Summer at the Seaside

by Daniel H. Steinberg

With all the attention that Ruby on Rails has been getting, have we not been paying enough attention to the Smalltalk Seaside framework. Also, we'll look back at some OSCON moments.(DTF 08-07-2006: 28 minutes 15 seconds)

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Distributing the Future August 7, 2006: "Summer at the Seaside"

0:46 Seaside's creator Avi Bryant

Ruby on Rails seems to be getting all the love these days but a small group of developers are keeping their eyes on the Smalltalk framework, Seaside. Avi Bryant took some time to talk about Seaside, Smalltalk, and his latest project DabbleDB. (12:30)

The remaining items were available on the OSCON feed as well.


One of the great things about conferences like OSCON is that you get to catch up with people working on projects you are interested in. You find these people at sessions and in the hallways and at this year's OSCON you can find them by announcing a session at OSCamp. Based on Open Space Technology, OSCamp is a place for you to announce that you will be talking about a specific topic at a particular place and time. It's a way of gathering up others who might be interested in the same thing you are. We talked to Brandon Sanders about this first OSCamp. (3:58)

17:14 Tuesday night OSCON Keynotes

OSCON, the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, began with the traditional night of fun - this year featuring Larry Wall's State of the Onion, Kathy Sierra on Creating Passionate Users, and Damian Conway's geek interpretation of the Da Vinci Code.

Each year Larry Wall, the creator of the Perl language, gives a talk about the state of the Perl world. Each year he has a theme and finds ways to tie observations about his chosen theme to what is going on with Perl. This year, with the birth of a grandchild, Wall talked about families and growing up. We're not so much waiting for the birth of Perl 6 as we are looking at the next stage in the life of a language now in its late teens.

Kathy Sierra is the co-creator of the Head First series and has done a lot of research into how best to engage people. Her "Creating Passionate Users" keynote pointed to many of the ways we fail to get our audience interested. We talk too much to the logical side and forget to reach out to the emotional side. One of our biggest flaws as technical people is that we concentrate more on the tool that we've built and not enough on the activity we're enabling.

The evening ended with Damian Conway's multimedia mystery called the Da Vinci Codebase. The presentation was very visual with slides providing the punchline to many of Conway's jokes.(4:33)

21:47 Live from the show floor

As the OSCON, the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, was winding down, conference publicist Suzanne Axtell took a microphone into the exhibit hall and asked various attendees and sponsors for their thoughts on OSCON.(5:52)

Total running time: 28:15

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Production Notes

The initial montage is from Tim O'Reilly, recorded at OSCON '04 and in a phone interview with Doug Kaye of IT Conversations, and is used with permission. "The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed yet" is a quote from author William Gibson that Tim used with attribution.

The credits, including special thanks to David Battino for composing and performing the theme music. David can be found at and also edits O'Reilly's Digital Audio site. David provided a lot of help and feedback getting this program launched. We used Soundtrack Pro, Bias Peak, and Audio Hijack Pro to put it together.

Daniel H. Steinberg is the editor for the new series of Mac Developer titles for the Pragmatic Programmers. He writes feature articles for Apple's ADC web site and is a regular contributor to Mac Devcenter. He has presented at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, MacWorld, MacHack and other Mac developer conferences.

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