OSCON Day 2 Wrapup From the Morning After

So after dinner last night, I swang (swung?) back into the conference to watch the nightly events. First up where several open source awards, some of which were pearl related, including an award for our very own [http://www.stonehenge.com/ Randall Schwartz]. Following the awards was the “state of the onion” talk from Larry Wall. I’m not a pearl monger really, but Larry is a good speaker and these talks tend to be much more entertaining than your typical “state of” talk. It was replete with geek humor, including digs on php and poking fun at ruby. It was all in good spirit though, so I’m glad I swung (swang?) in for it. After that was the real highlight of the night; the “building passionate users” talk. I’ve been a fan of [http://headrush.typepad.com/ Kathy Sierra] for awhile now, and hearing her presentation was huge for me. Hopefully other members of the PostgreSQL community were in attendance, one thing we do not do is build passionate users. (MySQL OTOH does a great job of this) Some of the things she discussed were the idea of getting people passed the suck threshold quickly (ruby/rails does an amazing job of this) but I don’t see much that we do for this. Some of the current rumbling about what to package with the core, or how to direct people on the web, center around this principal, though I don’t know if people are cognizant of that. One other area she touched on was the idea of open source projects and tribalism; where you get your users to feel like part of the community, and showing your community flags becomes a highlight for people. Again, we don’t do this in PostgreSQL; consider how many companies are using PostgreSQL that would rather talk about [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight_club#_note-2rules fight club] than tell people they use PostgreSQL. I could go on about this really; I’m a bit of a community building addict (before pg I help run a popular community run fantasy sports website, and before that I ran the unofficial 5th edition card list page for magic the gathering players), and it’s something I have been trying to expand more within (and outside of) our community; with web development, hacking on s9y, hacking on mediawiki, and other things. I’ve yet to find a benefactor that realized how important this is within the community; I bet things [http://www.pervasive-postgres.com/letter.asp would have been different for Pervasive] if they had. Anyway, after the passionate users talk was Damian Conway’s “The Davinci Codebase” talk. This was now the third Damian Conway talk I had been too, but Damian doesn’t get old. The talk was basically a parody of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davinci_code the davinci code], and was quite funny, sometimes due to geek humor, and sometimes due to the geeks who found it humorous. Afterwards I headed back to the hotel to do some more talk tweaking. Right now I’m sitting in Tim O’Rielly’s keynote… Tim always gives interesting things to think about… after that will be Theo Schlossonagles (sp?) talk on PostgreSQL, followed by booth duty and lunch. If I have time I’ll recap some of the meta-conference things that went on this morning… stay tuned folks [[image /xzilla/templates/default/img/emoticons/smile.png alt=”:-)” style=”display: inline; vertical-align: bottom;” class=”emoticon” /]]