Wed, 06 Dec 2006

OSDC 2006 : Day 1

I'm currently at OSDC in Melbourne. I arrived yesterday to a day of 30 plus degrees and wandered around the city and did some shopping.

I'm staying at Hotel Y on Elizabeth street in the city. Its a pretty funky little hotel with very reasonable rates.

hotel foyer

hotel hallway

hotel room

The hotel doesn't have internet access but theres a good cyber cafe nearby which lets me plug in my laptop and get connected for $1 per 15 minutes.

The conference opened today with renowned Perl hacker Randall Schwartz giving his keynote on FOSS, its history, licenses and benefits. There wasn't very much in it that would have been new for experienced FOSS developers but it was entertaining and would definitely have been a good introduction for anyone new to the scene.

The next talk I attended was Anthony Baxter's "Whats New in Python : 2006 Edition". As a language geek I'm always interested in new features being added to existing languages so talks like this a big draw from me. IMO, the best of the new features is the with statement which will allow Resource Acquisition Is Initialization like constructs in this:

  with open ("x.txt") as f:
      data =
      # do something with data
  # f is automatically closed at the end of the block

Anthony also talked about str.partition which is a huge improvement over the existing str.find construct and the Ctypes package which allows direct access to C shared library code from Python. I'm not so sure if Ctypes is a good idea as it exposes Python code to all the potentially nasty consequences that the C programming language can throw at a programmer.

Other good talks I enjoyed today were Adam Kennedy's "Nothing can possibly go Wrong" about what can go wrong on large projects and Mary Gardner's "The Planet Feed Reader".

The day closed with the conference dinner which I spent taking to Rob Collins, Martin Poole and Michael Davies about build tools. We also sat through Damian Conway's reading of the Da Vinci Codebase.

The last word, from the gents:

graffiti on a m$ poster

Posted at: 22:54 | Category: OSDC06 | Permalink