Southern California's open source and free software expo

SCaLE 18x

Article from Issue 234/2020

With numerous exhibitors and workshops, SCaLE 18x covered a wide range of open source topics.

SCaLE 18x, in Pasadena, California, from March 5-8, 2020, offered over 150 exhibitors and nearly 130 workshops, tutorials, and events.

The event kicked off on Thursday morning with workshops, including tracks on embedded, PostgreSQL, and sponsored topics. Probably the best workshop on Thursday was the introduction to containers and Kubernetes. After being reorganized into a full day event, demand for this workshop was greater than the presenters could have anticipated. In the sponsored track a workshop on working with Jenkins and continuous delivery was offered.

On Friday, topics like Kubernetes, GitLab, PostgreSQL, and related issues were presented throughout the day. At 2pm, the exhibition hall opened to a large crowd who grabbed any GNU/Linux swag that wasn't nailed down. Aleksey Tsalolikhin, from the Linux Professional Institute, gave a presentation entitled "DevOps Tools Engineer Preparation Session." Other events on the schedule included a GitLab community day, several DevOps sessions, "Getting Started with FreeBSD," and many others.

On Saturday morning, Paul Vixie's keynote speech, "DNS Wars, Episode IV: A New Bypass," covered his work in the DNS field since 1989, including inventing many of the monitoring and filtering capabilities now used by nearly all DNS services. He discussed the web-based DNS over HTTP (DoH) protocol, which is being pushed by Mozilla and others.

If you are familiar with Bradley Kuhn [1], you know how good his public presentations are. Kuhn gave a talk on "What'll We Do When FOSS Licenses Jump the Shark? The Next Season of Copyleft License Drafting and Promulgation." He discussed the current situation where proprietary commercial organizations publish open source software licenses that are not open source, as well as Copyleft-next, an experimental effort to create a new and easier-to-understand copyleft license.

On Sunday, Sha Wallace-Stepter and Jessica McKellar gave a keynote talk entitled "From Prison to Python: What Is the Free Software and Broader Tech Community's Role in Criminal Justice Reform?" The keynote covered how Wallace-Stepter learned to program in prison while serving a life sentence for assault with a firearm.

As a smaller venue, SCaLE offers advantages over a large-scale GNU/Linux event. At SCaLE, it is much easier to attend workshops or presentations, as well as to connect with other people in your area of interest. If you missed SCaLE 18x, you can view the long list of presentations on YouTube [2]. I hope to see you next year at SCaLE.

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