Linux Wireless Summit

I was lucky enough to spend most of last week in Portland, Oregon. After a chaotic flight all day Tuesday, several of us met on Wednesday and attended a larger social meeting that evening. It was really nice meeting so many active kernel developers who were previously just names in my inbox.

For those that don’t know, wireless networking is one of the weaker areas of the Linux kernel in terms of hardware support, general usability, and excess functional code duplication.

The actual summit took place over Thursday/Friday at OSDL‘s offices. The main topics addressed at the summit were unification of the various generic wireless “stacks” that exist, how we can get more drivers ready for kernel inclusion, and how we can improve communication with vendors and the FCC.

Picture from Jean Tourrihles. Note OSDL’s wireless network key clearly visible on the far right, ahem.

On Friday, I met for dinner with 5 other Gentoo developers. Corey Shields (cshields), Donnie Berkholz (spyderous) and Michael Marineau (marineam) travelled up from OSU. Aaron Kulbe (SuperLag) joined us, who already resides in Portland. Henrik Brix Andersen (brix) was also attending the conference, and brought along two Gentoo users. We had a good time, and I’m going to have to visit OSL if I ever get the opportunity again.

There wasn’t much opportunity for hacking at the summit, but a few us of got together on Saturday and went through some issues. I have never worked on kernel stuff with other kernel hackers in-person before, and this was highly productive. Johannes Berg monitored the wireless traffic produced from our ZD1211 driver rewrite, and threw around some suggestions and softmac patches. Michael Buesch went through the driver source and pointed out a few bugs. Ulrich Kunitz improved the locking. At the end of the session, we had our ZD1211 device associated to the hotel network and browsing the web!

I travelled home on Sunday, just when I was getting used to the timezone. Many thanks to Greg KH who was in the right place at the right time when I realised I had misread my flight timetable (oops!). Also thanks to OSDL for sponsoring my travel and the event itself.

One Response to “Linux Wireless Summit”

  1. dsd’s weblog » Blog Archive » Wireless summit report on LWN Says:

    [...] Jonathan Corbet of LWN attended the Linux Wireless Summit and produced a detailed report of the event, which is now public: The 2006 Wireless Networking Summit. It’s an interesting read for anyone who has had the joy of setting up wireless networking on Linux. [...]

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