LinuxConf Europe: The Kernel King Cometh
Since the first day of LinuxConf Europe there has been much speculation amongst delegates as to whether or not Linus Torvalds would make an appearance. This had largely been driven by the conference programme where, for the “Advanced GIT BOF”, there was no name provided for the speaker. Come Tuesday morning and a select few delegates were claiming to have spotted to the kernel's founder. As afternoon coffee approached many had begun to wonder if Linus wasn't going to arrive until the start of the developer summit following the conference.
Linus arrived at LinuxConf Europe without fanfare or fuss and was only notable by having a slightly larger cluster of developers around him than Alan Cox did. Over a herbal tea and a few biscuits a fascinating series of discussions was to be found. Over the years Linus has become known for being outspoken on many issues: kernel architecture, version control or GPL3 to name a few. It was, therefore, a welcome sign to see the leader chatting with those around him on a wide variety of issues, most of which being non-kernel related. Many of those joining the chat were disappointed to hear that
Linus was not leading the GIT session; instead he was simply joining the discussion. Instead those present were treated to Linus' views on UK public transport, the Finnish language, Chicago airport... and the kernel and GIT.
LinuxConf Europe presented a great opportunity to meet the project leader. However, blink and you would have missed him because, despite his stature in the community, he his still “one of us” and still enjoys meeting new hackers. As he pointed out himself, events like LinuxConf Europe make only a social impact on kernel development, but an important impact.