This week I attended Open Source Bridge here in Portland.
Typically, I managed to miss the keynotes both days. There is something about conferences which makes me sleep through my alarm.
It was really hard choosing which talks to attend. The results of the coin toss:
Tcl/Tk: Grandpa might be old, but he can still kick your ass! I went to this primarily because I use Expect so much. (Well, I use Expect.pm, but I remember my roots.) Webb gave a good intro to Tcl/Tk (“Tickle-Tea-Kay!”) despite some initial technical difficulties. I finally figured out the brackets vs braces variable expansion.
Spindle, Mutilate, & Metaprogram: This was really cool, although it seemed similar to things that came out of the Perl community a few years back. I’d like to see a throwdown between Markus Roberts & Damian Conway.
Assholes are killing your project: I only managed about 20 minutes of this talk before I got too depressed & had to leave. Sorry, Donnie! We’ll talk about this later.
I spent some time in the hall track & then hit the yoga session. This was an excellent pick-me-up after a day of talking and brain-filling, and set me up for my BoF and then some time at the pub.
Next up was Emma McGratten’s Ask Forgiveness not Permission, which had a lot of excellent reasons (financial & otherwise) for using open source, but not many tips on how to subversively bring it into your organization. I’m sure I know someone who could give a talk about that. :cough:
Lunch today was the excellent KOiFusionPDX Food Cart! They came to the conference site & provided excellent korean tacos. (Yeah, I know, sounds weird – but TRUST ME.)
Speaking of trust…Trust the Vote sounds like an excellent project. Unfortunately the question period started devolving into political discussion, and I didn’t want to just dive right in there and ask them why the hell they’re using MySQL instead of PostgreSQL.
bzr vs git smackdown with Selena & Emma. I’ve already made up my mind (git all the way!), but it’s good to listen to alternatives.
The Meditiation for Geeks session didn’t go too well for me, because I was so tired that any time I got close to The Zone, I almost fell over onto a fellow PostgreSQL Smurf. Still, the yoga & meditation sessions are a great way to unwind prior to the post-con socializing & I’d like to see more of this.
Pg took over the room & had our PostgreSQL BoF, which replaced the regular PDXPUG meeting.
Josh Berkus was riding a bicycle around town, which made me inordinately happy. I want to see if we can provide more bikes for attendees next year.
Friday: The Unconference rocked my socks:
1. Emma Jane’s “Playing with yourself” about Open Source documentation teams. I am even sadder that I missed WOSCON. This got me totally excited to contribute to docs. (Especially for certain Perl modules – but that’s a discussion for another post.) Highlights: the conference team is working on a style guide, and a library of personas (which isn’t public yet)
2. I signed up with DayOn, a local volunteer effort. This will be fantastic once we can get people trained in what’s actually reasonable to ask for.
3. I did a Network Management Basics talk (“FCAPS: What the hell?!?”) with Ua and Adam. We talked about the FCAPS model & where various tools we use fit. A very high percentage of them are rrdtool-based, so we talked about that a bit as well. Adam showed us his munin install. I keep trying to find other people in town who are as into Net Management as I am…I sort of feel like I need a 12-step program sometimes. On the way out, Ua proposed a Super-Sekrit project which we’ll start working on in September. (Excitement!)
I saw up-close what it took to put on this conference and I’d like to congratulate the organizers on their success! Great job, and can’t wait until next year!