OLF 2012 Talk Abstracts
The Perfect Storm (Jon "maddog" Hall) [FRIDAY] - Many
reasons are given why the computer industry looks as it does today,
and this includes why Microsoft has 90% of the desktop market while
Apple has 7% and FOSS has 3%. Most of these reasons are wrong.
Likewise there are reasons why Linux happened when and as it did, and why Linux still has not reached "world domination" on the desktop.
However, there is a "perfect storm" brewing, and that storm may see a rapid upset of the dominant user operating system. This keynote will show why that storm is coming, and why it may not be stoppable.
Stopping SOPA and its Spawn: Free
Expression on the Internet (Wendy Seltzer) - Free Software both supports and depends on Free Speech. While the
decentralized activity that powers Linux and open networks can seem an
unequal match to the concentrated lobbying power of proprietary
industries, the "SOPA Blackout" earlier this year showed the Net's quiet
power -- helping to kill a pair of bills that threatened the open
Internet. We'll talk about how SOPA (the domain-blocking Stop Online
Piracy Act) was stopped, and how we can fortify the Internet immune
system against future threats.
Growing Up with Linux (Elizabeth Garbee) - 2012 is an auspicious year for free software and open source - 20 years of the Linux kernel, almost as many years of Debian, and of course, 10 years of OLF. As it happens, this year also marks the ten year anniversary of my engagement in the free software community. I've been involved in many different projects over the years, and while each of them has been uniquely challenging and fulfilling, one thing has remained the same: the endurance of the free software philosophy, and its continuing relevance to areas not obviously related to technology. In this talk, I'll take us through some of my favorite open source moments this past decade, including some from the world of Tuxracer, open source animation, pulsar research, and most recently, the fascinating world of cyber security. Along the way, I'll share with you lessons learned, inspiration given and received, and hopefully remind you of why we all continue to support this dream of free and open code.
How to Create Ravenously Passionate
Contributors (Angela Byron) - Angela "webchick" Byron is a Drupal developer who
was once a shy, mousey little nerd who always assumed her only
participation in open source would be cheering quietly from the
sidelines. She is now a core committer for a major open source
project, cat herding 1,000+ developers, and touring around the
world evangelizing open source to others. Like, on a stage even!
This talk will discuss how this transformation happened, and from that experience highlight several lessons learned and best practices that can help foster contributors in your own open source projects and other organizations.
General Track Talks
Aeolus: Deploying across clouds the Open Source Way (Mo Morsi) - Aeolus is a next-generation cloud computing API allowing system administrators to deploy, monitor, and manipulate instances running on any number of cloud providers in a consistent manner. Using the free and open toolset end users are able to access and manage cloud resources without having to worry about vendor lockin and/or changes in cloud provider terms of service and pricing. In this session we will demonstrate how to use the Aeolus utilities to deploy instances to various cloud providers, monitor running services, and take and migrate snapshots of Linux systems across disparate providers.
Amahi - Powerful, Simple, Home Server (Alan Jachimiak) - Amahi is software that runs on a dedicated PC as a central computer for your home. It handles your entertainment, storage, and computing needs. You can store, organize and deliver your recorded TV shows, videos and music to media devices in your network. Share them locally or safely around the world. And it's expandable with a multitude of one-click install apps. We'll take a look at hardware requirements, installation possibilities, and walk-through the in-system dashboard, online control panel, and app installation.
Automating Video Editing with Open Source (Raul Suarez) - GUI Video editors are great for one-offs but very time comsuming when you need to repeat the same video process to multiple videos. There are several very powerful free software command line utilities that can be used for scripting those repetitive tasks. I started investigating using them to edit my presentation videos consistently and, although I found that the learning curve is steep, one can start with cookie cutter recipies and evolve from there. In this presentation I will go through some of those recipies using mainly mencoder, ffmpeg, imageMagick and a few other tools I've found along the way.
Bedrock Linux (Daniel Thau) - I intend to present a unique Linux distribution I have been working on for the past few years called "Bedrock Linux." Bedrock Linux was created with the aim of making most of the (often seemingly mutually-exclusive) benefits of various other Linux distributions available simultaneously and transparently. For example, if one would like a rock-solid stable base (for example, from Debian or a RHEL clone) yet still have easy access to cutting-edge packages (from, say, Arch Linux), Bedrock will provide a means to achieve this. In addition to slides discussing how Bedrock works, I intend to show a few live examples of things that could not be done (or not be done nearly as well) on other Linux distributions.
Collabograte: Integrating the Software and Experience of Open Source Collaboration (Kartik Subbarao) - Integrating open source software components into an IT infrastructure can be a complex challenge. But for some of us, it's the kind of thing we were born to do. When we succeed, we enable solutions that are impossible to achieve with monolithic software. Of course, we accomplish even more when we can build on the work of fellow IT integrators.
The Collabograte project is a nexus for this kind of activity. Its current focus is on integrating high quality open source software components that themselves enable collaboration, including those that provide functionality for LDAP, Wikis, Blogs, Email transport/hosting/lists, NNTP, Instant Messaging, and others. The idea is to deliver value to the people who are taking the initiative to bring these open, collaborative technologies into their workplaces. They are the ones who can absorb the benefits most rapidly, and who in turn are the best suited to lead, sustain and co-evolve the community.
The presentation will include in-depth technical discussion of progress to date, including a cloud-friendly Virtual Machine reference implementation with customized recipes that configure and integrate the various software packages (the first release includes Puppet manifests that configure integration among OpenLDAP, Mediawiki, WordPress, Sympa, Postfix, Cyrus IMAP, INN and ejabberd). The extensible, white-box nature of the project's overall architecture will also be covered, along with the potential for developing mutually beneficial relationships with upstream project communities and OS distributions.
Computer Reach, Ghana, and Free Software: Resolving the digital divide 100 desktops at a time (Beth Lynn Eicher) [FRIDAY] - We as technology enthusiasts say that we want good serviceable donated Free Software desktops to go to the undeserved. Maybe some of us cleaned an old computer and gave it to a neighbor in need. With a scale of 20-100 at a time, Computer Reach has been doing that for over 10 years, in Pittsburgh and Internationally. Beth Lynn will talk about the journey to Free Software and Ghana with Computer Reach. Hear about how you can get involved in the most ambitious Edubuntu African deployment project since the Shuttleworth Foundation's efforts.
Creating a Self-Defending Network with Open Source Software (Steve McMaster) - Defense-in-depth is a security concept in which you deploy multiple “layers” of defense on your network, each one protecting pieces that may have been missed by another. But these layers often operate independently of one another, going about their business without any interaction with one another. Using a few pieces of open source software – specifically OSSEC, Snort/Suricata, and Vyatta – a security administrator can build a set of layers that not only detects a scan or attack, but can provide across-the-board stoppage of the source of the attack or scan, not just the individual packets. This gives the network the ability to respond to attacks quickly, thoroughly, and without interaction from the administrator.
Customizing FreeNAS 8.3 Using Plugins Jail (Dru Lavigne) - FreeNAS is an open source, network attached storage platform based on FreeBSD. The Plugins Jail, introduced in version 8.3, can be used to extend core-NAS functionality by installing PBIs (push button installers) that integrate additional services into the FreeNAS administrative GUI. This presentation will introduce the Plugins Jail and PBI architectures, demonstrate how to install, configure, and manage PBI software, and how to install and configure additional software that has not yet been packaged as a PBI. It will also provide an overview of how to create FreeNAS PBIs.
Embedded Development with Linux (John J McDonough) - Linux provides a complete suite of tools for embedded development, not only the hard stuff, but also the less hard (but still firm) parts. This talk gives an overview of the tools, both open and not so open source, available for circuit and firmware design. Although the focus will be on the Microchip PIC family, many of the tools are applicable to other devices. This is more focused on the hobbyist; ASIC and FPGA design tools will not be covered.
Facilitating Android Custom ROM Development with Kexec (Mike Kasick) - With 400 million activations, Android, the Linux-based mobile operating system is hugely popular. With its open-source roots, Android has attracted a significant development community. The community's most ambitious project is CyanogenMod, an open-source Android distribution ("ROM") that provides a unified software platform for over 100 different devices across 14 manufacturers.
In this talk we present a kexec-based approach that uses the Android kernel as a flexible bootloader to facilitate dual-boot and multi-boot capabilities on consumer-oriented Android devices. Unique to our approach is a modification to kexec called "hardboot", whereby we avoid one of kexec's most significant problems, device driver incompatibility, by reinvoking the device bootloader between kernel executions. With this approach we have been able to deploy our kexec solution on seven different Android devices across four different hardware platforms with minimal porting effort. The CyanogenMod project's use of kexec has both eased development and enabled greater flexibility in user customization and software selection. We find it to be an invaluable tool in safely testing, porting, and developing custom Android distributions for consumer-oriented devices.
Freebase, Big Data and Archiving (Kirk Kimmel) [FRIDAY] - Working with Freebase is loads of fun. A large scale dataset licensed under Create Commons Freebase and other CC data sets are a great resource for building new applications and experiences. Come along as I go into what big data is, using it in the context of Freebase and how archiving fits into it all.
Fundraising 101 (Cat Allman) - Free and Open Source software may be largely created and maintained by the passion of volunteers, but projects still need funds to pay for things like bandwidth, hardware and the all important tee-shirts. Asking for money is hard – and taking it can be a lot more complicated than you might think. This talk covers the basics of sourcing financial support for your project.
Topics to be discussed include:
-Types of potential sponsors & how to find them
-What do sponsors want to buy – and what are you prepared to sell?
-How to “make the ask” – and how not to
-Other kinds of donations to consider
-Paperwork & time management
-Some ideas on how to accept funds
-Special considerations for events
-Pitfalls to avoid
Participants in this session should walk out with the information they need to develop at least the outline of a fund-raising plan for your project.
Highly Available Applications (Brian Likosar) - This talk will describe what he considers the "holy grail of availability" - running highly available applications inside of highly available virtual machines. This is what most customers have asked for, and now we have the technology to accomplish this goal. It will outline the requirements, best practices, and experiences of trying to accomplish this once daunting task. Technology will concentrate on ovirt.org/KVM and Pacemaker - but will also touch on Red Hat Cluster Suite, RHEV/KVM, and VMWare.
How to Create Your Own Cloud (Joe Brockmeier) - If you're wondering what all the fuss is about with Cloud Computing, the best way to understand is to run your own. Sounds complicated? It's not as bad as you think. With two computers and the help of free and open source software (including Linux, natch!) you can have your own basic CloudStack cloud in a short time.
We'll cover the basics of CloudStack, what it is, how it works, and how you can get started. The session will walk through the requirements of CloudStack, and the steps of getting a basic installation set up with CentOS.
Ike's Crew: The extraterrestrial adventures of an open source community (Sarah White) - Arquillian contributors channel their inter-language and inter-framework development exploits into an ongoing tale of worldwide bug extermination. They answer Ike's call to battle and help him discover untested code frontiers and create new tools to hunt and destroy their common enemy, bugs.
Is this a science fiction story or an open source project? It's both. We all know there are thousands of awesome and useful open source projects out there, but finding them and then figuring out how to use them can be a disheartening journey that doesn't have a happy ending. Potential users don't discover your project. Potential contributors don't understand your project. Your project dies an unsung death.
In this talk you'll learn ways to connect with potential community members, how to help them get involved with the project, and how to encourage them to plot the future features and goals of the project.
Imaging with FOG (Richard Gingerich) - FOG (Free Opensource Ghost) is a scalable, network-based imaging solution for rapid imaging and deployment primarily directed at a Windows environment. This LAMP based server offers an intuitive web interface to perform not only imaging, but also post-imaging tasks such as domain membership, software installation, virus scan, disk wipe and more. This presentation will also include a live demonstration.
The Importance of Free Software and Accessibility (Jonathan Nadeau) - I will bring awareness of Free software and accessibility and the effect it can have around the world. I will talk about bridging the gap between accessibility and technology.
Introduction to PC-BSD 9 (Kris Moore) - The PC-BSD has grown and matured greatly over the past several years to become the most popular BSD based desktop operating system. PC-BSD is built upon the FreeBSD operating system, but is not a fork. Instead PC-BSD maintains FreeBSD compatibility, while expanding upon it with a variety of new tools and utilities for both casual desktop users, as well as advanced server administrators. One of the first things an end user will appreciate is the easy to use graphical installer. Support for some of the advanced file-systems that FreeBSD offers are included, such as ZFS, UFS with journaling, Geom-based disk encryption, automatic disk-labeling and more. After setting up disk options, users are given a choice between a variety of open-source desktop environments, such as KDE, GNOME, XFCE, LXDE, WindowMaker, Fluxbox and more. At first glance a Linux desktop user may not notice the real differences between PC-BSD and a typical Linux distribution. However, FreeBSD includes both a complete kernel and base world environment which are tightly integrated into one operating system, which tends to be developed conservatively, making it a very stable platform for application development and distribution. Another way in which PC-BSD is unique is the package management system it utilizes. The PBI (Push Button Installer) format provides users with a method of installing applications without the worry of dependency issues causing problems elsewhere. One powerful feature of FreeBSD in the server market is its ability to easily setup and run a large number of "jails", which are self-contained chroot environments that provide ultimate security, with a very minimal virtualization footprint. All of these features combined into PC-BSD makes it an exciting desktop to install and learn about the BSD platform on. By continuing to expand the capabilities of its graphical utilities, the system has steadily become easier to use, and more accessible to the casual computing market, as well as more productive for developers and administrators.
It Takes an (Open Source) Village to Build a Cloud (Mark Hinkle) - Just as Linux, Apache, MySQL and Php/Perl/Python formed the open source foundations for the read-write web open source technologies like Xen, KVM and many others along with Linux are forming the foundations of the cloud. To truly build robust cloud computing environments it requires a wide variety of open source software that when combined create environments that are much greater than the sum of their parts. This session will address how you use open source software and agile operations methodologies such as DevOps to create automated, scalable cloud computing environments. This session will cover infrastructure-as-as-service, platform-as-a-service(PaaS) and the tools needed to deploy and manage that infrastructure. Additionally the discussion will cover the standards and conventions needed to ensure cloud computing remains open.
Level Up: Linux and the Original Gameboy (Dru Streicher) - I would like to explore the tools available for using the original Nintendo Gameboy under Linux. I will be discussing the anatomy of cartridges/ROMs. How to backup cartridges and how to make custom cartridges. I will also explore GNU emulation options.I would also like to briefly touch on development and homebrew games/software.I will be using live examples to present the vast options that are available.
Physical Computing with Arduino and Linux (Ethan Dicks) [FRIDAY] - Arduino is a popular and easy-to-use platform for introducing new users to Physical Computing. The Open Source Hardware movement fully embraces Open Source tools and operating systems, and Linux makes a great platform for Arduino development. From blinking LEDs to driving servo motors to reading and processing sensor data, see how you can make your creations come to life with Arduino and Linux.
The Road to 31 Flavors (Todd Robinson) - Based upon the 31 Flavors Experiment. see: http://webpath.net/31-flavors. The experiment, the first of it's kind, features my attempt to create, and release, a complete desktop operating system each and every day for the period of 31 days. This fun, audience involved, talk will include open source -vs- closed source development cost comparisons, manpower requirements, and time requirement comparisons. I'll also discuss the 31 Flavors of desktops that were released during the experiment, their commonalities and differences, and the most and least productive desktop traits encountered along the way.
Servers So Easy A Caveman Can Do It (Christopher H. Laco) - Automate your infrastructure needs using Ruby, Varant, EC2/Rackspace, Chef and Capistrano. New employee needs to setup their MBP to run your Rails app? Want to get them a cloud server on day one to develop against? Want to deploy a git branch for people to test? Need to add 3 new production servers to handle a traffic spike in a hurry? With ruby, some command line tools and a few Chef recipes, you (or anyone n your team) can take the tedium out of these maintenance drains and get back to working on the product.
SSH: the easy way (Carl T. Miller) [FRIDAY] - SSH is enabled by default on most Linux installations, and most users know how to open a connection to a remote host. However there are several features that can make remote access easier and more convenient. We will look at several options, command line parameters and configuration settings that will be useful for the hobbyist and users in the enterprise.
Software Patents: What You Can Do (Deb Nicholson) [FRIDAY] - What's the deal with software patents? Have you ever wondered what's at stake, how much money is changing hands or who's at risk? Maybe you heard that piece on NPR and have been wondering how software patents impact free and open source projects specifically. I'll go over how the US patent system got to where it is in relation to software in particular. Find out what's already been tried and what's currently being done to protect free operating systems. Lastly, I'll cover some of the defensive strategies, like Prior Art and Defensive Publications that can help defend Linux, GNU and related projects. Of particular interest to free software contributors, this talk also has plenty of big picture information to make it interesting for free software activists and users.
Switching From Proprietary to Free Software For Audio and Video Production (Neil Clopton) - This presentation will cover my experience moving from proprietary to free software for music production. I seek to help others who may want to adopt free software but see considerable obstacles to doing so. These obstacles include the complex ways audio and video are stored, uneven hardware support and aggressive vendor lock-in.
Adopting free software for multimedia production isn't like changing word processors, which can be inconvenient and frustrating. It is considerably more complex and involves sacrifices, planning and the resolve to not look back. It is, however, absolutely doable and more than worth the effort. In this presentation I will map the path to doing it successfully, if not painlessly.
We Will Be Legion: Decentralizing the Web (Deb Nicholson) - "Software as a service" platforms enable us to carry around small devices and access huge volumes of information. At the same time, it presents challenges for collective privacy, a full diversity of viewpoints and customized online identities. Large service providers are less responsive to users until a significant percentage of their users are all clamoring for the same type of change. What are the options for customizing your web interactions without mobilizing an entire user community? Decentralized or federated services are gaining popularity as the answer for users concerned about the one-size-fits-all web. Decentralized web services allow us to create a many-to-many web instead of a one-to-many web. The Status.net code that runs identi.ca is a prime working example of how federated services allow users of different services to seamlessly talk to each other. Once standards were put in place users of different email and chat hosts were able to interact without any special configuration. More work on federation will allow smaller hosts of many different services (like video hosting!) to interact easily with each other. I'll discuss historical monopolies that inform the present situation and compare some of the recent problems incurred by limited choices for web services. There is significant work to be done on both the technical and social aspects of federation. I'll conclude with a survey of current alternatives, near to ready projects and the ones we might want to start thinking about building.
What are Open Source Communities Like? (Samuel Greenfeld) - Open source communities are sometimes considered mysterious to those not involved in them.
This talk will look at the structure of a few open source and other open content projects, and point out that they really are not that different than any other organization.
Yes, You Can Run Your Business on PostgreSQL. Next Question? (Josh Williams) - PostgreSQL in the enterprise? Why is that such a scary proposition? Sure, your database likely holds the life blood of your company, and making sure that's as safe as possible makes perfect sense. But you don't have to pay big bucks to a software vendor for a closed source solution to make that happen.
We're going to concentrate on Postgres, an awesome open source database management system, but in many ways the ideas discussed here can apply to free software in general. In this talk we'll examine a number of reasons decision makers use to side with proprietary solutions, as well as under what conditions those arguments don't make sense. Hint: Most of the time.