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OSCON - the Wrap-Up

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the fun-snippets-from-people-you-want-to-hear-from dept.

49

lisah writes "NewsForge's Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier has been reporting from OSCON all week and wrote a great wrap up of the event. He even had the foresight to take along a video camera while rubbing elbows with some of what Brockmeier calls the 'leading minds in open source.' Caught on tape: Kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman, Python creator Guido van Rossum, Jeff Waugh of Canonical, Greg Lund-Chaix of OSL, and OSCAMP 2006 organizer Brandon Sanders."

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49 comments

Wings up, flaps down. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15828942)

"Leading minds of open source"? So what research labs are they with?

Re:Wings up, flaps down. (3, Insightful)

LaNMaN2000 (173615) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829080)

There is a legitimate point behind this troll. When does being an open source project administrator have more to do with media relations than project management? People like RMS, etc. probably spend very little of their time writing code and much more of their time promoting their projects and building community.

Open Source software has evolved to the point where the "leading minds" have become project administrators deciding which contributions to merge into the main build rather than thought leaders defining the future of their products. Not to troll, but a project manager at Microsoft probably has more influence on the technological evolution of their products than open source project leaders. It is just the nature of distributed development--distributed innovation.

Re:Wings up, flaps down. (2, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829128)

RMS. Build community. Riiight.

Re:Wings up, flaps down. (4, Insightful)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829151)

Laugh it up. RMS's deliberate actions and dedication resulted in the free software movement, and are more or less the reason why Microsoft doesn't dominate the web today.

RMS is the primary reason why Linux ended up being more than just a toy that was popular among college-age Unix geeks. Give the man some credit.

Re:Wings up, flaps down. (0, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829185)

I do give the man some credit. I just don't give him too much credit, like everyone else does.

Re:Wings up, flaps down. (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830306)

It sounded like you were giving him no credit at all.

Re:Wings up, flaps down. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830575)

No, that would be saying "RMS has done nothing to build the community". He does try, he's just insanely inadequate.

Re:Wings up, flaps down. (0)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829236)

Funny but I thought it was due to CERN, The ASF, W3C and other people who actually write code.

The FSF was missing from that fight, since they didn't start it and could not control it they left it alone.

Re:Wings up, flaps down. (2, Insightful)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829779)

Funny but I thought it was due to CERN, The ASF, W3C and other people who actually write code.

How, exactly? Microsoft wouldn't give a shit about standards if it didn't have competition on the client side. That competition is primarily Firefox and Safari, and neither of those would have existed except for the "open source" movement, which would never have started without the free software movement, which is the brainchild of RMS.

Re:Wings up, flaps down. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15832429)

"Funny but I thought"... We all know bad things happen when you try to 'think'.

Re:Wings up, flaps down. (1)

Black Art (3335) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829525)

The people I know on the kernel list influence people by actually doing work, and lots of it.

Open Source is a Meritocracy. If you don't do good work, people ignore you.

We don't listen to talking heads and know-nothing managers. We leave that to Microsoft.

Re:Wings up, flaps down. (1)

smallpaul (65919) | more than 7 years ago | (#15831512)

. Not to troll, but a project manager at Microsoft probably has more influence on the technological evolution of their products than open source project leaders.

A program (not project) manager at Microsoft must take orders from higher-ups. Linux or Guido make up their own minds based upon community suggestion. Otherwise I agree with you. The Program Manager has more control, but less freedom to act as they wish. The Open Source team lead has a high degree of freedom but less direct control.

Executive briefing (1)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#15828944)

He even had the foresight to take along a video camera while rubbing elbows with some of what Brockmeier calls the 'leading minds in open source.' Caught on tape: Kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman, Python creator Guido van Rossum, Jeff Waugh of Canonical, Greg Lund-Chaix of OSL, and OSCAMP 2006 organizer Brandon Sanders.

That's great that he caught Guido van Rossum, but no video of Chris DiBona and Karl Fogel?

Re:Executive briefing (2, Informative)

xonker (29382) | more than 7 years ago | (#15828961)

Sorry, no. I have some additional video interviews that will be up this week for individual stories, but none of Chris or Karl. Note that O'Reilly didn't allow video of the actual sessions (like the executive briefing), or I would have just set the camera up on a tripod for all of the sessions that I attended. I really would have loved to have shared Eben Moglen's keynote from Friday...

Re:Executive briefing (2, Informative)

CanSpice (300894) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829040)

They allowed it for a couple of the sessions I was in. One of them had an O'Reilly staff member in it, and a guy asked her if he could tape it and she said sure, as long as he didn't interfere with the actual session.

Re:Executive briefing (1)

xonker (29382) | more than 7 years ago | (#15834383)

Okay, let me re-phrase: When I got my press credentials, I was told that videotaping sessions (presumably for making public) was not allowed. I'm sure O'Reilly wasn't policing the conference, but I did talk to O'Reilly's organizers and re-affirmed at the conference that they weren't allowing reporters to videotape sessions for use.

Re:Executive briefing (2, Interesting)

khendron (225184) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829078)

O'Reilly itself taped all the keynotes. Anybody have any idea whether O'Reilly will release their own tapes?

Re:Executive briefing (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15829199)

As soon as they figure out how to degrade the quality, inflate the FPS, charge 50% more than anyone else and threaten others not to talk about the show.

Can you tell that I am not too impressed with ORA quality of late?

Re:Executive briefing (1)

Fahrenheit 450 (765492) | more than 7 years ago | (#15832741)

Yep. That sounds like O'Reilly.
I went to the OSCON site, hoping to find some papers or at least slides from the presenters, and found nothing but hype and hoopla.

I don't know why people continue to support them anymore, it's clear that they abandoned popularizing interesting technology in favor of leeching cash years ago...

Re:Executive briefing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15829713)

I don't know but the organizers of linux.conf.au 2006, held in January this year, still haven't released their own tapes.

Re:Executive briefing (2, Funny)

khendron (225184) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829029)

Chris DiBona has grown a beard, which he says gives him a more "evil" look. Since evil and Google don't go together, he probably didn't recognize him.

Google exploiters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15830611)

The CEO of google doesn't know who is who, who is a good programmer and who does what these days. Because he's a CEO, not a programmer. So he asks "the people who work as programmers" at google. And they recomend their friends. Greg recomends Chris, Crhis recomends Alex, Alex recomends Guido. And we have a "lobby in the lobby" situation. All these people are old burnouts. Pitty they represent google's front.

*focus* (3, Informative)

Awod (956596) | more than 7 years ago | (#15828981)

Ok, I'm tired of getting modded 0 and 1 this post will be 100% serious for the TFA solely because my jokes weren't funny enough. Here it goes: Useful Info~ If you're interested in getting involved with kernel development please visit: http://kernelnewbies.org/ [kernelnewbies.org] which is run by Kroah-Hartman. An interview with Guido van Rossum, the creator of Python: http://www.newsforge.com/blob.pl?id=1a2eb8656310db 65fa03461a41a91866 [newsforge.com] and finally Jeff Waugh, the creator of Ubuntu and the newest edition which will be talked about in this interview: http://www.newsforge.com/blob.pl?id=7e977d3c0eafee a86808086c275e87cf [newsforge.com]

Re:*focus* (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15829031)

I don't know about your jokes but you suck at karma whoring.

Of course Jeff Waugh was there.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15829002)

professional hanger-on of the open source community.

Did he tell you some tiny open source app was "awesome" and signals the death of proprietary software?

A thousand peers, not luminaries 'at the top.' (5, Insightful)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829048)

Open Source needs to be about broad teams of user/developers. Not about luminaries and celebrities.

The heros of OS are an inspiration, but I think they'd rather have a team of peers to work with than a sort of paparazzi experience.

Re:A thousand peers, not luminaries 'at the top.' (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830269)

On the other hand these guys got to be luminaries because they are smart, hard working and know how to get things done, not because they are heris to a hotel fortune.

Great conference! Wrong venue! OCC - bad karma (2, Interesting)

mrs clear plastic (229108) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829299)

First of all, may I please express my thanks for a great conference!

Because of work requirements and having returned from the OLS (Ottawa Linux Symposium); my attendence at Oscon was limited.

The few BOF's that I did attend were very much worthwile. I attended the open source in medical BOF as well as the embedded open source BOF. I did bring home some good information from both as well (hopefuly) leave behind some good information on my own.

This, by the way, is my fourth Oscon; I started with the first one in Portland in 2003. As I live in Portland, I have no problem attending this since I don't have to fork out for travel (yecch!) or hotel.

Which comes to my sentiments on the venue. Oscon, this year, like last year, was held at the Oregon Convention Center. Prior to that, it was held at the Marriot on the waterfront.

I really wasn't going to mention this, but I need to be blunt here. I think that the Oregon Convention Center (OCC) has perhaps the worst soul for any place that I have been to! This is the place! Oscon, the convention, is fine! I only feel sorry they have to use that place.

The Oscon's of 03 and 04 were at the Marriot, which was a much nicer venue. True, they outgrew it, but it still had a much more intimate, nuturing atmophere for this event. I felt very comfortable during those Oscon's than the last two. There were very nice places to 'hang out and chat with others between sessions and in the evening.

What immediately punched me in the stomach about both Oscon 05 and this one was the forboding atmosphere of the place.

This was especially true when I arrived for an evening BOF on Monday night. I arrived at about 7 PM. When I walked into the building, I felt like I just left civilization. There were no people around! The feeling was very eerie. I felt like that I really did not belong there! I had a badge and was properly registered; that was not the problem. I just had a very cold, forboding feeling. I really wanted to turn around and run, not walk right back outside.

I walked for what seemed like hundreds of feet without seeing another soul. That's right; not another person! Finally, I came across a security guard who looked like he wanted to run, not walk, out of that building like me. He did not challenge me, but he did point me to where the BOF's were taking place. Hundreds of more feet without seeing another soul later, I finally came across a few people. I did find the BOF. It was a group of 20 odd people right smack in the middle of nowhere in a huge cavernous hallway whose' air conditioning kept it at about 40 degrees.

The next day, when the exhibits were open; and there were people; it still felt very alian and lonelly. I have longed for the atmosphere back at the Marriot. I just could not get the will to 'hang around' and socialize with the folks I saw there. I lasted about 1 and 1/2 hours at the exhibits before I had to get the **** out of there and outdoors.

I came back another evening for a BOF. This one was in one of the rooms; it was better than my first one. But, when it was over (at about 9 PM), I just had to get out of there. I know that if this were somewhere else, I would have stayed around and talked with the others.

One thing that I have noticed is how quickly the place emptied out after the last regular sessions let out. This was far different from the experience that I had at OLS, which was in Ottawa. Both were technical conferences with BOF's in the evening. At OLF, people hung around for the BOF's and socialized afterward.

I have been at other functions at OCC and I get the same feelings for each one. It's OCC; not the event. I have also talked with others and have found some agreement with my feelings.

OCC is very oversized. It's built for stuff that Portland would never catch. If it were about 1/4 it's size, I think it would have been a lot better. Oscon, great conference it is, is almost invisible in that vast space.

To those of you who put on Oscon; I can't, and won't blame you. I think that you may be working with a deck that is stacked against you. You have outgrown the Marriot. And, unfortunately, Portland does not offer much for a space 'between' the Marriot and OCC. This is the shame.

Perhaps we can hope that the Portland fathers can come up with a medium size venue for events such as Oscon.

Very truly yours . . .

half a life is better than almost nothing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15829304)

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"OSCON"? WTF? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15829348)

NewsForge's Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier has been reporting from OSCON all week and wrote a great wrap up of the event.

How about telling your reader WTF the news are about? You know, something like this:
NewsForge's Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier has been reporting from OSCON (please insert "OSCON" definition here) all week and wrote a great wrap up of the event.

Whoops or Wow? (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829885)

Hm, somehow I made Zonker leave my session. I don't know whether I feel proud or depressed!

Pity post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15831150)

This is the least popular Slashdot story EVER.

The trouble with OSCON is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15832046)

You have to pay to get in. To the tune of $1800 if you want to attend workshops. Heck, I live in Portland where it's being hosted, had some free time, but choked on the price. Guess I'll have to attend the next "Open" Open Source convention.

Re:The trouble with OSCON is... (1)

GrigorPDX (513102) | more than 7 years ago | (#15835650)

Actually, there were quite a few free activities. OSCamp, the Ruby Roundup, impromptu stuff happening in the halls. I certainly didn't get anything beyond a free exhibit hall pass yet found plenty of good things to do. Yeah, some of the sessions would have been nice, but I feel I got plenty out of the conference without paying the dough.
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