Well, I thoroughly enjoyed OSCON this year. I knew a lot more people than last year, and thus was able to socialize more, and talk to more people about more stuff. Really a great time, with lots of cross-pollenation of ideas.
My favorite moment came on Thursday. The PostgreSQL BOF was on Wednesday night, where Bruce Momjian was discussing some of the problems they've been having with the Win32 port, specifically with fork and exec. Now, I know nothing about C, but James Briggs suggested that the PostgreSQL guys talk to Gurusamy Sarathy about it, since he did the work on fork and exec for Perl and thus might be able to provide some advice for the PostgreSQL folks.
No one reacted much to this, but I thought it was a good enough idea that during the morning break on Thursday, I introduced my self to Sarathy and asked if he'd be willing to discuss it with the PostgreSQL developers. He said he'd be happy to. So during the afternoon break, I brought Bruce down to the ActiveState booth and introduced him to Sarathy.
Well, that seemed to go very, very well. Sarathy seemed willing not only to help them with some questions they might have, but perhaps even to contribute some work to the effort. It turns out that he views PostgreSQL as an important open-source asset, and is willing to put his code where his opinion is. He asked about subscribing to the PostgreSQL hackers mail list! He and Bruce talked for a while about the issues at hand, and there seemed to be a great deal of understanding and mutual respect. This could be a major benefit for the PostgreSQL community, and will in turn give Perlers another great OSS RDBMS that runs just about anywhere. Yay!
A similar thing happened on Thursday night. Andy Wardley of Template Toolkit fame has promised to create a TT burner for Bricolage. This will bring the total number of Bricolage templating systems to three (Mason, HTML::Template, and TT). After the action, I accompanied Dave Rolsky, one of the lead Mason hackers, into the bar where we ran into Andy. Andy started telling us that looking at adding TT to Bricolage had led him to hatch a plan to come up with a unified, foundational templating API that many or all of the Perl templating systems might one day be able to use, so that they might start to share a common feature set. And then, when one of them wanted to add a feature similar to a feature in another templating architecture, it might be able to just exploit the common API.
This seemed like a very cool idea to me, and Dave said that he would definitely be interested in participating in such an effort. I think that, if he can find the tuits, Andy may well start a project in this vein, inviting the Mason, Embperl, Apache::ASP, and other Perl templating hackers to collaborate. This could really be to the benefit of them all.
What a great conference. I can't wait till next year when I can see some of the fruits of these meetings, the spoils of inter-community synergy, and where it will happen all over again.
My apologies for those friends I didn't get a chance to spend much time with at the conference. All of a sudden I know so many people! See you next year.