Since Monday, I have been attending Desktop Developer Conference and Ottawa Linux Symposium, in Ottawa as you have guessed.

  • Met Aaron J Seigo from KDE fame. Lot of fun, very cool guy. And he has great karaoke skills[1]. Too bad I had to drive[2]; that's the drawback to be local and not being within walking distance to the partying locations. His proposal to recycle the kernel developers really make sense. And he shortly demoed a few UI concepts about plasma.
  • Dave Airlie talk "Open Source Graphic Drivers - They Don't Kill Kittens" was very funny and interesting: it is like a state of the union for the graphics drivers development. I learned that latest ATI 2D support for the R5xx is 600LOC[3] and after a few month, ATI still haven't acknowledged the code they received from him for review, to be released as Open Source. It appears that the only chipset with good 3D open source support is still the Intel one. Too bad AMD, it does not work with your CPUs. Looks like AMD user will have to either go with onboard VIA or an old Radeon R3xx supported by the almost complete Free driver. Unless you want to relinquish your freedom. Nvidia, ATI and Matrox are definitely not to be consider. VIA as its own set of problem but there are decent Open Source drivers beside being of inequal quality.
  • Intel is committed to official provide day 0 Open Source Linux support by providing Open Source drivers AND documentation for their chipsets, wifi and graphics. It is something that is now part of the engineering process: that sounds like very good news. Now, one can wonder why there are rumors about AMD merging with ATI. AMD is in a situation where they don't have a real Open Source solution due to lack of graphics chipset (beside the Geode-chipset that is 2D only).
  • AIGLX seems to have a better future than Xgl, just because of the design. Du to missing features in the drivers AIGLX works only with the open source 3D drivers that have been fixed to provide the needed feature, which makes the choice very thin at the moment. Again, get an Intel. Nvidia said they would do it, and ATI didn't say anything.
  • I won a BlackDog in the IBM give away. Another nice tool for playing. I also collected several T-Shirts, enough for almost a week. I'll post more about the BlackDog and I should really experiment more with embedded devices.
  • Statistically, Gnome seems to be the most common desktop on the attendees' laptop. It is a purely empirical count, and there are still a lot of people running more simple environment like Blackbox, WindowMaker, etc. Ubuntu and Fedora seems to be the most common distro, but it is hard to say really as the branding is not always obvious.
  • Lot of people from RedHat, SuSE and Novell, Intel, AMD, IBM, HP, Google.

Tomorrow there will be a huge drinking BOF at the Black Thorne.


[1] I'l post compromising pictures soon

[2] don't drink and drive

[3] lines of code