Charles Engelke's Blog

July 9, 2003

OSCON Day 3: Session – Open Development and Commercial Business Models

Filed under: Ozette Brown — Charles Engelke @ 7:20 pm

Now this was an interesting open ended discussion. The panel included, Tim O’reilly, a guy from Microsoft, a guy from a financial institution, and a venture capitalist.
The talk started 15min before I got there, but that didn’t
seem to matter. Overall the discussion seemed to be about the “value of IP and does it work in Open Source”.
There was a guy from Microsoft there that supported “shared source”. His stance was that you can place price on Intellectual Property and
and have your users keep purchasing things like software upgrades, new versions and so on.
The Open Source folks stated just the opposite. They believe that code contribution by as many people who want to participate
is more important.


OSCON Day 3: Session – A Guided Tour of the MySQL Source Code

Filed under: Ozette Brown — Charles Engelke @ 7:20 pm

I sat in the “Guided Tour of the MySQL Source Code”. The session was
pretty good if you were into knowing exactly how the code works.
The folks at MySQL are very proud of their database and they should be.
Alot of what they were talking about was very high level.
The bottom line is that you don’t need to know exactly how something works,
you just need to know that it works and works well.

Session: The State of Parrot 2003

Filed under: OSCON 2003 — Charles Engelke @ 7:06 pm

Dan Sugalski is going to assume we know what Parrot is, so he’s going to
tell us where it is. (It’s the engine that Perl 6 is being implemented on.)
The core interpreter is done. There’s the base
engine, and compile-time extensions are “dead simple”. No program-visible
architecture changes in more than a year. Calling conventions are finalized.


Break: Buying Books

Filed under: OSCON 2003 — Charles Engelke @ 7:06 pm

Every time I come to this conference (or really, any technical
conference) I hit the bookstore. I used to like to see what was available
and buy the books while I had a chance. Thanks to the Internet, I usually
know what’s available now, but I still like the chance to leaf through the
books before buying them. And lately I’ve been buying books for my
colleagues who attend the conferences, too.


Session: Perl Lightning Talks

Filed under: OSCON 2003 — Charles Engelke @ 5:25 pm

Each year, Mark Jason Dominus hosts
Perl lightning talks. These are five minute long talks, with the time limit
strictly enforced. We should see about 16 or 18 in this 90 minute session.
They’re often fun, and a good break from the deeper technical talks at the


OSCON Day 2: Building Data Warehouses with MySQL

Filed under: Ozette Brown — Charles Engelke @ 4:37 pm

Ok, this is an excellent view on the talk about Building Data
Warehouses with MySQL. Again, this is from Jeremy Zawodny.


OSCON Day 2: New Features in MySQL

Filed under: Ozette Brown — Charles Engelke @ 4:26 pm

Here’s a summary of this talk I grabbed from Jeremy Zawodny. Jeremy is well respected in the MySQL
community. He’s also the chief Yahoo at Yahoo Finance, although I hear that he’s has another job.
This summary hits the major points made.


Oreilly Conference Archives

Filed under: Ozette Brown — Charles Engelke @ 4:13 pm

You can find the conference archives here

The OSCON 2003 archives don’t seem to be there yet.

Session: Framework for Integrated Testing

Filed under: OSCON 2003 — Charles Engelke @ 1:27 pm

Ward Cunningham and Brian Ingerson are giving this talk. The focus in on
extreme programming (XP) which requires continual testing. We start with an
example from Ward Cunningham of financial interest calculations, which are based on the
assumption that each month has 30 days, and each year has 360 days. So he
defined tests with a list of sample cases and expected results, and uses a
tool to run the tests for that list. Fill in the table, then send the table
to the testing tool, and get a table back with what should have happened,
versus what did happen. When the tests were all passed, he added another
test (another row), which failed. He fixed his code: now the new text
worked, but the old ones were broken. This is a simple way to make sure
that you don’t lose what you used to have when you fix or extend code.



Filed under: OSCON 2003 — Charles Engelke @ 1:07 pm

During the break I went to the newly opened exhibitor area. It’s packed
with vendors and attendees, and there’s some swag this year! I didn’t see
any swag at last year’s conference, and little the year before that (in 2000
in Monterey, there was so much swag that I was able to bring dozens of
t-shirts back for my colleagues). So the Stonehenge t-shirt and Powell’s
juggling balls may signal that the IT economy is getting well.


Keynote: An Open Source Tool Framework for the Enterprise

Filed under: OSCON 2003 — Charles Engelke @ 12:15 pm

Paul Buck is IBM’s director of Eclipse Development. We’re going to get
an introduction to Eclipse
this morning. IBM donated Eclipse to the open
source community in 2001, worth about $40 million.


Keynote: The Open Source Paradigm Shift

Filed under: OSCON 2003 — Charles Engelke @ 11:42 am

Tim O’Reilly opens this year’s conference with this talk. He begins with
the definition of paradigm shift: a change in world view that
calls everything you know into question.
This is from

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
by Thomas Kuhn.

First, we had a hardware paradigm shift: commodity hardware with an open
architecture with the IBM PC. This resulted in killing off old proprietary
hardware companies: Digital, Data General, Prime. Apple is the last
remaining company in this space. We then had a software paradigm shift (IBM
let a tiny Seattle company provide the operating system for their PCs).


Wednesday Morning at OSCON

Filed under: OSCON 2003 — Charles Engelke @ 10:40 am

Today the real conference begins; Monday and Tuesday were tutorial days.
Now we will be attending shorter talks, and many less technical ones.


July 8, 2003

Tricks of the Wizards (second half)

Filed under: OSCON 2003 — Charles Engelke @ 7:14 pm

Once I decided not to go back to the Struts tutorial, I looked around to
see if I could sneak in to something else. I saw that
Mark Jason Dominus was giving his
Tricks of the Wizards
Perl talk. I’ve seen it before, but he keeps doing new things. And,
he’s probably the best presenter I’ve ever seen, so I know it will be


Tutorial: Enterprise Java Development on a Budget

Filed under: OSCON 2003 — Charles Engelke @ 6:51 pm

This morning I’m going to learn about enterprise Java on a budget. I
hope they mean a small budget. I’ve already seen lots of options to
do it on a big budget, and I’m skeptical that those expensive ways of
doing things really return proportional value to us. This talk is being
presented by Christopher Judd and Brian Sam-Bodden. They’re both expectant
fathers, and they’ve told us that they would actually treat their wives
going into labor as a higher priority than this session!


Building Web Applications with Struts

Filed under: OSCON 2003 — Charles Engelke @ 5:36 pm

This afternoon I’m attending a tutorial on using Struts to build web
applications. As with my Enterprise Java Development tutorial from this
morning, I don’t have experience with this language, so I’ll have to wait
and see if I can follow enough to be useful.


Info Tech at OSCON

Filed under: OSCON 2003 — Charles Engelke @ 1:09 am

I’m browsing the official conference web site, and what do I find? A
of conference alumni Craig Fitzgerald and Ricardo Havill! And a couple of
other random conference attendees.


The ThinkPad T40 at the Open Source Conference

Filed under: ThinkPad — Charles Engelke @ 1:07 am

There’s bad and good news about my new T40. First, the bad news: it
froze twice today. However, based on the software common to each problem
installation, I’m beginning to strongly suspect the Cisco VPN software.
I’ve been connected to the VPN each time it froze up. I’m going to ask our
IT staff to see if a newer release is available.


July 7, 2003

More Docbook, after the break

Filed under: OSCON 2003 — Charles Engelke @ 6:46 pm

We finished up writing the DocBook files with a pointer to
DocBook: The
Definitive Guide
. The whole book is available on-line.


Wi-Fi Woes

Filed under: OSCON 2003 — Charles Engelke @ 6:34 pm

The conference is providing wireless networking, which is great. But it
has been totally flaky today. It comes and goes, it changes subnets,
sometimes it doesn’t route beyond the gateway. It’s been working this
afternoon, mostly, and we have a possible explanation for some problems.


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