The technology sector and the economy as a whole may be suffering through a slowdown, but here at the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo there seems to remain an aura of untapped potential among vendors as they show off their Linux-based wares.
Even the opening keynote speech, given today by Shane Robison, the chief technology officer at Compaq Computer Corp., mentioned that despite all the recent bad economic news, open-source and Linux technologies have "been a bright spot in a somewhat turbulent time" by showing continued growth and new users.
IBM Corp. wasted no time making several key Linux product announcements, including the availability next month of their WebSphere Commerce e-business suite for mainframes running Linux. The suite, which includes Java programming models, will be available Sept. 3 for US$45,000 per processor and runs on SuSe Linux on IBM's eServer zSeries servers.
Highlights at the show, which runs through Thursday in the Moscone Convention Center, include a panel discussion slated for tomorrow that will include Linus Torvalds, who created the Linux open-source operating system in 1991.
Torvalds will be joined in the discussion of "The State of Open Source" by open-source gurus Jeremy Allison of Samba, Brian Behlendorf of Apache, Chip Salzenberg of Perl and Dirk Hohndel of XFree86. They will talk about the benefits and disadvantages of open-source technologies.
Hosting the session will be Larry Augustin, CEO of VA Linux Systems Inc. Interestingly, Augustin's company announced last week that it is refocusing its product line by offering proprietary collaborative software to stay afloat financially. In June, Fremont, Calif.-based VA Linux dropped its Linux hardware lines.
Also on Wednesday, the topic of Linux in the enterprise will be featured in a presentation called "Best Practices with Linux for an E-business Infrastructure," which will include a discussion on how independent software vendor support will continue to be important in bringing Linux into corporate computing environments. That discussion will be moderated by Ross Mauri, a vice president of eServer development at IBM and president of the Open Source Development Lab.
On Thursday, Matthew Szulik, the CEO and president of Linux vendor Red Hat Inc. will talk about "Linux and Beyond," focusing on what could be the next wave of open-source technology.