(LCA) is the down-under
implementation of the classic Linux
developers' conference pattern. This conference takes an interesting
approach in that it is organized by a different group of people, in a
different city, every year. Linux Australia helps to ensure the
continuity of the operation, and Rusty Russell, organizer of the first
Linux.Conf.AU, maintains an influential presence. But the real work falls
to a new set of volunteers each year. That organization ensures a steady
supply of organizers with fresh energy, and gives each event a distinct
The 2004 Linux.Conf.AU landed in Adelaide (2005 will be in Canberra; the rumor mill says that New Zealand is being considered for 2006). The
conference facility, provided by the University of Adelaide, is beautiful,
even if they won't let the attendees play with the gorgeous pipe organ in
Attendance, at just over 500 people, is the highest yet for this event.
Just as significantly from the organizers' point of view, it seems, a dozen
journalists have signed up to attend this year. Much of the media interest
was due to the "open source in government" mini-conference held before LCA
proper. But the simple fact is that Australia is a country with a large
and increasing interest in Linux and free software.
As conference organizer Michael Davies stated in his opening remarks, the
real purpose of LCA is to have fun. Sure, there is a whole series of
technical talks, hacking sessions, etc. But the events that attendees are
really looking forward to include the "dunk the speakers" tank (with
non-speaker Linus as the guest of honor), the water gun wars,
and the IBM-sponsored "penguin dinner." What other conference would hand
out a ticket for four free ice creams? LCA does, indeed, look like fun.
LWN editor Jonathan Corbet is privileged to be here at LCA, thanks some generous support from HP.
The conference is just getting started as the LWN Weekly
Edition deadline hits, so there is not (yet) much opportunity for
substantial reporting. That will come later, stay tuned.
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