I have a bunch of notes and thoughts scattered round my computer and brain and I was going to do a big round-up post, but who knows, something might turn out to be a conversation-starter, so I guess I’ll split ’em all up to keep things orderly. Before I get going on that, I just want to say “Thanks!” to the O’Reilly people for putting on this event. What with the new baby I could only stay for about 48 hours, but it felt like a 48-hour-long warm bath for the soul. Not only am I among my tribe, but the people are mostly friendly and mostly witty and quite a few of them are stylish in offbeat and interesting ways, and then a whole bunch of them have become friends over the years. The talks weren’t, on average, as good as the crowd, on average, but then some of them were excellent. Here’s a question: should OSCON become partly an UnConference or Camp or something? I’ve been to some of those and I really like them, but on the other hand, quite a few of the OSCON sessions amount to someone who Really Knows His-or-Her Shit standing on stage laying out what the next few steps are in some deeply important piece of the computing ecosystem. I mean, welcoming grass-roots voices is good, but if you want to know where Python is going, you need to listen to Guido, and if you want the bleeding edge on the Atom Protocol, along with a command-line demo, I’m your guy. Which is to say, information transfer from obsessives is a valid sub-function of tribal gatherings. Having said that, during this kind of session, the dialogue with the audience is organic and spontaneous and the questions are typically so good that there’s really no “authority” relationship between the person with at the front of the room with the microphone and a person in one of the chairs facing them. Still, I think OSCON would benefit from turning one of its days—or even half—into an UnConference. Stand by for more OSCON-driven fragments. [Update: Here’s a contrarian voice. I thought the paper selection was good, but he raises a troubling question: If I hadn’t already known dozens and dozens of attendees, how would I have gone about meeting them?]


author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
picture of the day
July 29, 2006
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