this year, microsoft is a premier sponsor for oscon alongside intel and zimki. i'm grateful that microsoft is a sponsor and excited about some of the things we'll be talking about this week. open source conferences certainly are a different beast compared to microsoft big-dog conferences like PDC/TechEd/etc. sure there are the little things like the halls being constantly filled with sugar and caffeine...not here at oscon (which is not necessarily a bad thing).
sigh, here's my biggest beef with o'reilly conferences...abusing the keynote. on two levels. on the first level is a little bit of obessiveness of accuracy on my part. to that end let's examine the word keynote (and use the open source wikipedia to help us). from wikipedia:
...the keynote address or keynote speech is delivered to set the underlying tone and summarize the core message or most important revelation of the event.
okay, given that here's the first beef: there is only one keynote. sure, yeah, call me anal, etc. -- who cares...just call it a general session.
second beef: it wasn't even a keynote! the keynote to me should do exactly what the definition states: set the underlying tone and summarize the core message. this morning's did neither for me. first there were 4 different talks during the keynote. first some banter from conference planners, then o'reilly himself talking about web 2.0 and business models, then intel and multi-core parallelism, then transactional memory for concurrency, then an interview with shuttleworth, then Q&A (which IMO never works in a large setting, the ones at MIX proved that for me even more). okay, so as an attendee, what 'vibe' am i supposed to get? web 2.0, multi-core, concurrency, all of them? i think this just takes away from getting attendees excited about the core messaging.
pick one thing, pick a great speaker and get me pumped about the week. sure you can trickle in multi-core, concurrency, etc. but don't keep switching people out -- i left feeling completely disheveled about what the core message of the open source world is right now -- but i know who the sponsors are of oscon ;-) okay, i'm off my soapbox now.
anyhow, i really don't have anything to report from the morning keynote. it did nothing for me. tim o'reilly demonstrated that the open source world is bigger than we all think, citing the internet itself as a system of contributors. he also pointed out that there are a hugely successful areas of the web that aren't open source but have massive contributors (google map mashups as an example). i felt that tim had more to say about open source business models, but his 15 minutes (yep 15 minutes) were up so he had to depart.
oscon is also trying to donate some dough to charities...much like railsconf did earlier this year (railsconf raised US $35K toward charities). it was hard to hear the website to donate as nathan has an australian(?) accent -- i think it was ossx.org/r but go find yourself an aussie and ask them to say "ossx" over an echoing loudspeaker and see if you can discern it ;-). i like this idea of contributing to charities though. nathan said it well when he said the oss communities donate their time to projects, why not some money to other projects that need help (good cause open source that doesn't have code he said).
on to some sessions: going to check out RIA in PHP, 'who gets to decide what open source means' and we'll see what else throughout the day.
i'm also armed with my video camera and going to try to do my best to get some interviews -- will i be successful? well, i am the underdog at this conference and it might be difficult to get people to agree. anyone you think i should talk with in the open source community?