Thursday, July 10, 2003

OSCON Day Four

the first keynote of the day was from stormy peters (what a cool name!) of HP. she's the head of the group that reviews open source technology within HP, both stuff that they want to make open, and open source projects they want to use. it was a bit 'managerish' for my tastes, but it was kind of neat to see how a really big company is viewing these issues.

next up was mitch kapor of the open source applications foundation, a nonprofit that's been doing some interesting things will open source applications. he had some amusing things to say, but honestly, i kind of zoned out during most of the talk.

the first non-keynote session of the day was '9 views of mark jason dominus', which was just as amusing as any of his other talks. it was 9 lightning talks back to back, each with something interesting to say. i particularly liked 'why lisp will never win', and 'how not to ask for help from strangers'.

then i wandered over to justin's talk on subversion. he covered some of the same stuff greg did, but a bit more in depth. it went well, and people seemed to like it. i think when we hit 1.0 we're going to have more users than we know what to do with ;-)

i decided to check out a talk about managing a domain registry in postgresql next, and it was quite worthwhile. got a few neat tips on how to tune postgres for massive machines, which should prove useful at work in the near future (hint: just because you've got 16 gigs of ram doesn't mean you should hand a huge chunk of it off to postgres as the buffer cache, anything over like 300-700 megs and it just bogs down once the buffer gets full). also heard about some neat replication stuff that is apparently going to be available in the very near future, so i'll have to look into that.

since i've been playing with kwiki lately, i felt compelled to attend brian ingerson's last minute talk about it. he's quite a character, and the talk was interesting. it's a neat piece of software, and it's always informative to hear from the actual person behind the code, so you can see where it came from and a little about where it's going. best new feature: viewable diffs!

after missing the perl lightning talks, there was no way i was going to miss the python ones. among the highlights was hearing the details of dan sugalski (of parrot fame) and guido van rossum's bet concering the speed at which parrot will be able to execute python byte code by this time next year. i'm going to do everything in my power to show up for the conclusion of that one.

i ran over to the YAML BOF next, and got to see a few neat things there. it's apparently possible to dump the entire state of the running perl interpreter with YAML.pm, and you can see all sorts of neat things that way. i need to play with this later. i also got to meet ward cunningham, the guy who invented wikis, which was damn cool. apparently him and brian ingerson (one of the guys behind YAML, in addition to kwiki) are drinking buddies.

the night ended with the dyndns.org party, which featured an auction to benefit the perl foundation. i walked away with a few books and some expensive magnetic perl poetry, which will be going on the fridge as soon as i get home, and the perl foundation surpassed it's goal of raising 4000 dollars (thanks to a last minute bid of over 1000 dollars to prevent search.cpan.org from being orange for the next year). other highlights were the auctioning off of mark jason dominus' underwear, and a number of other amusing incidents that will most likely be blogged by others who were there.

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