Wrapping Up A Productive Week in Seoul

This week has been packed full of presentations, technical meetings, and professional networking in Seoul, South Korea. We sent more than a dozen people to attend the Korea Linux Forum, the Linux Kernel Summit, and the Samsung Open Source Conference and we had representation for nearly all of the open source projects we are involved with including EFL, Wayland, IoTivity, FFmpeg, Gstreamer, and more. We met countless talented individuals and we are extremely happy to get the chance to interact with Korean professionals as we seek to increase our interaction with individuals who could be valuable to the open source technology we rely on.

Setting the Tone at KLF

Our week started with a keynote from Ibrahim Haddad, the head of the OSG. He explained why open source is so valuable to Samsung and what we are doing as the company’s open source R&D group in order to improve the company’s use of and contributions to open source technology. Virtually every single product produced by Samsung Electronics relies on open source technology in some way, and improving our interactions with open source communities allows the company to innovate more quickly and influence the architecture of vital software.

The second keynote of the morning came from Jon Corbet who gave his regular Kernel Report. He highlighted many of the most important technologies that have been added to the Linux Kernel in the last year including live patching, improvements to single user mode for IoT devices, persistent memory and more. Perhaps the most interesting portion of his talk covered the current health of the Linux contributor ecosystem. In recent years it has been a common theme to question if the Kernel community is gaining enough new contributors in order to sustain the level of development that’s needed to ensure Linux continues to lead the tech industry. He found that since the 2.6.14 release cycle (the first cycle that used git), the community has gained an average of 250 new contributors with each release cycle. These numbers make it apparent that the Linux community is quite healthy and continues to attract new developers.

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OSG Presentation Slides

Expanding Our Universe at SOSCON

The Samsung Open Source Conference (SOSCON) is a great chance for us to interact with a diverse group of people in Korea. The event started off with some wonderful keynotes that highlighted new developments in open source technology and provided unique stories from accomplished individuals. More than 1,500 people came out to the conference this year, about 400 more than last year, which shows just how popular open source is becoming in places like South Korea.

One of the more unique keynotes came from Andrew Sorensen who demonstrated impromptu, an open source programming language for writing music in real time. Impromptu allows musicians to write music using the scheme programming language, which is a part of the Lisp family. It was originally designed for high-performance physics computing, and Sorensen has adapted it to perform live music.

The most impressive keynote came from 11-year-old Hannah Kim who presented on the many open source technologies she has used so far. She has used open source to create her own electronic dolls, build games for her friends to play, and create unique circuitry. Her story is deeply inspiring and shows how much someone can accomplish with open source software, a bit of motivation, and a strong desire to learn.

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OSG Presentation Slides

Technical Development at the Linux Kernel Summit

The Linux Kernel Summit is a smaller event that brings together some of the leading engineers of the Linux Kernel for 3 days of collaboration and discussion. This invite-only event is one of the most important events of the year for determining the technical direction of the Kernel community. Our own Mauro Carvalho Chehab presented on the his progress on improving the Linux media controller and Shuah Khan presented on the work being done on Linux Kernel testing. The most notable development for the Samsung OSG members at this event was the election of Shuah Khan to the Linux Technical Advisory Board. Shuah will serve a two year term and will help advise the Linux Foundation on technical matters related to the Linux Kernel development. Congratulations go out to her!

OSG Presentation Slides

The Long Road Home

It’s been a long week for the 15 of us that came out to South Korea this week as we take advantage of our time here to advise, train, and collaborate with our Korean counterparts in order to promote the use and development of open source inside Samsung. Open source development is a global phenomenon, and trips like these are vital for expanding the role of open source software in our society as we seek to tap into the immense amount of talent found in this nation. For now, we are all heading home, but we will return soon. 안녕히 계세요!

Author: Ben Lloyd Pearson

Ben is an open source technologist experienced in a wide array of modern IT tools. He's done a bit of everything, from web development, to systems administration, web publishing, and beyond.