20150203 – FOSDEM talk

This last week was occupied with getting my slides ready for FOSDEM and giving the Ntimed presentation down in Bruxelles.

FOSDEM is a sort of “FOSS developers country fair” in Bruxelles every year.

It is not a conference in the traditional sense, there is no need to register, you just drop in.

Because of the vast scale of the event, around five thousand visitors, there is something for everybody, which again makes it possible for smaller FOSS communities, like Ada language practitioners, to meet at FOSDEM, rather than spending time arranging their own conference.

The idea to have a “time-track” originated with Philip Paeps, the Grand Mandarin of FOSDEM, possibly after getting George Neville-Neil of FreeBSD and PTP fame to come over from USA.

When I was asked who else would fit on a time-track, I immediately recommended Harlan Stenn of the Network Time Foundation and Tom Van Baak who is the kind of person to show his kids how general relativity works, or more precisely: that it works.

I’m not sure who pointed to Martin Burnicki from Meinberg in Germany, but I’m really glad somebody did.

So the full line-up of the time-track ended up being:

  • Tom Van Baak – Precise time: from CPU clocks to hacking the Universe

  • George Neville-Neil – Computers, Clocks and Network Time

  • Martin Burnicki – Technical Aspects of Leap Second Propagation and Evaluation

  • Poul-Henning Kamp – Ntimed an NTPD replacement

  • Harlan Stenn – NTF’s General Timestamp API and Library

To be honest: Five hours of time talks, when coffee and tea are too far away to reach in the breaks, will tax anybodys endurance, but all talks had a good crowd and people generally laughed at the right spots.

FOSDEM will put the video online soonish.

If you boss tells you to “get all the computers to have the exact same time” you should watch Georges talk before you say anything stupid.

If you want to fully understand what your computers do with leapseconds, Martins talk will tell you.

My slides are here: 20150201 FOSDEM slides