Oscon 2007 Thursday Wrapup

the wifi at the hotel went into the toilet yesterday, so I am again doing my wrap-up during the morning keynote. generally i don’t mind this, but i’ve found it makes for more fuzzy memory (example; that place i went for lunch is called downtown pizza, not the boiler room). hopefully you’ll gloss over these discrepencies (this works for perez, hopefully it will for me). anyway, heres the wrapup from thursday… last year kathy sierra did a keynote that i thought was awesome, this year they had another one focused on branding and open source. i always think people need to pay more attention to the aspect of marketing projects, so having oreilly bring this topic in front of everybody is really great. i sum it up with the question, what does the word postgresql describe to you? after the keynotes i went down and did booth duty for an hour or so. we had plenty of people to handle this so i alternated between working the postgresql booth and talking to a few other people who support postgresql in thier endevors, like apress and xtuple (where i finally got to meet Ned Lily IRL as the kids say). i managed to sneak out of the booth and into david fetters pl[perl|ruby] talk, which was really a pl/perl talk due to the short notice he had to prepare, some issues around pl/ruby, and david’s general inclination for perl. Unfortunatly I think a number of ruby folks were disappointed by this, as a couple of people left during the talk, but I think most people were able to get some ideas on the flexibility that postgresql’s pl support gives you. following fetters talk, i went to lunch with the emma and mailer mailer folks. it was pretty uneventful (no fights broke out) and the general consensus was the food was as good as the day before, but it was better than the sandwhiches from earlier this week. after lunch i went to the ingres “databases dont matter” talk, which was in the corporate shtick section of the conference. i had planned to try to stay incognito, but sitting in front with a postgresql shirt and fetter next to me turned out to be a poor way to accomplish that goal. i think it might have intimidated the speaker a little to have some postgres guys sitting in front of her, but she handled it well (luckily there was only a “we like to bash oracle” slide, and no “we like to bash postgres” slide!). her central message was a little fuzzy, but she provided a nice analogy comparing databases to plumbing, noting they are both best whent they are invisible, available, reliable, and scalable. for me this analogy actually somes up how much databases matter to folks, they really dont care about them (how many of you attend plumbing conventions) even though they are critical to our daily lives. (for those that need further evidence, when asked how many people use mysql for data they dont care about, at least a half dozen people raised thier hands). The one real disappointment to the talk was that i didnt manage to get a tshirt… i dont have any ingres tshirts so would have been nice to add one… maybe next year. after that i swang into a php graphing talk, which took a stab at explaining different graphing solution available in php. i think i would have liked to see more discussion on specific php extension, but all in all i thought it was interesting stuff and i got a few things to think about (i’ve been doing a fair amount of pg stats graphing lately). following that was more mingling up until my pl/php talk, where i finally got to meet michal kimsal just by random chance of luck. pl/php is a pretty niche topic and it was the last track of the day, so turn-out was a little low, but i think the talk went well, and i got some good questions afterwards so hopefully we’ll see an expansion of that community with a few new members. once my talk was done a number of us went up to burgerville (yikes!) for dinner, followed by a return to the convention center for the postgresql bof. since my name was on the bof page, i did a quick ramble and then quickly handed off to nasby and berkus who gave a nice presentation on upcoming things in 8.3. bonus points to this presentation for pulling jeff davies out of the audience to explain a feature he had worked on; bet you didn’t see that coming eh jeff? a nice thanks to apress and omniti for supplying some give-aways (books and shirts), which we distributed through some rousing rounds of roku. following that i hit up a few parties, did some mingling, and then had a surreal conversation with one of the zimba guys that convinced me zimbras real goal is not to provide an exchange replacement, but instead meant to build a global network for syphoning off stalkerazi pictures from the emails of users worldwide. sadly this was not the most uncomfortable conversation i was in this week… ah, go oscon!