This week, the University of Otago will host the first linux.conf.au Australian Linux conference to be held outside Australia.
The five previous approximately annual conferences have been held in various Australian state capitals since 1999 (there was no conference in calendar year 2000). This year’s event will involve as speakers some of the seminal figures of Linux and wider open source development, including Rasmus Lerdorf, creator of web-related open source programming language PHP, Andrew Tridgell from the Samba project, Linux kernel developer Dave Miller, Damian Conway, developer of Perl, Jon 'Maddog' Hall, executive director of Linux International and Mark Shuttleworth of Ubuntu and Thawte, often described as the First African in Space (he was a civilian cosmonaut aboard the Russian Soyuz TM-34 mission in 2002).
The conference runs from Wednesday January 25 through to Saturday 28, with a series of “mini-conferences” on the preceding two days.
Much of the content is technical and specialist, for example sessions on recent changes in the kernel, the progress of Samba, and Linux graphics drivers; but there is a sprinkling of applications case studies, including a talk New Zealand’s Koha open source library (of books) system, by Chris Cormack of developer Katipo Communications.
There will also be an account of “How Linux and OSS help power the world’s largest pre-WiMAX wireless broadband network,” from Unwired Australia’s Phillip Allan Ridley. Unwired Australia runs a 3.5GHz non-line-of-sight wireless broadband ISP with 185 base stations covering 2000km² (3.5 million people) in Sydney.