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program_planning [The Plumbers]

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Program Planning

Format Overview

  • 2.5 day conference, organized around 10 Microconfs (MCs).
  • Each block has 2-3 presentations, maybe discussion, maybe a working session
  • MC Runner in charge of content and running the MC
  • topics list agrees on MCs, solicits Technical Program Committee (TPC) members and MC Runners
  • TPC then does CFP, assists MC Runners, defines other conference content
  • 2 concurrent Microconf tracks, 1 track of other miscellaneous sessions (tutorials, BOFs, etc.)
  • at least 1 keynote by somebody cool
  • Encourage inter-area discussions
  • “No topic block ends until it produces some working code”?
  • Report-out at end of conference from each microconf

Technical Program Committee (TPC)


  • Andy Grover (chair)
  • Bart Massey (co-chair)
  • Randy Dunlap
  • Stephen Hemminger
  • Brandon Philips
  • Kees Cook
  • Matthew Wilcox (storage microconf)
  • John W. Linville
  • Perry Wagle
  • Sarah Sharp



People invited to attend ahead of open registration to ensure key stakeholders are present. See Invitees.


See MicroConfs for current topics.


Previously known as Topic Blocks. Also briefly called “miniconfs”, but the common usage appears to be that a miniconf is 1 full day; ours are shorter (2.5-3 hours) so microconfs is the best term.

MC Runner (formerly known as Topic Champion)

  • Has strong knowledge of the issues in topic area, preferably an active contributor
  • Reviews papers for their area generated by CFP (call for papers)
  • Focuses the broad topic scope to the most relevant issue in the conference time frame
  • Builds a program for their MC block including papers and other content if desired, with the PC there to help
  • Attends the conference and act as facilitator for their MC
  • You may give yourself a slot to speak during your MC, up to you
  • Gives 5-minute summary of their MC at end-of-conf report-out


Scheduling may result in having to shorten some or all of the MCs from the 3 hour target.

Other Sessions

For Track 3 or Evening slots.

  • Linux Annoyances - pass around the mic, and everyone gets 15-30 seconds to complain about the last thing in Linux they spent 3 hours trying to get working
  • Driver-writing Tutorial – how to write a Linux device driver
  • Keysigning
  • Werewolf or other geeky games
  • Presentations that don't fit cleanly into a microconf
  • Coding sprints
  • Linux trivia contest
  • BoFs
  • On-site laptop triage/fixing session (Kees Cook)
  • Plumbing-related issues surrounding application development for Linux - invite application developers from a few commercial and/or larger community driven projects to talk about issues they've encountered when developing applications for Linux. (Jen Redman)

Program Schedule

Should go under after finalization and beautification

Day 1

Time Track 1 (rm #338) Track 2 (rm #238) Track 3 (rm #298/296)
9am Conference Info and GregKH Keynote
10am Storage MC Audio MC
12:30pm Lunch Break
1:30pm Debugging MC V4L MC Asbock, Brown, Smith
4:00pm Snack
4:30pm git tutorial (Linus) Working Session
7:00pm Event

Day 2

Time Track 1 (rm #338) Track 2 (rm #238) Track 3 (rm #298/296)
9am Jon Corbet
10am Boot MC Server MC Leech, Mason, Blanchard
12:30 noon Lunch Break
1:30pm K/U I/F MC Power MC Tyree, Petersen, Deckelmann/Roth
4:00pm Snack
4:30pm systemtap tutorial (Jim Kenniston) Working Session keysigning
7:00pm Event

Day 3

Time Track 1 (rm #338) Track 2 (rm #238) Track 3 (rm #298/296)
9am Graphics MC Desktop Int MC
11:30 am MC Report-outs
12:30 End

Sample Microconf Schedule

Total time: 2 hr 30 min

Time Session
0:00 Presentation 1
0:30 Presentation 2
1:00 Lightning Talks
1:30 Break
1:45 Discussion/Round Table
2:15 Next Steps (by MC Runner)
2:30 End

Topic discussion

Topics, Champions, and reviewers TBD from discussion on topics-discuss mailing list (

Invited to Topics-discuss mailing list:

(Anyone is welcome, but we're also asking some people whom we'd especially like to participate)

  1. Olivier Fourdan <ofourdan at xfce dot org>
  2. Brian Tarricone <kelnos at xfce dot org>
  3. Benedict Meurer <benny at xfce dot org>
  4. Richard Hughes (PM)
  5. Robert Love
  6. Lennart Poettering (Avahi)
  7. Thomas Vander Stichele (gstreamer, audio/video/me codecs)
  8. Aaron Seigo (KDE)
  9. Havoc Pennington (GNOME)
  10. Owen Taylor (GNOME)
  11. Alex Gravely (GNOME)
  12. Keith Packard (Xorg)
  13. Adam Jackson (Xorg, RedHat)
  14. J5 Palmieri (Dbus)
  15. Rusty Russell
  16. Ted T'so
  17. Jeff Garzik
  18. Dave Airlie (Kernel graphics and X graphics)
  19. David Zeuthen (hal)
  20. Carl Worth (Cairo)
  21. Matthew Garrett (generic laptop/desktop integration expert)
  22. Kay Sievers (udev)
  23. Rolla Selbak (Firmware)
  24. Kristian Høgsberg <krh at redhat dot com> - X hacker and rewrote the Firewire Kernel stack recently
  25. Dan Williams <dcbw at redhat dot com> - creator of NetworkManager, fixer of wireless drivers
  26. Ray Strode <rstrode at redhat dot com> - Desktop infrastructure maintainer
  27. Jon Corbet <corbet at lwn dot net>
  28. Dirk Hohndel (Intel)
  29. Josh Triplett (sparse, xcb)
  30. Ulrich Drepper (glibc)
  31. Ben Goodger (or some other Firefox lead developer)
  32. Mike Meeks (ooo)
  33. Marcel Holtman (BlueZ)
  34. Dave Jones (kernel)
  35. Matthew Wilcox (kernel)
  36. James Bottomley (SCSI kernel)
  37. Len Brown (ACPI)
  38. Federico Mena-Quintero (GNOME)

Suggested invitees:

  1. More kernel people
  2. More desktop people
  3. More server people
  4. More embedded people
  5. More PDX people
  6. Other interested people

CFP Submission criteria

Submit against a particular topic block?

LCA sample CFP announcement:


CFP vs. invited people for keynote or Topic Champions

It would be nice if keynote was actually by a GOOD SPEAKER

Keynote speaker brain dump:

  1. Ken Thompson
  2. Mitchell Baker, Mozilla
  3. Tim O'Reilly
  4. Philip Rosedale, Second Life
  5. Greg KH
  6. Seth Godin
  7. Linus Torvalds
  8. a non-plumbing speaker who can provide insight or context of what we're all doing (e.g. Lessig, P Graham, the dude who invented ping)
  9. Wil Wheaton
  10. Oso Martin, Free Geek


  1. Flesh out ML with personal invitations to more leading Linux devs
  2. Define the process for reviewing proposals and deciding to accept/decline (voting?)
  3. Program Committee meeting schedule, timeline, indiv. responsibilities
  4. expenses paid for speakers?
  5. Update to move from 2008 to 2009!
program_planning.txt · Last modified: 2008/12/07 17:23 by paulmckenney
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