Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

July 31, 2004

OLS 2004 BLOG: Best and Worst of OLS Wrapup

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 11:04 PM

I started writing a few words about each talk we went to, but decided that since my memory sucks and my notes are intelligible, I’ll just talk about some of the great moments. ladypine and me will be giving talks at Haifux, Telux and our respective work places on the more interesting talks we went to, and will post our notes and slides online once we type them up.

The best thing about this OLS for me, I think, was that I overcame my shyness and actually talked to people. I talked to lots and lots of folks, going as far as skipping some talks to sit outside and talk to people.

The worst thing about this OLS was the network. No net access in our hotel room (one wireless network visible while sitting on the bottom right end of the bed, but no access to it), spotty wireless in the conference halls, and it took me a couple of days to get over the network-withdrawal.

The best talk I heard was James Bottomley’s Unmapping the Page Cache talk, which was mindblowing. In short, no pages except those actually in use are mapped into the kernel’s virtual address space. I will be taking a good look at the paper and implementation (if it’s available?), as it’s just such a cool hack.

The worst talk shall not be disclosed here (no reason to insult the speakers, I’m sure everyone did their best), but there were several talks where the time could’ve been better spent just reading the paper.

The best BOF was without a doubt the impromptu virtualization BOF at the Elephant and Castle Pub. Very interesting discussion on what Linux could do to support virtualization better, with people from IBM, VMWare, Xen, coLinux and others.

Best party was the party the Black Thorn. Unlike last year, I sat and talked with people all evening long. I also had 3 beers, which is quite a lot for me. I wonder if there’s a correlation…

Worst party was probably the LinuxChix BOF, which was fun in and off itself, but took place in a HOT, LOUD milkshake-bar. I would’ve said the opening night reception (which everyone told us sucked…) but we missed that.

Most “interesting” moment was the CAPP/EAL3 talk, where I discovered that SUSE reimplemented large parts of syscalltrack for their kernel audit mechanism. Even though I haven’t worked on syscalltrack in a long time, hearing this was not pleasant. I can’t help thinking that maybe if we’d have done things differently, syscalltrack in some incarnation would be in the vanilla kernel now…

In summary – OLS 2004 rocked hard. I’m sure 2005 will rock just as hard, and we’ll be there.


  1. cross my fingers. if all things go well, I shall see you @OLS 2005!

    Comment by ideawerkz — August 1, 2004 @ 1:08 AM | Reply

  2. Hehe, I noticed you were more social than last year indeed, though I
    accounted it on the lack of a beard šŸ™‚

    Comment by _benh_ — August 1, 2004 @ 1:11 AM | Reply

    • Haha, quite possibly šŸ™‚
      I also made a conscious effort, and that helped.
      I also had Orna, and that helped.
      And you guys were great šŸ™‚

      Comment by mulix — August 1, 2004 @ 6:15 AM | Reply

  3. IMHO, the coolest lecture was Perl 6 šŸ™‚

    Comment by gruimed — August 1, 2004 @ 1:31 AM | Reply

    • Didn’t hear that one, but I heard Damian is a wizard…

      Comment by mulix — August 1, 2004 @ 6:15 AM | Reply

      • I also did not realize that there were other israelies at OLS…

        Comment by gruimed — August 1, 2004 @ 7:08 AM

      • Were you there?

        Comment by mulix — August 3, 2004 @ 12:08 PM

      • Yep. As an attendee, not speaker. I work for TI Israel, BTW. And you ?

        Comment by gruimed — August 4, 2004 @ 12:56 AM

      • I was also an attendee. I work for IBM’s Haifa Research Lab.

        Comment by mulix — August 4, 2004 @ 9:25 AM

  4. Translated
    A translation to this very good piece can be found at
    linmagazine, currently at the front page.

    Comment by ladypine — August 1, 2004 @ 12:17 PM | Reply

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