Much has been written about how the Internet has revolutionized collaboration and made it possible for your brilliant ideas to make a difference no matter where you live on the planet. Bill Gates is famously quoted in Nick Kristoff's "The World is Flat" that "... so many people can plug and play from anywhere, natural talent has started to trump geography." This is of course true, but even with the Internet, there is no replacement for face-to-face interaction. The tribe, it seems, still needs to gather around the fire to have a talk now and then.
The conference setup was in a very new and modern hotel called the Hotel Clarion Congress in Prague, which was a terrific venue. Since the Yocto Project was a co-sponsor of the event, we got a nice booth location, and Tracey Erway did a fantastic job setting up the booth and populating it with demos, videos, giveaways and t-shirts. You can also see Darren Hart manning the booth behind the Gource video that he rendered showing the many contributors on the project from many places.
There was a lot of opportunity for people to interact with Richard Purdie, who is the Yocto Project architect, and a very approachable guy. Koen Kooi is a TI guy and a long-time Open Embedded and Angstrom maintainer, who really helped us out a lot in the booth, and showed off his Beagle Board as a demo.
I also appreciated the work of Jeff Osier-Mixon, better known as jefro, who is the Yocto Project Community Manager, and always helps us make sure we are taking care of the community and helping it to be nurtured and grow.
But in spite of being in such a beautiful city, these folks are sometimes hard to break away from hacking. On a Saturday with nothing planned but some tourist activities, I actually had to "encourage" Saul to take a break from his computer. (I actually closed the lid of his laptop to make sure he actually stopped working. I hope he forgives me.)
More kudos to Sean Hudson (Mentor Graphics), Paul Eggleton (Intel), Bill Mills (TI), Nithya Ruff (Wind River), Philip Ballister (OpenSDR), Jessica Zhang (Intel) and too many others to count who helped us so much in the talks, booth and discussions about Yocto.
Oh yeah, I guess there were some more or less official things going on as well:
- There were talks and classes on a number of new developments in the new release of the Yocto Project. I was very surprised that my overview talk drew so many people.
- The Yocto Project Advisory Board had a combination face-to-face / conference call meeting, where we talked about the the new Shoeleather lab, the new neutral board lab contributed by Mentor Graphics and about the project's budget (woo hoo).
- The OpenEmbedded e.V had its annual General Assembly meeting. I learned more about German law in that three hour meeting than I ever knew existed, because the OpenEmbedded Project's non-profit entity is chartered in Germany. We did have some useful talking points about which conferences to cover.
The problem with mentioning anyone in a blog post like this is that I'm sure I have missed somebody who will be hurt because I didn't mention them. I am so sorry about that, and I hope you can forgivde me!