lca2008 — friday (finally!)

The Friday keynote seemed a little weak — something about the upcoming python releases, of which I care about a little bit because I actually do like python, but didn’t seem generally applicable to something like Linux conf — so I skipped it and enjoyed a nice short black and salmon pide at a local cafe instead. Lovely, really.

The first talk I did go to was Zach Brown’s coherent remote file system talk (CRFS), and it was pretty impressive. On paper, CRFS looks to be heaps better than NFS both in terms of performance and reliability. This was demonstrated quite nicely by showing a tcpdump capture of the operations needed for an NFS delete, something like 9200 packets, vs the same operation in CRFS, which took 89 packets.But what really made it a good talk, in my opinion, was the fact that it made me excited to go back and start hacking on it (well, “it” in this case being btrfs as crfs is still stuck behind the Oracle firewall). To me, that’s the true nature of being an open source developer, that being doing enough implementation on a cool idea to get others excited enough to want to help you out with it.

Next up was Matthew Garrett’s suspend to disk (why does it hurt so?) discussion. It was a bit chaotic, as Matthew kept getting interrupted by other kernel hackers in the audience, but in the end, we learned that the process freezer in Linux was a bad implementation, and that kexec might be our savior. Whoo.

I couldn’t get the gumption to care about the first afternoon session (typical end-of-conference burnout combined with a weak lineup), and the final talk of the day initially seemed interesting (how to write a library API that your users will love), but the actual talk was a bit on the remedial side for me. The most useful piece of information about that talk was, “go look at Rusty’s ideas on how to make a good API”. Ok, fair enough; I’d not heard about that before.

The lightning talks and conference wrapup seemed to take forever, but I did learn at least one piece of useful information about Greasemonkey and Firebug. Paul Wayper talked about making the web suck less using those tools and demonstrated the results as applied to Myspace, the end result being, after removing all the annoying stuff, was a blank page. This was clearly the crowd favorite lightning talk and Paul got a little prize for his efforts.

All in all, a simultaneously energizing and exhausting week, and YT is glad that it’s mostly wrapped up. Saturday is Open Day, and then after that, it’s nothing but blue skies, as I’ve got a one way ticket to Christchurch, New Zealand and a blank agenda.