Liveblog: Open Source Bridge, day 2

19:00: Checking the PostgreSQL BOF session. Oh, Selena‘s here, that’s a +1. News and tidbits about Postgres 9… I made a lame joke about Postgres running on Android, and the response was a serious, “I don’t think so, not yet.” (The times, they are a-changin’.) Postgres’ site will be migrated to Django. Hot-standby replication and streaming replication. Automatic join removal and optimization of ORM-generated queries. Some disparaging comments about the SQL generated by Rails.

18:41: Dinner was a quick bite at a Subway. Then after I return to the hacker lounge, there’s a call for a group to go to a sushi place. argh!

16:45: import rdma: Zero-copy networking with RDMA and Python. Interesting talk about kernel and user mode buffered-I/O, and the consequences of buffer copies in the socket interface. Locking down memory regions used for I/O feels like going back to the future, before the time of scatter/gather. But InfiniBand products’ price/performance are impressive. I don’t expect to use any of these techniques anytime soon, but I’ll file them away for future reference.

15:45: Cassandra: Strategies for Distributed Data Storage. Overview of CAP theorem, then delved into using Cassandra. A little too deeply too quickly for my interests, but I stayed with it. A good talk.

14:24: I’m going to hang in the hacker lounge for this session slot.

13:30: Open source storage solutions and next-generation Linux file systems. A talk about large storage systems, including Gluster. Annually, storage cost is decreasing 25% while total capacity is increasing 80%. Some agency or group forecasts 1,800 exabytes of worldwide storage by 2011. This was a disappointing talk – too much survey and verbal descriptions, and not enough (read: zero) diagrams or technical comparisons of different storage structures.

10:00: Functional Requirements: Think like a Pirate. After you’ve been around the block a few years times, you repeatedly hear the same war stories and advice. Nonetheless, it’s useful to hear the contemporary spin on the age-old problem of documenting, tracking, and reporting what you’re building for your client. SRS(shall/will/must); series of checklists; paid discovery, client intake surveys, stakeholder interviews; requirements can’t be etched in stone; etc. Props to mockingbird as a wireframe tool. “Basecamp gives you the illusion that you’re organized.”

9:00: Keynote speech, The rise of hacker spaces. I did a little mental math, and the speaker could be my 14th child. I’m getting old. Young people have so much access to so much great technology now. I can’t believe I just said, “Young people.” Gah!

7:28: Events start at 9 am today.

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