OSCON 2007: Days 3 and 4

I didn’t get a chance to post yesterday, so today’s post will include my thoughts on sessions I’ve attended for the past two days, but I’ll try to keep things short. If you know me, you’ll understand how difficult this can be.

I’m trying to attend many of the community talks and panels, especially because of my involvement in Atlanta PHP and the #phpc IRC channel. So, the first talk I attended yesterday was “How to Herd Cats and Influence People” by Jono Bacon. I actually have a lot of notes on this, but I won’t share them here, but the one big quote I took home from this talk was: “Always be flexible; when you stop being flexible, that’s when bureaucracy kicks in.” The bottom line about dealing with an open source community is: you want to encourage people to accomplish things quickly. Getting newcomers involved right away and accomplishing things helps them to get involved right away achieving and contributing. This gets them excited about contributing, and they’ll move on to do more, and they’ll become effective members of the community. If anyone has to ask questions about how to get involved, then you’ve lost. You need to have all this stuff documented so it’s easy for them to figure out how and where to get involved.

Afterwards, I attended the panel “Who Gets to Decide What Open Source Means?,” Rob Richard’sWho Am I? The Age of the Digital Identity,” and Patrick Reilly’sImproving Performance by Profiling PHP Applications.”

The day ended with the Mozilla party off-site. The band was good, but the free (as in “free beer” and “freedom”) beer was awful. Someone should fork the beer and make it better. After the Mozilla party, we descended upon Sun’s OpenSolaris party. In years past, the OpenSolaris party was small and held in one of the suites at the DoubleTree Hotel. This year, it was held in the hotel’s garage, and it was huge and loud. I prefer the more personable parties they’ve had in the past; they were quiet, and the Sun representatives were fun to hang out with. I didn’t see any Sun representatives at the party this year, but perhaps I wasn’t looking.

Today, I attended Andrei Zmievski’sVIM for PHP Programmers,” “A Resource-Oriented Approach on Data Services” by Mike Pittaro of SnapLogic, “Accessibility for Web 2.0” by Eric David, the “Art of Community” panel, and Brenda Wallace’sPHP Add-ons for Fun and Profit.”

For the “Resource-Oriented Approach” talk, Mike Pittaro described SnapLogic’s method of returning resources through the use of “pipelines.” Basically, as I understood it, the client would request data from one particular URI, which would send the request through a “pipeline,” do something with the data, and return a new URI from which the data can be fetched. For example, if you request a sorted representation of data, you would send a request to the sort URI, which would return a URI that represents the sorted data, but this URI is temporary and is no longer valid after a time.

Now, a group of us are sitting around in the hallway trying to figure out our dinner/party plans for the evening. My flight leaves tomorrow, and I can’t wait to get home to my wife and son, so I’ll miss the brewers’ fest, but I’ll be glad to be home.