LF Collab 2012: Killing Blobs, Wayland, DTrace, Etc
The Phoronix coverage of the 2012 Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit actually began last week when it was learned that Qualcomm Atheros engineers would be making a call to kill all proprietary drivers for good from the event. However, it turned out the developers went rogue and Qualcomm's legal team didn't approve the event. So it was two Linux/BSD developers sharing their views that they would like all proprietary drivers to die -- or at least be fully open-sourced -- to benefit everyone, even if their employer doesn't share the same view at this point.
On a more positive note, Mark Charlebois of the Qualcomm Innovation Center was promoting LLVM and Clang while trying to get it to build the Linux kernel. Qualcomm is quite fond of this open-source compiler infrastructure and has some interesting plans.
GCC 4.7 and C++11 was talked about at length.
Greg Kroah-Hartman from the San Francisco event talked about Google's Android as a first-class Linux citizen. If using the vanilla Linux 3.3 kernel it should be possible to boot Android. The situation will be even better with Linux 3.4 and hopefully continue to improve in releases beyond that. However, there's some big caveats. "Linux 3.3 kernel can boot Android user-space...while eating the battery alive."
Google has delivered Intel Sandy/Ivy Bridge support to Coreboot as they prepare to ship Chromebooks (their Chrome OS mobile devices) on the latest Intel hardware.
On another hardware note, UEFI on Linux was talked about at length during two separate sessions. UEFI on Linux is still quite bad and causing headaches for both developers and end-users.
There was the Intel-sponsored reception at the summit as well as an Intel-sponsored Tizen event the following day. As usual, it's hard to find an Intel-funded event that isn't great. At the Intel events this time I wasn't using computer parts to open beer bottles, but there were developers comparing Linux adoption rates to sluts and pathogens.
Outside of the event in SF, it was also learned a native Linux version of CryEngine 3 does exist internally, but there's no apparent licensees taking advantage of this visually-impressive engine and competitor to Unigine, Source, UE3, etc.
Keith Packard talked about integrating X.Org and Wayland support so that legacy X applications can continue to run from atop Wayland/Weston, etc. Things are coming together to bridge the X-to-Wayland transition, but there's still a fair amount of work left. Check the aforelinked article for full details.
At another Wayland-focused session, Keith's fellow Intel comrade Jesse Barnes was talking about other Wayland features -- including Wayland on TVs and an experimental GNOME Shell with Mutter already running on Wayland. (There's also the Wayland redux article for this week.)
Oracle promoting the use of DTrace on Linux. DTrace is available from their Unbreakable Enterprise Linux Kernel, but the DTrace module for Linux is still CDDL-licensed with the other kernel changes being under the GPL. Most Linux-focused administrators and developers will be better off with SystemTap and friends.
Meanwhile, Chris Mason of Oracle was talking about the state and future of the Btrfs file-system.
Black Duck, which owns the Ohloh directory through acquisition, had some interesting open-source project statistics to share.
Some of the other interesting sessions that didn't make it into their own Phoronix articles due to already having a surplus of coverage included Carsten "Rasterman" Haitzler talking about Samsung and Enlightenment's EFL (PDF slides), GNOME going beyond the desktop (PDF slides), and Linux wireless improvements (PDF slides).
If you were busy monitoring the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit coverage and missed out on the other open-source Linux news this week, some other interesting news included OpenCL/Clover is close to merging into Mesa/Gallium3D, Icculus has grown fond of open-source GPU drivers while having Linux game development recommendations, Ubuntu 12.04 power consumption is messed up, the Linux kernel now has x32 ABI support, and AMD published their new RadeonSI Gallium3D driver.
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