the second day of the normal conference proceeded along the same path. keynotes that are 20 minute vignettes again. i'm not sure why it bugs me so much, but it does. i think because of this i'm pre-disposed not to get much value out of them...and i didn't.
the next session i went to was the history of copyright and what it means to open source by karl fogel. karl was formerly with collabnet, and is now with google. i have to say, karl immediately lost credibility with me on his approach. to me he committed the cardinal sin of telling the audience he wasn't going to take questions -- what was worse was that he said he'd acknowledge the hands being raised, but wasn't convinced he'd have enough time. ouch. even if you aren't going to take questions for whatever reason -- please don't announce that -- you might as well say "my information is going to be way more important than any point you are going to ask or make, so don't bother."
anyhow, karl took an interesting video (too long btw, ate up 10 minutes -- only a few minutes were necessary) on a park survey of what the lay person thinks/perceives copyright to be. it wasn't a surprise to me i don't think -- people generally don't know the details or history. the common thread was that the perception is protecting the credit of the author. in reality, (as karl is pointing out), the copyrights are there to protect publishers. it's philosophical of course and there are a bunch of legal footnotes to the argument for sure. it was an interesting talk, but he never really got to the point of the second half of the title: '...and what it means to open source.' it made me wonder what his credentials were to talk about this -- he didn't announce any legal education or anything. it was an okay session overall -- i learned something, which is good.
the next session i went to was one on ajax using atlas and asp.net. yeah, i know, i already know this stuff. but i wanted to see who else was interested. plus i think christian is great and always enjoy his talks. as usually, he was great and injected good humor into his discussions. he was able to demonstrate what atlas had to offer and answer some good questions on the use of atlas in non-microsoft environments.
after lunch was a session from google entitled 'a google service for the open source community' which we now know was a commercial for google code project hosting. it was packed. the project hosting is essentially sourceforge with google-esque user interface. no ads on the project hosting page (yet). one thing that i heard after the session was how people thought google did a little dog/pony show. if you look at their session, up until the actual session the description was "TBD" and not on any update sheets throughout the event. given their announcement, it really should have been a part of the 'products and services' track (which was segmented out to ensure the attendees know it was related to a product/services offered by a commercial group), but they were able to evade that by keeping the description TBD -- good tip. google...more evil maybe? ;-)
another session i went to was titled 'roadmap to free .net developer tools' by lee fisher. sorry lee, but this was the worst presentation of the show. i got the impression lee was a smart guy (he indicated he used to work on the NT server team), but he went about the approach the wrong way. his 'presentation' was a super-fast rambling of 11 pages of links to developer tools (not all of which were free by the way as the title suggested). when people asked questions about certain tools he told them to click on the link and learn about it. when people asked if certain ones were free (or pointed out they weren't) he responded by saying they'd know it wasn't free when their credit card was charged. it was just horrible how the topic was approached. the worst part was that the talk gave the impression that .net development was an overly complicated process. lee was talking about kernle debugger tools and device driver debug kits. that's crazy talk. yes, if you are doing that type of stuff, then great, but it made .net development look like rocket science and jet propulsion combined with explosive diffusing techniques. i think if someone went in to that session looking to dabble in .net and wanted free tools, they walked out of there probably thinking that it was going to be too hard. session score: F-- -- sadly this is one of the only sessions i went out of my way to evaluate to put these comments in. again, i don't mean to belittle lee, but he missed the mark. by a continent.
i stopped by oscamp one last time and it was pretty bare at that point nearing the end of the day and the end of the conferences. one of the participants in our oscamp session was there and reiterated his appreciation for microsoft being there. he said we took our punches well and he really did appreciate that microsoft was even at oscon and talking and interacting with people...he really felt we were listening.
after the sessions we (microsoft) hosted a group for dinner. there was about 40 of us total. it was great to sit around and chat and we talked about tech stuff, social issues, etc. -- you know, normal people stuff. there was no hostility and it was a lot of fun. i heard through several people that google had a large crowd at a 'gentleman's club' the night before and had brought some people with them...i thought that was interesting.
a couple of the guys went to the six apart party that anil invited us to, but i opted to go back and crash (that's sleep by the way, not windows ;-)).