OSCON, day 2


The first keynote started with an REM music video.  Bang!, wake up!

The Open Invention Network — great concept. Then, a “historian” talk, which I found self-indulgent, but which had a hilarious comment stream in the #oscon channel.  It remains to be seen how effective the Open Web Foundation will be — I don’t understand how it will differ from the W3C, but maybe I need more coffee.

Danese Cooper gave an insightful and entertaining talk about whinging, starting with the fabulous Helsinki Whinging Choir video. Her basic proposition: Less complaining && more positive responsible action == a better world. +1.  Nathan Torkington talked about spawning the next generation of open source hackers, i.e., how to get kids interested in computers and geekdom at an early age.  It was a great talk, but I wished he had opined about OLPC.

Microblogging with Identi.ca — I’ve been planning to use Twitter for intra-team communication, but I was ignorant of this project.  We’re going to use Identi.ca instead! I wonder if we can use zc.buildout to distribute internal tools at work.

Lightening talks in the afternoon. Zoobird. A talk by a Bug Labs guy about their suite of snap-together electronic modules. This is a very clever product! 

John Coggeshall talked about scalability mistakes, and made me reconsider the staffing of a project I’m starting at work. Don’t use NFS for production code deployment, local disks are faster and multiple propagations are not a big deal, there are many tools to do this sanely. Large I/O and TCP buffer sizes are a good thing.

Two Mozilla QA gents gave a very detailed talk about some of Mozilla’s QA procedures for Firefox 3. Very good talk, but it was more Firefox-specific than I would have preferred.

Joe Gregorio talked about the alleged lack of design patterns in Python. I’m not a design pattern fan, because I find 99% of them to be obvious. Writers or contractors making a living out of them tend to be pedants, and in Java, design patterns are too often another layer of cruft on an already constipated language. But Python has first-class functions, first-class classes, iterators, and closures, so design patterns (as an explicit concern) disappears.  Good talk.

Now I’m looking for dinner.  Looks like it’s pizza.  The timing might not work out great w.r.t. tonight’s BoF sessions. Damn, I wish there were more eateries close to the Convention Center.

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