Friday 5 December 2008

Open Source Developers Conference - Sydney

Today is the last day of the OSDC Sydney and it has been an entertaining slice of life on the programming side of the street.

I was able to attend due to the worldly Mark Leslie (PostGIS committer who has been missing a lot) being stuck in Thailand. Indeed he was so stuck he was unable to give his talk.

Here are some notes from an intrepid attendee:

As they say here "It is all good". I will provide a link to the slides when I find a server to hold them.

It was interesting that "Location Based Services" made the list of annoying marketing buzzwords this year - along with "Cloud" "Ajax" and friends.

Incidentally Mark has now made it back safely.

- Python 3 is proving an amusing hurdle for people
- PHP "Traits" seem to have a bunch of the goodness I previously thought was the benifit of Fortress :-) You can get the patch from the wiki (is small clean and can be applied). Decision to take it in has been made - but is waiting on the swith to svn or something.
- Open Australia - seems to be the same track the political thing that we had going in Canada (at least before the Canadian developers made the transition to Ruby)
- An interesting web testing thing that will abuse a range of browsers called Watir
- The lightning talks are very good for watching linux machines reboot as they come to terms with a projector (on the bright side it makes the talks faster and slide free).
- Apparently POVRay (which Paul Ramsey mentioned) has recently gone through the same sort out who wrote the code process that GeoTools suffered - and now can consider moving to GPL 3.
- Microsoft is here and gettling along well (IronPython for example) - they keynote was given by a member of the SAMBA team and also points to mending bridges
- Our mates that provide Confluence, Jira and so on to Codehaus are here with a OSGi based plugin system (that is Spring, Pico etc agnostic). Sure wish they had released that last year; the result looks similar to the Eclipse plugin.xml experience but for server side OSGi apps.
- A good talk on using visualization for rolling out the difference between testing and/or production webservice testing
- Sun was here pushing MySQL (complete with compition for a plasma tv requiring only in depth MySQL knowledge)
- Larry Wall gave a lovely talk with many nice pictures; and the occasional code examples. The contrast with the Python 3 roll out in terms of time taken is interesting and it will be interesting to see how communities handle the migration. Still anything that can help regex get sane will be a useful tool.
- There are more thinkpads here that macbooks here
- Nice lightning talk thanking Larry for Perl (I thank him for his witty writing more then Perl)
- bazzar (or is that bzr) is already taking hold; get and mecrurial also mentioned

My laptop cut out and the remained of my notes were lost! I remember Perl 6 being out before Python 3 and a revolt in the PHP community over the use of \ as a name seperator.

Most of all I was amazed to see the programming languages being run like normal open source projects; I kind of thought they would be more you know stuffy and academic or something.

Microsoft was kind enough to donate test hardware (with all the different versions of windows available in virulized form) to the CSPAN Perl community.

Apparently this offer is open to other organizations - perhaps something OSGeo would be interested in. I would welcome the chance to test on Windows Server 2003 (since I always get odd bug reports from that environment).

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