[volunteers] SVLUG & The Linux Programming Interface

Mark Weisler mark at weisler-saratoga-ca.us
Sun Jan 23 12:48:38 PST 2011

On 12/20/10 5:21 PM, Michael Kerrisk wrote:
> hello Mark et al,
> Thanks for your reply.
> On Mon, Dec 20, 2010 at 3:28 PM, Mark Weisler
> <mark at weisler-saratoga-ca.us> wrote:
>> On 12/19/10 6:20 PM, Michael Kerrisk wrote:
>>> Hi Andrew at al.,
>>> On Sat, Oct 23, 2010 at 8:27 PM, Andrew Fife <andrewbfife at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
>>>> Hi Micheal:
> [...]
>>>> As for the talk content, most talks are aimed a system
>>>> administrators, although the audience also includes
>>>> developers, hobbyists and handful of non-technical folks.
>>>> An intro the the linux programming interface might be a
>>>> good talk topic that would appeal to all levels.  But really the
>>>> floor is yours to discuss whatever you find most interesting
>>>> about the linux programming interface.
>>> Assuming that the above date might work, I can start putting together
>>> some ideas.
>>>> If Feb 2nd works for you, we'd just need a talk title, a brief
>>>> abstract (1 paragraph would be fine) and your bio so that we
>>>> can promote it on our website and to our mailing list.
>>> Got it.
>>>> Moving forward, I am not volunteering as actively as I used to
>>>> be due to my work schedule, but the others who help out can be
>>>> reached at:
>>>> volunteers at lists.svlug.org
>>>> and I've copied them on this message.  I am certainly happy to help
>>>> out, I just am not able to react/respond all that quickly at the moment.
>>> Okay -- let's see who picks this up at SVLUG.
>>> Cheers,
>>> Michael
>> Hello Michael,
>> We'd very much look forward to hearing from you on April 6th.
>> Please send us a summary of your talk so we can put it on our Web site.
>> Thanks.
> So, I'm going to just throw out some ideas about possible talks, some
> still very half-formed, just to see which ones might sound
> interesting:
> 1. How (not) to write a (computer) book
> My experiences and observations about writing a technical book. Not
> directly about Linux per se, but the example for the talk obviously
> would be a book about Linux, and I can probably guarantee that it
> would be informative and entertaining.
> 2. Why kernelspace sucks
> (cf. Dave Jones "Why Userspace Sucks";
> http://www.kernel.org/doc/ols/2006/ols2006v1-pages-441-450.pdf and
> http://lwn.net/Articles/192214/)
> This is just the beginnings of an idea for a talk about the mess-ups
> in APIs that Linux kernel developers foist upon userspace. (So, unlike
> the previous idea, it really is a talk around the topic of the Linux
> programming interface.) However, I probably can't manage to be nearly
> as entertaining Dave Jones--he has so many good examples of stupidity
> to choose from ;-).
> 3. Writing safe, portable, futureproof programs
> Writing programs that use the Linux kernel-userspace API, keeping in
> mind portability, security, and possible future changes in the
> interface.
> And then I have a few other topics in my back pocket:
> 4. A short history of UNIX, C, GNU, and Linux
> The title pretty much says it all.
> 5 UNIX standards
> A discussion of UNIX (POSIX, SUS) and C standards past and present,
> showing their interrelationships and describing their contemporary
> relevance for application (primarily C) developers on UNIX and Linux
> platforms. (Probably fits less to your audience, since you said they
> are mainly SAs.)
> ===
> What I'm looking for from the above is to know which talks (plural)
> could be of interest -- not to get you to choose just one. If I get an
> idea of which ones might be of interest, then I'll think about it a
> bit more, pick one, and develop it further. If none of the above seem
> to be a good fit, let me know, and I'll try to develop further ideas.
> ===
> Some questions:
> 1. how long do your talk slots normally last?
> 2. How big is a typical audience?
> 3. Where are your meetings usually? It looks like they are usually in
> Mountain View. That could be a problem: assuming I make it to to SF as
> planned, I'll be in Japantown that day, without a car, and I'd need
> some way to get to MV. Do any of your attendees usually come down from
> downtown SF by car (i.e., could I hitch a lift?)?
> Cheers,
> Michael
Hi Michael,
Thanks for offering an interesting array of topics for your talk.
First some answers then some opinions...
1. Our talks start at 7pm and we must be out of the room by 9pm (typically
going to a nearby cafe for a snack after the meeting). Speakers have
flexibility but often the talk is about an hour or so and then 20 to 30
minutes of Q and A.

2. The building host does not provide a network connection for security
reasons. Speakers must plan accordingly. (That reminds me, I'll canvass the
group to see if anyone can bring a Wifi hotspot in, one like a MiFi.)

3. The audience varies in size but 30 to 40 seems representative.

4. Concerning getting down from SF, let's see if any of the volunteers on
this list have suggestions.

Just my opinion and it would be good to hear from others but my interests
would be in the following order, from highest...

1. (your 3.)   Writing safe, portable, futureproof programs
2. (your 5. )  UNIX standards

Thanks again and we are looking forward to your visit.

Mark Weisler

More information about the volunteers mailing list