The O'Reilly Open Source Convention

Civil conduct, at OSCON and online

In light of recent events, I’d like to share a message from the OSCON Program Chairs:

We formalized our Code of Conduct the day before OSCON 2011. While, as the preamble to the Code says, “At O'Reilly, we assume that most people are intelligent and well-intended, and we're not inclined to tell people what to do,” the OSCON community alerted us to a few instances of harassment at previous OSCONs—and “a few” is too many. We realized it was time to take an official stand in favor of civil conduct, state explicitly that we won’t tolerate harassment or offensive behavior, and let attendees know how to report harassment if they see it.  We’re very glad we did. The Code of Conduct has made a positive difference in the onsite OSCON experience, and we're committed to improving it.

And then there’s the Internet. We can’t enforce our Code of Conduct online, but we do have a choice about how to respond to email and comments that are offensive. Here’s what we do—read, evaluate, and, if we determine that the allegations are without merit:  ignore, report, or delete them. Recently, we’ve received inflammatory email and seen offensive social media comments about an OSCON speaker. We won’t be responding, beyond reiterating that we’re committed to making OSCON a welcoming, respectful, and productive event. O’Reilly’s been part of the Internet community for 37 years, and we believe that old-school advice, “Don’t feed the trolls,” is still sound.

The OSCON Program Chairs,
Rachel Roumeliotis, Sarah Novotny, and Matthew McCullough

Programmer, Program, Machine and Environment

OSCON 2014 Top Rated Talk

The Concert Programmer” relies on a deep cyber-physical coupling of the programmer, program, machine and environment. In this highly rated talk from OSCON 2014, Andrew Sorensen delves deeper into the technical and philosophical underpinnings of live-coding as an artistic performance practice. Using his own Extempore language as a reference, Andrew demonstrates, in a very hands on way, how live-coding works in practice, from both an end-user perspective, as well as a systems design perspective.

Seeking nominations for the O'Reilly Open Source Awards

Photo of the 2014 O'Reilly Open Source Awards by Bryan Smith

Photo by Bryan Smith, released under Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0.

We celebrate open source and the communities that power the projects we rely on every day at OSCON. As an extension of that tradition, the 11th Annual O'Reilly Open Source Awards will be hosted this July at OSCON in Portland, OR.

The description of the award is straightforward:

The awards recognize individual contributors who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, creativity, and collaboration in the development of Open Source Software.

Many individuals have been recognized with these awards, including Brian Aker, Angela Byron, Karl Fogel, Pamela Jones, Bruce Momjian, Chris Messina, David Recordon, and Andrew Tridgell. Last year, we recognized:

  • Sage Weil, for his work on Ceph, a distributed storage system with no single point of failure.
  • Deb Nicholson, for her work at the intersection of technology and social justice, now with GNU MediaGoblin, Open Invention Network and OpenHatch.
  • John 'Warthog9' Hawley, for his work on critical infrastructure at and Gitweb.
  • Erynn Petersen, for her role as Executive Director of the Outercurve Foundation and as a member of the Girl Develop It board of directors.
  • Patrick Volkerding, for his work as founder and maintainer of the Slackware Linux distribution.

The nomination process is open to the entire open source community and all entries will be judged by the previous winners. Please, let us know who you'd like to see recognized for their contributions. We'll celebrate them on the keynote stage at OSCON this July.

Submit a nomination for the 2015 O'Reilly Open Source Awards today.

HTML5/Angular.js/Groovy/Java/MongoDB all together - what could possibly go wrong?

OSCON 2014 Top Rated Talk

During her highly rated OSCON 2014 talk, Trisha Gee demonstrates that it’s possible to use a static, boiler-plate-heavy language like Java to create a web application in under an hour. The JVM is a true polyglot platform. Trisha will show you how to use it to utilize the correct tools for each job, including: Angular.js, Bootstrap, HTML5, microservices, Java-the-language, Drop Wizard, MongoDB, and Groovya fully buzz-word-compliant application. By seeing how the application is put together you’ll get an understanding of the role of each technology and how they all work together. 

OSCON is Austin-bound for 2016

Open source projects have no geolocation, of course, however, communities that develop around these different projects do spring up in a multitude of different spots. Boston, MA, my backyard, has a massive Python community of 5,356 pythonistas as of this past week. Portland, home of OSCON for many of the last 17 years has a 1,330 member strong meetup PDX Tech4Good. Raleigh, NC boasts the All Things Open conference that had over 1,100 attendees in 2014. Outside of the US, FOSDEM, started in 2000, brings over 5,000 open source developers together on the ULB Solbosch campus each year. Austin, TX, has a CoFounders by The Tech^Map meet up with 3,040 co-founders, software developers, architects and UX experts. You’ll note that the common threads here are open source, community, and number of developers (a lot). And, oh, one more thing, they are all over the globe. These represent just a few the bigger groups in metropolitan areas. Smaller meetups, discussions, get togethers, and hackathons happen in just about every town or city.

What to expect at OSCON 2015

Open source won, so what’s next?

Twenty years ago, open source was a cause. Ten years ago, it was the underdog. Today, it sits upon the Iron Throne ruling all it surveys. Software engineers now use open source frameworks, languages, and tools in almost all projects. When I was putting together the program for OSCON with Sarah Novotny and Matthew McCullough, it occurred to us that by covering “just” open source, we weren’t really leaving out all that much of the software landscape. It seems open source has indeed won, but let’s not gloat; let’s make things even better. Open source has made many great changes to software possible, but the spirit of the founding community goes well beyond code. 

O'Reilly Open Source Awards 2010

Tuesday night saw the O'Reilly Open Source Awards. The awards are given to those who have made significant contribution to the open source community. Our thanks and congratulations to all the recipients.

Jeremy Allison

A steadfast contributor to the Samba project for over 15 years, Jeremy is an active advocate of free software and the GPL. He also does a wickedly funny impersonation of Steve Ballmer.

Deborah Bryant

Deb has worked tirelessly in getting open source software into state and local government agencies for the last 10 years. She is an expert in knowing how best to get open source software through bureaucratic hurdles and most importantly how to explain the value of open source to State and Local politicians.

Brad Fitzpatrick

A perpetual motion machine of good ideas, Brad is the author of a number of key open source projects, including memcached, Gearman, MogileFS, and OpenID.

Leslie Hawthorn

For 5 years, Leslie was the heartbeat of Google's Summer of Code, which has introduced thousands of students to open source development for the first time. She's well known around the world for her community leadership and advocacy of software freedom. Utterly unflappable and totally dependable, she's a woman who doesn't know the meaning of the word "impossible".

Greg Stein

One of the founding developers of the Subversion project, Greg has also made substantial contributions to Apache and Python, both as a developer and as a foundation and community leader.

Tuesday morning at OSCON: Living La Vida Erlang

After an adventurous cross-country trip across the US on Sunday, I settled into my OSCON rhythm on Monday. The tutorials seem to be very well attended this year, at least the ones that I've signed up for. Yesterday was all mobile, learning Android programming in the morning and Appcelerator (a write-once, run-many-platforms tool for mobile) in the afternoon.

What's happening on Tuesday

Welcome to Tuesday at OSCON!

We have a packed schedule today, featuring tutorials, the Cloud and Scala summits, and in the evening, Ignite and the O'Reilly Open Source Awards.

The Cloud Summit, led by Simon Wardley, brings together the leading lights of cloud and open source. With the recent announcement by Rackspace of OpenStack, the topic has never been more timely. Expect energetic debate and exciting conclusions, with plenty of opportunity for participation.

Scala is a JVM-based language with a large and growing following. Credible with startups and enterprises alike, it's a modern way to use Java. Together with the authors of O'Reilly's Programming Scala, Alex Payne and Dean Wampler, we've assembled a full day exploring this new language and its ecosystem.

At 7pm tonight, we kick off with Ignite OSCON. Ignite is a fast-paced evening, packed with entertaining and inspirational presentations. Sandwiched in between the two halves of Ignite, we'll be handing out the Open Source Awards to people who have made exceptional contributions to open source.

  • We're posting speaker slides as soon as we get them from the speakers. Find them here. (Not all speakers choose to share their slides.)
  • Don't forget to rate the talks you attend: look for the rating link at the top-right of the session description page.
  • You can get the latest news from around the show by following @oscon on Twitter or
  • Be sure to check the "After Hours" board near Registration for details of other parties and gatherings tonight.

Late-breaking additions to the schedule

Don't miss these two new talks, added to the program over the weekend.

Joe Gregorio will speak in the Python track on Thursday morning. In Threading Is Not A Model he writes

We have many concurrency/multiprocessing capabilities at our finger tips, such as threads, processes, locks, mutexes, select, epoll, transactional memory, etc. But none of them are a model for multiprocessing, they are only tools on which you would build an implementation of such a model. So what are the models we can choose from? How would they be implemented in Python? And how do they relate to the principle of sufficient irritation?

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Osier-Mixon from MontaVista will speak about effectively managing documentation in open source projects. He explains that documentation is an often overlooked, but essential part of a project.

Documentation is a vital user-facing component of all serious projects, open-source and otherwise, but it is often overlooked—-or, worse, dealt with in fire-drill mode just before going to manufacturing or market. However, documentation is a project’s backbone. It is often what users and OEMs see first, and it is also the place you want users to look when they have questions or problems (so they don’t have to call you).

Catch Jeffrey's talk on Thursday afternoon.