Sunday, July 29, 2007

Reflections on OSCON 2007

I'm back from a week spent in Portland, Oregon at OSCON 2007. It was my first OSCON, or convention for that matter. There was some good stuff, and also some not so good stuff. I'll give some short summaries of what I found interesting.

I went to a talk about DBD::Gofer. This is a Perl module that allows stateless proxying. One useful case is connecting to a database from a machine that does not have the needed DB driver. In this case you can proxy to another machine to make the connection using Gofer. Gofer can even ssh to a machine and start up the Gofer if needed.

The OLPC was at OSCON in force. IBM and Oregon State University booths featured them. I got to talking with the OSU guys (seeing how I'm an alum there was much gab to be had) and garnered a lot of interesting details behind the machine. The monitor can be used in a ultra low power mode, where it essentially works like digital ink. You can see it very well in the sunlight too. One guy at the OSU booth told me that he and some friends first project was putting a Nintendo emulator onto the thing.

I mentioned before the Grails tutorial was great. Scott Davis is a very good presenter, likely due to his charismatic nature.

There was a talk by Matt Secoske on programming DSL's in Groovy. It was actually a very good talk for those wanting to learn some advanced features of the Groovy language and where they are applicable.

Haskell garnered some mind share. Simon Peyton-Jones gave a tutorial on Haskell and also some talks.

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