maintainers are presented with more ideas along with more challenges as their communities grow. This occurs even when they take very minor patches from contributors. This topic was recently tackled by Tim Bird, Senior Software Engineer at Sony, in a keynote address at the Embedded Linux Conference.

The Maintainer’s Paradox is referenced in Eric Raymond’s seminal work “The Cathedral and the Bazaar,” and Bird opened his keynote address by citing the reference. “Raymond said that with enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow,” Bird noted, adding that the reference applies to large open source communities.

Diversity of thought

“When I do training at Sony, I use a light bulb metaphor for this,” he said. “If you have five or 10 light bulbs that are similar to each other and you turn them on, there will be some good ideas represented by those light bulbs. But if you have a thousand light bulbs of different shapes and sizes, it’s more likely that there are going to be thousands of good ideas represented. So there are probabilities involved here. It’s the diversity of thought that is important. Diversity has a lot of upside.”

“Of course diversity has costs,” he added. “It takes time to assimilate different ideas and integrate them into the existing code path.”

Bird is the maintainer of the Fuego test system, which provides a framework for testing embedded Linux. During his keynote, he provided examples of challenges that maintainers face,  within the context of maintaining Fuego.

Tread carefully

“I learned things becoming a maintainer,” he said. “The Maintainer’s Paradox is that the maintainer is really excited about new contributions, but there is also fear and trepidation. Sometimes when I see a patch set on the mailing list I say, ‘Oh no, another patch set.’ I just might not have time to look at it. You want to review patches carefully and give appropriate feedback, but being a maintainer is sometimes overwhelming.”

Bird displayed a large photo of a puppy as he said: “Every time you get a patch that implies a new feature branch, that is something that has to be cared for indefinitely. As a maintainer, your incentive can be to not take too many of these things.”

Bird also noted some important social dynamics involved with how maintainers interact with community members. For example, differing personalities can create challenges. “People can get frustrated, and there can be miscommunications.” Additionally, although many maintainers want to reward contributions on a meritocracy basis, it can be difficult to achieve that goal.

What are Bird’s recommendations for optimizing tasks and communications? He supplied the following tips:

  • Call out negative communication
  • Route around offenders
  • Listen carefully, actively clarify and act on feedback
  • Assist by helping others
  • Become a maintainer

Finally, for more on active management of open source projects, including free tools, check this post.

Watch the entire presentation below:

Join us at Open Source Summit + Embedded Linux Conference Europe in Edinburgh, UK on October 22-24, 2018, for 100+ sessions on Linux, Cloud, Containers, AI, Community, and more.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – May 2, 2018 – KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe – The Cloud Native Computing Foundation® (CNCF®), which sustains and integrates open source technologies like Kubernetes® and Prometheus™, today announced public availability of the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) exam and corresponding Kubernetes for Developers course.

The CNCF is continuing to invest heavily in training and certification opportunities for individuals working with cloud native technologies. After a successful launch last year of the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam with more than 1,500 registrants to date, the CNCF is expanding certification offerings to include application developers. More than 700 developers have already signed up to beta testers the CKAD exam. The CKAD exam is now publically available for anyone to take and costs $300.

The CKAD exam certifies that users can design, build, configure, and expose cloud native applications on top of Kubernetes. A Certified Kubernetes Application Developer can define application resources and use core primitives to build, monitor, and troubleshoot scalable applications and tools in Kubernetes.

“As Kubernetes has grown, so has the demand for application developers who are knowledgeable about building on top of Kubernetes,” said Dan Kohn, Executive Director of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. ”The CKAD exam allows developers to certify their proficiency in designing and building cloud native applications for Kubernetes, while also allowing companies to confidently hire high-quality teams.”

With the majority of container-related job listings asking for proficiency in Kubernetes as an orchestration platform, the CKAD program will help expand the pool of Kubernetes experts in the market, thereby enabling continued growth across the broad set of organizations using the technology. According to Indeed.com, as of March 2018, there were approximately 6,325 job postings for software engineer jobs for every million jobs listed on Indeed.com. Over the last year, 2% of all job postings for software engineer jobs listed on the job search site listed Kubernetes as a skill within job descriptions for that role. The 2017 Linux Foundation and Dice Open Source Jobs Report found that cloud skills are the most in demand by hiring managers, with half of hiring managers stating they prefer to hire candidates with certifications. The exam is a key step in that process, allowing certified application developers to quickly establish their credibility and value in the job market, and also allowing companies to more quickly hire high-quality teams to support their growth.

CNCF, in partnership with The Linux Foundation, is also launching the Kubernetes for Developers (LFD259) online course on May 15. Registration is now open for the $299 course, which teaches how to containerize, host, deploy, and configure an application in a multi-node cluster. The course includes hands on labs, providing students with real world examples to aid in learning and understanding of concepts taught. The topics covered are directly aligned with the knowledge domains tested by the CKAD Program, and will substantially increase students’ ability to become certified.

For those interested in taking the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer Exam, you can learn more here.

Additional Resources

About Cloud Native Computing Foundation

Cloud native computing uses an open source software stack to deploy applications as microservices, packaging each part into its own container, and dynamically orchestrating those containers to optimize resource utilization. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) hosts critical components of cloud native software stacks, including Kubernetes and Prometheus. CNCF serves as the neutral home for collaboration and brings together the industry’s top developers, end users and vendors – including the world’s largest public cloud and enterprise software companies as well as dozens of innovative startups. CNCF is part of The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit organization. For more information about CNCF, please visit www.cncf.io.

The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see our trademark usage page: https://www.linuxfoundation.org/trademark-usage. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

Media Contact

Kristen Evans

The Linux Foundation

PR@CNCF.io

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – May 2, 2018 – KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe – The Cloud Native Computing Foundation® (CNCF®), which sustains and integrates open source technologies like Kubernetes® and Prometheus™, today  announced availability of the Kubernetes Training Partner (KTP) program.

Over the last three years, Kubernetes has been adopted by a vibrant, diverse community of providers. After the successful launch of the Kubernetes Certified Service Provider (KCSP) program with 41 certified vendors today, the CNCF decided to expand this program to include a special tier of vetted training providers who have deep experience in cloud native technology training.

Individuals or corporations who are looking for specialized training that maps directly to the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) and Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) exams will now be able to choose from a list of KTPs who have passed a rigorous qualification process. The requirements to become a KTP are as follows:

  • Ability to demonstrate your training capabilities by meeting strict benchmarks for experience and quality, including the ability to provide references from students who have completed your training courses and from major organizations that have used your training services.
  • Are an existing KCSP, including deep knowledge of Kubernetes and involvement in the community.
  • Reseller of the CKA and/or CKAD exam.
  • Be a CNCF member.
  • Have a landing page that includes information on your Kubernetes training offering.
  • If you are teaching instructor-led courses, your instructors teaching courses that map to the CKA or CKAD exam must pass the Authorized Instructor Process.

The KTP program launches with six partners who have met these qualifications:

  • Container Solutions
  • Daocloud
  • inwinSTACK
  • Linux Foundation Training
  • Loodse
  • RX-M

For those interested in becoming a KTP, you can apply here.

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation is continuing to invest in training and certification. In conjunction with the KTP program, the CNCF has announced a new certification: Certified Kubernetes Application Developers (CKAD). The Certified Kubernetes Application Developer exam certifies that users can design, build, configure, and expose cloud native applications for Kubernetes. You can learn more about that program here.

Additional Resources

About Cloud Native Computing Foundation

Cloud native computing uses an open source software stack to deploy applications as microservices, packaging each part into its own container, and dynamically orchestrating those containers to optimize resource utilization. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) hosts critical components of cloud native software stacks, including Kubernetes and Prometheus. CNCF serves as the neutral home for collaboration and brings together the industry’s top developers, end users and vendors – including the world’s largest public cloud and enterprise software companies as well as dozens of innovative startups. CNCF is part of The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit organization. For more information about CNCF, please visit www.cncf.io.

The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see our trademark usage page: https://www.linuxfoundation.org/trademark-usage. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

Media Contact

Kristen Evans

The Linux Foundation

PR@CNCF.io

Open networking summit

Submit your proposal to speak at Open Networking Summit Europe, happening September 25-27 in Amsterdam.

Open Networking Summit Europe (ONS EU) is the first combined Technical and Business Networking conference for Carriers, Cloud and Enterprises in Europe. The call for proposals for ONS EU 2018 is now open, and we invite you to share your expertise.

Based on feedback we received at Open Networking Summit North America 2018, our restructured agenda will include project-based technical sessions as well.

Share your knowledge with over 700 architects, developers, and thought leaders paving the future of network integration, acceleration and deployment. Proposals are due Sunday, June 24, 2018.

Suggested Topics:

Networking Futures: Share innovative ideas and submissions that will disrupt and change the landscape of networking, as well as networking enabled markets, in the next 3-5 years. Submissions can be for Enterprise IT, Service Providers or Cloud Markets.

Network General Sessions: Common business, architecture, process or people issues that are important to move the Networking agenda forward in the next 1-2 years.

(Technical) Service Provider & Cloud Networking: We want to hear what you have to say about the containerization of service provider workloads, multi-cloud, 5G, fog, and edge access cloud networking.

(Business & Architecture) Service Provider & Cloud Networking: We’re seeking proposals on software-defined packet-optical, mobile edge computing, 4G video/CDN, 5G networking, and incorporating legacy systems (legacy enterprise workload migration, role of networking in cloud migration, and interworking of carrier OSS/BSS/FCAPS systems).

Submit a Talk >>

Get Inspired!

Watch presentations from Open Networking Summit North America 2018

Linux kernel

Get insights from Jon Corbet on the state of Linux kernel development.

At the recent Embedded Linux Conference + OpenIoT Summit, I sat down with Jonathan Corbet, the founder and editor-in-chief of LWN to discuss a wide range of topics, including the annual Linux kernel report.

The annual Linux Kernel Development Report, released by The Linux Foundation is the evolution of work Corbet and Greg Kroah-Hartman had been doing independently for years. The goal of the report is to document various facets of kernel development, such as who is doing the work, what is the pace of the work, and which companies are supporting the work.

Linux kernel contributors

To learn more about the companies supporting Linux kernel development in particular, Corbet wrote a set of scripts with the release of kernel 2.6.20, to pull the information out of the kernel repository. That information helped Corbet associate contributions with employers, whenever possible.

When Corbet published a report based on these findings in LWN, it created a bit of a stir. “It was a surprise to everyone, including me, because there was still this image of free software in general and Linux in particular as being something produced by kids who haven’t moved out of their parents basements,” said Corbet.

He found that more than 70 percent of the code going into the kernel was coming from professional developers who were getting paid to do that work. “Since then things have changed and our numbers have gotten better. Today, over 90 percent of the code is coming from professional developers who are employed by some company to work on the kernel,” he said.

Corbet has been involved with the Linux kernel from a very early stage, so connecting the dots was not too difficult, even though not all developers use official company email accounts,

“In most cases, we know who is working for which company. Sometimes people contact us and say that their employer wants to ensure that they do get credit for the work they are doing in the kernel. Sometimes we just ask who they are working for,” said Corbet.

Corbet not only gathers valuable data about the Linux kernel, he also analyzes the data to see some patterns and trends. The biggest trend, over the years, has been a decline in the number of contributions coming from volunteers, which has decreased from 15 percent to 6 percent since the 2.6.20 release.

“There are times when we have worried about it because volunteers are often the people who are in the next round of paid developers. That’s often how you get into the community — by doing a little bit of stuff on your own time,” he said. Corbet did a bit of digging to see the employment status of people when their very first patch merged and their latest status. He found that at this point most of those people were already working for some company.

While it’s true there are fewer volunteer developers now, it could also be said that people don’t remain volunteers for very long because when their code gets merged into the kernel, companies tend to approach these developers and offer jobs. So, if your code shows up in the kernel, that’s a good resume to have.

What keeps Corbet awake at night

There has been a growing concern of late that the Linux kernel community is getting older. Looking at the top maintainers, for example, you can see a lot of people who have been involved since the 1990s.

“The upper cadre is definitely getting a little bit older, a little bit grayer. There is some truth to that and I think the concerns of that are not entirely overblown,” said Corbet. “A whole bunch of us managed to stumble into something good back in the ’90s, and we have stuck with it ever since because it’s been a great ride.”

That doesn’t mean new people are not coming in. A new kernel is released every 9 to 10 weeks. And, every new release sees contributions from more than 200 developers submitting their very first patch.

“We are bringing a lot of new people into the community,” Corbet said. “Maybe half of those 200 contributors will never contribute anything again. They had one thing they wanted to fix and then they moved on. But there are a lot many others who stick around and become long-term members of the community. Some of these worked their way into the subsystem maintainer positions. They will be replacing the older members as they retire.”

Corbet is not at all worried about the aging community as it has evolved into an “organic” body with continuous flow of fresh blood. It’s true that becoming a kernel developer is more demanding; you do have to work your way into it a little bit, but plenty of people are doing it.

“I’m not really worried about the future of our community because we are doing so well at attracting bright new developers,” said Corbet, “We have an influx rate that any other project would just love to have.”

However, he did admit that the community is showing increasing signs of stress at the maintainer level. “The number of maintainers is not scaling with a number of developers,” he said. However, he said, this problem is not unique to the kernel community; the whole free software community is facing this challenge.

Another concern for Corbet is the emergence of other kernels, such as Google’s Fuchsia. These kernels are being developed specifically to be permissively licensed, which allows them to  be controlled by one or a very small number of companies. “Some of those kernels could push Linux aside in various subfields,” said Corbet. “I think some of the corporate community members have lost sight of what made Linux great and so successful. It could be useful for some companies in the short term, but I don’t think it’s going to be a good thing for anyone in the long term.”

Core needs

Corbet also noted another worrisome trend. Although many companies contribute to every kernel release, if you look closely you will see that a lot of these contributions are toward making their own hardware work great with Linux.

“It’s a great thing. We have been asking them to do it for years, but there is a whole lot of the kernel that everyone needs,” he said. There is the memory management subsystem. There’s the virtual filesystem layer. There are components of the kernel that are not tied to any single company’s hardware, and it’s harder to find companies willing to support them.

“Some of the companies that contribute to the most code to the kernel do not contribute to the core kernel at all,” said Corbet.

Corbet also worries about the lack of quality documentation and has himself initiated some efforts to improve the situation. “Nobody wants to pay for documentation,” he said. “There is nobody whose job it is to write documentation for the kernel, and it really shows in the quality. So, some of those areas I think are really going to hurt us going forward. We need to get better investment there.”

You can hear more from Jon Corbet, including insights on the recent Spectre and Meltdown issues, in his presentation from Embedded Linux Conference:

You can learn more about the Linux kernel development process in the complete annual report. Download the 2017 Linux Kernel Development Report now.

OS Summit

See schedule highlights for Automotive Linux Summit and Open Source Summit Japan in Tokyo, June 20-22.

Attend Automotive Linux Summit and Open Source Summit Japan in Tokyo, June 20 – 22, for three days of open source education and collaboration.

Automotive Linux Summit connects those driving innovation in automotive Linux from the developer community, with the vendors and users providing and using the code, in order to propel the future of embedded devices in the automotive arena.

Open Source Summit Japan is the leading conference in Japan connecting the open source ecosystem under one roof, providing a forum for technologists and open source industry leaders to collaborate and share information, learn about the latest in open source technologies and find out how to gain a competitive advantage by using innovative, open solutions. The event covers cornerstone open source technology areas such as Linux, cloud infrastructure, and cloud native applications and explores the newest trends including networking, blockchain, serverless, edge computing and AI. It also offers an open source leadership track covering compliance, governance and community.

Session highlights for Automotive Linux Summit:

  • Enabling Hardware Configuration Flexibility Keeping a Unified Software – Dominig ar Foll, Intel
  • Beyond the AGL Virtualization Architecture – AGL Virtualization Expert Group (EG-VIRT) – Michele Paolino, Virtual Open Systems
  • High-level API for Smartphone Connectivity on AGL – Takeshi Kanemoto, RealVNC Ltd.
  • AGL Development Tools – What’s New in FF? – Stephane Desneux, IoT.bzh

Session highlights for Open Source Summit Japan:

  • Building the Next Generation of IoT Applications – Dave Chen, GE Digital
  • Use Cases for Permissioned Blockchain Platforms – Swetha Repakula & Jay Guo, IBM
  • Using Linux for Long Term – Community Status and the Way We Go  – Tsugikazu Shibata, NEC
  • Hitchhiker’s Guide to Machine Learning with Kubernetes – Vishnu Kannan, Google
  • OSS Vulnerability Trends and PoC 2017-2018  – Kazuki Omo, SIOS Technology, Inc.
  • Microservices, Service Mesh, and CI/CD Pipelines – Making It All Work Together  – Brian Redmond, Microsoft

View the Full Schedule >>

Register now and save $175 through April 28!

Register Now>>

Note: One registration gets you access to both Automotive Linux Summit and Open Source Summit Japan.

Linux Foundation members and LF project members receive an additional 20% discount off current registration pricing, and academic, student, non-profit, and community discounts are available as well. Email events@linuxfoundation.org to receive your discount code.

Applications for diversity and needs-based scholarships are also being accepted. Get information on eligibility and how to apply.

OS Summit Japan

The first round of keynotes have been announced for Automotive Linux Summit and Open Source Summit, happening in Tokyo June 20-22.

The first round of keynotes for Automotive Linux Summit & Open Source Summit Japan have been announced. Join us June 20 – 22, 2018 in Tokyo to hear from:

  • Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director, Hyperledger
  • Dan Cauchy, Executive Director, Automotive Grade Linux
  • Seiji Goto, Manager of IVI Advanced Development, Mazda Motor Corporation
  • Mitchell Hashimoto, Founder & CTO, HashiCorp
  • Kelsey Hightower, Developer Advocate, Google
  • Greg Kroah-Hartman, Linux Kernel Maintainer
  • Ken-ichi Murata, Group Manager/Project General Manager, Connected Strategy & Planning Group, Connected Company, and Masato Endo, Program Manager, Connected Vehicle Group, Intellectual Property Division, Toyota Motor Corporation
  • Michelle Noorali, Senior Software Engineer, Microsoft
  • Linus Torvalds, Creator of Linux & Git, in conversation with Dirk Hohndel, VP & Chief Open Source Officer, VMware
  • Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, The Linux Foundation

Automotive Linux Summit connects those driving innovation in automotive Linux from the developer community with the vendors and users providing and using the code, in order to propel the future of embedded devices in the automotive arena.

Open Source Summit Japan is the leading conference in Japan connecting the open source ecosystem under one roof, providing a forum for technologists and open source industry leaders to collaborate and share information, learn about the latest in open source technologies and find out how to gain a competitive advantage by using innovative, open solutions. The event covers cornerstone open source technology areas such as Linux, cloud infrastructure, and cloud native applications and explores the newest trends including networking, blockchain, serverless, edge computing and AI. It also offers an open source leadership track covering compliance, governance and community.

The full Automotive Linux Summit and Open Source Summit Japan schedules will be published next week. Register now to save $175 through April 28.

REGISTER NOW >>

Note: One registration gets you access to both Automotive Linux Summit and Open Source Summit Japan.

Calm technology

By 2020, 50 billion devices will be online. That projection was made by researchers at Cisco, and it was a key point in Amber Case’s Embedded Linux Conference keynote address, titled “Calm Technology: Design for the Next 50 Years” which is now available for replay.

Case, Author and Fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center, referred to the “Dystopian Kitchen of the Future” as she discussed so-called smart devices that are invading our homes and lives, when the way they are implemented is not always so smart. “Half of it is hackable,” she said. “I can imagine your teapot getting hacked and someone gets away with your password. All of this just increases the surface area for attack. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have to be a system administrator just to live in my own home.”

Support and Recede

Case also discussed the era of “interruptive technology.” “It’s not just that we are getting text messages and robotic notifications all the time, but we are dealing with bad battery life, disconnected networks and servers that go down,” she said. “How do we design technology for sub-optimal situations instead of the perfect situations that we design for in the lab?”

“What we need is calm technology,” she noted, “where the tech recedes into the background and supports us, amplifying our humanness. The only time a technology understands you the first time is in Star Trek or in films, where they can do 40 takes. Films have helped give us unrealistic expectations about how our technology understands us. We don’t even understand ourselves, not to mention the person standing next to us. How can technology understand us better than that?”

Case noted that the age of calm technology was referenced long ago at Xerox PARC, by early ubiquitous computing researchers, who paved the way for the Internet of Things (IoT). “What matters is not technology itself, but its relationship to us,” they wrote.

7 Axioms

She cited this quote from Xerox researcher Mark Weiser: “A good tool is an invisible tool. By invisible, we mean that the tool does not intrude on your consciousness; you focus on the task, not the tool.”

Case supplied some ordered axioms for developing calm technology:

  1.    Technology shouldn’t require all of our attention, just some of it, and only when necessary.
  2.    Technology should empower the periphery.
  3.    Technology should inform and calm.
  4.    Technology should amplify the best of technology and the best of humanity.
  5.    Technology can communicate, but it doesn’t need to speak.
  6.    Technology should consider social norms.
  7.    The right amount of technology is the minimum amount to solve the problem.

In summing up, Case said that calm technology allows people to “accomplish the same goal with the least amount of mental cost.” In addition to her presentation at the Embedded Linux Conference, Case also maintains a website on calm technology, which offers related papers, exercises and more.

Watch the complete presentation below:

Open Source Summit

Only two weeks left to submit your talk for Open Source Summit North America.

Submit a proposal to speak at Open Source Summit North America taking place August 29-31, in Vancouver, B.C., and share your knowledge and expertise with 2,000+ open source technologists and community members. Proposals are being accepted through 11:59pm PDT, Sunday, April 29.

This year’s tracks/content will cover the following areas:

  • Cloud Native Apps/Serverless/Microservices
  • Infrastructure & Automation (Cloud/Cloud Native/DevOps)
  • Linux Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence & Data Analytics
  • Emerging Technologies & Wildcard (Networking, Edge, IoT, Hardware, Blockchain)
  • Community, Compliance, Governance, Culture, Open Source Program Management (Open Collaboration Conference track)
  • Diversity & Inclusion (Diversity Empowerment Summit)
  • Innovation at Apache/in Apache Projects (Apache Software Foundation track)
  • Cloud & Container Apprentice Linux Engineer Tutorials Track (geared towards attendees new to using Linux and open source based cloud & container technologies)

View the full list of suggested topics, learn more about the 2018 Program Chairs, Track Chairs, and Program Committee, and submit now >>

SUBMIT YOUR TALK

Not submitting, but planning to attend? Register now and save $300 with early bird pricing.

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