A senior Intel official has poured praise on the netbook phenomenon, which is delivering faster boot-up times, and better graphics and network capabilities thanks to the efforts of Linux developers.

Speaking at the O'Reilly OSCON (Open Source Convention) in San Jose, Dirk Hohndel, Intel chief open source technologist, said the company has gone from a company that was considered skeptical by the open source community to a top contributor in Linux and open source. A key example of Intel's efforts involve netbooks, Hohndel said.

"What is remarkable about this is this a computer category that started with Linux," Hohndel said.

"The category is hot; there is competition," he said. A critical differentiator for netbooks is fast boot-up, said Hohndel. "No one wants to wait for a few minutes until they can do something," he said.

Also key to netbooks is a revamped graphics stack. "We want to re-set the way graphics are done in Linux, and we've done a lot of work [on] this in the last three years," Hohndel said. Graphics have been moved into the kernel, he said.

Connectivity also is critical for netbooks and mobile Linux, he said. Work has been done on connection management; Intel also has worked with Nokia on a telephony stack, Hohndel said.

Intel, he noted, has been working on the Moblin open source project intended to provide a Linux platform for netbooks and other systems such as mobile Internet devices. The company recently turned over the project to the Linux Foundation in order to attract more community support. Hohndel invited the audience to join the effort and "help us make Moblin the OS you want."

Also at the conference on Wednesday, proponents of the Perl 6 upgrade to the Perl language detailed improvements planned for the language. An implementation of Perl 6 is anticipated next spring.