Bits from the OSDC:
Didn’t get to see much of day one – Larry Wall’s first talk (familar to what you find online, except here you can hear the intonation when he snarks about other languages), a laboured (but educational) talk about GNU Arch (supposedly about version control systems in general, but not really), and the begining of a promising talk about Darcs. Then I had to rush off and take the most curcuitous route possible to Rehovot, via Kfar Natar and Even Yehuda. Luckily, the meeting I was hurrying to was actually 15:30, not 13:30. Urf.
Day two – saw Audrey Tang’s Pugs talk, followed by the lightning talks (including two more by Audrey; all on the web, but well delivered). The most impressive was Kobi Zamir’s talk on HOCR: he seemed so disorganized and confused I felt sorry for him, and then he opens his GUI program, and BAM! converts a scanned image of a poem into Hebrew text, complete with nikud. The crowd applauded. Asaf gave a talk on the open problems in building a backend for project Ben Yehuda, which seemed to garner some interest. I opined that a five minute talk is just enough time to present either a trivial solution or an interesting problem.
Saw the second half of a good talk on mod_perl’s guts, where the presenter amused me by saying that a certain concept (“bucket brigade”, the Apache API metaphor for output filter processing) is also commonly used in “Brick and Mortar” applications – by which he meant “in Physical Reality”.
Next was an interesting talk on AGI, an API for working with Asterisk, which is an open source package that lets you build automated phone applications, like “For the Hebrew menu, dial 1. If you know your party’s extension, you may dial it at any time. ” Apparently, you can do this all with PHP scripts.
In the break I joined hamakor, which seem to offer all the fun of Amuta politics, but implemented as Open Source.
A guy from Yahoo gave two solid talks, first on Ruby and then on Rails; when asked if Yahoo use Ruby, he wistfuly(?) said it was not really feasible for production systems, and was best for internal projects. He did mention that programming with Ruby’s GTK bindings is pleasant, which encouraged me to download Yet Another Widget Set I’ll Probably Never Touch. Oh, and apparently Ruby doesn’t have destructors (you can bend it’s arm to fake something like them, but you should probably use blocks with
yield instead for resource management.
Then there was another somewhat low-energy Perl 6 talk, which I cut out out of in order to rush home and be stood up by a plumber.
Also got chewed out by my boss for skipping out on work for three straight days. Well, bollocks. Tomorrow, more Wall, Catalyst, and maybe Ofer Brandes and the quest for the holy grail of programming by visual logic modeling. Or the plumber.
Bits from the OSDC: