24 July 2006


Had a decent day at OSCON today. Started off with Amy Hoy's JavaScript Bootcamp. Unfortunately, like some folks I talked to at lunch, some of the sessions today were too high level. This one, for me, was just way too basic. It was a very brief intro to JS. From the description of the session, I knew there would be some tutorial, but it also mentioned getting into more AJAX and JS libraries, so I'd figured I'd sit through the initial part. But, alas, AJAX and things like prototype were covered for about 5 minutes at the end. So, while it was not a bad session as a JS intro (there were folks there that were clearly learning JS for the first time, etc.), it was basically a total waste for me. Amy overall was a fine presenter (especially given she was sick). The only dig I'd make was that she didn't realize do-while constructs were different than a plain while's. This is somewhat stunning in that this is the same across nearly all languages, and if they were the same, why would they have them both (oh wait, maybe Perl people would want those multiple ways ;-)

Lunch, or rather lunchtime (no lunch provided at conference) I talked to some folks about OSS in general and their interests (and mine). Two of them were into Asterisk, with one having set up a home Asterisk server so he could tie into his company's phone system. We also briefly talked about sshfs, which is something I'll have to look into, sounds interesting.

After lunch I headed to the Powell's mini-bookstore and lucked out in that Lucas Carlson was there signing his newly released Ruby Cookbook book. So, I picked that up, and one other book.

The afternoon session was a little better. I attended the Rails Guidebook session with Mike Clark and Dave Thomas. These guys are great speakers. Since I've been working with Rails for a bit, I knew roughly the first 75%. But, I hadn't yet gotten into RJS, so that was cool, even if brief. There were a few other tidbits that weren't in the slides, but were good, such as on deployment. Specifically, Dave mentioned that, paraphrasing, most of the people he knew that were running heavy traffic sites were using file based sessions on NFS volumes, in order to do distributed session management, as opposed to memcached. He mentioned that memcache[d] was a bit of a pain to set up. Also, the current "best" (my take, based on their comments, and various bloggers) deployment setup is Apache 2.2 with mod_proxy_balancer and Mongrel. I've mentioned this, with a few good links, in a recent post.

At the end of the day, I took the MAX train over to downtown PDX to meet coworker Mike Potter for dinner. We had great conversation and tasty Italian food at Pazzo Ristorante. So, the day improved as it went along, and that's a good trend. I took the picture above from my hotel room this evening. See you tomorrow...

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