OSCON: First Day of Sessions

July 27th, 2006

The day started out right, if a bit bleary-eyed, with Gnat giving OSCAL a lovely plug during the keynote. Also got to see Rael’s latest project, tres cool. (and in Rails, of course)

Morning

Embedded databases in browsers turned out to be a bit more theoretical then I was in the mood for, but the backchannel was buzzing about Justin Erenkrantz’s modproxytalk, so I skipped over there. Jackpot. mod_proxy has done gone and grown up. Elegant, serious, flexible, built in caching (with multiple backends), pluggable protocols. Squid’s days as a reverse proxy are numbered. Now if someone would just hurry up and package Apache 2.3 we could do without Pound. (I’ve misplace the slides link)

Afternoon

Tim’s talk on atompub was good, if basic. I’m still trying to figure out how to push it beyond basic publishing. An interesting challenge, but later Tim pointed out that there are is some intentional wiggle room left in the spec, and one or two holes that you could drive a truck through with enough determination. (don’t think there was a slides link?) Oddest new thought, we need a mime type for Markdown, or maybe a container type for the whole class of human readable markup.

Briefly met Chad and Jeremy, something I’ve failed to do at work.

On The Floor

Wandered the exhibit hall a bit. Blah. Just not feeling the vendor love. No surprise, but its slams home what a commercial conference OSCON is, with very little of the raw delite and innovation of the smaller events. All the good shirts cost $$ this year — wonder what that means for t-shirt driven development, and the t-shirt economic metric. Finally met Jason from Apress. They have a Flickr book out in August.

Too Many Codepoints

Andrei’s PHP6 and Unicode talk was impressive, and overwhelming. ICU is being baked deep into the core string object. An .ini setting to determine default behaviour, with Unicode (UTF-16) and binary string types. Automatic stream oriented encodings from input/output/file/cli etc. Look for a preview release this Fall. (Eclipse gets all the glory, but ICU is another amazing IBM open source contribution, worth checking out in its own right) I’m not sure anyone is thinking about the “How do I make charsets work across the PHP4, PHP5, PHP6 spectrum in an open source library?” Doesn’t seem like that out there a question. Looking forward to catching up with him back in Sunnyvale.

Ruby Rodeo!

FreeGeeK goes on being one of the coolest, most inspiring community projects anywhere. Packing it to gills with hyper excited [Ruby hackers] certainly didn’t detract. Lucas Carson’s talk on dRB/Rinda was cool and inspiring. Not as polished a delivery as some talks, but he coded up a server-client architecture for discovering primes and automatically deployed it to those of us in the audience running irb. In about 20 minutes. The hilight though was finally getting a chance to catch up with Scott after all these years. (Rinda may just be good old Linda retreads, but Ruby is so damn slow that distributed computing is with the effort)

Didn’t Make It

Most disappointed to have missed in retrospect, Kevin Henrikson Ajax Optimization Techniques: Working with Large Ajax Applications. Got rave reviews.

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