[continued from previous blog entry]
The midday keynote was presented by Martin Fink, Vice President of Linux at HP. He started by showing a professional video that compared the growth of the aerospace industry to the growth of Open Source. The analogies were kinda’ interesting but the whole thing felt extremely strained. It was almost like some marketing types said, "Wouldn’t it be cool if we could compare writing source code to flying?" I don’t think the analogy ever got off the ground (sorry, couldn’t resist). <smile/>
Anyway, Mr. Fink has spent the last 20 minutes talking about all the companies that use Linux. It seems to me that a lot of the major commercial companies (Oracle, now HP) are still trying to convince everyone that Linux is a real operating system that can solve real problems. Again, it seemed very strange to be telling people at Linuxworld, "Hey, did you know you can use Linux to run our software?" or "Hey, did you know you can buy our hardware and get Linux on it?"
Mr. Fink had another video about the Ellis Island Foundation. In the video employees of Ellis Island foundation noted that they had great success translating their systems from Unix-variant (I think AIX on AS400) to Linux on HP. There were lots of general statements about how memory utilization and speed on some set of there servers was really good (I’m not paraphrasing with different words, "good" "memory utilization" and "speed" were all major points). Sitting here I’m now beginning to believe that all keynotes presented by high level personalities of any company are essentially pointless. I want more people to do keynotes like r0ml. He presented a keynote that made you think and, more importantly, had a point. Once again OSCON was fundamentally cooler than Linuxworld.
That said Mr. Fink did introduce Reatrix. Reatrix did a really cool demo of their software on stage. What I found particularly interesting is that the presenter from Reatrix (I missed his name) noted that the original system was developed on Windows. Then, for reasons that weren’t particularly clear in his presentation they switched to Linux. I would have been interested to hear more about the reason they switched. Alas we’re back to Mr. Fink talking.
Actually, this part of the presentation is more interesting because Mr. Fink as has started talking about licenses. First, he praised the OSI for taking steps to reduce the proliferation of OSS licenses and planning to categorize the current 54 licenses. Then Mr. Fink noted that Intel has re-licensed all of their OSS code under GPL and removing their "vanity license". That was interesting. Then he put out a "challenge" that he recast as a "trade" instead. First, he proposed that IBM should deprecate the IPL and re-license all of their IPL code (what about CPL and EPL code?) under the GPL. In exchange for that, Mr. Fink offered HP laptops loaded with Linux on them for the top IBM executives. There were some chuckles in the crowd. Second, Mr. Fink asked Sun to remove their license (CDDL, I think) and re-license Java under GPL. That request got some cheers. Then he offered HP laptops to the top executives at Sun, but these would be loaded with Windows. That got quite a few laughs. Again, everyone seems to need to take a shot at Microsoft.
The last part of his presentation was about NonStop (which appears to backed by ASP.NET, heh). I knew some guys that worked at Tandem so I had a basic understanding of NonStop but Mr. Fink did a nice walk through with pretty graphics backing him up. What was more interesting was how Mr. Fink talked about fixing the Open Source applications (Linux, Apache, Perl, Python, JBoss, others) that didn’t run properly under NonStop and then giving the code back to the community. This, IMHO, is an extremely powerful facet of Open Source. HP fixes the code because the more applications that support NonStop then the more likely customers will be interested in buying it. That makes simple business sense to me.
Finally, Mr. Fink mentioned near the end of his keynote that Linuxworld was for IT people. Really? Hmm, I guessed I missed that disclaimer. Maybe OSCON really is the developers hang out and Linuxworld is the IT people’s place to hang out. That would explain what I’ve seen so far.