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Zuruck an der Ranch

Paul seems to be having much too much fun out in America, with visits to the zoo and midnight cheesecake and what not (er, no time to write your PHP tutorial, Paul?), so I thought I should bring things back to the source: namely, the production desk at LXF Towers in Bath, England (where they don't ask you for ID in bars once you're over 18) (and rarely do it when you're under 18 either). This is where the copy is edited, the headlines are tweaked, the pictures are checked and, with shameful regularity, the typos are added.

The Jeff Waugh series

Joby has sent over a couple more pictures from OSCon last week, so here's a picture from the Larry Wall interview (shot on the Max light rail train in Portland), and Jim Jagielski, shot in front of the Oregon Convention Center:

Larry Wall on the Portland MAX line

Jim Jagielski standing next to the biggest phallic symbols in Oregon

Freezing in San Francisco

I missed blogging Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, because the days were rushed and we all enjoyed our first break all week. So, to catch you up, here's Friday:

Friday

For us, OSCon kind of fizzled out: we had a busy day on Friday, going to the Women in Open Source talk (you'd be surprised how many attended!), then the EU Software Patents talk with Marten Mickos (MySQL), Michael Tiemann (Red Hat), and Hartmut Pilch (FFII).

SpikeSource are not the leaders in cross-platform testing of open source

I received an intriguing email today from the SpikeSource PR agency. Yesterday, during my interview with Kim Polese, I asked them why they were calling themselves the leaders in open source testing when they had only really just launched. So, this morning I get an email from the PR people saying, amongst other things, "The follow-up was mostly around this notion of
SpikeSource claiming to be a "leader". It's totally counter to the humble approach they take with the community. They don't beat their chests in press releases or on the website."

Interesting.

Four interviews and a booze up

It's a well-known fact that you need about two hours minimum to do a good interview with someone. You need time to meet up, find a good spot, sit and chat for a short time so that everyone was relaxed, enough time for the interview itself, and of course enough time for the photographer to work their magic.

Today we did four interviews in one day, along with shooting from place to place to get extra shots. Poor Joby has lots of work to get all the pictures converted from Nikon NEF format to TIF (and JPEG for this blog), so you'll need to wait until tomorrow to see his pictures.

A busy day and a barbecue

OSCon kicked off for real today: Joby and I were at the conference centre for the 8:30 keynotes, and he got some great shots as Nat Torkington, Tim O'Reilly, and Kim Polese spoke. Tim and Nat's topic was, as per usual, The O'Reilly Radar: what's hot and what's not for ORA. Interestingly, Perl book sales are down almost 20% year on year - "if anything is an inspiriation for those working on Perl 6 to hurry up, this is it" said Tim.

Larry Wall: I bet he\'s trying to figure out what SpikeSource does...

Pictures galore

I was lucky enough to be able to sleep to 7am this morning, because it was a busy day: in the morning, five hours of IronPython from Jim Hugunin, and in the afternoon another five hours of Mono. Well, at least that's the idea - I could only stay for the first 90 minutes of the Mono talk because I had an interview with Andrew Morton, the esteemed kernel hacker. We had a great time: Andrew is really chatty, and - fortunately for Joby - really open to do some unusual pictures. I think you'll understand what I mean when Joby finishes playing around with them and gives me one to upload!

Law and light SQL

After a busy morning, it's only right I have a busy afternoon. Things started to go wrong when I ordered the nachos from the hotel Quick & Light menu, only to receive a veritable mountain of food in return. I ended up leaving half of it and still arriving late to my afternoon session: Law for Geeks, by Lawrence Rosen.

Perls and Rubys

Okay, I'm back at the hotel now. Perhaps it's jet lag, perhaps I'm just stuck in my ways, but I just didn't grok the Ruby talk this morning. Large parts of the language seem very cool (I like being able to run methods on integers like 3.times { print "Ho!" }, and I like being able to add methods to individual objects at runtime), other parts just flew over my head. Granted I was busy hacking on some Mono code, so this is probably my fault. I'll have to come back to this in the future.

Facets of Ruby

It's 8:45am, I slept two hours last night, and I'm now sitting through a morning lecture on Ruby. This is a language I know irritatingly little about, so despite my body desperate trying to switch off, I'm going to sit through this and learn.

Fortunately for me, Dave Thomas is doing this particular tutorial: he's lively and clearly passionate about the language. He also has a fun dislike of other languages - "The reason we use paretheses in languages like C and Java is because Fortran needed them." Surprisingly few people seem to accept this!



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