Sorry 'bout the title...March Madness and all that.
I had the privilege of attending the first-ever Texas Linux Fest last year and I was surprised at the people that attended. In particular, I had the chance to rub elbows with the likes of Joe Brockmeier and John Hall. For a first-time event, it went pretty well. The venue was perfect because if we had more than the 400+ daily attendees, they would have had to grease us down coming in the door.
This year, TXLF will be held at the spacious and opulent Downtown Hilton hotel. I've been in aircraft hangers that were not as big as the speaking halls and let's face it...it's the Hilton. I believe current numbers are already surpassing last year's attendance.
If you want to attend, you can register here. There are two levels upon which you can register...as an enthusiast which is $15.00 or as a supporter which is $40.00. See the preceding linked site for the differences. But yes, I will be there this year.
I'll probably even wear big boy pants.
That might be a good idea after some thought...
I've been asked to give the 2011 Texas Linux Fest keynote.
I had submitted a paper that discussed our experience with the kids that receive our HeliOS Project computers. We've distributed over 1200 of them in 6 years and some of the empirical data we've collected is not only interesting, it takes turns giving us encouragement and completely destroying some of the myths that exist concerning Desktop Linux. I thought that would be a good topic for one of the halls during the day.
Nope...HeliOS is the opening act.
Now listen...this is a humbling experience and after doing a quick review in my head of those that may be in attendance, I'm not quite sure I am the right person for a keynote. But now that I've accepted, I'm going to tell you exactly how and where I think we are on the Linux Desktop.
And I will be honest...maybe too honest for some, but I think The HeliOS Project has been in the trenches long enough to pass muster. We've logged hundreds of hours. sitting with kids and parents, teaching, observing and learning a bit ourselves. The learning part is what I want to share with you in particular. We can do a better job, and it's the simple things we can correct that will make it better. Since some of the people that can affect change may be in the audience, it's these simple things that we'll talk about.
One of them, and my personal pet peeve, is how we name our applications in the Linux Community. If you would care to offer them, I would like to hear your ideas on how you would have named current apps and programs in Linux. We're not going to spend a lot of time on it but enough to accentuate the point.
We are going to talk about this in the keynote so I will offer your ideas then. The argument is that for a new user, seeing these strange names only enforces or perpetuates the idea that Linux is a distro for geeks, written by geeks.
There should be some cognitive pathway between the name of the app and what it does. I've offered some examples, but feel free to add your own in the comments. If given the chance, what would you have named:
I'm going to share much of that information with you starting at 9:15 AM on the 2nd of April and I hope to see you there. While I will be covering some of the social and educational aspects of the Linux Desktop, there is plenty to satisfy your geek tooth as well. Click the preceding link to see the complete lineup of speakers for the 2011 Texas Linux Fest.
I hope to see you there.