What's hot at OSCON 07?

I attended OSCON for the first time, this year. In spite of being involved in the free and open source communities since a decade, when I first volunteered in the FSF when in grad school – there was a period when I wasn't directly involved . . . so it's fun time now!

The key notes were strongly attended – was able to ballpark about 2250 strong - hackers, system admins, a few managers, publishers(and probably many other functions as well). As Eben Moglen said in a later talk , “We[the free/open source community] have turned a corner – we will never go away now . . . it is now safe to say that . . .”

Tim O'Reilly did the obligatory introduction talk. Some interesting stats: The rails developer team is only 14 persons, Amazon has over 100,000 developers, Flickr has 10 million contributors with over 750 million pictures.

In other key notes, Simon Peyton-Jones(Haskell) gave a pitch for transactional memory, Shuttleworth talked about Ubuntu, launch pad, target markets etc.,

Mention of Sun Microsystems?
The scalability talk on Monday had a lot of mention of Solaris – the binary compatibility was touted by a speaker from Ominiti, Dtrace received it's usual share of the limelight. (A vague mention was made about it not being easy to get patches on OpenSolaris – couldn't follow up on what this meant, but I'll watch out for this speaker in the coming days, and try to follow up.)

Ian Murdock's talk drew in a committed set of Solaris enthusiasts – some project Indiana time lines were disclosed:
-> Indiana will have short release cycles – spaced 6 months.
-> First release Spring 2008
-> Test releases beginning fall 2007!

Main features are easier installation, network based package management, and, zfs is the default file system.

The Open Document Format (ODF) was mentioned many times including the keynote - people were already educated about the OpenJDK piece, going by the questions raised in Mark Reinhold's talk on the topic(this could be attributed to the initial coverage that this announcement got?)

There is a lot more to write about, but I fear I've been quite verbose already, and I have to grab my lunch(which is not a huge attraction here, but a hacker's got to eat sometime) So I'll stop. I'll post more during the conference!

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