OSCON D3.3 and D4.1

by brian d foy

Where did I leave off? I think I was in the middle of the afternoon in the last entry.

Most of the Perl talks are over-subscribed, it seems. People sit in the aisles, stand in the door, or try to peer around the corner. The rooms are a bit small, but from talking to people, I think even with bigger rooms the talks would be just as crowded. A lot of people go do something else when they see the overflowing crowd.

In the evening I ended up sitting next to Brian Ingerson (Ingy) in the press room, and since it was just the two of us we decided to get dinner in the sports bar upstairs. Apropos of that, we started talking about cycling. He used to live in Chicago, and I now live in Chicago so I was picking his brain for good routes and shops. We both bemoaned the boring riding situation around Chicago. Most of the midwest is flat, so I don't get to ride the hills like I could in Southern California, or Ingy could when he was here in Portland. I think it's the first time I've talked to him about something other than technology, and it was a good subject break in the middle of the conference.

After that we wandered up to Nat's "Presidential Suite" (that's what it says on the door for the annual P5P thing. There is a wonderful view of the river from the 16th floor, and I ended up standing next to Michel Rodriguez on the balcony. He has an article in the current issue of The Perl Review. While Ingy wasn't explaining the aerodynamic properties of the American carrot versus the Australian carrot in reference to glide ratios and the distance to the street from Nat's balcony.

That party got hopping, and I got a chance to talk to Chris Nandor (pudge) for a bit. He explained to me why Derek Jeter is a jerk, how I should have set my TiVo to record sports events (like the tour de France) by recording several hours past the advertised end time so I don't miss anything when it goes long, and why a whole new generation of kids won't know who the real "Pudge" is.

After that I got a tech support call from my wife, and I solved it by sending her shell commands over iChat. That problem solved, I talked to her for a while since I have been neglecting her this week. This made me a bit late to the Stonehenge party, but I'm not a drinker so I didn't need to get started early on the free drinks.

The party was amazing. The bar was packed and overflowing into the streets. It was so packed that Stonehenge and the pub renegotiated the price a bit so the bar would not lose money on all of the extra people who showed up. I'm not a great party person, and I got there when most people were a bit worse for drink, so I'll leave the myths and legends to someone else.

The party was so hoppin' that the The Perl Foundation auction decided it was too crazy to try a simultaneous global web-cast. It was just far too noisy. I think they are going to try again tonight around 9ish pm, somewhere in the hotel. They have boxes and boxes and boxes of donated swag as well as donated services, like an hour of pair programming with Ward Cunningham. They also have "First Copy" of The Perl Review. Keep checking the bulletin boards and announcements.

I got to drive Randal home, which was a bit of a treat for me. His car is really, really fast, and red. He kept telling me "this is a six speed!" and I kept telling him "but four is all I can handle!" Not only am i tired, but it's dark, I'm in a foreign country, and everyone else in the car (save Paul Blair who only need a ride back to his car at the hotel) were feeling how people feel after these sorts of things. Randal's instuctions to his house were "Blah blah blah south, turn right, go through 18 lights, turn right."

This morning I got up late. I stayed up too late last night not just because the party ran late but because I decided to work on some things back at Randal's place too. I ended up at the hotel around 11 am, just in time to get in line to interview Tim O'Reilly. He pushed back our original time to see a talk on Make, a new O'Reilly venture that is going to be the ditigal age version of Ready Made. It's not available yet, and there is no official announcement, but look for it this year I think. I blew off the talk because I thought he was going to a talk about make(1), which seems like a boring topic for an Emerging Topics track (also known as the "Things Nat Likes" track). I wish I had seen the talk, now. It ran long without anyone getting anxious to go to lunch, and I ended up chatting to Suzanne Axtell and Nat while we waited for it to end.

I grabbed Tim on his way out of this talk, having brought him a selection of bag lunches to save him a bit of time. Andy Gurevich showed with a camera crew to interview Tim for an open source movie he's working on for Feel (This) Films, Inc., in Portland too (gees, Portland is a hot area). The details are developing, but not only is the movie about open source, but he might use shared footage too. I didn't get much chance to talk to him since we were competing for Tim's time. I yielded to him so he could get a quick interview before my longer one. I'm not sure where the film is going, but their flyer shows a person holding a sign that says "Software patents makes God cry".

My interview with Tim went well. I might upload the raw audio soon, depending on whether or not I should embarrass myself with the juxtaposition of some of my fumbling questions next to his excellent answers. As I said earlier, I'm starting a project to capture the history of Perl in audio form, but not the dates and places and facts. The story is not the code. I'll have more details on this later. I plan to interview a lot more people for this project.

After that I came back to the press room, where I am now sitting. I started at a table by myself, in the usual seat I've taken this week. Jay Lyman from NewsForge normally sits on the other side of the table, but I haven't seen him today, and Steve Mallet and his crew take up the table at the back, although he's already left. As I'm pondering my loneliness, Dr. Freeman Dyson comes in and sits in Jay's spot and starts reading Tim O'Reilly in a Nutshell. I'm not making this up. I have a picture. I haven't said anything to him because I figure he's like me: he's hiding out so he's not mobbed by people asking him the same old question that everyone asks. Before I could get up the nerve to say "Hi", a couple of interviewers showed up and started talking to him. No wonder he's here.

I offered to get lost so I didn't bother the interview with my existence, but they didn't mind so I'm still sitting at the table. I'm at a live interview of Dr. Dyson talking about wireless networking, missions to Mars, the legal environment of innovation, cheap space travel, the social hierarchy of Princeton, the Kyoto protocol, global warming, the profitable business of protest, and raising children. Holy canoli.