[Chandler-dev] OSCON report
jeffrey at osafoundation.org
Tue Aug 1 17:33:24 PDT 2006
This was my first OSCON (and trip to Portland). I probably shouldn't
extrapolate from one visit that Portland will always be swelteringly
hot, but it sure was this time (for the first few days, at least).
I arrived on Sunday to attend Damian Conway's talk on how to give a good
presentation. Although I'm not a fan of three hour talks, no matter how
engaging the speaker, I found his talk helpful and funny. My takeaways
were to practice presentations several times, focus on no more than 5-7
main points, and to emphasize telling a good story and avoid giving too
much detail. Presentations are to draw people in, websites are for
giving detail. None of this is earth shattering, but it's all worth
repeating and hopefully I improved my talk as a result.
Monday and Tuesday were filled with tutorials, AKA too many three hour
talks. I enjoyed getting a brief introduction to Haskell, but I found
that for most of the tutorials I went to, I fell on the boredom side of
the bore-your-audience/lose-your-audience divide.
The evening keynote by Kathy Sierra about passionate users was really
engaging, Ms. Sierra may be the most charismatic non-pop-star I've
gotten to hear speak. The messages that emotional hooks and enabling
users to do cool stuff are crucial to software adoption are, like most
good ideas, simple, but they deserve repetition.
I went to a variety of shorter talks, many were quite engaging. Raymond
Hettinger's enthusiasm for puzzle solving with Python is infectious.
Selenium seems like it's really terrific, I'd love to try it out for web
IronPython is moving along, if I were willing to tie myself to Microsoft
I'd almost certainly use it in combination with XAML for rapid
application development. In the open world, Mark Hammond's talk about
his work allowing Python to be used as a first class language for
driving XUL extensions and applications was exciting. I got the
impression the code's ready for small apps to kick the tires, but there
are likely significant kinks to work out.
My talk on vobject had a small audience (20 people or so) but it seemed
to be well received. I added some content (and a few bad jokes) and
managed to feel relaxed and talk slower. So I only finished 10 minutes
early in a 45 minute talk instead of 15 minutes early in a 30 minute
talk like at PyCon.
It was unfortunate that OSAF's BOF took place before any of the OSAF
talks, so there was extremely light (but very enthusiastic) attendance.
During both my talk and the Cosmo/Scooby talk there was a clamor for a
Chandler demo, I gave a minimal demo but I think at next year's OSCON
we'll definitely want to do a Chandler talk.
At conferences the most fun usually happens in the hallways and
restaurants. I felt a lot of camaraderie with the folks I met, but on
the whole I prefer PyCon, it has a smaller, more organic feel. With so
many communities mixed together, the energy felt much more diffuse at
OSCON. Perhaps next year someone should give a "bringing Python and
Ruby folks together" talk to take advantage of the diversity?
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