If you want to really know whats what with Linux, LinuxWorld is the show for you. But, that said, between Comdex, Computer Digital Expo (CDXPO) and ApacheCon, theres more than enough happening in Las Vegas during the week of Nov. 16–20 to keep any open source user busy.
ApacheCon is by far the smallest of the shows, fitting neatly into the Alexis Park Hotel in Las Vegas from Nov. 16–19. It will be the most interesting show to those who favor this most popular of Web servers and those who like getting their hands dirty with open-source code and heavy-duty Web design.
The first day will be devoted to tutorials both for the beginner—"Introduction to the Apache Web Server"—to the advanced Web designer—"Mangling Data with XSLT." The rest of the conference will be spent in much the same way, but with lectures, keynotes and birds-of-a-feather meetings for specialized interests added for good measure.
Comdex also has a full three-day conference track devoted to Linux and open-source topics. The classes are a mix though of both open-source topics, such as "Open Source Database Shootout," and more general developer topics, such as "Soap vs. .NET: The Struggle Continues." In short, its something of an odd mix. The usual subjects are handled, "Linux on the Desktop" and "Running your Business on Linux: Is it Safe?" But, the general theme of the more advanced subjects will be as appropriate for Java developers as it will be for open-source programmers.
Any Comdex attendee though can get something out of the Open Source and Linux Innovation Center. Here, a variety of open-source companies will be present to answer your questions about their open-source wares. These groups include OReilly and Associates Inc., MySQL AB, OpenOffice.org and Mozilla. Curiously, only one Linux company will be attending: the fast moving Progeny.
CDXPO has the smallest Linux presentations. The bulk of its coverage will be on Monday, Nov. 17, when theres a developer track devoted to Linux. This track, however, is really more of an introduction to Linux than a developer track. Executives, rather than programmers, will find interesting such speeches as one by Hewlett-Packards Linux Vice President Martin Fink on how open source works in the enterprise.
That said, CDXPO also features two of the more interesting Linux-related presentations. At 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 17, there will be a roundtable on the current state of Linux with Holger Dyroff, SuSE Linuxs general manager for the Americas, and the always insightful Stacey Quandt, Open Source Development Labs (OSDLs) principal analyst. Given all the news twirling around Novell Inc.s forthcoming acquisition of SuSE and that OSDL, with the hiring of Linus Torvalds and Andrew Morton, has become the center of Linux development, this should be a very interesting panel discussion.
Last, but not least, CDXPO has Darl McBride, SCOs CEO, making his case for SCOs Unix and Linux positions in a Nov. 18, 5 p.m. keynote titled "Theres No Free Lunch - Or Free Linux." With the SCO vs. IBM war of words heating ever hotter, this is sure to be the most controversial keynote of all the three shows.