Meeting Readers at Linuxworld

by David Sklar

I spent the day yesterday at LinuxWorld. This was my first Linux trade show visit since my trips to Linux Expo in North Carolina a few years ago. Given the tremendous technical, public relations, marketshare, and mindshare gains Linux has made in the past five years, I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised how "mainstream" the expo floor seemed, but I was anyway. If I squinted just right so I had the giant Intel, AMD, HP, IBM, and Red Hat booths in focus, maybe I could have been at Internet World in 1997. The Polynesian/jungle/veldt-themed Ximian booth certainly helped me feel like I was back in the days when spending PR dollars on plush stuffed zebra-shaped chairs was the norm.

Adam and I hung out at the O'Reilly booth for a while. I really enjoyed meeting a lot of PHP users (and potential PHP users) across the familiarity-with-PHP spectrum. We talked about things ranging from "So, PHP, is that like JavaScript?" to the nitty-gritty of form processing. As a first-time author, it's gratifying to actually talk to people using PHP Cookbook.

Meeting other authors like Derek Vadala and Æleen Frisch as well as other O'Reilly folks who toil behind the scenes (editing, marketing, designing, PR-ing) was a treat too. I'm still learning about everything (besides the writing) that goes into book production.

I also spent some time at the NYPHP booth, New York's own excellent PHP user group. If you're in or around New York City (and are interested in PHP), don't miss its meetings and mailing-list.

My only complaint about the show has nothing at all to do with Linux: it's about the dismal food that the convention center sells. I did OK with a gyro vendor across the street, but the culinary situation was much better at the last trade show I went to at the Javits center -- the NASFT Fancy Food Show. Yum.