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Tag Archives: Open Source Bridge


I had a good time at OSB this year. But I enjoyed it more in past years, and I’d say that this year was good, but not great.

In terms of focus and information, OSB is geared for projects first and technology second. Most of the talks are about the psychology, logistics, mechanics, or organization of open-source projects, often from the perspective of a project organizer or lead developer. If you use (but don’t organize, run, or contributed often to…) open-source projects, you have to internally re-map these talks to benefit from them. There are some technology talks, and of course technology is also brought up in the project talks. But no talk delves into technology to any great degree.

The other (big) open-source conference, OSCON, is (I think) inversely geared. It’s for technology first and projects second. Most of its talks are about effective technology use and migration; a minority are about project management and organization.

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The Unconference day…

Pro tip: For pure shock value, nothing can beat sitting in a talk and having it slowly dawn on you that the speaker married someone you knew in High School, eons and eons ago. Jeepers, that was odd.

In the morning, Puppet. I’ve absorbed enough Puppetry via osmosis that I’ll probably use it instead of Chef at IP Street, when the time is right.

Not sure about the afternoon sessions. Unconference session quality is more uneven than planned sessions, as is typically the case. The tradeoff is getting more variety and finding diamonds-in-the-rough. But these sessions aren’t ringing my bells.

And I’m out.


Open-source processes for security vulnerabilities: The speaker works for ISC, and the talk focused on a different software level than what I usually work on. But I still pulled some pearls from it, such as security bug classification, and security vulnerability terminology.

Privacy and Security: The speaker works for Mozilla Labs, to which I had once applied to for a job, and which eventually tossed application into a black hole. Heh, I won’t hold that against him. ZOMG, I just realized the speaker is married to a someone I knew in High School! A good summary of current challenges in user privacy controls within modern browsers.

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Yesterday’s “Text Lacks Empathy” talk got me thinking about the times when I’ve put others on the spot.

Sometimes empathy is overrated. Sometimes it’s a waste of time, and sometimes it’s wrong. There’s a time and place to pin someone’s ears back against their head and clean their clock. It can be very productive to employ linguistic judo. And sometimes very cathartic.

In 2006, I had a billing problem with Countryside Pet Supply. They weren’t answering my e-mails, so I escalated the issue by sending a message to multiple countrysidepet.com addresses. A company employee did a reply+all to my mail. He asked another employee to deal with this, and referred to me as a “west coast jerk.” He didn’t realize he had done a reply+all. He thought he was communicating only within his company.

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Not sure I’ll listen to today’s keynote. Update: Nope, I didn’t go to the keynote.

How not to Release Software: My warp engines are finally on-line. A good talk. It was oriented, not surprisingly given the conference at which it was being given, toward web sites/servers/applications. Holy crap, there are two Mozilla projects still maintained in CVS repositories!

At IP Street, we commit a few of the “sins” mentioned. Every system has tradeoffs, and a small start-up has all kinds of judgement calls of the form, “What’s the right amount of process for us to now have?” Here’s a hint: If you worry about implementing CMM levels, you’ll fail.

<Your Favorite Programming Language> Loses: Emacs used as a slide show! Some good ideas, some tedium, and an unsatisfying S:N ratio. This could have been compressed into half the time, or, this could have covered a lot more ground at the same detail, or, this could have drilled down deeper into each topic. The issues the speaker deemed important made me feel like I was taking a time warp back to 1994.

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Yadda yadda yadda. Live post. You know the drill.

Nginx: I’ve been an Apache httpd user since FSM knows when. I’ve never been persuaded by artificial benchmarks. I don’t worry about small front-end inefficiencies when the application spends gobs of back-end time talking to other servers. It’s more important to use a front-end technology that is familiar and rock-solid, and httpd & mod_wsgi fit that bill. Still…I want to stay abreast of server zeitgeists.

This talk was thin. It had a lot of this and that, but no smoking httpd+mod_wsgi gun.

I’d like to see a no-nonsense informed comparison of Nginx vs. Apache httpd. This talk isn’t it. An inauspicious start was a six-year old quote about a lighttpd memory leak, which their bug database says wasn’t a bug at all.

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