I have a different view from Pierre about the kernel drift of OLS. That view does not involve big companies like IBM or kernel being any "cooler". Simply put, userland is incomparably larger than the kernel, and it's well partitioned into applications. Therefore, userland hackers gravitate towards conventions where they can meet like-minded people, naturally. If one were a GNOME hacker who can only visit one conference in a year, would you go to OLS or GUADEC? Likewise, Andrew Hutton set out to create a gcc conference (OGS?). As application people are attracted to their own venues, kernel expands to fill OLS. Their program committee turns down competent papers every year, because they have no space.