Fri, 08 Dec 2006
OSDC 2006 : Day 3
Wow, I don't know how people can complain about Melbourne's weather. This is the third day in a row of mild, pleasant weather and no sign whatsoever of rain. I do however hear that Melbourne is currently in the middle of a drought.
The first talk attended today was Anthony Baxter's "Building Audio Applications with Gstreamer" which was quite an eye opener. Gstreamer has definitely come quite a way since I last looked at it.
Adam Kennedy gave another flashy and somewhat gimmicky talk "The Portable Image Testing Architecture: Rediculously [sic] Large Scale Testing" about the difficulty of testing the huge number of CPAN modules across a number of operating systems, Perl versions and configurations. Adam is a very engaging speaker, but I sometimes think he goes a little too far (even ignoring the naked flesh).
Next up I gave my "Career Development for Developer Geeks" talk which was basically a rehash of the talk I gave at SLUG late last year. The real irony of me presentling this particular talk was that I had just come off a four week coding crunch of 60 hour weeks. As I explained to the attendees, the past four weeks was a result of me not following the advice I was giving. Anyway, the talk went well and was well received. A version of the conference paper is available here. There's also a career-dev mailing list for anyone who might want to discuss issues raised in the paper or the talk.
After lunch I attended Andrew Bennett's "Coding in a Distributed Team". Andrew's presentation techniques have definitely improved since I last saw him present at LCA a couple of years ago. He also seems far more confident. Good one Andrew!
Following Andrew we had the lightning talks, afternoon tea and the conference close. Thats it, conference over.
Thu, 07 Dec 2006
OSDC 2006 : Day 2
Its another pleasant and mild day here in Melbourne. The conference opened with Richard Farnsworth talking about the "Open Source Synchrotron" and the use of open source software and hardware on that project.
For me the best talk today was Richard Jones' excellent "Shiny, Pretty Things" about 3D game programming with OpenGL and Python using a Python library called Pyglet. Richard had a few technical difficulties, but Pyglet definitely seems like a good way into OpenGL coding and thats something I may need at work in the near future.
I also quite enjoyed Anthony Baxter's "Future Python" talk which covered IronPython and Python 3000.
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.
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 = f.read() # 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 last word, from the gents: