Embedded Software Experts Debate the Merits of Open Source Code

Pros and Cons of 'Free' Software Are Focus of Panel at 11th Annual Embedded Systems Conference

Sep 6, 2000

CMP Media today announced that a debate focusing on the pros and cons of "free," or open source, software and its role in the embedded industry will be an opening day highlight of the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC). Moderated by Michael Barr, editor-in-chief of EMBEDDED SYSTEMS PROGRAMMING magazine, the panel will pit four embedded software experts against each other in a debate-style discussion.

The panel, "The Open-Source Movement: Boon or Bane for Embedded Systems Developers?" is scheduled for Monday, September 25 at 6:00 p.m. at the San Jose Center for Performing Arts, San Jose, Calif. Panelists will define and debate the risks and rewards of open source, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of this model for the developer, the end-user and the support vendor.

The proponents for open source, Michael Tiemann, chief technical officer of Red Hat and Bill Gatliff, independent consultant and regular contributor to EMBEDDED SYSTEMS PROGRAMMING, claim that open source promotes software flexibility, reliability and quality, making it particularly useful for embedded systems. John Fogelin, vice president and general manager of Wind River's Platforms business unit and Steven Stolper, technical manager at Silicon Spice will argue that commercially distributed software tools can be integrated with open source code for even greater advantages.

The panel is part of a comprehensive program of classes, seminars, exhibits and special events providing a closer look at the technologies driving advanced electronic devices and intelligent appliances. Running from September 24 - 28, 2000 at the San Jose Convention Center, the eleventh annual ESC is the country's top educational event for engineers, designers, and managers working with embedded systems.

"I want the audience to come away enlightened -- with a better understanding and an opinion on this controversial topic," said Barr. "The panelists have a great mix of experience working with both open source and traditional software. For embedded system design there are a number of advantages and disadvantages on both sides, and we're expecting some heated debate."

The panelists bring a wealth of software development experience to the discussion. Michael Tiemann is a true open source pioneer. He has made fundamental contributions to the GNU project (the project that inspired Linus Torvalds to create the Linux kernel), co-founded the first company based on an open source business model, and helped bring commercial open source solutions to the embedded systems market. Today, as CTO of Red Hat, Tiemann continues to shape the future with open source software.

Bill Gatliff provides consulting services for companies developing embedded systems using free software tools and techniques. He is the author of the "Embedding with GNU" series in EMBEDDED SYSTEMS PROGRAMMING magazine and the creator of the gdbstubs library, a free collection of embeddable stubs for the GNU debugger.

John Fogelin, a long-time proponent of Open Source, was the sixth employee at Wind River, a leading provider of commercially distributed embedded software. He is the original architect of the VxWorks'® wind® microkernel, and now oversees research and development of the company's core platform products. Before joining Wind River in 1987, Fogelin designed hardware for embedded applications used in devices ranging from biomedical equipment to arcade games.

Steven Stolper is a system software manager at Silicon Spice, a technology-based start-up company. Prior to joining Silicon Spice, he developed embedded IP-over-satellite networks. The victim of far too many "Star Trek" episodes, Stolper designed "flight software" for NASA planetary spacecraft including the Mars Pathfinder Lander and Galileo Orbiter.

ESC offers 150 classes and tutorials, which cover a broad range of topics including Internet Appliance design, open-source coding, wireless design and software basics. The conference also features the world's largest exhibition of products and services for embedded systems. Special events include a keynote by Dr. Neil Gershenfeld on "Things that Think," a guest lecture by Microsoft's Bill Veghte entitled "Enabling a Web of Connected Devices: A Vision," and a variety of opportunities for attendees to socialize and network.

For more information on the Embedded Systems Conference, a complete conference catalog can be obtained by calling 800-789-2223 or by e-mailing esc@cmp.com. Online information for journalists, including automated press registration is available at www.embedded.com/esc/press.

The Embedded Systems Conference is produced by CMP Media, Inc. and is sponsored by EMBEDDED SYSTEMS PROGRAMMING and ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING TIMES magazines. Other conferences produced by CMP's Electronics trade show group include Embedded Systems Conference-Chicago, Embedded Systems Conference-Boston, the Embedded Systems Conference Europe, the Embedded Executive Conference, ICSPAT 2000, DSP World Spring Design Conference, and the Analog & Mixed-Signal Applications Online Conference.

About CMP Media Inc.

CMP Media Inc. (http://www.cmpnet.com/) is a leading high-tech media company providing essential information and marketing services to the entire technology spectrum -- the builders, sellers and users of technology worldwide. Capitalizing on its editorial strength, CMP is uniquely positioned to offer marketers comprehensive, integrated media solutions tailored to meet their individual needs. Its diverse products and services include newspapers, magazines, Internet products, research, direct marketing services, education and training, trade shows and conferences, custom publishing, testing and consulting.

SOURCE: CMP Media, Inc.

Contact: exhibitors, Thayer Goodenow of CMP Media, Inc., 415-278-5221,
or tgoodenow@cmp.com, or attendees, CMP Media, Inc., 800-789-2223, or
esc@cmp.com; or press registration, Wendy Lewis of FS Communications,
650-691-1488, or wendy@fscomm.com

Website: http://www.embedded.com/esc/press

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