I’m here in one piece. Futzing and chilling before the conference’s start.
Monday, I’m Portland-bound for Open Source Bridge. I’m looking forward to the community, seeing old friends & acquaintances, learning some new tricks, maybe discreetly spreading the word about the work I’m doing at IP Street, and learning about new Portland startups and small companies that are using Python.
The Open Source Bridge schedule has been published. Yeowzer, I can’t wait!
I’m going to make this conference a combination learning && networking && vacation. If I do my job correctly, when I return I’ll be exhausted and need a blood transfusion.
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.
Registration is now open.
It’s over. It was great. I learned a lot.
I didn’t give back as much as I wanted to. Well, that’s a little dishonest – I don’t think I gave back at all. I intended to (I had a crackin’ idea for a lightning talk) but I didn’t carry through. My bad. I will do better next time.
I sent Selena some comments about it:
I tremendously enjoyed this year’s conference. I attend only two conferences each year, PyCon and OSB, and I find the energy level and attitude similar and equally enjoyable between them.
I may not attend your wrap-up session today at 3:30. So I’d like to send you this mail with my feedback. I hope you don’t mind.
Please take this only as constructive criticism, to try to help in a small way. In doing this, I FULLY recognize that I might not be your target demographic or psychograhic! How much to factor in any of the following is up to you.
Feedback and suggestions:
1. This year’s location was better than last year’s. It’s good to actually be in downtown PDX. But I’m not saying that last year’s location was awful! If you could save money by going back to OCC or some equivalent place, I would consider doing that.
16:39: I left my parka behind in an earlier session. I return to that room to find it still on the back of the chair in which I was sitting.
15:45: Efficient Multi-core Application Architectures. The speaker defines “CPU” and “concurrency” in ways that I find odd, but I can roll with it. He knows his stuff re: processes, k/u threads, fibers, and co-routines. Comparison of Apache HTTP server 2.x and Lighttpd. Event and threading models.
14:30: Relational vs. Non-Relational. A DBMS survey. Great talk. Josh is smart. I’ll post a link to the slides, once I have it. A good percentage of the audience expected Josh to give a highly partisan pro-SQL talk, which was funny, because in my few interactions with him I’ve found him to be extremely reasonable and insightful. As he was here.
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.
16:45: Living in an open-cloud world. The speaker is one of Rackspace Cloud‘s founders. This talk is more Rackspace-centric than it ought to be. I didn’t come here to listen to a marketing spiel. “Some days, 75% of our HTTP referrers are from Facebook.”
15:45: Stacks of cache. This is a memcached talk. Useful fact: Memory assigned to a slab is never moved to another slab size, which is why you’re advised not to store huge objects in it. The presenter is smart and clearly knows about memcached’s innards, but this talk was at a different level than I had expected.
14:30: Apache Libcloud. Cloudy things = SaaS, PaaS, storage, server. Looks like a good abstraction of compute-type cloud APIs, but it’s useful only if your IT staff or application talks to multiple cloud providers. Otherwise, it’s just another level in your technology stack, with the associated downsides. I have to wonder, wouldn’t it be easier if cloud providers just agreed on & implemented a common API? But that’s crazy thinking.
13:30: Fixing SSL Security. A talk about the successor to SSL 3, TLS. Real good to use this on every connection, to thwart government snooping. But, SSL/TLS is somewhat fragile, it was created to reassure users, and is often not the weakest link in a realistic threat model. Passive vs. active adversaries. Strict Transport Security. Yeow this is a good talk – a dearth of slide deck eye candy and a high S:N. I’m getting a couple good ideas here for my employer’s products.
I’m attending Open Source Bridge this week on my dime. In fact, besides paying for this trip with my money, I’m also taking time off without pay from work. That’s because I just started working at IP Street, and I don’t have any accrued vacation time.
On Friday, I left work with a task about 85% completed. I thought about working on it this week. But…I’ve decided to wholly put work on the shelf. That task will keep until I return. This week’s about technology, learning, and the open-source community.
Tomorrow, I’m up bright and early, to get my registration material, scope out the hacker lounge, and mingle.