Those familiar with journalists reporting from a field of combat are acquainted with the term “fog of war,” which is the breakdown of communication in knowing exactly what’s going on. It appears that war is not the only venue suspectable to communication breakdown. Because of the events detailed later in this blog, you, gentle reader, must understand that I am reporting through the “fog of conventioneering.”
Yesterday began with Tim O’Reilly’s keynote about the emerging Internet operating system, which he defined as the collection of “infoware” web applications (eg. Yahoo, Amazon, Google) that will fundamentally move users way from PC-centric applications to ubiquitous data access. Tim urged open source developers to design their applications with this platform of the future. This was one of the most compelling talks I’ve heard Tim make. While I’m certain his net-OS of the future will happen, I also now that it will take a lot longer to birth than he suggests.
The next speaker went on about Java and Eclipse and so held little interest for me. He also had a bizzare way of pronouncing “java” that sounded like “JAY-VAH” to me.
I then attended the Larry and Damian show about Perl 6: The Reckoning. It is clear to me now that Perl 6’s design is settling down and that a lot of the scariest redesign suggestions have gone the way of the dodo. What ever happened to currying functions, I wonder? There is still perhaps 40% of the language to be designed, but the 60% that exists now is solid enough to make the last 40% much easier (I think).
Then came the excellent, musical and funny Lightning Talks. Randy and Gnat have already mentioned the jolly good fun that was had by all. There were a few technical glitches whose abscence would not have been missed. Schuyler got all freaky with map projections, ending with one from Buckminster Fuller that maped the global onto a 20-sided die (I confess, there’s a fancier name for this platonic solid that I can’t remember right now).
The last session I attended was something I thought would be utterly out of my perview: using open source software with SAP, the enterprise resource planning behemoth. Normally, the stories I hear about companies adopting SAP involve serious Germans coming into an adopting organization, soaking up a huge amount cash and breaking working business systems for several years. I was pleasantly surprised about how open SAP has become. SAP, in which business logic sits, now has a SOAP interface along with the weird binary RPC that’s been there for a while. This talk was given by DJ (of Programming Jabber) and Piers. It was a good talk mared somewhat by poor timing on the part of the speaker ahead of them.
Then I attended the p5p party at Gnat’s. Walt and I lugged two cases of beer, two bottles of wind, cups and chips up to the suite. I then sort of fell into being the bartender. Later, more beer was obtained and then the Wild Turkey came out. I left at 3AM. I’m a bit fuzzy today.