Malaysia: On the verge of an open source revolution?

By Richard Sharpe, LinuxWorld.com |  Development

The six-hour flight from Adelaide, Australia, to Singapore allowed me to finish the tutorials and presentations that I had prepared for the first LinuxWorld Malaysia 2000, held Nov. 7 to 9 at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur. In March I had attended the Singapore Linux Conference/LinuxWorld 2000, and I was interested in seeing what LinuxWorld Malaysia would be like. The Singapore event attracted people from all over Asia, with people traveling from Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, India, and even Australia and New Zealand. LinuxWorld Malaysia, however, was a local affair, though turnout was strong. For example, at least 150 people attended my Samba and Ethereal tutorials. Feedback from IDG suggested that more than 300 people attended the conference and more than 3,500 people attended the expo.



Because of the time differences between Malaysia and the US, we got the US presidential election results on Wednesday, Nov. 8, and the Malaysians seemed to be as interested in the outcome as they were in Linux. From the first tutorial to the last presentation, it was obvious that an enormous interest in Linux exists in Malaysia. (Although by the end of the conference, Malaysians were as disappointed as Americans at the election's unclear outcome.)



Election disappointments aside, the event was fairly standard, with the first day devoted to tutorials on Samba, XFS (SGI's Journalling File System), Ethereal, and Developing Applications with IBM Software on Linux. The second and third days were devoted to the usual assortment of conference sessions. While most of the talks naturally centered on Linux, Greg Lehey gave two talks on FreeBSD. Lehey is a FreeBSD developer who currently works for Linuxcare in Australia.

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