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Editor's Note: LinuxWorld, The Summer of Suits

Jul 28, 2004, 22:45 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)

By Brian Proffitt
Managing Editor

Yes, welcome to a special Wednesday edition of the Editor's Note, as I pack my bags and hit the road for travel, adventure, and a little gig we like to call LinuxWorld Conference and Expo.

Actually, before the conference I am taking a little vacation time to spend with the family, followed by the semi-annual pilgrimage to San Francisco. I have to tell you, I am a bit more excited about the vacation than the trip to LWE, even though the former will be to Ohio and the latter will be to, well, one of the coolest places on the planet.

No, I cannot seem to get too worked up about this summer's LinuxWorld, though it is difficult to say why. It could be the fact that most of the time I will be working on interviewing lots of suit types while still maintaining the site from an expo floor that I hope this year will be under a wireless cloud. Last year it wasn't, and trudging back and forth to a network port in the press room got downright silly.

It could also be the fact that the sense of fun for this conference is getting more depleted every year. The .org Pavillion is usually a blast, and The Linux Show booth will be fun (mostly because I love to heckle people in the audience from the table), but after that, what is there?

Sure, there's the Golden Penguin Bowl, but somehow watching that always makes me feel kind of, well, stupid. The massagers out on the Expo floor are a nice touch, but after a few back surgeries, they aren't coming near me. Penelope is always good for a laugh, but after she sharply rebuffed me in 2000--well, that's neither here nor there, is it?

I should be excited about this event, though, because, after the (temporary?) closing of Comdex, the LinuxWorld Expos are probably one of the most attention-getting IT conferences out there. What else is there? TechEd? OracleWorld? Pfft! Amateurs. Of course, there's the mega SCOForum event going on at the same time at next week's LWE, and that will surely... no, it's just too lame this year even for a half-hearted attempt at a joke.

My categorization of LWE as a major event can certainly hold water, and it may answer another question that's popped up of late: why there are so many anti-Linux, FUD-ish articles out there right now. While I don't think there's any grand conspiracy, I do think that the more pro-Microsoft writers and analysts out there would like to dull the glimmer coming out of San Francisco.

I also think that the whole bunch of them are still smarting from the literary pasting that everyone gave them about Internet Explorer last month. Thus, the reactionary "Linux sucks on the desktop" articles.

Regardless, I have begun to wonder if LinuxWorld, as a community event, has just been marginalized to death. It is now the home of the vendors and the customers,and much of the flavor of the Linux community has been dulled. I found myself wishing that I'd gone to OSCON this week instead.

This is just my opinion. But, while I am on vacation, feel free to share what you think is wrong or right about LinuxWorld these days. Oh, since my boss will be running the site for the rest of the week, the random "I think Brian is doing a great job" talkback here and there won't hurt either.

See you on the show floor, or on the Web.