Tutorials Announcement, Conference Schedule, and Hotel Information

First Conference on Freely Redistributable Software

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Over the past 15 years freely redistributable software with accessible code has become ubiquitous. GNU Emacs is the most popular Unix editor in the world; Linux may well be the most exciting Unix-compatible operating system; Perl has become indispensable to system administrators; Expect automates and controls interactive programs.

Join us for a unique conference that will bring together implementors of different types of freely redistributable software as well as the publisher s of the operating systems and the tools and applications.

The principal systems involved will be the Gnu Hurd, Linux, Net/BSD, 386/BSD, and FreeBSD; tools and applications include Bison, Flex, Expect, Emacs, PERL, and GCC.

This is the first conference dedicated to bringing together all those involved in freely redistributable software.

Join us for this and much, much more!

For more information contact:

Free Software Foundation
59 Temple Place Suite 330
Boston MA 02111-1307 USA
Phone: +1 617 542-5942
Fax: +1 617 542-2652
email: confinfo@gnu.ai.mit.edu

Full Conference Schedule

Friday, February 2, 1996

Saturday, February 3, 1996

Sunday, February 4, 1996

Monday, 5 February 1996

Registration Information

Conference and tutorial fees are in the conference registration form. The early registration deadline is 12 January 1996.

Tutorial Offerings

Saturday, February 3

Course S1. Linux: An Open System For Everyone

(half-day tutorial, am); Instructor: Phil Hughes

Originally a PC-based product, Linux now runs on other hardware including the Alpha. Linux is making serious inroads into commercial areas and, in many cases, offers a viable Unix alternative at low cost.

Topics covered include: What is Linux?; The Linux Copyright--GPL; Linux Design Philosophy; Linux Distributions; Is Linux Commercially Viable?; Using Linux; Future of Linux.

Phil Hughes is the publisher of the Linux Journal, the monthly magazine of the Linux community.

Course S2. Installing and Running Linux

(half-day, pm); Instructor: Phil Hughes

This is a look ``under the hood.'' It will cover what makes up a Linux system, what you need, how to install it, and what to do when something goes wrong.

Topics will include: Assessing Hardware Requirements; Comparison of Linux Distributions; Configuration Decisions; Installation; Systems Administration; Networking and Interoperability; What to do when something goes wrong.

Course S3. Expect

(full-day tutorial); Instructor: Don Libes

This tutorial will teach students how to automate interactive programs such as telnet, ftp, passwd, and many other applications. It will also explain how to test interactive applications, how to connect such applications, how to reuse interactive programs in Web applications, and how to build X GUIs without rewriting existing code; all this with security and reliability. An hour will be devoted to Tcl/tk.

Don Libes is the author of Exploring Expect and co-author of Life with Unix. In another life he works at NIST.

Course S4. C News

(half-day tutorial, am); Instructors: Geoff Collyer and Henry Spencer

C News is one of the major reception/storage/expiry software packages; superseding B News completely, it is in widespread use.

Topics will include: decisions that should be made before installation; what resources you need; news database organization; configuring C News; building, checking, and installing C News; setting up control files; testing, troubleshooting, and startup; maintenance and housekeeping.

Geoff Collyer has been programming computers for almost a quarter-century, and using and administering Unix systems for almost 20 years. He is now a Member of Technical Staff in the Computing System Research Laboratory of AT&T Bell Laboratories.

Henry Spencer is an independent consultant and author, long involved with Usenet and netnews. He and Geoff Collyer wrote C News, the first high-performance package for Usenet article transport and storage.

Course S5. Advanced editing with Emacs

(half-day tutorial, pm); Instructor: Richard M. Stallman

Emacs is both an editor and a programming environment. In this tutorial, the creator of the most popular of all Unix editors will move beyond the everyday. This tutorial will explain advanced Emacs facilities for editing text and programs and manipulating files -- features including programming language major modes, tags tables, enriched mode, and shell buffers -- all without Emacs Lisp programming.

Richard M. Stallman is the President of the Free Software Foundation and the creator of Emacs. He is also the principal author of Bison and GCC.

Monday, February 5

Course M1. Programming the GNU Hurd

(full-day tutorial); Instructor: Michael I. Bushnell

The GNU Hurd is a multi-server operating system which runs on Mach 3.0. In Unix and most Mach-based systems, the majority of system facilities are concentrated in a single entity (called variously the `kernel' or the `single server'). The goal of this tutorial is to describe the architecture of the Hurd with special attention to its innovative aspects, as well as to provide guidance to programmers who wish to program or extend the Hurd. It will describe the existing Hurd servers and the library as well as cover subjects such as: The core interfaces of the GNU Hurd for process management and I/O; The implementation of signals entirely in the library, and how correctness is achieved; How to use the additional libraries the Hurd provides to make writing servers easier; The implementation of fork and exec.

Michael Bushnell is the principle architect and designer of the GNU Hurd. He works for the FSF doing operating systems development.

Course M2. BSD Internals

(half-day tutorial, am); Instructors: Margo Seltzer and Aaron Brown

This tutorial will present an overview of the kernel architecture of 4.4BSD. The presentation will emphasize porting to new architectures.

Margo Seltzer received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, where she worked on file systems. She is an assistant professor of Computer Science at Harvard University; Aaron Brown is at Harvard University, where he has recently ported NetBSD to the SS 20.

Course M3. Writing machine descriptions using GCC

(half-day tutorial, pm); Instructor: Richard M. Stallman

This tutorial will explain the overall organization of the GNU C compiler and the RTL data structure, and how to use it to write a new machine description. Students don't need to know anything about the GNU C internals, but should be prepared to learn fast.

Richard M. Stallman is the principal author of GCC.

Course M4. Perl Programming

(full-day tutorial); Instructor: Tom Christiansen

Perl is a publicly available and highly portable interpreted programming language occupying the large niche between shell and C programming. Perl's syntax and features resemble C, in combination with the best parts of sh, sed, awk, etc. Because Perl incorporates aspects of more than a dozen other Unix tools, experienced users will come up to speed on Perl rapidly. This course is suitable for individuals who have barely looked at Perl before. It is essential that students have a strong background in Unix shell programming, with a good working knowledge of regular expressions. Some background in sed, awk, and some C programming is useful but not essential. Topics of this tutorial include detailed descriptions and numerous examples of the syntax and semantics of the language, its data types, operators, control flow, regular expressions, and I/O facilities, and the Perl debugger.

Tom Christiansen is a software consultant specializing in Perl applications, optimizations, and training. He serves on the Board of Directors of the USENIX Association, and is well-known for his courses in Perl programming.

Hotel Information

The conference will be held at the Cambridge Center Marriott, just across the street from the MIT campus and at the Kendall/MIT station of the Red Line ``T'', the Boston subway.

To Make Your Hotel Reservation

Special hotel rates have been arranged for attendees at the Conference on Freely Redistributable Software: US $95/night single or double. There are non-smoking rooms available. Call the Cambridge Center Marriott directly: +1 800 228-9290 in the US and Canada; +1 617 494-6600 from elsewhere. Fax: +1 617 494-0036. To ensure that you get the special hotel rate, tell ``reservations'' that you are an attendee at the Conference on Freely Redistributable Software.

Program Committee


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Copyright (C) 1996, 1997 Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111, USA

Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.

Updated: 22 Feb 1997 tower