In San Francisco on that anniversary, attending the Seybold conference. So far an OSCOM hackathon, a bomb threat, and some pure-California visual poetry.
Seybold this year is in the new “West” facility of the Moscone centre, which is a lovely space, but smaller than the main North/South wings Seybold used to occupy in its glory days, this week hosting Oracle World, a truly Big Deal whose red/white/black decoration give the whole neighborhood a vaguely National-Socialist look.
On the way in from SFO, that light, that concrete, that traffic, a picture that could only be taken one place in the world.
OSCOM Sprint · In the speakers’ room an OSCOM Atom API Hackathon/Sprint. A bunch of open-source hacks clustered around the table arguing about WebDAV and REST and SOAP and so on and so on. I find myself with an assignment: to write an Atom authoring client for Emacs; should be fun.
By the way, it seems lots of people think that Pie/Atom/Echo/Whatever should just be Atom, so for now I’m just going to say Atom, PEAW kind of sucks.
I grow thirsty and visit the drinks table, which contains three canisters of unlabeled fluids whose colours are entirely ambiguous. I can report that the brownish one is somewhat but not entirely unlike tea; later I find that it is apple cider.
Bomb Threat! · In the early afternoon, we hear that the Oracle conference has been disrupted by a bomb threat, which is a little spooky because of That Anniversary, but doesn’t stop people cracking jokes about whether we should be pointing fingers at Microsoft, IBM, or Peoplesoft. A couple hours later, they chased us out too. There’s some pretty severe cluelessness at work here; either they take the threat seriously or they don’t, and if they do, they shouldn’t wait over two hours before evacuating us?
Here’s a picture of the scene outside the convention centre.
We were going off to the hotel to hang out in the bar, but Gregor Rothfuss wanted to mobile-blog this. Which brings it home to me: next time there’s a 9/11, there’s a good chance that some moblogger is going to scoop all the media big-time.
In the speakers’ room at Seybold, there were plenty of Cat5 drops but a shortage of DHCP leases. When they announced the bomb threat, Lauren saw people unplugging and leaving, brightened up and said “Oh good, I can grab my email” and plugged in. Is that great or what, and I ask: why would a geek ever marry a non-geek?
In the evening, we strolled around a bit, and I must say that San Francisco can dazzle you from time to time.
The Sessions · The sessions (I thought) went well, and here’s a surprise: approximately two-thirds of the attendees, here at the world headquarters of publishing technology, were hearing about blogging and RSS for the first time. I obviously think that blogs and simple syndication are going to change the world; I hadn’t realized how early in the process we are.
Steel Band · Later that evening in the hotel room, the sound of a West Indian steel band provided atmosphere while I downloaded these pictures. They were doing traditional islands stuff, but then there was a surprising segue into The Girl from Ipanema, and then to Bach’s Ave Maria.