It’s possible that there’s still some guy doing laps around the Oregon Convention Center on a Segway with security chasing after him, but as of 1:30PM today OSCON 2005 was officially over. This was my first time attending the conference, and I had a great time. I learned a lot, had some excellent discussions and unexpected laughs, and got myself fired up again about being part of the open source anti-massacree movement.
I have to admit that I carry big shield of skepticism when I circulate exhibit halls. Luckily a fellow attendee tipped me off to OpenLaszlo, an extremely spiffy system for server-side, declarative generation of Flash content. What this means for somebody like me – someone who, despite a lot of background in visual design, would really prefer to work directly with code – is that very sweet Flash-based interfaces can be constructed via XML.
Belatedly, here are my notes from Guido van Rossum’s “State of the Python Union” talk this past Wednesday. Guido discusses (with illustrations) his recent eye problems. SD Magazine/Jolt Productiviity Award given to Python 2.4. O’Reilly Python book sales are up. Unscientifically extracted Sourceforge stats: about 4000 python projects. Discussion of PEP 342 and PEP 343 broke records on python-dev (“What about decorators?” somebody asks. “I think this was worse,” Guido says.
The place to be during the afternoon break today was the Portland Ballroom, where the Artist Currently Known as why the lucky stiff and musical accomplices unleashed a multimedia explosion involving Ruby, cartoon foxes, animation, repeated MPlayer crashes, video artifacting, rocking out, shadow puppets, and network timeouts. I think this is the show he did at FOSCON last night. The quality of the stuff that did work was so high that the stuff that didn’t work wasn’t such a big deal.
The PDX Ruby Brigade (“PDX” is the airport code for Portland) is hosting a sort of alternative/extended OSCON called FOSCON. It’s being held at Freegeek. Several of us in Portland got into OSCON free the last couple of years by volunteering. When we found out that there would be no volunteer opportunities this year we decided to see if any of the Ruby speakers would like to practice their OSCON talks on us local Rubyists - thus FOSCON (or as Lennon calls it: OSCANT) was born.
O’Reilly has been running CodeZoo for a few months now. Today they announced CodeZoo subsites for Python and Ruby. CodeZoo is very slick – you can track changes to a particular app or component via a special RSS feed, for instance. Downloads are fast and simple, even for Sourceforge-hosted projects. And they’ve got this new thing called DOAP (why do you think they call it DOAP?), an XML schema for component information.
One of the major themes of this year’s OSCON is commercial adoption of open source technology. There are also many for-profit companies represented here whose businesses revolve around packaging, delivering, and supporting open source software. Now there’s another one: On August 3rd, 2005, the Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit public benefit software development organization, launched a wholly owned subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation…. One of our goals in establishing the Mozilla Corporation is to further promote the success of the Mozilla project and the Firefox and Thunderbird products, which then has the effect of strengthening the commercial ecosystem around the project and providing additional opportunities for Mozilla developers.