Lots cookin’


My work is going well. We released a substantial pre-alpha of our product, and the first reactions are positive. I can’t say more than that, except to say that we’re now in a slog to reach the next release, which, if all goes well, will be somewhere between an alpha and a beta. Time will tell.

I continue to enjoy tweeting. I do very little self-censorship. I have four personas: Geek, progressive, goofball, and curmudgeon. I’ve enjoyed making new friends via Twitter, helped some of them, and met some IRL. All good.

But I unfollowed 20 tweeps in the past week because of what I considered excessive frat-boy reactions to the US’ killing of Osama bin Laden. A parting of the ways was necessary. I can understand those who are for or against the death penalty, but can’t fathom those who joyously shout with glee when the lights dim. Similarly, I can understand approval or disapproval of OBL’s death, but cannot tolerate reactions of elation over the US’ raid. This isn’t a high school football game.

I’m looking forward to Open Source Bridge in June. Portland, open source, a grass-roots conference, and mixing with the Portland tech community for four days: This will be lots of fun. And also bittersweet, because each time I go down there I come away wishing I was 25 years younger and/or had moved to Portland 20 years ago. Both of which are silly thoughts, because my Seattle work and life are wonderful.

But Portland’s open source community is more energetic than Seattle’s, and Portland has evolved into a more livable city than Seattle. And I see great new technologies coming down the pike and think the next 50 years of systems development will be intensely exciting! I compare Free Software’s younger days, when the only notable applications were gcc and Emacs, with today, when there are uncountable FOSS products and technologies, and communities, and multiple annual conferences of all sizes. This is wonderful!

2 comments
  1. Suzanne said:

    Nice post, John. Of your four personas, I’m guessing the curmudgeon is the most fun. Good for you for weeding out folks who stoop to bad behavior. There’s way too much of that in the world.

    Interesting about Portland’s open source community being more vibrant than Seattle’s. Why do you think that is?

    • John said:

      There are a few interlocking reasons (maybe a better description would be, “reinforcing reasons”) why I say that about Portland. I wrote about it at length in a 2009 blog post, and in a short snippet in 2010. Rather than summarize them here, take a look at those posts. (This doesn’t mean I’m greedy for click views on my blog. Well, maybe it does. No, it doesn’t. Yes. No. Maybe.)

      A city can’t be all things to all people; there are environments in which Seattle exceeds Portland. The most obvious example being, if I were working in Microsoft technology, I’d find Seattle’s ecosystem to be superior. Whether that’s the technology of the future is a matter of opinion.

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