Andrew Tannenbaum is a highly acclaimed lecturer, researcher, and author on various topics in computer science, most notably operating systems. His volumes on the design of modern operating systems are used in many if not most university systems courses.
This is not to say he isn’t controversial, however. His public debates with Linus Torvalds on the finer points of microkernel vs. monolithic kernel design are well known and well documented. More recently, he rebutted claims made by alleged UNIX history researchers (funded, of course, by Microsoft), that Linux was actually stolen by Linus Torvalds, from Tannenbaum. These claims hardly needed to be addressed for the technical community at large who saw through them at first sight, but it’s still a great read.
Today’s talk was about global distributed objects. About 10 minutes into the talk I mentioned to a coworker that it sounded a lot like LDAP with some minor bells and whistles thrown in. Five minutes after that, my coworker pulled up a copy of the schema being used as part of the research. It is an LDAP schema. Sometimes I think I might not be totally lost in the woods.
Next week, Bill Gates is heading into town to talk to computer science students. I’m not likely to attend, but if I do, I’ll report back here.