A Tale of Two LinuxWorlds

Today I read on Slashdot that the Expo was open at LinuxWorld Expo in San Francisco.

At last year’s show, OpenNMS won a Product Excellence Award for systems management, and it was pretty exciting. It was our second LWE (we were also at the one in Boston earlier in 2005) in the .org Pavilion, and we figured with our award win we’d be invited back.

We were wrong.

In 2005 the process for getting a space in the .org Pavilion was pretty straightforward. A guy named Duncan Newell managed it, and we were kept pretty up to date about our status. But Duncan has now left and there is a void where he used to be. I tried to figure out who to contact this year, but by the time I reached the “right person” all the spaces in Boston were gone. I asked to be kept in mind for San Francisco. A couple of months go by and I hear nothing, so I write back only to be told that you had to sign up in Boston for the SF show.


Robin Miller came up to me last year and asked me if winning the award actually meant something. I said “yes” – while it’s just a piece of glass it stands as a monument to all of those sysadmins in the trenches who stood up to their PHB’s and proposed OpenNMS versus a commercial app. Here, at least, was some external validation that might make that process easier. Unfortunately it didn’t seem to mean much to the LinuxWorld folks.

It’s funny. We could probably afford to get a booth at the show, but it is important to me to be part of the .org “Geek Ghetto”. OpenNMS is at its heart a .org effort and I think that gets lost in the big money Linux arena these days (there was a mechanical bull downstairs at the last show, but I was more impressed by the BSD toaster).

One last footnote: After I missed Boston I received one of those little surveys via e-mail “Why Didn’t You Come to LinuxWorld Boston?” I filled it out, honestly, and happened to win one of the US$100 American Express gift certificates. Go figure.

At least we haven’t been overlooked by the rest of the world. We will be at the LinuxWorld Expo in London in October in the .org Village. That is managed by Brian Teeman of Joomla! fame and he does a great job with it. We were there last year as well as at the LinuxWorld Expo in the Netherlands. We had a chance to go to Korea in June but cancelled due to the lack of a Korean-speaking project member.

So, outside of LinuxWorld, where should a project like OpenNMS go? OSCON is a contender, but they keep turning down my paper suggestions. (grin)

While not open-source centric, we should be at LISA in DC in December. LISA is a serious geek conference, and I look forward to be asked questions like “How are you different from Nagios” over and over again this year. (grin)