Friday Jul 27, 2007

OSCON 07, Thursday and Friday.

I'm finally done with OSCON 07 – it was fun while it lasted, but was a little tiring, and I'm looking forward to a weekend of exploring Portland.
Some highlights of the last couple or days are:

-> Impressive demo of the language called processing – see their home page for more information.

-> Steve Yegge from Google talked about why branding was important, and why he believed that “Open Source” wasnt the right brand for open source. He made a lot of other comments during the talk that were equally interesting. Here's how that went - perceptions are, “TurboC is faster than QuickC”, when you hear “GTE”, you think “sucks”, when you hear “Amazon”, you think books, when you hear Java, you think . . . “Enterprise”? Hold on for a moment there. This may be true for some people – I can't speak for others. So many things come to mind when I hear Java – this may be because I'm with Sun, and I have an above average Java exposure – or maybe not. In fact one single thing doesn't come to my mind when I think Java - so the exercise is pointless.

An excellent community panel on what makes open source communities, with Karl Fogel, Brain Behlendorf, and Jimmy Wales, among others. Just in case you had not heard of them, Karl Fogel was the dude that wrote the free CVS book that saved my butt at least a couple of times when I was on the hook to set up a repository. He is passionate about copyright reform these days, and is involved in QuestionCopyright (copyright, and reform is an issue of huge import that everyone should educate himself/herself on)
Brian B is one of the Apache Software Foundation founders.
Jimmy Wales is the guy behind Wikipedia. His noble motive is to “imagine a world in which every person is given free access to the sum of human knowledge.”
Discussed on the panel were questions of how to deal with problem people in the community, how communities recognize someone's contributions, and what the indicators of a healthy community are.
An interesting comment was “ Communities don't scale” ie., there can be too many members in a community. I imagine this refers to the core team(the inner ring of the onion :-), and not it's user base – how can you have too many users?

I attended many deployment architecture talks, all of which were very educative, the most relevant being the Typepad architecture talk – others were S3/37signals, and Youtube and how they scaled – doing justice to these topics would necessitate blog entries by themselves.

Throw in another copyright reform talk by Karl Fogel, a GPL v3 dive-in by the FSF, a hardware hacking session, and an keynote on commoditization, which covered Saas( and for the first time, I heard about HaaS, and Faas, Hosting and Framework is what the H and F mean). This is an easy way to describe hosting services and the application infrastructure hosting companies.

In summary, it was time well spent for me, and I'm looking forward to attending next year . . .
Now, on to my Portland weekend vacation . . . adios.

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prashant

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