FLOSS Weekly 717 Transcript

Doc Searls (00:00:00):
This is Floss Weekly. I'm Doc Searls. This Floss Weekly is withIlan Rabinovitch, who started SCaLE the Southern California Lennox Expo 20 years ago. This is the 20th one coming up. It's a big deal. There's so much he knows. There's so much experience he's got, there's so many things that he and Catherine Druckman and I talk about on this show. It's really good. And that is coming up next.

Announcer (00:00:31):
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Doc Searls (00:00:37):
This is Floss Weekly episode 717 Recorded Wednesday, February 1st, 2023. SCaLE is still huge. This episode of Floss Weekly is brought to you by aci. Learning Tech is one industry where opportunities outpaced growth, especially in cybersecurity. One third of information security jobs require a cybersecurity certification. To maintain your competitive edge across audit it and cybersecurity readiness visit, go dot aci and buy fast mail, reclaim your privacy, boost productivity, and make email yours with fast mail. Try it free for 30 slash TWiT. Fast Mail is also giving twit listeners a 15% discount on the first year when you sign up today. Hello again, everyone. Good morning. Good evening. Good whenever it is, wherever you are. I am Doc Searls, and this is Floss Weekly, and I am joined this week by Katherine Druckman. There she is. She should appear there. She appears in her <laugh>, in her nice office. <laugh>, I guess she's like two location dead, two locations. You just jump around in the house, right? Do you move the mic or do you just have two mics?

Katherine Druckman (00:02:02):
I, I, uh, I moved the mic and that is why I struggle a bit. <laugh> <laugh>. Yeah.

Doc Searls (00:02:06):
Yeah. I move. Yeah, I, I have, I have my road mic and I have my fixed mic. This is my fixed mic, which is in, uh, I, and, and this is a new location. You may notice, uh, that this is, uh, in Bloomington, Indiana. In, in my latest basement. I moved from another basement in Bloomington for earlier shows to, to this one, which is not furnished yet, except with some roll around organizing things that I, that I picked up, one at a garage sale, the other at Home Goods. Home Goods is where stuff that's is the shortest distance between any retail and garage sales, I think is Home Goods <laugh>. But, but anyway, but they're handy. They're handy. So, so our guest, uh, today is Ellan Rabinovich. Um, and he started SCaLE. And you're going to SCaLE. So I think you're going to SCaLE. You're SCaLE.

Katherine Druckman (00:02:57):
I am going to SCaLE

Doc Searls (00:02:58):
Finally again this year. <laugh>. This is great. So, and an interesting thing to me is that I think my oldest emails from him are inviting me to come to SCaLE, which I have never done <laugh>, and I feel guilty about that, mostly because I've always been elsewhere, even though I li lived there. So let, let, let's just jump into it and, um, and welcome you line to the show.

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:03:24):
Thanks for Hey, hey, hey, doc. Hey, Catherine. Thanks for having me.

Doc Searls (00:03:26):
Yeah. So, so, um, so, so I, so you're, you're no longer in Southern California, right? You're now been exiled to New York,

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:03:37):
Correct? Yeah. Uh, I mean, SCaLE, for those of you that aren't familiar with SCaLE, it's, um, it, you know, it's a open source conference that's held in, in the Los Angeles area every year. Uh, a bunch of us started it when we were college kids. So we just wanted, we wanted tech. We wanted to see our, you know, our favorite open source developers. And we thought if we start a conference, they'll have to show up. Um, it's not as easy as that, but it did. You know, uh, it turns out, if you invite somebody for 20 years, they, they might show up, or they might just always schedule. They might some or, or like Doc, they'll always schedule a family reunion or something. That's

Doc Searls (00:04:06):
There another thing. Oh, there's something. There's always something.

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:04:09):
But, but yeah. Yeah. So a lot of us have moved away from the LA area, though. Like, uh, we, we still have a core group of organizers in la but it turns out, you know, when you don't always end up living where you were growing to school, where we went to college, you ended up moving around the world. And so, as our, as we, we have, uh, we have folks coming in from Europe that are still, you know, still core planners. They just, they still love the show. They still wanna be involved. Some of our organizers live in Canada and New York, NorCal all over the place. And so, um, you know, it's still, it's, it's still a Southern California show, but a lot of our organizers have, have, have, have sort of spread around the world.

Doc Searls (00:04:43):
So, so what, what school were you going to when you started SCaLE?

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:04:47):
Uh, I was a freshman at U C S B.

Doc Searls (00:04:50):
Uh, oh, really? You were all, you were even farther out from LA than I was <laugh>. I,

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:04:56):
Wow. I, I mean, I, I, I grew up, so I grew up in Los Angeles proper, like San Fernando Valley, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, and then, uh, yeah, went to school at U C S B, and that's, um, uh, and that, that's, that, that's around the year. I think freshman year was the year we said like, let's, a bunch of us at U C L A, U C S B csun, uh, a bunch of local logs Yeah. Are like, let's start a show. And that's, that's where, that's where SCaLE came from. So, and 20 years later, I'm, I'm still doing it <laugh>.

Doc Searls (00:05:20):
I, I love U C S B. I still have an affiliation there. I still have a, a fellowship with a center at U C S B, which I'm neglecting. I feel bad about it. But, um, so, so I'd, I'd like to know kind of what is the arc? It is probably not an arc, it's more like a, an ascent of SCaLE over time. Um, uh, I've had a similar experience with I w up in Northern California, which started as a small thing. It just got to be a bigger and bigger and bigger thing. Yeah. It seems to be SCaLE has just kind of steadily grown. Am I wrong about that?

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:05:54):
Yeah, I, I, I think that's, I think that's true. Uh, we, I mean, we started, so before SCaLE, there was an event called the Lug fests that, um, that were in, in the LA area. And that was, um, basically back in the day when Linux user groups were, the way that you got really engaged with the open source community, we had, um, you know, LA probably had something like 20 different Linux user groups. And LA's a very, um, it's a very wa very broad city, you know, going from point to point. You know, it can take you forever, especially once you throw traffic in. So, you know, on any given night there, any given night of the week, there was probably a lu meeting, if not too. Uh, but different people went to different areas. We were all friends. But if you went to, I don't know, the lax lu, you're not going to the Simi, canne, ho Valley lug or whatever it might be.

And so, uh, for SCaLE, uh, we wanted to, uh, you know, for, for, so we put together this lug fest, which is basically like our annual reunion or barbecue for all of the, you know, all of the folks in the lug area. And we lost our venue for that. And so, uh, then SCaLE popped up, and I think the first SCaLE had maybe 200 attendees. We were at usc. It all fit in one room. Um, uh, it was a great, uh, it was a lot of fun. And everybody said, you'll be, you'll be twice the size next year. And we actually turned out to be about twice the size the next year. So we started, that's where we started adding this, uh, x piece after it. So it's like SCaLE 20. Uh, we're not actually, I don't know that we're 20 times the, you know, the 200 we had back in, in 2001, but 2001, 2002.

But, uh, but yeah, that's, that's, it's just grown a little bit every year. Uh, and we've sort of followed the rise, I would say, of open source and Linux, uh, you know, Linux World as a whole. As, uh, as that grew, there's more interest, more people want to come out. We've also expanded our scope. So, you know, we're not just, we don't just cover Linux anymore. We have some, you know, some of our members have, have, have gone, some of our organizing team have gone on to build, you know, build great careers in the security space. And so security's really interesting to them. So they've created a bunch of tracks around security topics. There's other folks that are interested in, you know, in, in, in DevOps or cloud or systems management or whatever it might be. And so we've expanded from, you know, just a, you know, conference only about Linux, which is a, a small, you know, a small portion, a small, but very important portion of how we run, run all of our infrastructure today to covering a whole bunch of other topics. Um, so I mean, even this time we've been, I mean, we've, the last couple years we, we've done b free b s d trainings and workshops as well from, from the previous D Foundation as an example. That's not Linux, but it is, it is, it is still within the, I think our, our mission of tr of teaching people about open source and about, um, uh, you know, and, and do doing it in a way that's really accessible. So,

Doc Searls (00:08:26):
Um, I, I, I wanna go back into the lus for a second cause I hadn't thought about them. And, but they were a really big thing back in the nineties and the early aughts and, um, uh, uh, Santa Barbara had a lu, um, I went to that a few times, and, um, and they kind of, I don't know if they vanished, but they certainly went, they, they're kind of like, it's sort of like the same, the same history as blogs had in a way. Blogs were huge. Yeah. My blog was huge at one time. I still have it. They're still around, but, and they're kind of like a, a corporate requirement sort of. I mean, that's sort of the sad thing about it as companies have blogs cuz just cuz they need a police to, to put their press releases. But Yeah. Um, what are are are still a thing in some ways, or, or is it just an expired idea? That was cool at the time, but, you know, I'm not sure.

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:09:23):
Yeah. I, I think, yeah, there are blogs that are still around the majority of the LA lugs are gone. Um, you know, if there's something around from them still, it's their, it's their mailing list and people's, or their IRC channels or, you know, or some other, some other mechanism for maintaining the social connection. Um, I, I don't, my, my sense is that logs were a, a necessity at one point because it was hard to find other people that were interested in open source and Linux. Uh, it was a necessity because it was hard to use open source and Linux. Uh, I, you know, I remember failing many, many a times that my first Slack were installed <laugh> and, and having to, you know, go out to the Simi Kajo Valley lug and get help, help from somebody to help figure out what was going on. And sometimes it wasn't your fault.

Sometimes it was just we didn't support that graphics card or that chip set or whatever it might be. Um, but I, I think as that became easier and as it just became the default that everybody around you is using Linux and open source software, um, you know, getting together one, you know, one day a month or one day a week to go talk about, you know, to go talk about Linux specifically was like, well, I do that every day. Uh, and so what, what's left over is the social aspect. And so, um, you know, a lot of my closest friends are people that I met at Linux user group meetings or Linux, you know, Linux conferences over, over the years. Um, but it's just not, I, I don't know if, I think it's just a change in, in what we needed as a community. Um, meet meetups are still a thing, but they end up covering like a very specific topic on something that's hard today that wasn't, that, you know, that maybe didn't exist when we had lugged. Um, so you, yeah, that's my, I don't know, that's my take. It's not <laugh>, uh, but I'm, I'm curious what you all are seeing.

Katherine Druckman (00:10:59):
I, I haven't been to a user group meeting of any sort in so long. I can't even <laugh>. I have no idea what's out there. I used to, I used to organize a local droople user group meeting actually years ago. And, uh, that actually kind of leads me to what I wanted to ask you about. So what, 12 years ago now, I took the lead on organizing Aple event. Um, I had a tiny bit of participation in the very earliest, I think, uh, uh, Texas Linux. It is it called Texas Linux list. Yeah. Um, but, but the lead I I, I took on the triple event. If events are a lot of work, tremendous amount of work, uh, kind of mind boggling if you've never done it. Um, yeah, I want it. How have you been doing it this long? What are your secrets? How do you, how do you manage your time? How do you balance everything Yeah. Balance to get this done. Um, it's the 20th this year, right? Yeah,

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:11:46):
Yeah. 20, 20 years. Yeah, it's I think 21 years since we started, but 20, it's the 20th SCaLE. We have to skip one in the middle. Cause of, of it turns out running, getting 3000 people together during a pandemic has not, is usually frowned to pound by, by, by city officials. But, um, but yeah, so we, yeah, I, in terms of that, I mean, I think one thing is, uh, I have, uh, a very understanding life and a very, very, I've always had very understanding employers. So I think that's the most important part is that I've had support in, in that, in, in that way. Um, uh, they've always, uh, you know, whether it was Datadog most recently or, or Edmonds or y or any other places I've worked over the years, they've always seen this as, um, uh, see, they, they've always let me make my work on SCaLE, be, you know, part of my, part of my day-to-day work at the company, which is, which is great.

Um, uh, the other thing is, um, you know, there's, we have a large team. Like, I wish I could say, you know, I, I'm on here on the show and you get to see my face and, and, and my, my bio, but the, the reality or, or hear my voice if you're, if you're listening to the podcast, but the reality is there's probably, you know, probably a hundred people on any given year that are helping make SCaLE be what it is. Uh, and so like anything in the open source community, many hands make for, for light work, um, I think the, um, you know, the, the, the biggest challenge I would say is like with any volunteer sort of community project is just, it's a lot of herding of cats. And so, uh, people sign up to do something and they'll be able to put in, uh, they'll, they'll get to 20% of it and then, you know, work or life comes in the way and then you'll have to, you, you know, somebody else jumps in and does the next 20% and it continues from there.

So, uh, but yeah, it's, um, there's been years when it's tiring and there's some burnout and there's years that, but then SCaLE happens and we all just get re-energized by it <laugh>. Um, so this is around the time where, uh, a lot of my organizers, a lot of my cogans will, will make fun of me. Cuz at some, you know, they'll, we'll be talking about something and I'll say, well, if we do this again next year. And, and, and they're like, you've been saying if we do this again next year for 20 years, uh, we're like, what makes you think, what makes you doubt it? And I'm like, I don't know. This is just the time of year when, you know, the tiredness sits in. But then we'll get together with 3000 people or 4, 3, 3, 4,000 people in a couple weeks, and they'll be, all the excitement will be back. So,

Katherine Druckman (00:13:53):
Yeah, it is great fun. I can't wait. I'm going this year. I, I actually, a sad story, I, I booked travel for March of 2020. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I was planning to go to that one. I had the, the pre I was at 2019. Yeah. Um, and 2020, I had a sinus infection. I didn't actually have covid, but I, it was at the very beginning, right. It, it still happened in person. Um, and yeah, I had to ca cancel because I'm like, I will get, like, I physically attacked if I get on a plane coughing the way that I am right now. So

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:14:26):
Yeah, I mean, SCaLE, SCaLE 2020 did happen. Um, the, the interesting thing about that one was, you know, you're calling all the health departments were like, is it okay to get together? Yeah. We hear there's a pandemic thing that might be happening. Nobody really knew what it was at the time. And they're like, that's just the flu. Don't worry. Put out some hand sanitizer, you'll be fine. And then the literally, as we finished doing setup the night before the conference, that was when the city of Pasadena and the city of LA said, state of emergency, it's a pandemic. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, don't go out, uh, <laugh>. And we're like, uh, we're already here. This is happening. It's too late. <laugh>. Yeah. Uh, so it's, so I

Katherine Druckman (00:15:02):
Remember that. Yep.

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:15:03):
And so it was, it was a fun time. But, uh, but, uh, but, but a, a stressful one to, to say the least. That was probably my, you know, when you on, when you run events for this long, there's always adventures. Uh, and I think this one pandemic was one obviously that, that was very stressful. The other one was the year, uh, we learned the Grammys were scheduled next door to us. And so you look around, they, they, they shut off all the streets and you're like, nobody could get through the convention center, <laugh>. Uh, you have to get through the cops. Uh, there were snipers on the roofs of all the buildings around us, <laugh>. Uh, and so that was, um, I think, uh, the, the, I I, I've told this story a few times recently, but, uh, uh, one of our sponsors materials disappeared and I didn't sh like we couldn't find it.

And they were freaking out looking for the stuff for their booth. And one of our early co-founders who's not with the show anymore, but, uh, you know, Gareth had to like, where the, with the conventions under staff, like break into the room where they had the actual Grammy envelopes with like who, or, or trophies or whatever with who won. And it turns out like that sponsor's box was just sitting next to all of that, because that's what happens when you run events <laugh>. And so they had sworn us to secrecy, but I figure, I don't know, 18 years later, I can, uh, the N D A maybe has, uh, has, uh, has <laugh> has expired.

Katherine Druckman (00:16:14):
So Gareth, for those who don't know, was the last cover model on the last printed copy of Lennox Journal. Little trivia for you. Yeah. Anyway. Didn't know that,

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:16:25):
But, but yeah, so it's, um, it, it's, so for us, I mean, SCaLE really started off as a show for us to talk about a, a a way for us to put the other, an event that we enjoyed as a conference. And so that's still what we do today, is we just all, you know, all, there's probably about 10, 15 core organizers that are doing things year round. There's probably a hundred people once you start to include the people the day of the event. And all of us are just, um, just looking to put on an event that we enjoy and that gives back to the next generation of, of, of, of, of, of, um, open source users and developers that, uh, we hope will get the same opportunities that we did. So yeah. That's,

Doc Searls (00:17:01):
Well, well, I want to ask, uh, more about the constituency of who's showing up and so forth. But first I have to let everybody know that this episode of Plus Weekly is brought to you by ACI Learning for the last decade. Our partners at IT Pro have brought you engaging in entertaining IT training to level up your career or organization. Now, IT PRO is a part of ACI learning with IT Pro ACI learning is expanding its reach and production capabilities, offering you the content and learning mode you need at any stage in your development. Whether you're at the very beginning of a career or looking to move up in your sector. A c i Learning is here to support your growth, not only in it, but cybersecurity and audit readiness. One of the most widely recognized beginner certifications is the CompTIA A plus certification. CompTIA courses with IT Pro from ACI learning make it easy to go from daydreaming about that career in IT to launching IT.

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Where and how you Learn matters. ACI Learning offers fully customizable training for all types of learners, whether preferred in person, on demand or remote. Take your learning beyond the classroom, explore what ACI learning offers with it. Pro Audit Pro including enterprise solutions, webinars, and a Skeptical auditor podcast practice labs, learning hubs, and their partnership program. Tech is one industry where opportunities outpace growth, especially in cyber security. One third of information security jobs require a cyber security certification to maintain your competitive edge across audit IT and cybersecurity readiness visit go dot aci That's go dot ACI Don't forget to use our special code TWIT 30 to get 30% off a standard or premium individual IT Pro membership. Okay. So Ilan, um, how, how has the constituency changed? I mean, we, you started out with LU people Yeah. Who are pioneers. They're all helping each other. Linux is, is a hermit crab on, on, uh, on Windows laptops and, and, and servers and so forth. Um, and, and, and actually the cloud hasn't happened yet because, you know, somebody at I B M didn't discover you could put many Linnux instances on a three 70 or a Z 80 or whatever. Yeah. And now that's gigantic. We have containers. Everything is industrialized and it's an, it's a much more industrial, um, field. So how has the constituency changed the people who were coming to the show?

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:21:21):
So I think, um, initially a lot of us were students. Um, you know, we were, the, the event was happening on a university campus. It was being organized by university students as well as other, as well as lug members from around the area. And so, um, you know, I think a lot of the companies that came out to SCaLE probably saw it, you know, I would guess saw it as a, um, as a, as a recruiting pipeline at the time. Uh, all those students, however, grew up and got jobs and, you know, they're still interested in, in, in open source. They're still interested in open platforms and, and, and, and all these technologies. And so now they've come back, uh, a lot of them still come back every year, but now they're looking at it from a, not from I want a job perspective, or I want to learn how to get, you know, you know, get, get my career going.

Um, although we still offer a lot of that, a a lot of programs around that, um, you know, now it's folks that are, that are using Linux and open source software, uh, every day as part of their jobs. It's folks that want to, uh, that are core developers on some of these projects, um, that come in to meet with their communities. And that's, uh, you know, I think just as the, as the community has grown, we've grown up, we have grown up. Uh, and so in terms of topics, um, you know, I think also now we cover a lot that's higher level above Lin. It's not just about Linux, the operating system, but about things that you can do with Linux or software that you might build on top of Linux or how to, um, how to use it in various, uh, various commercial and non-commercial ways.

It's not just about the operating system itself, but rather about things that you, that you do with it. Which is, you know, it turns out that 20 years later, we're not all looking to tinker with our, with our, you know, with our graphics cards anymore. We actually wanna play the video game finally, or we wanna write the, you know, write the software on top that uses the GPU for something finally. And it's, it's just the platform now can do it. We've, we've gotten through all of the hurdles that made it hard to use Linux back in the day. And so now we can talk about getting work done. Um, so, and as far as, you know, as far as this, uh, the, the, the speakers, I mean, this year we've got folks like, uh, Ken Thompson from, uh, who, you know, who, who created Unix and Go and UTF eight and a whole bunch of other things.

We, you know, we depend on, uh, giving a keynote. We have Arun Gupta from Intel who's gonna talk about, um, some of, some of his experience and work in building open source communities. Um, we have, um, we have another one that I'll, I don't, I don't wanna scoop the, the PR team, we'll announce it next week, but, uh, in sort of from the, from the maker world. Uh, and so this is, you know, these are, I would say, uh, the other thing that's changed for us is just we can now, you know, 20 years ago we said if we invite all of our, our, all of our open source, uh, heroes and legends out, they'll, they'll have to come. Cuz we have a conference. And some of them did. But now, now usually we reach out to somebody and we say, Hey, would you do, would you come give a talk at SCaLE? And the answer is yes. So that, that part's gotten a lot easier cuz we ha people know who we are and what we do.

Katherine Druckman (00:24:02):
Very cool. As an intel, I have to, I have to also, I guess mention, uh, plug that Arun will be on Flo Weekly coming up too, I hope. Maybe. Oh, nice. Use his keynote a little

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:24:10):
On keynote. That'll be great. Yeah. Um, so, and yeah, so it's, um, it's just, that's, I I, so that's, that's how it's changed in, in terms of, you know, we men I mentioned earlier that we've got, uh, you know, it used to be people looking to launch their career in order to keep that going. One of the things that we've done, uh, we, we've done regularly and we're, we're bringing back this year is, um, is is is sort of two tracks. One's open source career day, which is an opportunity for people that want to get their break in using, you know, getting jobs around Linux and open source software. It's a whole day about helping you prep your resume and how to, how to do and how to do interviews and sort of how to pitch yourself well and, and, and opportunities there. Um, and then for the other end of the spectrum, we have a, we have a whole track for kids called, uh, SCaLE Next Generation.

And what that is, is kids, you know, students that are in middle school, high school, sometimes even younger, will come in and give, will give presentations about interesting things they're doing with Linux and open source software. Uh, and I, I, I, I'm, I'm always amazed at what these, these folks are pulling off. Like, I got my start in Linux, you know, I don't know, started using Linux when I was, you know, before I could drive. And I was definitely not at the level that some of these kids are when they, when they come up and present. And so we've seen, we've been doing that for, I don't know, probably, uh, probably about 10 years now. Um, and it's interesting, I've seen, I've seen some of the kids that started off giving talks in that track, move into their career, go off to college, uh, do amazing things.

And so it's great to follow their, their trajectory there. But you can get started at any age with Linux and Open Source. And so we, uh, we hope, you know, we, if if you are coming out to the show, um, you know, uh, there are conferences that say you must be 18 or older to come in the door. That's okay. We're like, bring the 18 and younger as well. The, the, our sponsors love it. Uh, there's content just for them. Uh, the, the, the, the, the SCaLE, you know, most conferences have a party or a reception on one of their nights with, uh, you know, that ends up being a cocktail hour. We do a game night, so kids come out and play laser tag with their parents or board games or, you know, card games or whatever it might be. It's, it's a ton of fun. So, uh, we, we've, we've made sure to make, keep SCaLE family friendly, uh, one because we wanted to give the next generation an opportunity to get started early with Open Source and Linux. But two, because a lot of the organizers have kids now, and if they're gonna go away from their family for a weekend to run a conference, they wanna bring their kids with us <laugh>. So, uh, so it's, it's a little self-serving. But, but yeah,

Katherine Druckman (00:26:24):
The kid thing is interesting. I, I remember, you know, the last time I was there on the expo floor, tons of kids running around, but, but in the good way, <laugh>. Yeah, not in the good way. Um, I, I had actually, you know, some really engaging conversations with very young people and it's really impressive. Yeah. Uh, yeah. Yeah, I would definitely encourage people with kids to take them to SCaLE. Um,

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:26:42):
Um, I, I, you, you know, we've had, we've had school districts like the LA Unified school district, Pasadena Unified School districts have come to us and said, can we, um, you know, can we just, can we send a bus of kids to the show to come, like, just learn about about this stuff? And we're like, sure. Bring 'em on by the more the merrier. So, um, you know, we, we, if if you've got a student group or a club or something and you wanna bring 'em by to learn about linnux and open source software or, or, uh, uh, you know, please, please reach out. Uh, we're, we're happy to help set that up.

Katherine Druckman (00:27:08):
Yeah, it works out really well. I don't, I don't think it would be suitable at, you know, a lot of other open source events. Some, yes. I mean, there are actually, I, I'm seeing more and more sort of kid-friendly and family friendly tracks at various events. But that actually kind of brings me to an, to a question that I had in my mind. A a lot of open source events now are very corporate and business oriented that's kind of taken over the events world, whereas the, the community kind of grassroots events have, in some cases kind of died off. Um, their attendance has dropped, but SCaLE's going strong. I wonder, I I do understand that SCaLE is, is definitely respectful of, of, of the business interests. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I just don't wonder what's your secret? Do you have a secret? Is there some like magic formula that, that has helped you weather, you

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:27:53):
Know, <laugh>? Um, you know, I think there's, there's sort of a spectrum and you can be all the way on one side, which is entirely, um, focused on the free software. Um, you know, uh, non-commercial aspects of it, which, which there, that's those, those are all great topics and things that we're interested in love. And then you could go all the way to the other end, which is just like, we're not here to talk about anything open source. We're here to talk about commercial commercialization of op of, of, of that software or of services on top of it. Um, and we've tried really hard to just live in the middle because those two communities depend on each other. Most open source developers have jobs somewhere, and those jobs are funding their work. Um, uh, and so those companies, they understand that those companies need to need to exist, need to need to meet things.

A lot of users want commercial support or, or services or something around the open solar software that they use. Um, and those companies recognize that they're building on top of the shoulders of giants with taking advantage of, of all these open source, you know, projects and communities. So it, it, it should be symbiotic, and if we can find, we can strike the right balance, it, it keeps both sort of, both groups, um, excited and coming back. Um, and I'm sure on any given year we lean one too much one way or the other. Um, but we've, we've tried really hard to keep that balance. And so, I don't know, on nex booklo or right next to the, I don't know, right next to the Red Hat booth, you'll see, you know, you'll see a, a, a Linux user group that has their, their community booth or, uh, um, you know, or an open source project, uh, run by, you know, just one or two maintainers. Uh, and you know, we try to, we try not to separate them out too much. We try to keep that together and it gives it, it gives it a fun energy that everybody seems to, seems to enjoy. So, um, I, I, um, yeah. And so we've, we've done that. We've followed that model at Texas LinuxFest in a few other places, and it seems to, it seems to work well. Uh, and hopefully those other events will come back now that the pandemic's subsided a bit. So,

Doc Searls (00:29:42):
Yeah, that, um, well, there's so many topics we can go to here. One of them that's on, on my list here, there's, um, is the, I remember, I mean at Lennox Journal and an irony of Lennox Journal was that it was run entirely by women, including Catherine. And the constituency on the readership side was almost a hundred percent male. And, um, I'm wondering if that's changed much and if you see that at SCaLE, do you see more women there? And for that matter, do you see more diversity in general? And is the field such as it is now being much more assertive industrial than big and successful doing better at attracting women and, and, uh, others to, to the, to the field?

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:30:27):
You know, I, we've put in a lot of effort in making sure that we're a welcoming conference to, to everybody, uh, regardless of gender, you know, race, other backgrounds. Uh, I, I think even for us that's, it's still sometimes, uh, a struggle to find, uh, you know, to ensure that, um, things are as diverse as we would like them to be. Uh, turns out, I mean, I remember one year we organized a panel, uh, with the CEOs of a bunch of com of a, of, of a several open source com companies. And it turns out I, I would love for there to be a woman's c e o of one of those companies, but there wasn't one. So I, I didn't have another, I, I couldn't create a diverse panel in that regard when I wanted to. There's, it's, uh, so sometimes it's still a challenge because there's, you know, it's just where we are as an industry, uh, but it's all of our responsibility to just make that easier and, and, and to be more approachable and to, and to, and to go out of our way to create those opportunities. Uh, and I, I think we've done that at SCaLE. Uh, we, we stats most years on, on our experiences there. I don't, uh, I think the, the, the report from, from this year will, will come out after the event. Um, but, you know, we, if if you see us doing something where we could be doing better, uh, you know, call us out on it, we're, we're, we're happy to take constructive, constructive feedback.


Katherine Druckman (00:31:44):
Are you streaming the event again? I just wondered as an aside, for people who are listening who no one, I obviously occur, I recommend traveling and, and attending in person, but yeah, if you can, but, uh,

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:31:55):
Um, yeah, we, we've built, um, an interesting stack of open source software that we use for, for streaming and recording the event. Uh, and you should be able to find most of the sessions on YouTube. Uh, that, that being said, I think the biggest part of SCaLE that, um, that people, um, uh, that, that, that, that, that's is not what's on the schedule. It's what's happens between the sessions. It's what happens in the halls, it's happened in the, the absolutely the discussion sessions, the groups, all of these other pieces. And I wish, um, you know, I I I encourage people to come out and, and take advantage of that in person. Cuz I can't, I can't live stream the hallway track. There's, there's 2000 sessions happening at any given time in the, in the hallway track. Uh, but in the, you know, I can, I can serve the talks that are in rooms, uh, also just the conversations you'll have on the expo floor and in other places as you meet with every, you know, like every Linux that exists, you know, is having a, you know, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but has a booth at DPO floor, if you're using, um, the developers there wanna meet with you.

You, you can't do that on a live stream. But, uh, but we do try to capture all the content because we think it's important and, and, you know, for the, the, uh, topper that, that, that education

Katherine Druckman (00:33:00):
And you might get to watch, uh, Kyle's, uh, soda can explode or something.

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:33:04):
Yeah. We always have some, some, we always have some adventure. Yeah. Uh, Kyle, Kyle Rankin, who's a, a a another excellent external person as as, as Katherine Doc, he was giving a talk last year and suddenly everybody heard an explosion in the room and they thought a bomb went off or a gun got shot. No, it was just some, some attendee forgot a Coke gun behind a projector and it, and exploded. It just got over the course of the day, just got really hot. It exploded. <laugh>. So

Katherine Druckman (00:33:26):
<laugh>, yeah. I happen to be watching on the live stream at the time, actually from my living room. And I was like, what happened to Kyle

Doc Searls (00:33:32):
<laugh>? Um,

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:33:33):
It was funny, but yeah. Um, yeah, it's, uh, there's, there's always some adventure in, in event planning and that, that, that was one of the ones last year. So, um,

Katherine Druckman (00:33:43):
<laugh> it was very traumatic actually in the video because I didn't know what it was. And everybody in the room is freaking out. It was, it was, yeah. It was pretty wild. I think Doc has a question.

Doc Searls (00:33:53):
Oh, no, just, it, it, every event does have weird things that go on at that you don't expect. Uh, I mean, I I love this story about the, the was the Grammys next door. You, you said that Yeah. <laugh>, that's great. Or, or that, uh, you know, they scheduled a pandemic exactly to correspond at the time that you, your, your thing is that I, I dunno exactly what day SCaLE was that year, but I know we, New York was kind of a hotpot for Covid and my wife and I were like on the last flight out of Newark that the, the be before United started canceling them. I mean, just cuz nobody was, you know, everybody got on a plane and got somewhere else and then there was nothing. And Newark Airport was like, there's nobody here except on the planes. You, you, yeah. You went through security in two minutes and then, and then all the halls were crowded, all the planes are crowded. It was crazy. Yeah. So, so we actually have a, a back channel, uh, ask actually, an is asking it too. What is this, what is your stack for for doing streaming? Because we care about that and our stack is not always orthodox and or an open source sense.

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:34:57):
Yeah. Um, it's, um, so we have, um, you know, the cameras themselves are, uh, honestly, they're repurposed security cameras. Uh, but it turns out you can get, you know, it turns out you can get really high quality video out of them. Uh, we have, um, actually we should write an article about this somewhere, uh, if I can convince Michael the team to do it. But it's, uh, a lot of, you know, we use F f m Peg and a bunch of automation around that to do the, to do, to do the video, to, to do the slicing and dicing of videos. We use obs uh, in some areas. Um, I, you know, I, I'll be honest there, I, I'm gonna, if the team comes back and listens to how I describe this, they will tell me I got it wrong. So what I'd rather do is write a blog post about it and share, share it out.

And so let me, let me, let me work on that <laugh>. Um, but it's, it's, uh, um, and the end, it all ends up on YouTube, which in itself isn't necessarily open source, but that's, I think that's a, I think that's okay. We, we, we do the best we can in terms of getting it up to that final output using open technologies. So, um, and that's actually one of the challenges, you know, we've had over the years is we're running the, is we're running an event is, you know, that some of the pragmatism of like, uh, you know, sometimes there's a choice. Do we use, do we, do, you know, do we ha what, what do we use something that's, do we only use open source software and planning the event or are there places where we have to, where we should, you know, accept, you know, services or proprietary software we need to.

And, um, you know, we've, we've tried to be pragmatic about it. Um, there was years when we, uh, outsourced our mobile app to, you know, to, to a third party that did it all and it wasn't open source. And then there was years, there's been years more recently where a bunch of college kids in Pasadena said, we want to, we wanna build the mobile app for you. We'll do it as open source software. It's up on GitHub now. So we just have to, you know, we, we try to use Word we use, we use open wherever we can, and that's our preference. But sometimes there's, you know, sometimes we have to pick other things.

Doc Searls (00:36:45):
Yeah. The, um, it's, it's always, it's always crazy how you have to, you know, it, it, it's, it's, there's, um, I was thinking of what Brian Bellor said that, uh, we need minimum viable centralization, <laugh>, and so close in a similar way, I think you need minimum viable, um, openness. It's just like, yeah, you know, you, you, you've got, you've got, you've got your thumb on that SCaLE all the time to make sure that you, you maximize that, but it as a practical consideration, you kind of reach a, you sort of reach a point. Um, uh, so what are, okay, so you say how many, how many simultaneous sessions do you have going on

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:37:23):
Something? Um, like about a dozen or so.

Doc Searls (00:37:25):
Okay. Okay. And, and there's the hallway thing. What's the hallway story? I

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:37:29):
Mean, I, I mean, I mean, I, I was, I, that's, that's just my, um, uh, well, it's what we call, we call the hallway track. Just all the conversations that happen in the margins between the talks and in the, in the hallway. It's not actually, it's not, it's not actually sessions that are on the schedule or anything. It's just when you get, you know, when you get three, 4,000 people in a room together, they, they, they start talking about things that are interesting to them. And, but that's always the, that's some of the funnest part, part of, for, of, that's the funnest part of SCaLE for me is those conversations. Uh, and I hear that from attendees all the time, is that, that, that piece in the middle is, you know, how you found your next job, how you learned about SUNY technology that's not, you know, it's not, has not, that's not made it to primetime yet. So maybe it's not on the schedule just yet, but you're learning about it, you know, in, in, in the, in the hallway. Uh, and that's, um, I, that, that's, I encourage people to participate in those conversations where wherever they can, and the SCaLE community is very friendly and very approachable. Just like you don't need to know the person to tap on their shoulder and say, that sounds interesting, can I join in? Um, and so that's, that's, that's the best part of conferences in general. But at SCaLE specifically,

Doc Searls (00:38:30):
Well, we'll get to some questions in Catherine's queue and in mind. But first I have to let everybody know that this episode of Floss Weekly is brought to you by Fast Mail Free email isn't free and you pay with your privacy for over 20 years. Fast Mail has been a leader in email privacy At Fast Mail, your data stays yours with better productivity features. For as little as $3 a month Fast Mail prioritizes your privacy. Your personal data is kept safe and away from third parties with better spam filters and absolutely no ads. All Fast Mail data is stored in the us and Fast Mail is fully G D P R compliant. Masked email protects your personal data by allowing you to create multiple addresses to use when you sign up for various websites. And privacy isn't all you get with Fast Mail. Customize your workflow with colors, custom swipes, night mode and more.

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Okay, so Catherine, you got one there?

Katherine Druckman (00:42:01):
Yeah, I do. So the SCaLE attendees offer kind of a, an interesting little sample group of open source for right, with a variety of interests and, and, and experience levels and all of that. But that, that I would think that offers you, uh, unique insight into what's interesting. What are people interested, what, what, what's, what are people talking about, you know, which, which sessions are people attending? And I wondered if you could tell us, like what is, what is the the most popular subject matter at at SCaLE these days? What do you expect? Yeah. You know, next month to be the highly attended session. So

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:42:38):
It, it's interesting. We can, we can definitely watch the trends in open source community over the years, as, you know, as new technologies come in and take over. Um, so I remember, you know, I remember early in SCaLE there was, like, we had one year we had one talk about asterisk and boy using open source software come in. And the next year I could have run an entire four day conference with just the proposals on asterisk and open, you know, and open source wipe mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because that's what was hot that year. Um, these days, uh, the last two years, the, the, the containers and cloud native Kubernetes type tracks have been the most popular. Uh, I expect that'll still be the case this year. It's just what everybody's, it's what everybody's hot and bothered about in the open source world right now is, is how to run, how, how to run this infrastructure at, at, at, at SCaLE.

No, no pun intended. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Uh, and so that's, that seems to be the, the very pop some of the more popular stuff for me. I'm really interested in our, um, you know, we had a, we, we've, we've had this, this will be the third year. We're running this open source and government track, and it's, we keep getting in, we, we get people in from local government agencies talking about how they're using open source software. Um, last year the LA County came in and talked about an open source, uh, platform that they were developing for, uh, for running elections in the l in, in, for the LA county area. And so that, that's interesting to me. I don't know that it's gonna be the, the, the most packed room at the conference, but it's interesting to see how, uh, you know, open source is entering in, in, in, in, into new and different industries that we weren't, you know, we've nor we've not seen it in the past. Um, and so those, those will become the, I hope some days those become the big tracks of, of, of the future, right? Containers didn't start as the most popular track. It just, it, it grew into that. Um, um, the security also tends to be a very popular, very popular track. Lots of lots of interesting topics there. So,

Katherine Druckman (00:44:19):
Um, yeah, I'm looking forward to the security talks in particular. And you get phenomenal speakers, I must say.

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:44:24):
Yeah. So, yeah, it's, uh, so yeah, and then like I said, the keynotes this year, um, you know, those are I of my favorite parts about working on SCaLE over the last 20 years is I just get to meet people that built the platforms. My career has depended on. Like if, you know, if if Unix hadn't existed, you know, Linux wouldn't have existed later and I wouldn't have gotten to be, you know, where I am in my career today without all of that. So, um, you know, so Ken Thompson's work is foundational there. Last year we had Vince Surf mm-hmm. <affirmative>, so standing, standing on stage next to the guy that literally invented the internet, uh, it was a little, little humbling, but, uh, it was, was was a great honor. So, um, so it's a lot of fun. Um, I, I did wanna put out there, we've been talking about, I keep hearing all these promo codes for your sponsors, so I'll, I'll wanna throw one out there for the twit listeners as well, which is, um, if you use the promo code twit, t w I t, you'll get 50% off your SCaLE registration.

Uh, and so, you know, we hope, uh, we hope to see you there. Cool.

Katherine Druckman (00:45:16):
Which is already not very expensive. I should, yeah. <laugh>, it's already like, what is it, $75 or something?

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:45:21):
Yeah, it's, um, yeah, it, I mean, it, it, we, we've tried really hard over the years to keep the conference price very low. Um, and, uh, you know, if it's, if you're, if you're, uh, but we also wanna make sure that it's a, you know, approachable to everybody. And so that, you know, we, we that's great. We're, we're happy to ha happy to offer discounts to, to your listeners. So it's, yeah, it's, uh, $85 at the moment for your ticket full price, and then it'll, it'll, you know, that'll drop it down to, I dunno, ha ha ha ha 42 50 or something like that, is the, I guess is the, if I'm doing the math right, so Yes. Yep.

Doc Searls (00:45:53):
Amazing deal. <laugh> actually considering. Oh my God. Yeah. I mean, when you think of a conference's cost, I mean, thousands of dollars in many cases.

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:46:01):
Yep, yep. And so those commercial conferences app were similar content for the same number of days would be probably 3000, $4,000 a ticket. Yeah. And, uh, what we do is we would just work with our sponsors to make sure that, um, those costs are covered by them and not by the attendees. So,

Doc Searls (00:46:16):
Um, yeah. Yeah. What we do with, uh, with iw, it's a similar thing. It's not as cheap as yours, but it's, it's, it's lower than most, and we just have the sponsors pay for food <laugh>, you know, and, and the, the projectors are brought to you by so-and-so something else brought to you so and so. Yeah,

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:46:31):

Doc Searls (00:46:32):
So it doesn't, it doesn't look at least as much like, uh, you know, they're, they're buying the show, you know, um, yeah. For their own purposes. Just like you get to thank 'em for a specific thing. Um, you know, it's a, it's, it, it, it's pretty cool. I think, I mean, often we tend to think, and maybe this is a good, it is a good segue that we tend to think, I mean, one of the biggest complaints about, or suspicions about Linux, about open source in general is that the big codes are taking over, you know, the, uh, uh, we often talk here about the Linux Foundation, which is basically a, an industrial, yeah. Um, I mean, it's a, it's a, it's a, it's a corporate thing. It's four companies is not for you and me so much. It's for, it's for the companies. Um, but it makes them behave well, and I mean, it's a kind of a space where they are the United Nations.

They're not bringing their arms into the, into the place. They're, they're, they're working on common problems. And I'm, I'm wondering if there's, you know, what do you see as the changing role of the big guys? Microsoft's in there now. I think they're the biggest supporter of the Linux Foundation. And, but you know, I mean, in the early, early, early on, it was ibm, IBM is on top of this thing. Yeah. But, but the case with b m and, and I was there and talked to them about it, is that basically they got taken over by their own engineers. It was kind of a coincide, you know, and say, wait a minute. Everything's, you know, we have samba running on all these old Windows machines, you know, and, and, and faking being windows. Um, and, and so they just basically went in compliance with their engineers. I don't think that's so much the case now. It's like they all have their own clouds and stuff. So what's, what do you see the, as the role of the bigs now?

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:48:12):
So, I mean, I think I, it's hard for me to, to to, to be sympathetic to the grumbling of like, oh, it's all big companies now, because that's, that's what we wanted <laugh>, right? Like, we

Doc Searls (00:48:24):

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:48:27):
It's, I mean, maybe we didn't want big companies to run at all, but we wanted, we wanted to be able to run Linux at work. Well, it turns out most companies now, you can probably run Linux on your desktop at work. Uh, we wanted to use open source software in our, in our, in our projects. Turns out, if you, you know, I, I would be sup. I would like, I would, I would bet you 90 some odd percent of 90% of software running in the cloud for backing SaaS companies or whatever is, you know, it's Buntu or Rel or some other Linux distro running, you know, a da an open source database, Cassandra, or, you know, or, or, or MongoDB or My SQL or postgre or something. Like, we, we've won that war. That Open is now the default. Uh, and so I don't, it's hard for me to be unhappy about commercial interest being involved.

I think the, the important part is what you mentioned, which is we have to keep, keep each other, keep each other, and the companies that we're working with and the companies that are supporting our projects, honest that it's not, you know, it's not, uh, the open source piece isn't for show. It's there for, it's, it's, it's usual and it's there to get work done. Um, I, I, um, I, I do wonder, you know, as things, um, as things become more and more services, you know, we wanna make sure that there's also opportunities for people to continue to build on this software that's, that's, that, that, that powers that. Um, and that's, I think that's the challenge for the next, I don't know. I don't, I don't know what the, what the right answer for that is. Uh, I think that's the challenge that we're all working on.

Um, the other one, you know, open source initiative has been spending a ton of time thinking about how, uh, how open source and, you know, and free software play in the world of AI right now. Uh, like is the, oh, yeah. You know, is the model, what is the model? What's interesting if you don't have the data set that trained the model, you know, or the software behind it. These are all questions that we have to struggle with as I think, as the, as the, the nature of software changes. Um, but I'm, I'm, you know, I I, it's hard for me to get angry at big companies for wanting to support, uh, all the software that we were begging them to support throughout the early nineties and early two thousands. And they were saying, you know, at the time they were like, no, that's a toy. Now. They're like, it's not a toy anymore. We run our businesses on it. So, um, you know, it's just, uh, uh, yeah, I, I think this is a good thing. And then, um,

Katherine Druckman (00:50:36):
I, I love your answer. I think there is a misperception that open sources for hobbyists. It's, it's a, you know, it's this, it's this thing we do in our spare time, which is very much not true anymore.

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:50:46):
Um, I mean, and there are people that still work on, you know, on, well, we still

Katherine Druckman (00:50:48):

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:50:49):
But it's not majority's. And that's great. But I mean, I don't know, like back in the, I don't know, back in the early PC days, right? Was it the home brew computing clubs that people would get together and show off these things that these things that they built at home as hobbyists? And then what do you, you know, are we now unhappy that there's a, you know, a Dell or a Mac or an Intel based laptop, you know, lap laptop, sitting on my, sitting on your desktop at home, and you don't have to run the, you know, build, build all those things from scratch yourselves? No, we're thrilled by it. Yeah. Um, we still have the option to build these things ourselves, but we choose to, we choose to buy, you know, buy products that make it easier. And I think the same is true in the software world, and we, we just have to figure out how to continue to maintain that, that balance. So

Doc Searls (00:51:25):
Yeah, the, the history of, of, uh, of the internet and many other things, trace back to the Model Railroad Club, <laugh> at m i t in a building, nobody, everybody was ignoring. Um, yeah, what you said about, about big companies too, reminds me, I think it an outstanding point by the way, that, hey, wait a minute. We wanted this, uh, I used to have this business partner, uh, who was very argumentative and very hard to argue with. He was like an attorney, though. That wasn't his, his, his profession. But he did this strange thing, which is when you won the argument, suddenly he was on your side. It's like, wait a minute, you're supposed to be over there. I I, I didn't get the satisfaction of having won this argument <laugh>. It's suddenly like, no, no. Now he's arguing your points. And it's sort of what happened with these big guys. Look at Microsoft and we're waiting for Microsoft to get killed instead. No, wait a minute, we all of Bing is running on Lennox <laugh>. You know, we're using it all over the place.

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:52:21):
And, and this is a place where we had, I mean, we had John Gossman out as a keynote speaker, uh, several years back before he had retired from Microsoft. And he came out and, you know, that was the question everybody got. Like, he, he was getting from the audience was like, why, why open source? Why, why do you care about Linux now? Uh, and his, his answer at the time, I, you know, I thought made sense, which was, you know, Microsoft didn't see themselves as a software product company. They saw themselves as developer tools company, and if developers wanted to build their stuff on Linux and open source software, that's where they needed to be. Uh, and you know, that, that, that was his take on the transition. And, um, you know, I'm sure there's pockets of Microsoft that are, you know, it's still not huge Linux fans or open source fans, but by and large, everybody I run into there, you know, Linux Powers, Azure, Linux runs, you know, runs on top of Azure. Like they're, uh, you know, they're, they're putting out discos, they're putting out open source projects. They run GitHub for, you know, uh, at the end of the day, like it's, uh, they've become, you know, they've, they've chosen to become part of the community rather than fight it. And I think that's, um,

Doc Searls (00:53:20):
Yeah, I, I was thinking of, of, and we, we also had some major open source figures going to work there. Like, um, Miguel Dcaa, who basically singlehandedly say, I like mono, I like C Sharp, whatever else he liked. And, you know, just started making all these connections between open source projects and Microsoft ends up with a job there. Um, he's way, he was on the show recently. I advised people to go back and listen to that too. It was, uh, really good. Na Friedman went in and ran GitHub. I mean, there's a lot of that.

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:53:50):
I, I, I think it's important to remember companies aren't, you know, you say Microsoft bad or you know, I don't know, whatever other comp, whoever the company des like of the day is to make fun of or to complain about when you say they're bad. But it's, you know, the reality is most of these organizations don't have one persona or one front to the world. They're thousands of people. And so every different pockets have different agendas and different things that they're trying to, you know, trying to accomplish. And sometimes they'll make a misstep, you know, they'll make a misstep with their left, with their left foot, but with the right foot, they're moving in the right direction towards, you know, to supporting our communities or supporting our projects. And so, um, you know, as people come and go, positions change, and that, that's Howies are people, uh, and that's, uh, right.

Like they're, they're, they're made of people. And that, that, that, that, that's, that's an important part to, to remember. You, you can't say, you know, big co evil and then look at their, and then, and then go hang out and drink beer with their open source team, right? Like they're, turns out they're not all, you know, not, not everybody has the same position at an organization. And that's, that's also true of the companies that are, that we consider our closest allies in the open source world. There's teams there that sometimes they make missteps. And, um, we just have to remember that these are all, these are all long-term conversations and engagements, and we have to work with them to reach the goals that we want, not, not, not immediately jump down their throats when they, they make the announcement you don't like.

Doc Searls (00:55:07):
So, so we're close to the end of the show here, and, uh, this is a point where we often ask what we've, what have we not asked that we should have asked. But if you don't have an answer to that one, I do have a question. <laugh>, so it's one or the other.

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:55:21):
Okay. How, how to take your question. Uh, and, and, okay.

Doc Searls (00:55:24):
It's, it's, it's a simple one, actually is one sort of back channel. When what issues do you think are never going away? I mean, licensing, personal independence, um, I'm just, I'm just wondering because one of the things of running a conference is you think, well, there's some that go away. You know, like, yeah, there was, there's what's a CD world? You know, or a DVD v D world, right? Well, it's gone, right? But they're permit, they're some perma issues. I'm wondering if there are any that you see never going away.

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:55:54):
Um, yeah, I mean, I think, um, you know, I, I, I think privacy and independence are two topics that will always be, uh, you know, they'll always be, um, near and dear to the open source communities heart, even as, you know, and, and, and a lot of the commercial engagement that we have these days maybe makes that even more, even makes that some of that even more challenging and more relevant right now. Um, I I, I think at the heart of a lot of what we've done with open source over the last, I don't know, what is it, 20, 30, I mean, SCaLE's been around for 20, so maybe it's 30, 40 years. I don't know. It's, I, I, I, I, I, I, I don't, I don't like doing that math. I, when I, when I realized how long it's been since

Doc Searls (00:56:29):
I was at u Success,

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:56:31):

Katherine Druckman (00:56:31):
Let's not talk about it.

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:56:32):
But, but, uh, but yeah, I mean, a lot of that, a lot of that stems from I wanted to, to do X and I couldn't do it, and now I have, so I built an open source project to do it, right? Like, uh, why did Linus build, build Linux, right? He didn't have access to the Unix systems he wanted at the, you know, at the university. Uh, why did you know, why did, um, you know, why did Stallman get, start, get excited about a free software at the time? Well, he wanted to print drive, he wanted to make a change up print driver or something, I think is the story. So like, a lot of this comes down to I wanted to accomplish a thing and I wanted to do it independently, and now I can. Uh, and then it just turns out that people get excited about how you solved that problem and wanna solve it with you. Um, and, you know, privacy, I think just an increasing to importantly, increasingly important topic just because, um, how we each define it seems to be a little bit different. However, country seems to enforce it seems to be a little bit different. And so I, I think that's, it might not be an evergreen issue, but I think that's an issue for the next decade at least. So we're gonna, we're gonna keep, we keep seeing that. Um, excellent. Yeah, those are, those are two topics that I get away from

Doc Searls (00:57:31):
<laugh>. Those are awesome. So great to, to close the show. We always ask these two, two questions. What are, what are your favorite text editor and scripting language

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:57:39):
<laugh>? Uh, I tend to do most of my, uh, my, my, most of my, most of my stuff in, in, in, uh, nvi and, uh, and Python are the two that I spend most of my time with. Uh, um, a little, little bit, little bit of bash and shell, but overall that, uh, but as we're closing, I just wanna remind folks, SCaLE, uh, March 9th of the 12th with the Pasadena Convention Center. Uh, we'd love to have you come out and learn about open source and, and Linux and free software with us. Um, we've got lots of events around this Kubernetes Community Day, S days, Postgres events, my SQL events, whatever topic you're interested in, I promise you there's a track for you. Uh, and then don't forget that promo code twit, T w I t for 50% off. Sorry. I gotta do my, I gotta do my, uh, pitch doc.

Doc Searls (00:58:19):
That's awesome. That's awesome. We want the pitches. Pitches are great. And

Katherine Druckman (00:58:23):
Come say hi to me too, please.

Doc Searls (00:58:24):
Yeah. This is so great. So, so Ilan, this has been an awesome show. It's been great. We'll have to have you back and talk about, yeah. Any time, all this stuff. Uh, again, this has been one of the best shows ever. Thanks a lot. Awesome.

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:58:38):
Okay. Thanks for having me. And, uh, I look forward to actually meeting you in person someday.

Doc Searls (00:58:41):
Yeah, me too. I thought you actually get to SCaLE. What are these years, <laugh>?

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:58:46):

Doc Searls (00:58:46):
Great. Thanks again, man.

Ilan Rabinovitch (00:58:47):
Thanks Doc. Thanks Catherine.

Katherine Druckman (00:58:49):
Thank you. This was great. I'm excited.

Doc Searls (00:58:53):
So, so Catherine, that was good. Hmm.

Katherine Druckman (00:58:55):
<laugh>. Yeah. That was so good. I was, I've been looking forward to the day for a while actually.

Doc Searls (00:59:00):
I know, I know. It's, it's, uh, and, and I've wanted to do this show for a while and, um, and I really do regret never, never getting there. You gotta go.

Katherine Druckman (00:59:08):
I, I haven't been very, very many times either. So that's, you know, it's, it's a thing that happens, but you should go for sure.

Doc Searls (00:59:14):
Yeah. There's this one, the Toronto one and the, um, and it's almost always been geography. It's interesting cuz I, it's just in Southern California and, and, which I'd love, I mean, I I I love living there. Uh, I mean, I love that there was snow on the mountains there right now. I mean, there are Alps, <laugh> overlooking Los Angeles. We don't get that in, in, in Indiana. Um, but anyway, yeah. So this is, this is great. Um, yeah, it was

Katherine Druckman (00:59:44):

Doc Searls (00:59:45):
So, so what are, so what are your plugs,

Katherine Druckman (00:59:49):
Um, where we go? Yeah, I, uh, let's see, any day now, I should have a very interesting thing to announce on And then there's that other podcast we do where we have fun talking about things like Elon just mentioned, privacy, uh, and other issues. So, yeah, I don't know, find me around the internet and, uh, <laugh> say hi. That's all I have to plug.

Doc Searls (01:00:14):
That's great. And,

Katherine Druckman (01:00:15):
Uh, I do regret not being able to reminisce about, uh, the first SCaLE I went to that was SCaLE eight x. There was a women, an open source track that was separate. Kind of glad it's no longer separate, but it's, it's such an interesting evolution, I think, of the whole show to see it from then to now. And anyway, it's, it's, it's always been kind of my favorite event. I'm glad we got to talk about it today.

Doc Searls (01:00:37):
And this is, this is the point.

Katherine Druckman (01:00:38):
Quadruple con

Doc Searls (01:00:39):
<laugh>. I, I, I hurry up and look ahead at next week, <laugh>. It's a flu next week. And, um, and we have, uh, lupus Kaman and, uh, Douglas de Mayo, and I don't have further notes on that, and I should, they're always good. Anyway, that is next week. And, and we'll see you then. Take it easy everybody. See you next week.

Jason Howell (01:01:04):
Do you wanna hear about the latest news happening in the tech world from the people who write the article sometimes from the people who are actually making the news? Well, we got a show for you here at It's called Tech News Weekly, me, Jason Howell, and my co-host Micah Sergeant. We talk with some amazing people each and every Thursday on Tech News Weekly, and we share a little bit of our own insights in each of us bringing a story of the week. That's at Twitch tv slash tnw. Subscribe right now.

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