The O'Reilly Open Source Convention

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.


OSCON tutorials available live-streamed

This year at OSCON we're trialling virtual attendance to certain tutorials online. If you are unfortunately not able to attend in person, you will still be able to take part remotely.

"Virtual attendees" will be able to pay to attend these sessions over the web:

To sign up for these, head over to the registration page, select "Attend Tutorials Online", and choose which tutorials you'd like to attend. Don't forget too that we're streaming all the OSCON keynote sessions online, free of charge.

Read more on how to access the streamed tutorials.

Node.js, the little web framework that could

We've just added a session on the latest hot web framework, Node.js. It's fast, light and powered by JavaScript.

Node.js is attaining popularity among leading-edge web developers, and is fast moving to being production-ready. Tom Hughes-Croucher of Yahoo! will tell the story of Node.js in his presentation Node.js and How JavaScript is Changing Server Programming.

Cloud Camp at OSCON

Cloud computing is a big theme for us this year at OSCON. Our Cloud Summit on Tuesday will bring together leaders and participants from among the cloud computing world to discuss and advance the place of open source in cloud technology. Keynotes from Marten Mickos of Eucalyptus and Lew Moorman of Rackspace will continue the theme, as well as a whole host of cloud computing sessions.

To get the week start with cloud topics, Dave Nielsen will be holding an evening CloudCamp on Monday night. The session starts at 7pm in room E145/146, and will comprise a round of lightning talks from open source cloud projects, a panel discussion and a round of "unconference"-style presentations.

As an unconference, CloudCamp is highly participatory, so this is your chance to be part of the discussion as well as the audience. Admission is free to any OSCON attendee.

Android App for OSCON

With thirteen tracks of content plus tutorials and keynotes, OSCON can be a little overwhelming to navigate.

To help you find your way around, we're pleased to announce the OSCON Android App, which lets you carry the full schedule around in your pocket, along with a map for each session room. To install it, just search for "OSCON" in the Android Market or scan the barcode at the bottom of this post.

The app was developed by Peter Krenesky of the Oregon State University Open Source Lab and itself open source.