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LinuxProgramming.com: Editor's Comment: 72 Hours at LWE: Divining the Kaleidoscope

Feb 03, 2001, 13:13 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Lou Grinzo)

"First, a trade show like LWE is about as close the classic 1930's science fiction vision of the future as anything we humans have created. Everything is larger and brighter than it has to be, and it all has an undeniable sameness and an unmistakable, almost creepy Star-Trek-esque "this close to perfect" quality--the décor, the people, the food in the press lounge, the hotel room, everything. The people not only dress according to their part in our little play (corporate types in the logoed polo shirts and khakis, hackers and most of the attendees in T-shirts and jeans), but they largely stick to the same unwritten set of speaking points. I heard so many companies say nearly identical things over the last three days that I almost wondered a few times if I had accidentally scheduled two appointments with the same person without either of us realizing it."

"And then there were the rumors. If every one I heard was true, there would be almost no companies left for next August's LWE, as they all would have folded, left the Linux business, or bought each other out. There are always rumors at shows, of course, but this LWE was a new high in rumor-to-exhibitor ratio, at least in my experience."

..."Which leads me to a confession of sorts: I've long been one of those people who thought the "traditional Linux community" and the "corporate set" would never really get along. I knew there would be exceptions here and there, those little pockets of civility and enlightened self interest that seemingly proved they could get along, but I've always had a nagging suspicion that about the best we could hope for was that each camp would do their own thing without trying to inflict bodily harm on anyone from the other side. I'm delighted to say that I now have a much cheerier view of the situation, and I think we should all be optimistic about what the future has in store now that we've turned a very difficult perceptual corner."

..."In fact, I honestly believe that a decade from now the conventional wisdom will say that it was around mid- to late-'00 and the time of the infamous "dot com crash" that the entire computer industry changed forever, since that was when the open source community and the corporate world not only figured out they could work together and better accomplish their respective goals, but equally important, they decided they wanted to do so."

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