Wednesday, July 23, 2008

OSCON 2008: Day 2

Day 2 at OSCON.... Some of the highlights...

Practical Erlang Programming was great. Francesco Cesarini is a great speaker and delivered a great tutorial. While Erlang does make you look at things differently, I can see how it makes it a lot easier to write concurrent code.

While I was physched to see Mark Shuttleworth give a keynote (given my fondness for Ubuntu), the best keynotes tonight were definitley Robert (r0ml) Lefkowitz and Damian Conway.

R0ml's talk compared various software development methodologies to Quintilian's 1st century works on rhetoric. My take on his talk was that open software has a good development methodology since it doesn't really have a requirements phase. Code gets released early an often. Bugs are filed and patches are submitted. Then users and developers can look at bugs and patches are there to determine what is in the next release. This is different form a typical development methodology, where you need to decide what you want up front. In this model, people do what they want, and you take what you like in the end.

On the other hand Damian Conway is somewhere between insane and brilliant. His talks are hillarious, but the stuff that he is actually able to implement is crazy... I'm sure that we'll be seeing some talk of positronic variables on the tubes in the comming days.

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