O’Reilly Open Source Conference Day Two

So, day two was the cool keynote day.  Day one keynotes were from Tim O’Reilly (not that he is not cool) and the vendors sponsors.  The Intel building blocks stuff was neat, but most of it was vendor stuff IMO.

Today we had the “cool thing to here and see, but I proabably won’t use it” keynote.  It was The Processing Development Environment.  It was really cool.  You can read more about it at processing.org.

The next keynote was hard for me to follow.  There were no slides he stood behind the podium the whole time.  Gnat  seemed to love it as he all told us in IRC.  You can read the guys blog at overcomingbias.com.  It was basically about overcoming the biases you have…. I think.

Interestingly, (speaking of bias) the next keynote was from Microsoft.  Coincidence?  According to the speaker, MS (or at least this guy) is really trying to make some Open Source stuff.  Time will tell.  Also, they are “working” with the OSI to get their licensing approved as Open Source licenses.  As somone in IRC said, its a win/win from them.  If they don’t get approved, they can just blame the OSI for being inflexible.  Nate kind of put him on the spot about patents after his talk.  He handled it well and kind of rode the fence.

The last keynote was, for me, the pay off keynote.  Its the one I will remember from this year the most.  It was about branding.  The poor guy did not have his slides due to technical issues and still did a great job.  You can read Steve’s blog at steve-yegge.blogspot.com.  Maybe he will post the slides.

I attended a couple of good sessions today.  One was about caching, mostly with APC.  But, if you stripped down the APC stuff and just took some of his concepts, you could apply some of it to lots of caching methods.  The talk was given by Gopal Vijayaraghavan of Yahoo! I don’t have a URL for the site where his slides may be.  If I find it, I will post it.

Another one was about legacy PHP code.  I didn’t agree with 100% of what he was saying, but if you are in the boat he described, anything is better than where you are.  The guys site is clintonrnixon.net.  Hopefully he will put of the slides and maybe a blog post about it.

The last talk that I want to tell you about was from Amy Hoy.   She gave the “When Interface Design Attacks!” again this year. Just like last year, it was brilliant.  There were new topics like web 2.0.  I was happy to see that the Phorum 5.2 template I have been working on (emerald) already included many of her recommendations.  I guess she rubbed off on me last year.  Amy has started her own consulting company.  If we need a usability and/or interface design help again (bleh, the last one was less than exciting) I will push for using her for sure.  Check out her site (linked above) for more stuff from her.

The day (and conference really) ended with parties.  We went to the Sourceforge Open Source Awards party.  phpBB won best tool for communication.  Gag me with a chicken bone.  I guess it has a large install base.  But, MySpace has lots of users too.  That does not mean its not a black eye on the internet.  Ok, MySpace is worse than phpBB for sure.  But, c’mon, I write Phorum.  I am biased (see above keynote =).  It was a popularity contest and I guess there are more kiddies to vote for them than say Pidgin which is what I voted for.  With all the trouble they have had with their name, I wonder if “Gaim” would have gotten more votes.  (see other keynote on branding =).  The phpBB team may need to see the branding keynote from this morning.  It talked about how it takes a generation to change perception about a brand.  Most people I talked to here have a negative reaction to the phpBB brand.

The rest of the night we just hung out at the party hosted by Jive Software. We use OpenFire from those guys.  I am not a big Java user on the server.  Its just one more different thing to admin in a company that is 99% GNU C apps on the servers.  But, Openfire does a damn good job with XMPP.

In closing, O’Reilly Open Source Convention was great.  I got some great ideas of stuff we should be doing.  I got confirmation of things that we are already doing.  And most important, IMO, we got to share with others how we solve problems.  As  Gopal said in his caching talk, sometimes is better to stop doing stuff and tell others what you are doing (paraphrase).

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