OSCON recap. Part I

I decided to write three posts about my experience in OSCON 2006. The first post (this one), will focus on the first day I attended: Wednesday July 26, 2006. The second one, will focus on our session: Sofware Libre: FOSS in Venezuela. The last one, will cover our experience giving a similar talk for the general public in Portland.

OSCON Day 1.

The highlight of the day was Tim O’Reilly saying that the Open Source Licenses are Obsolete in his Keynote. This is still creating some discussion as can be seen in the O’Reilly Radar. However, that was not the only interesting topic Tim talked about. He mentioned 5 topics that should be in our radars:

  1. The Architecture of participation beyond Web 2.0
  2. The fact that open source licenses are obsolete
  3. The fact that open source allows for asymmetric competition
  4. The fact that “operations” is the competitive advantage for open source software companies
  5. Open data as a revolution with larger impact than the open source revolution

After Tim’s talk, Scott Yara from Greenplum had the opportunity to shine. In his talk, School of Rock, Scott compared the music industry associated with Rock and Roll with the software industry associated with Open Source. The highlight of his talk was reminding us that we (the open source developers and activists) should

“Keep it [Open Source Software] Real!”

“Keep it Dangerous! [dangerous to the establishment]”

The other two talks in the plenary session were not as interesting. In case you are wondering about their topics you can find them here or here.

Later in the day, I attended the session on Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence using PostgreSQL by Luke Lonergan. The talk was OK. However, the title was misleading since the Business Intelligence part was absent from most of the talk (it only appeared in the title).

After that, I moved to Easy AI with Python by Raymond Hettinger. Raymond did a very nice analogy between a database and an Artificial Neural Network. Based on that analogy, he was able to create complex queries (similar to the way people talk) to extract information from the database. The only drawback about his approach is that the Artificial Neural Network is not able to learn the connections so it is not intelligent at all. Anyway, it is a talk you might want to check. The presentations slides are available here.

After Raymond’s talk, I had a meeting regarding our session on Software Libre. The next talk I attended was: The Semasiology of Open Source (Part III) by Robert Lefkowitz. Robert is an outstanding speaker and the talk was hilarious. As someone described him the following day: Lefkowitz is a master of the metaphor. His talk is available here for those of you who might be interested. By the way, the talk was so interesting that we allowed Robert to take away part of the break. So, I did not have much time for seeing the exhibits.

Because my friends (Alejandro and Jeff) are Perl fans, I decided to join them for the Perl Lightning Talks. The talks were really good. That good that Alejandro convinced me to start learning Perl. So, here I am going trough the Llama Book (Learning Perl by R. Scwartz, T. Phoenix, and B. Foy).

A rather disappointing talk I attended to close the day was Data Mining Using Orange and Python. It was disappointing because the speakers were neither experts on Orange nor in Data Mining. The only good thing is that they showed me that even them could use Orange so it must be a really good tool.

Well, that is all for now. I will cover Part II of this series of posts during the weekend.

Peace!

Lino

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