Bill Kendrick wrote:
> Darth's post to SacLUG about this year's OpenSource World
> (previously known as LinuxWorld).
> It sounds like it was even worse than I had expected, based on various
> random people complaining in their Facebook statuses a few days ago.
> Seriously? Exhibit hall only one 1hr at a time?
> ----- Forwarded message from Darth Borehd <firstname.lastname@example.org
> Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2009 13:53:21 -0700
> From: Darth Borehd <email@example.com
> Subject: [Lug-nuts] The Death of Linuxworld
> To: General SacLUG discussing <firstname.lastname@example.org
> Reply-To: General SacLUG discussing <email@example.com
> Linuxworld died sometime at the end of 2008.
> I have been a regular attendee for roughly 10 years now. I only
> missed the 2005 conference because my daughter was born on the same
> day. I was a huge fan of LinuxWorld, I was an organiser of several
> LinuxWorld attending groups, I have a closet full of material from
> past Linuxworlds. Senator, you are no Linuxworld.
> IDG claims they merely renamed it to "OpenSource World/NextGen Data
> Center/CloudWorld" but it's quite obviously they were out to remove
> anything that resembled the Linuxworld and try to pawn off a new
> conference as its successor. It's not. Not even close.
> Let me explain why.
> * The name change. First thing you notice is the confusing
> buzzword-heavy new name where 3 conference share equal size and space
> on the banner. Not only is it aesthetically unappealing, its
> confusing what the focus is going to be. Sure they combined
> conferences before, but they were always auxiliary riders latched onto
> LinuxWorld. It was the king and quite obviously the main event.
> There is no main event any more.
> * The size. The conference was moved from the main Moscone Hall where
> it had resided for about 10 years and is now in a smaller space on the
> west side. The main Moscone Hall now sits empty. The exhibit hall is
> now .25 of the size of what it was in 2008 and even smaller if you
> compare it to previous years. The number of conference/lecture rooms
> are roughly the same. There are no testing centers for LPI
> certification or workshops.
> * The exhibit hall. This is the *worst* part of the whole conference.
> Now about a quarter of the size. Just one of the major vendor
> squares from 2008 would have taken up the size of a half dozen booths
> at the 2009 conference. Gone are a lot of the usual exhibitors from
> years past. No VMWare, IBM, HP, CDW, Dice, Intel, AMD, Motorola,
> O'Reilly, and dozens of others. Of those that were there, you
> quickly found they were staffed with salespeople and temp presenters
> hired off the street. Dell was there. Sun was there. Both had
> competent programmers and engineers to actually talk to but the
> exhibit spaces were reduced to the size of two small booth put
> together. The most frustrating thing is that the exhibit hall was
> only open for about an hour at a time. Yes, you heard that right.
> After only an hour inside, security guards come and herd you into
> lecture rooms for the next 3 hours until the exhibits open again.
> * Alcohol. During the last hour, they served free beer. It would
> seem to me to be a stupid move liability-wise to serve alcohol to
> people who might be getting in cars and driving away when it closes.
> Also, they were not checking IDs and I personally met a young man who
> said he was 19 and had several beers already. Beyond that, it was
> just annoying to see drunken people stumbling around. It wasn't even
> good beer. I don't drink beer, but I was told that it tasted like
> watered-down Budweiser. Maybe some marketing maven got confused by
> the phrase "free, as in beer"???
> * Almost no Linux. Roughly 3/4th of the entire conference was Windows
> oriented. Increase that if you include Cloud Computing products. The
> only distro present was Ubuntu. BSD guys were there if you want to
> stretch to include them. Even Sun did their presentation on a
> Macintosh. Almost all other vendors ran their presentation on Windows
> XP or Vista.
> * .orgs treated like lepers. They were all forced into a small room
> isolated from the main exhibit hall like the conference promoters were
> ashamed of their presence. They didn't even get booths. They had to
> share small tables. Most didn't even show up. No slashdot, gentoo,
> debian, linuxfund, sourceforge, fedora, etcetera. The only two active
> tables were Clonezilla and Haiku OS. A complete insult to the
> non-profit community.
> * Attempts to turn away "undesirable" people. An environmental
> engineer I met at the conference was initially denied entrance because
> his "job did not include direct influence on the purchasing of IT
> products" and it would be a "waste of time for the exhibitors to even
> talk to [[him]]" (note: direct quotes except they said "you"). The
> fact he had pre-registered, attended previous Linuxworlds and made
> arrangements to attend made no difference. Only after the rest of his
> "desired target audience" threatened to leave did they grudgingly
> grant him access.
> * Lectures were non-technical. Not only non-technical, but they were
> basic, vague, buzzword-laden, and vendor specific. In other words,
> they were sales pitches--complete with flashy lights and Powerpoint
> presentations with terms like "in the Cloud", "Paradigm-shifting", and
> "Web 2.0". Any attempts to ask technical questions were usually
> deferred to "offline" discussions. What was left was the equivalent
> of sitting through an hour-long infomercial. The only exceptions to
> this was the presentation by the California Secretary of State about
> Open Source Voting, a somewhat interesting panel about open source on
> netbooks, and an amusing "evolution of desktop" given by Jono from
> * Outdone by a 6-booth career fair. Dice had set up their own
> unrelated career fair a few doors down. We stepped in and got a small
> taste of what Linuxworld used to be like. Amazon had a C programming
> puzzle up for people to solve. Phoenix Bios was there to recruit new
> employees but were happen to just discuss the motherboard BIOS
> subjects as well. They had prizes and cool things to show with
> friendly and intelligent people.
> In closing, I do not plan to attend this conference any more. I have
> to make a lot of arrangements months in advance to be able to attend
> and the pathetic excuse of a conference it has become is not worth it
> to me. Linuxworld used to be more than just about Linux. It was the
> IT departments of some companies showing off their latest stuff to
> other IT people. Geeks talking to geeks. Not only was it cool and
> fun, but I feel it did a better job of promoting those products.
> There are still some vendor contacts that I maintain from the
> conference and use professionally. Many of the products I proposed
> and purchased for work I remember first seeing at Linuxworld. The
> "OpenSource World/NextGen Data Center/CloudWorld" just doesn't do
> that. I deeply saddened, but I must declare, that for me, the mighty
> Linuxworld has died.