Wednesday, July 9, 2003

OSCON Day Three

the day started off with tim o'reilly's keynote about the issues regarding some of the new generation of internet applications (amazon, google, etc.), which are based on open source technology, but are not open in and of themselves. they are allowing others access to their data though, which opens up many of the same opportunities that traditional open source projects provide. it's an interesting topic, but i'd read much of it before on his weblog posts, so i spent most of the time chatting on irc about companies who are heavy contributers to open source projects, which is always an interesting subject to me.

the next keynote was from one of the higher ups in the ibm eclipse project. unfortunately, this seemed to be mostly a 'sales pitch' kind of thing, going over some of the features of the application. not that it isn't a cool project, but IDE's arent' really my cup of tea, and if i'm looking for an application framework, i'd probably be more likely to go with mozilla with my app writtin in c++, as opposed to eclipse with my app written in java.

next i wandered around the exhibit hall for a bit. it seemed kind of small, but there were a few interesting booths. at the powell's booth i noticed that there's a new edition of unix network programming comming out in the fall, which should be quite cool.

the rest of the morning was spent in the "what's new in perl 6" lecture, which was primarily by damian conway, with larry wall poping up with a comment here and there. overall, i'm quite impressed with everything i've heard about perl6, and if it's half as nice as they're saying when they finish it, i'll have to give it a serious shot.

slashdot has already had enough commentary about the fact that lunch was donated by microsoft, so i'll just leave it at "it was pretty good" and move on.

at this point, i was hoping to go to the perl lightning talks, because from what i've heard they're always quite amusing. unfortunately, work is paying for this trip, and there are two talks happening at the same time as the perl lightning talks that seem quite relevant to work related stuff, so instead, i went to those.

first was a talk on distributed collaberative development, which is honestly one of the hardest problems we're wrestling with at work these days. unfortunately, this talk was pretty much a waste. the speaker wasn't very good (just read directly from her notes really), and the content wasn't especially insightful. i mean most of what she had to say boiled down to 'use good development practices', with very little specifics, at least from my point of view. i had higher hopes for this one. oh well.

next up was a talk on c++ open source libraries. the talk was reasonable, but it didn't really cover much that i hadn't already heard of, and since the idea was to just give a quick overview that would give you enough info to go out and find out more later, i probably would have been better off in another talk.

oh well, maybe i should have gone to the perl lightning talks after all.

since heading for things that looked useful for work seemed like a losing battle, i forgot about the talk on swig i was planning on attending, and went to hear dan sugalski talk about the state of parrot development. personally, i was quite impressed with it. he's a good speaker, and it's amazing how much progress has been made. i mean i read the parrot mailing list, and i still didn't realize that much of it was for all intents and purposes done. there's still a lot of work remaining, but it's not as bad as one might think.

for the final talk of the day i went to greg stein's subversion talk to lend moral support. wow, was it full. they stuck him in a pretty small room, and there must have been like 80 people there. we filled the floor, had people standing all around the walls, and there were still people outside the door looking in. i guess the conference people underestimated the number of people who really dislike cvs and are looking for a replacement. the general feelings in the room seemed positive, and after the talk i ended up talking to several people for some time about some of our design decisions and the state of the project.

eventually, the crowd subsided, and we ended up with just 6 of us remaining (me, greg, justin, a python guy who's name escapes me, john peacock, and another guy who's name i didn't catch), so we headed out for dinner at a chinese resturaunt pretty close to the hotel. there was a bit of a wait, but it was worth it. the food was great, and so was the conversation.