2008 report

I attended Days 1, 3 and 5. Here is a summary of the sessions I went to.

Opening Keynote: How to do embedded Linux right - Harald Welte
His abstract:
Looking at actual market figures, Embedded Linux is more popular than ever. Isn't that good news? If you look closer at the actual Embedded Linux based products, 99.9% of them do not benefit from the inherent strengths of FOSS such as increased system stability and security.

Rather to the opposite, most Embedded Linux based products are based on ages-old kernels, are patched in horrible and broken ways, and use proprietary drivers that never went through the public review of the FOSS community.

Thus, the conclusion: Embedded Linux is not used because it is FOSS. It is still just used to cut down licensing costs. Nobody has really understood how to build upon the strengths of FOSS...

KVM - The interview - Amit Shah

Amit talked about his Qumranet interview assignment involving live migration of a virtual machine from an AMD host to Intel. I barely understand virtualization so my takeway was understanding why live migration might be useful. Turns out it helps sysadmins do maintenance
during regular hours. - Syed Mohammed Khasim

Showcased beagleboard - a 3"x3" fan-less board with a 600MHz processor and on board DSP. Has a following.

Control Groups (cGroups) - Balbir Singh

Control Groups provide a mechanism for aggregating/partitioning sets of tasks, and all their future children, into hierarchical groups to which system resources (CPUs, Memory, Bandwidth) can be provisioned. Balbir mentioned that this technology could be used to assure service levels at a more granular level.

YUI - Phillip Tellis

This is how YUI provides for namespaces and private methods:


YAHOO.myProject.myModule = function () {

//"private" variables:
var myPrivateVar = "I can be accessed only from within YAHOO.myProject.myModule.";

//"private" method:
var myPrivateMethod = function () {
YAHOO.log("I can be accessed only from within YAHOO.myProject.myModule");

return {
myPublicProperty: "I'm accessible as YAHOO.myProject.myModule.myPublicProperty."
myPublicMethod: function () {
YAHOO.log("I'm accessible as YAHOO.myProject.myModule.myPublicMethod.");

//Within myProject, I can access "private" vars and methods:

//The native scope of myPublicMethod is myProject; we can
//access public members using "this":

}(); // the parens here cause the anonymous function to execute and return

Dhvani - Santhosh Thottingal
Dhvani is a text to speech system for Indian languages. Santosh gave an informative talk on the mechanics of text to speech, sound concatentaion and language detection by mapping to unicode codeset. Santosh has a day job at one of India's premier IT companies that offers its support to Santosh by blocking access to his project website.

Mozilla Labs projects - Anant Narayanan
Interesting stuff coming out of Mozilla Labs:
Weave - Portable browser profiles (bookmarks, cookies, history etc). Saved on a mozilla server to let you access your profile from you home/office computer or mobile.
- Kinda like a greasemonkey command prompt.
Prism - Site specific browser

Closing Keynote - Kalyan Varma
Just like he did during the Banyan Tree series talk in our office, our ex-colleague quickly finished off a formality by talking briefly about IT security and then went on to his current passion - wildlife photography and conservation. Using his pictures to telling effect, he drove home his point about the biggest threat to conservation - consumption. I have since adpated his cup of tea example into a short

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