"But beyond just the look of conference was the tenor. It's
changed quite a bit. Almost everyone I talked to recognized it in
some fashion or another. Linux, it seems, has grown up. Marty
Larsen of VA Linux actually made the best articulation of this
phenomenon when he observed to me that Linux has matured, not as a
technology, but as a community. We are all nine years older than we
were when Linux first made the scene, and while the open source and
free software movements are still going strong, the need to make
some money has become a much more dominant notion for Linux."
"The attendees of the conference were uniformly more corporate
than last year, with far less script kiddies running around. This
may have something to do that most of the kids between 18-21 were
all magnetized to the pseudo-daycare booths where Tekken was being
played. The older folks with the money were all off on their own
"I spoke with a lot of the attendees last year and this, and
here is what struck me as the biggest change. Last year, when you
talked to the people 'outside' Linux, they were attending the
conference to see what this strange thing called Linux was about.
This year, they mostly knew what it was about, and wanted to talk
to people about getting their ideas implemented with Linux
"The success of Linux seems to have propelled it into the arena
of corporate legitimacy, as more and more enterprise-level deals
and contracts were announced. This is in addition to the academic
and development legitimacy Linux has always had, but the new factor
here is that corporate legitimacy, like it or not, is going to get
the bills paid a lot faster."
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