back to article make all relocate... Linux kernel dev summit shifts to Scotland – to fit Torvald's holiday plans

The Linux Kernel Maintainers' Summit was planned for Vancouver, Canada, in October – but it's been moved to Edinburgh, Scotland. Because kernel chief Linus Torvalds slipped up and booked a family holiday there. No, really – the change of plan was announced in this post to the Kernel Summit Discussion mailing list by core …

  1. chuckufarley
    Joke

    I wonder what...

    ...it's like to have people admire you so much they will travel 7000km out of their way just to be with you. The last time I booked a flight for a vacation I had the plane and the hotel to myself because the other travellers went 7000km out of their way just to avoid me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wonder what...

      It's pretty good actually. Especially the chicks.

      1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

        Re: I wonder what...

        I have difficulty imagining Linux kernel developers and chicks having much in common. (Unless Linux kernel developers like to peck seeds and tiny bugs from the ground.)

  2. jake Silver badge

    Better option anyway.

    Having spent some time in both locations, all in all I'd much prefer Edinburgh.

    1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: Better option anyway.

      I wondered if he "accidentally" booked the family vacation as an excuse to stay as far away as possible from American ThreeLetterGoons whom might want to "talk" to him in a private interrogation, I mean airport security check room?

      Lord knows Scotland's better for hiding among the wildlife (sheep vs moose) to try & sneak past the TLG's out searching for you...

      *Cough*

      I'll go take my Dried Frog Pills now...

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Better option anyway.

        Vancouver's in Canada, Mr/s Systems.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Better option anyway.

          ... and Linus is now a US citizen living in the US ... but why let a few details get in the way of our opinions!

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Better option anyway.

            "why let a few details get in the way of our opinions!"

            This is certainly the TLA view.

        2. Orv Silver badge

          Re: Better option anyway.

          There *is* a Vancouver, Washington, but it's really just an inconveniently located suburb of Portland, Oregon. Perhaps most famous for being the location of the US Geological Survey office that David Johnston radioed just before the Mt. St. Helens eruption wiped him off the face of the earth ("Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!")

          1. 2Nick3

            Re: Better option anyway.

            "There *is* a Vancouver, Washington, but it's really just an inconveniently located suburb of Portland, Oregon."

            With no income tax in Washington and no sales tax in Oregon I'd say it's pretty well located!

          2. JLV Silver badge

            Re: Better option anyway.

            David Johnston

            +1 read the wiki entry on him. Very few people died in that eruption. Not because it was small - I’ve visited the site - that mountain decapitated itself. And it is a big mountain. Forests got flash broiled 30km away.

            No, Johnston and others got the governor to _force_ an evacuation, weeks in advance. Very unpopular, stupid nanny government stuff. Until St Helens blew and it saved thousands.

            Something to ponder about in these times when being an expert is so unfashionable and anti vaxxers and alt facters claim oppression ;-)

            1. Orv Silver badge

              Re: Better option anyway.

              Yup. Only days before the eruption people were clamoring to be let back into the exclusion zone so they could tend to their property, because it had been weeks and nothing had happened. Part of the problem was inexperience -- geologists knew an eruption was a near certainty, but didn't have a good handle on how soon.

              Johnston was actually one of the geologists who believed the eruption was likely to happen laterally instead of upwards, which meant he knew better than anyone that he was putting himself in harm's way. He felt it was necessary to protect others' lives.

              These days St. Helens is slowly rebuilding itself with a series of small, dome-building eruptions. One of the theories is that it will continue these until they block off the main vent like a cork, and then pressure will slowly build for the next big eruption.

      2. Geoffrey W Silver badge

        Re: Better option anyway.

        RE: "accidentally" booked the family vacation as an excuse to stay as far away as possible from American ThreeLetterGoons"

        I think it more likely he "accidentally" booked the family vacation as an excuse to stay away from Linux kernel developers. They followed him anyway.

  3. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

    New! It's the elReg trip advisor

    I recently stayed at the Premier Inn at Edinburgh Park, it was very handy for travel into town and the airport. From the hotel cross the road, walk over the covered bridge in the train station and the tram stop is right there. (there are lifts as well as stairs in the bridge)

    IIRC it's ~15 minutes into town, costs £1.75 and ~10 mins to the airport, costs £6.20. Apparently the cost difference was to keep the taxi drivers sweet. I don't have any connection with PI, it's just an average type hotel.

    Here's a link.

    https://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/hotels/scotland/lothian/edinburgh/edinburgh-park-airport.html

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: New! It's the elReg trip advisor

      Edinburgh hotels can be a bit expensive and hard to find during the fringe festival, but there are many good places stay and see. If you can only do a couple of days stop-over in Scotland then Edinburgh is probably the place to go. It is even worth going on one of the open-top tourist buses to get a quick overview of the city.

      If you have some more time then a trip to Glasgow is worth while (historic rival to Edinburgh) as it has plenty of good restaurants, night-life (and low-life if you like that sort of thing), and a trip to the highlands for the scenery (weather permitting, but that can change on an hourly basis).

      For most of the highlands then a car is really needed, but if you don't want to drive then it is easy to get to Avimore by train (also has a historic steam train line if you fancy that, or the funicular railway up Cairngorm mountain) and the east coast train from Glasgow to Malaig has some amazing scenery (including the Glenfinnan Viaduct that featured in the Harry Potter movies) but you really should stay over at Malaig, not just for the peaceful experience but also as as it is not practical to go there and back in the one day.

      1. defiler Silver badge

        Re: New! It's the elReg trip advisor

        Get into The Malt Shovel. Just round the back of Waverley Station, they can see how many shelves of whiskeys they can work their way through before passing out.

        Or The Ox on Young Street. Still a favourite, well away from the gold diggers, sycophants and... well... yeah, them on George Street.

        Or they could head up to Marchmont / Newington, and wander around student-land, where the mid-1990s were a feast of CS students blowing up their monitors with bad timings on X11...

        1. phuzz Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: New! It's the elReg trip advisor

          they can see how many shelves of whiskeys they can work their way through before passing out

          ...and that's how we ended up with systemd

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: New! It's the elReg trip advisor

          Now I'm torn: I upvoted your post because the X11 config comment made me laugh, but now I see that you have confused Scotch whisky for the Irish version...! :-(

          1. defiler Silver badge

            Re: New! It's the elReg trip advisor

            Scotch whisky for the Irish version...! :-(

            Yeah - sorry. I tend to do that. It's one of those things that I know I always get wrong, so I always correct it, but I've learned to get it right. But I still correct it, only the other way now... Damn.

            Still, I tend to spell it "Glenlivet", "Talisker" or "Laphroaig".

            1. Steve Graham

              Re: New! It's the elReg trip advisor

              My trick for remembering the difference between whisky and whiskey is that the Scots are notoriously frugal, and so they use fewer letters.

              (Says an Irishman educated in Edinburgh.)

      2. bjr

        Re: New! It's the elReg trip advisor

        Did the Edinburgh festivals about 15 years ago, it's a fantastic experience. Went to a mix of fringe and non-fringe performances (one staged opera and several concert style operas), for those who don't know it's actually five different festivals at the same time, the largest is the fringe which are small shows, some amateur, some professional, I loved all of the ones I attended, plus there are a couple of professional festivals where the performances are on a much larger scale but the number of productions are small. The only downside of Edinburgh was the food which was pretty poor. Has the food been fixed? I remember London in the 70s and 80s and they really did live up to their reputation for terrible food, but that's not true anymore so I believe that Scotland could be fixed also, has it?

        1. defiler Silver badge

          Re: New! It's the elReg trip advisor

          Has the food been fixed?

          Yep. Now we have deep fried Curly Wurlys and deep fried Maltesers!

          To tell you the truth, there are loads of great places to eat in Edinburgh, but during the festival they're all crammed. So you end up with a burger out of a van, which are as shite as usual, or some pretentious fuck with a stand called Pulled Aporkalypse or something equally fantastic who'll do you something just as awful but wearing glasses and hair that make him look like he's in disguise.

          And it'll be £20. Plus more for a drink.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: New! It's the elReg trip advisor

            That's one of the reasons I always go to Glasgow for the festival.

          2. Ken 16 Silver badge

            Re: New! It's the elReg trip advisor

            Don't forget the Macaroni Pies

      3. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: funicular railway up Cairngorm mountain

        You missed the El Reg Geek's Guide...

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/07/04/geeks_guide_cairngorm_mountain_railway/

    2. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Pint

      It's pronounced EE-din-Berg*

      30 penguin fanciers outside of festival season isn't going to stretch Edinburgh hotel resources and if they can afford the flights they can afford a nicer hotel in town. It depends where the conference is, of course. May as well be within staggering distance of the Grassmarket or if you're feeling fancy, the Malmaison at Leith Shore will give lots of places to eat and drink nearby as the Michelin guide will attest.

      *disclaimer, I live/work in Edinburgh now but not in the tourism industry

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's pronounced EE-din-Berg*

        "30 penguin fanciers"

        ... Edinburgh Zoo was/is famous for taking its penguins out of their enclosure every day for a walk around the nearby paths.

        1. Ken 16 Silver badge

          Re: It's pronounced EE-din-Berg*

          Yes, or rather they open the gates and see if the Penguins want to parade.

      2. iainr

        Re: It's pronounced EE-din-Berg*

        no it's pronounced Edd-In-burr-ah and they have the only knighted brigadier King Penguin in the world.

        1. defiler Silver badge

          Re: It's pronounced EE-din-Berg*

          no it's pronounced Edd-In-burr-ah

          This means that you don't remember the audio file that used to bundle with the Linux source code (don't know if it still does because it's been years since I rolled my own) of Linus Torvalds saying:

          "My name is Linus Torvalds, and it's pronounced Lee-noox."

          Heading off a holy war between the proponents of lee-noox and lai-nux.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “ultimately there were only two choices that were workable” – go ahead without Torvalds, or move the summit.

    Paying Torvalds to rebook his family holiday for a different week, or move the holiday to Vancouver, would surely be other options - and less disruptive than booking 30 new sets of flights and accommodation.

    Besides: even if they move the conference to Edinburgh, Torvalds is still on holiday that week. He's happy to abandon his family to go talk kernels?

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      He's happy to abandon his family to go talk kernels?

      When I was in my early twenties. I was happy to work far too many hours over far too many days. Now, a tiny fraction wiser, I value my time with my family & doing my hobbies. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy my job, I just realized there's more to life.

    2. Dazed and Confused

      Re: other options

      Paying Torvalds to rebook his family holiday for a different week, or move the holiday to Vancouver, would surely be other options - and less disruptive than booking 30 new sets of flights and accommodation.

      They probably discussed this option and then someone realised that that it would involve explaining it to Mrs Torvalds and they decided that all heading over to Edinburgh was a better plan after all.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: other options

        "They probably discussed this option and then someone realised that that it would involve explaining it to Mrs Torvalds and they decided that all heading over to Edinburgh was a better plan after all."

        Are you saying Linus is a pussykitten compared to his wife and no one dares cross her? Wow!

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      even though Torvalds suggested they go ahead without him

      Look, clearly he doesn't want to go to the meeting, even going to the extent of "accidentally" booking a holiday on the other side of the Atlantic ocean, but these people keep following him around and forcing him to talk kernels.

      1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Brian: "All right, I am the Messiah! Now, fuck off!"

      2. ibmalone Silver badge

        these people keep following him around and forcing him to talk kernels

        They must be nuts.

    4. bjr

      I think that when they found out that Torvalds was going to be in Scotland every thought that it would be more fun than Vancouver.

  5. Whitter
    Devil

    Work out-of-work

    Is it not bad enough that work might send an email, possible even phone you, when on holiday?

    Wonder then at those who would bring the entire office in person to your family holiday!

    1. Joe W Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Work out-of-work

      Wonder then at those who would bring the entire office in person to your family holiday!

      Yeah, he tries to avoid them and spend some time with the family, and poof! I guess it is some sort of revenge: If you try to avoid us we might just as well come over and ruin your life ;-p

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Work out-of-work

      "You're in Edinburgh you say? I'm in Canada. It's lovely. I think there's been some kind of mix-up".

      The one with the plane tickets in the pocket.

    3. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: Work out-of-work

      "Wonder then at those who would bring the entire office in person to your family holiday!"

      Linus's new definition of "Kernel Panic".

  6. keithpeter
    Coat

    Places

    Portobello is a nice seaside town just outside Edinburgh.

    Edinburgh hosts lots of museums both national and city focused. Plenty of strange things to try to explain that will engage all ages.

    Mary King's Close strikes me as a good venue for any cabal meetings that may be needed (joke)

    There is still a Scottish-Italian community left in Edinburgh (and Glasgow of course). Owen Logan photographed that community extensively for his Bloodlines book and exhibition. Some families run shops, including the famous Volvona and Crolla, and many family run restaurants. I was visiting Edinburgh fairly regularly in the 1980s and early 90s and can remember the old Valvona and Crolla shop at the top of the Leith Road in the city. Hams hanging from the ceiling, cheeses, wines, olive oil and opera on the record player.

    The kernel wranglers could eat (and drink) very well.

    Coat: mine's the one with the Iain Rankin novel in the pocket (several times we have stayed in a self-catering flat, I've bought a novel at Waverly, and I have found myself reading about the street we are staying in)

    1. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Iain Rankin?

      I'd go Ken MacLeod or Charlie Stross

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Iain Rankin?

        Add Iain Banks and we're sorted (Charlie Stross doesn't write much about Edinburgh, or Scotland in general, but IB's novels are very Scottish).

        1. Ken 16 Silver badge

          Re: Iain Rankin?

          Rule 34?

  7. Benchops

    Penguin Parade

    Too bad they will have just missed travelling up to Dundee to bag as many penguins in the Maggie's Penguin Parade! https://maggiespenguinparade.com/

  8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Linus's plan for a quiet family holiday foiled.

  9. Pete4000uk

    Rocks are the same...

    The rocks in north west Scotland are the same as those in north east Canada.

    Utterly useless info but who cares?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Rocks are the same...

      But is due to continental drift and what are the relative levels of natural radioactivity?

      1. Spanners Silver badge
        Go

        Re: Rocks are the same...

        what are the relative levels of natural radioactivity?

        Its well known that granite gives a higher background count. As Edinburgh Castle is on a volcanic plug, I think the surrounding area will have come out of it.

  10. Starace Silver badge
    Alert

    Does video conferencing not run on Linux?

    See above.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Does video conferencing not run on Linux?

      I must admit, that was my first thought on reading the article. Why not just use Skype? Oh....wait....

      (other video calling s/w is available and actually still works on Linux)

  11. bed

    Penguins in Edinburgh

    The Holiday Inn would be ideal as it is next to the zoo which is (mostly) famous for its penguins. Maybe, next time, Torvalds should book into Banff (there being one in each country) or Aberdeen (where there are many in several) or Perth etc...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Penguins in Edinburgh

      "Maybe, next time, Torvalds should book into Banff (there being one in each country) or Aberdeen (where there are many in several) or Perth etc..."

      The original Vancouver (as well as Washington, Toronto, etc.) are all in jolly olde England, less than 30 minutes drive from my house. Oh, and FWIW, there's a Hull in Quebec too!

  12. Col_Panek

    Compromise: meet in New Edinburgh

    In the Ottawa neighborhood, where Trudeau lives. Halfway between Scotland and Vancouver

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: Compromise: meet in New Edinburgh

      Only the suicidial go to Ottawa in October. And if you by accident find yourself there and aren’t suicidial, don’t worry, it’s n less than 48 hours you will be.

      Yes, I did spend what seemed like a month but was only three days in Ottawa, once. Given the choice I’d pick Hull.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Compromise: meet in New Edinburgh

        The Hull that's just over the river, or Hull that goes between Hell and Halifax in things to be delivered from?

  13. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    I wonder if the "accident" was predicated by the fact that 3/4 of British Columbia appears to be on fire?

    I was in Grande Prairie, Alberta last weekend and the stink of smoke was so strong it seemed the town was burning. Nope, just the wind veering eastward.

  14. dmacleo

    he advised carrying on w/o him.

    they decided to follow him.

    any blame is upon them.

  15. J27 Bronze badge

    They should have just went with Linux from Linus Tech Tips instead. Same difference, right?

    But seriously, this is the sort of thing you'd expect out of a cult like Scientology. Torvalds could have re-booked his vacation significantly easier than it is to rebook an entire summit. What happens when he retires or dies? The development of Linux is a little bit too focused on Linus Torvalds.

    1. davcefai

      He's done a fantastic job, so why not?

      However I confess to feeling uneasy about when he retires. OTOH I'm much older than he is so I'll be past caring. I just hope that Poettering doesn't complete the job of destroying Linux.

    2. Barry Rueger

      What happens when he retires or dies?

      My thought as well. I'm enjoying the likelihood that we're now at peak Linux, when everything just works, and works well. I can't begin to list the number of wonderful software packages - or hardware for that matter - that were wonderful and useful, but which wound up becoming great, lumbering blobs of useless code, or worse were bought, ruined, and then abandoned by the likes of Microsoft or Google.

      Regardless of Linus' reputation in terms of people skills, it seems that he's managed to keep the product moving forward, improving, and stable. Microsoft should be so lucky.

    3. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      RE: "What happens when he...dies? "

      He'll probably do a Jim Jones, another cult leader, and take everyone with him.

      Microsoft related threads on ElReg will be a bit quieter.

    4. jake Silver badge

      Succession has been contemplated.

      Ages ago, in fact. DDG "What if Linus gets hit by a bus?". Or just read ElReg's article on the subject from a few years ago:

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/06/17/now_i_can_die_happy_what_linus_didnt_iquitei_say/

  16. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Joke

    Dan Hoover

    from Vancouver...

    The Men From The Ministry - "A Motley Crew"

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007k2bx

    Around 8'49''

  17. Pseudo Anonymous Coward

    Did no-one check the calendar?

    There were already 5 Linux Foundation events booked for the week of the 22nd to 26th in Edinburgh, including Torvalds keynote speech at the Open Source summit.

    Meaning he was already going to be in Edinburgh. And there were probably a fair few of the other 30 already booked to be there as well.

    I'm just hoping he turns up at the security summit for Microsoft's presentation on security in the kernel...

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