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So OSCON is over - and it ended beautifully, with me having lunch with various really smart people: Jesse Vincent (of RT fame), Mark Jason Dominus (Higher Order Perl), Audrey Tang (Pugs) and her friend Ballas. Not sure why I was invited, but hey :-). It turns out that Audrey is using my MQSeries perl module and could really use the DB2 module I was about to release, so I feel at least marginally useful.

After lunch, I ran into Arthur Bergman at Powell's Technical Bookstore, and he made several off-the-cuff remarks about free software he's worked on that will probably save me several months of work. He's so smart it's often frightening, but him being such a nice guy makes up for it.

But now the bad news. I was supposed to catch the 11:59 PM flight from PDX to JFK (scheduled to arrive at 8:20 AM). I've been at the airport for a while, and now hear my flight has been delayed by at least 1 hour 20 minutes. So I'm not just going to be home late, I will also be really, really tired. Glad I'm not flying to Australia or New Zealand, especially not economy.
connatic: (Default)
Damian Conway's keynote this morning was beyond brilliant - this must count as the Best Keynote Ever. It was an half-hour satire of business speak - an imaginary start-up that would make Microsoft acceptable to Open Source developers by charging them several hundred dollars evey time they used a patent in their own software. Nobody would mind due to the use of subliminal advertising using kittens - to give everybody a warm fuzzy feeling, of course.

A great touch was a spoof of an open source pr0n search engine modeled after Google (, including an "I feel horny" button. I cannot believe this doesn't exist yet - I'll have to check the domain name every once in a while to see if it shows up soon.

This was Damian's second spoof talk this week - his "Da Vinci Codebase" thriller spoof on Tuesday was astounding as well and must have taken him weeks to research and execute.

And I hope Damian's talks on perl 5 and perl 6 were not spoofs - or else the total count would be up to ten or so, and we'll all be the poorer in terms of coding options.

Damian - putting the con in OSCON...
connatic: (Default)
I'm enjoying the Open Source Conference. Yesterday evening, Larry Wall did his yearly State of the Onion, we had a good talk on creating passionate users, and Damian Conway did a brilliant parody of the Da Vinci Code. Today's sessions are more of a mixed bag - Patrick Michaud on the perl 6 parser was good, Greg Kroah-Hartman on Linux was good, but the session on AJAX security was a waste of time.

One thing I've noticed is that the average age of attendees has gone way up. I've been attending OSCON on and off since 2000, and it looks like the average age has gone up from 25-30 to 35-40 (so a lot of bald heads, often with beards). In ten years all the attendees will be of retirement age :-)

I'm not sure what causes this. They're certainly still getting a lot of very technical people, and the number of attendees seems to be going up, but I hope younger people aren't turned off by other subjects or the high price. I'll ask around to see what others think.

Update: Ingy and Tim Bunce have observed the same at OSCON, but not at the affordable perl conference, YAPC. The consensus is that OSCON is so expensive that it requires corporate sponsorship - which is easier to get for established (relatively senior) programmers than it is for younger new hires. It's a pity - fresh minds is what makes the conference interesting.
connatic: (Default)
I'm spending some quality time at the Open Source Conference in Portland this week - getting in touch with my (not very) inner geek.

It's been good to see various old friends and meet new ones - nerds of all nations unite! The subjects at the first two days of sessions have ranged from fun (advanced perl hacking, automated web testing) to utterly boring (web services and other letter soup). There will be three more days of this and I hope to find time to see more of Portland - I haven't been to Powell's in two years and cannot wait to browse the stacks.


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June 2009

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