What a time! Here is a quick summary and overall
impressions of the conference.
Both of my talks, the Dependency Injection In Dynamic
Languages and the 10 Things
Every Java Programmer Should Know about
Ruby, went well. Evidently,
they were turning people away form the
for the “10 Things” talk (the room was small).
Both Howard Lewis Ship (of
HiveMind) and Paul
PicoContainers) attended the dependency
injection talk. Howard pointed out a limitation in constructing
object graphs with cycles in the current DIM implementation. Hivemind
fixes that by introducing proxy objects. I’m wondering if DIM can do
it without proxies. I’ll post later on this.
Ruby at OSCON
Ruby, and in particular Ruby on Rails, was getting a lot of notice at the conference. Here’s some items that come to mind.
- In the keynote talk on O’Reilly’s Radar project where O’Reilly tries
to keep a finger on what’s up and comming, Tim and Nat see Ruby on Rails
as possibly the “Perl of Web 2.0”.
- Both of Monday’s Tutorials on Ruby and Rails were very well
attended. Several of the Ruby sessions on Thursday played to
standing room only croweds.
- David Heinemeyer Hannson’s keynote talk on the Secrets of Ruby on
Rails did a good job of highlighting the philosophy behind the
- In his keynote talk “On Evil”, Danny O’Brian described the Gandhi
method of preventing evil: First they ignore you, then they laugh at
you, then they fight you, then you win. Danny noted that most
groups haven’t figured out how to move from one state to another,
and that the actual sequence is a bit more complicated than the
simple progression laid out by the maxim. In particular Ruby seems
to have gone directly from the “ignore” state to the “win” state in
about 3 weeks.
- Why’s talk, “A Starry Afternoon, a Sinking Symphony, and the Polo
Champ Who Gave It All Up for No Reason Whatsoever” would have been
sold out, but O’Reilly moved it at the last minute to the main
ballroom and ran it during the afternoon break. Although plagued
with some technical difficulties (such as the projection screen
placed where Why couldn’t see the screen, and missbehaving mplayer
sessions), the presentation had the whole room rolling on the floor.
Why is going to upload the videos to his Redhanded website in the
near future, make sure you check them out. Did anyone record the
Thirsty Cups’ rendition of the “Ruby Syntax Song” or “May I
OSCON in General
I really enjoyed a number of keynote talks. Here’s some of the
- TCP/IP and Shipping
by Nick Gall. Yes, what do shipping containers and the TCP/IP
protocol have in common? Nick compared the two and tried to come up
with the characteristics of a technology that has potential for long
- Open Source
by Drew Endy. Drew highlighted how many of the basic building
blocks in DNA research are being patented and impending inovation in
Dick Hardt. Dick gets extra points for not only a interesting talk,
but getting his point across in a fast paced, well written monologue
that didn’t let your eyes wander from the screen for fear of missing
I’m not going to write up all the sessions I sat in on, but here are a
couple of things that I found interesting.
- I sat in a on Advanced
talk by Rod Cope. I’ve not been following Groovy recently. I see
the syntax has been refined a bit since the last time I looked at
it. Rod claims that performance is now 20% to 90% of Java, quite a
bit faster than the last time I looked. Ruby’s Builder::XmlMarkup
(which is available as part of Rails) was stolen directly from ideas
in the Groovy community, so keeping an eye on Groovy is definitly
Portland is great. The public transportation here is outstanding and
the city is wonderful. While I have been attending OSCON, my wife has
been exploring the city and its many gardens and museums. After OSCON
closed, Helen and I went had a late lunch in the Chinese quarter and
then hopped on over to Powell’s city of books.
Powell’s is a bookstore covering an entire city block. Heh, they give
you a map when you enter the store. I could have spend hours there
... well, hey, I guess I did.
On Monday, Helen and I took a tour of the Breedlove Guitar
Company, a small guitar company near
Bend, Oregon. (Did I mention I own a Breedlove guitar? ... wonderful
instrument). It was a four hour drive from Portland, but it was well
worth it. I took plenty of pictures there and will probably write up
the Breedlove tour in more detail later.
Today, Helen and I will be puttering around Portland a bit more, then
start back to Cincinnati on Sunday.