PGWest: Saturday

by gorthx

This past weekend was the 3rd annual PgWest.  The conference moved up to Seattle this year, and I think it was the biggest it’s ever been.  As usual, there were more interesting talks scheduled than I had time to attend.  (This is the 21st century;  where’s my time machine?)

For my first tech conferences a few years ago, I only went to sessions that were meaningful for my job.  I’ve since had a much better time (and learned more) by choosing which sessions I’ll attend based on the following criteria, in this order:
1) topic interestingness
2) speaker interestingess
3) relevance to my job duties

(See Tips #1 and #2 in Skud’s recent Ten tips for tech conference attendees post.)

So, right out of the gate at PgWest, I’m in a python talk* – Adrian K’s (of LinuxFestNW fame) discussion on Dabo.  Dabo’s a python desktop framework;  I program primarily in Perl, and I’ve never touched a desktop app.  Adrian’s example project was a management system for a plant nursery, which I *do* understand, so I had a point of reference into the material (the methods & options used to track plants made sense to me).  I really wanted to talk to him more about this app, but never caught up with him.  (The hallway track felt kind of rushed for me this time.)  I got a good idea for form validation – if user tries to enter a blank value where one is not allowed, they get a pop-up immediately and the original text (if there was any) is put back in the field, forcing the user to accept the original input or enter something new before they can proceed to the next field.  This is a step up from giving the user the error message after they’ve submitted the form.

Next we were on to JD’s keynote, featuring the usual heckling of and by the podium.

Then Mark’s & my talk about pg_proctab, which ended with some live demos & some audience participation, the way I like it.

A bunch of us went to lunch at Honeyhole Sandwiches, where I tried the “Texas Tease” – BBQ chicken.  The sandwich was excellent.  I *highly* recommend the fries.

Scott Bailey’s Temporal Data talk was *packed*.  He talked about the “period” datatype, featured in both his own (Chronos) and Jeff Davis’s PgTemporal project.  You can do unions & intersects on time periods.  I am thinking this would be a useful datatype for searching large tables of log entries.

Based on Scott’s talk, I decided to go to Jeff’s “Not Just UNIQUE” talk, because he would be discussing this in a little more detail.  This meant I missed the session on backup & recovery.  (See comment above about more material than I can fit in my schedule.)

I spent the last session partly in the hackers’ lounge, working on some pg_proctab wrapper scripts with Mark.

Then it was off to the EDB-sponsored after-party, where I caught up with Lloyd Albin, who spoke at PDXPUG about a year ago.  He brought me up-to-date on the work he’s done on the project, including a twitter feed to let clients know of updates, which I think is really cool.

*Which I was late to, because we were installing the snacks in the Hackers’ Lounge (thanks, Mark!)

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