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keynotes

Check out the first round of keynotes for Open Source Summit and ELC + OpenIoT Summit Europe, coming up October 22-24 in Edinburgh.

Announcing the first round of keynote speakers for Open Source Summit and Embedded Linux Conference + OpenIoT Summit Europe!

Keynotes include:

  • Patrick Ball, Director of Research, Human Rights Data Analysis Group
  • Eric Berlow, Co-Founder, Chief Science Officer, Vibrant Data Inc.
  • Linus Torvalds, Creator of Linux & Git, in conversation with Dirk Hohndel, Vice President & Chief Open Source Officer, VMware
  • Ed Cable, President & Chief Executive Officer, Mifos Initiative
  • Jonathan Corbet, Author, Kernel Developer and Executive Editor, LWN.net
  • Johanna Koester, Program Director of Developer Technology and Advocacy, IBM
  • Dr. Alexander Nitz, Gravitational-wave Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics
  • Brenda Romero, Award-Winning Game Designer, Fulbright Scholar & Entrepreneur
  • Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, The Linux Foundation

The conference schedule will be released on August 14, with additional keynote announcements to follow.

Open Source Summit is THE leading conference for developers, architects and other technologists – as well as open source community and industry leaders – to collaborate and learn about the latest technologies and gain a competitive advantage by using innovative open solutions. Join us for 200+ sessions and co-located events including Linux Security Summit, Zephyr Hackathon – “Get Connected,” LF Energy Summit, and Tracing Summit.

Embedded Linux Conference (ELC) is the premier technical conference for companies and developers using Linux in embedded products. The conference gathers user-space developers, product vendors, kernel, and systems developers to collaborate.

OpenIoT Summit is the technical conference for the developers and architects working on industrial IoT. It provides the technical knowledge needed to deliver smart connected products and solutions that take advantage of the rapid evolution of IoT technologies. It is the only IoT event focused on the development of open IoT solutions.

Sign up to receive updates on Open Source Summit Europe + OpenIoT Summit: 

Registration includes access to all three events!

Secure your spot and register now to save $300! The early bird registration deadline ends August 18.

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Need help convincing your manager? Here’s a letter that can help you make the request to attend Open Source Summit & ELC + OpenIoT Summit Europe.

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

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 keynotes

Watch keynotes and technical sessions from OS Summit and ELC Europe here.If you weren’t able to attend Open Source Summit and Embedded Linux Conference (ELC) Europe last week, don’t worry! We’ve recorded keynote presentations from both events and all the technical sessions from ELC Europe to share with you here.

Check out the on-stage conversation with Linus Torvalds and VMware’s Dirk Hohndel, opening remarks from The Linux Foundation’s Executive Director Jim Zemlin, and a special presentation from 11-year-old CyberShaolin founder Reuben Paul. You can watch these and other ELC and OS Summit keynotes below for insight into open source collaboration, community and technical expertise on containers, cloud computing, embedded Linux, Linux kernel, networking, and much more.

And, you can watch all 55+ technical sessions from Embedded Linux Conference here.

Linux creator Linus Torvalds will speak at Embedded Linux Conference and OpenIoT Summit again this year, along with renowned robotics expert Guy Hoffman and Intel VP Imad Sousou, The Linux Foundation announced today. These headliners will join session speakers from embedded and IoT industry leaders, including AppDynamics, Free Electrons, IBM, Intel, Micosa, Midokura, The PTR Group, and many others. View the full schedule now.

The co-located conferences, to be held Feb. 21-23 in Portland, Oregon, bring together embedded and application developers, product vendors, kernel and systems developers as well systems architects and firmware developers to learn, share, and advance the technical work required for embedded Linux and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Now in its 12th year, Embedded Linux Conference is the premier vendor-neutral technical conference for companies and developers using Linux in embedded products. While OpenIoT Summit is the first and only IoT event focused on the development of IoT solutions.

Keynote speakers at ELC and OpenIOT 2017 include Guy Hoffman, Cornell professor of mechanical engineering and IDC Media Innovation Lab co-director; Imad Sousou, vice president of the software and services group at Intel Corporation; and Linus Torvalds. Additional keynote speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Last year was the first time in the history of ELC that Torvalds, a Linux Foundation fellow, spoke at the event. He was joined on stage by Dirk Hohndel, chief open source officer at VMware, who will conduct a similar on-stage interview again this year. The conversation ranged from IoT, to smart devices, security concerns, and more. You can see a video and summary of the conversation here.

Embedded Linux Conference session highlights include:

  • Making an Amazon Echo Compatible Linux System, Mike Anderson, The PTR Group

  • Transforming New Product Development with Open Hardware, Stephano Cetola, Intel

  • Linux You Can Drive My Car, Walt Miner, The Linux Foundation

  • Embedded Linux Size Reduction Techniques, Michael Opdenacker, Free Electrons

OpenIoT Summit session highlights include:

  • Voice-controlled home automation from scratch using IBM Watson, Docker, IFTTT, and serverless, Kalonji Bankole, IBM

  • Are Device Response Times a Neglected Risk of IoT?, Balwinder Kaur, AppDynamics

  • Enabling the management of constrained devices using the OIC framework, James Pace, Micosa

  • Journey to an Intelligent Industrial IOT Network, Susan Wu, Midokura

Check out the full schedule and register today to save $300. The early bird deadline ends on January 15. One registration provides access to all 130+ sessions and activities at both events. Linux.com readers can register now with the discount code, LINUXRD5, for 5% off the registration price. Register Now!

In 2017, The Linux Foundation’s Embedded Linux Conference marks its 12th year as the premier vendor-neutral technical conference for companies and developers using Linux in embedded products.

Now co-located with OpenIoT Summit, ELC promises to be the best place for embedded and application developers, product vendors, kernel and systems developers as well systems architects and firmware developers to learn, share and advance the technical work required for embedded Linux and IoT.

In anticipation of this year’s North America event, to be held Feb. 21-23 in Portland, Oregon, we rounded up the top videos from the 2017 ELC and OpenIoT Summit. Register now with the discount code, LINUXRD5, for 5% off the registration price. Save over $150 by registering before January 15, 2017.

1. Home Assistant: The Python Approach to Home Automation

Several home automation platforms support Python as an extension, but if you’re a real Python fiend, you’ll probably want Home Assistant, which places the programming language front and center. Paulus Schoutsen created Home Assistant in 2013 “as a simple script to turn on the lights when the sun was setting,” as he told attendees of his recent Embedded Linux Conference and OpenIoT Summit presentation, “Automating your Home with Home Assistant: Python’s Answer to the Internet of Things.”

Schoutsen, who works as a senior software engineer for AppFolio in San Diego, has attracted 20 active contributors to the project. Home Assistant is now fairly mature, with updates every two weeks and support for more than 240 different smart devices and services. The open source (MIT license) software runs on anything that can run Python 3 — from desktop PCs to a Raspberry Pi, and counts thousands of users around the world.

2. Linus Torvalds Talks IoT, Smart Devices, Security Concerns, and More

Linus Torvalds, the creator and lead overseer of the Linux kernel, and “the reason we are all here,” in the words of his interviewer, Intel Chief Linux and Open Source Technologist Dirk Hohndel, was upbeat about the state of Linux in embedded and Internet of Things applications. Torvalds’ very presence signaled that embedded Linux, which has often been overshadowed by Linux desktop, server, and cloud technologies, has come of age.

“Maybe you won’t see Linux at the IoT leaf nodes, but anytime you have a hub, you will need it,” Torvalds told Hohndel. “You need smart devices especially if you have 23 [IoT standards]. If you have all these stupid devices that don’t necessarily run Linux, and they all talk with slightly different standards, you will need a lot of smart devices. We will never have one completely open standard, one ring to rule them all, but you will have three of four major protocols, and then all these smart hubs that translate.”

3. Taming the Chaos of Modern Caches

It turns out that software — and computer education curricula — have not always kept up with new developments in hardware, ARM Ltd. kernel developer Mark Rutland said in his presentation “Stale Data, or How We (Mis-)manage Modern Caches.”

“Cache behavior is surprisingly complex, and caches behave in subtly different ways across SoCs,” Rutland told the ELC audience. “It’s very easy to misunderstand the rules of how caches work and be lulled into a false sense of security.”

4. IoTivity 2.0: What’s in Store?

Speaking shortly after the release of Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF)’s IoTivity 1.1, Vijay Kesavan, a Senior Member of Technical Staff in the Communication and Devices Group at Intel Corp, told the ELC audience about plans to support new platforms and IoT ecosystems in v2.0. He also explained how the OCF is exploring usage profiles beyond home automation in domains like automotive and industrial.

5. A Linux Kernel Wizard’s Adventures in Embedded Hardware

Sometimes the best tutorials come not from experts, but from proficient newcomers who are up to date on the latest entry-level technologies and can remember what it’s like to be a newbie. It also helps if, like Grant Likely, the teacher is a major figure in embedded Linux who understands how hardware is ignited by software.

At the Embedded Linux Conference, Likely — who is a Linux kernel engineer and maintainer of the Linux Device Tree subsystem used by many embedded systems — described his embedded hardware journey in a presentation called “Hardware Design for Linux Engineers” — or as he put it, “explaining stuff I only learned six months ago.”

Linux.com readers can register now with the discount code, LINUXRD5, for 5% off the registration price. Save over $150 by registering before January 15, 2017.

Read More:

10 Great Moments from Linux Foundation 2016 Events

Top 7 Videos from ApacheCon and Apache Big Data 2016