Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Tuesday Extravaganza

Brad and I are sitting about four rows back from the front after the various alarms to experience one of the highlights of the conference, the Tuesday Night Extravaganza. We kicked off with the Google-O'Reilly Open Source Awards...

Nat Torkington hosting the festivities
The Open Source Awards

Following the awards we have Larry Wall with his annual State of the Onion address and the "five year" plan for the People's Republic of Perl, which was amazingly off the wall, exceptionally eccentric and generally funny, as usual.

The State of the Onion

We then David Pennock had talking about the The Tech Buzz Game, which I'd never heard of, but apparently is a prediction market for high-tech products, concepts, and trends based on search volume at Yahoo!.


The Tech Buzz Game

The Tech Buzz Game v0.2 is coming soon, and will have an open source focus, who knew?

Following this we had one of my favourite dispensers of wisdom Paul Graham, author of Hackers & Painters, who talked off the cuff about open source software.


Paul Graham talking about Open Source

Paul discussed the difference between amateur and professional, and how with the arrival of blog the old model of channels is breaking down, and despite the fact that the average quality of writing online is pretty bad, the mainstream press isn't competing against the average writing but against the best,
The New York Times front page is a list of articles in the New York Times, del.icio.us is a list of articles that is interesting...
along with,
Live by the channel, die by the channel...
and on the traditional office environment, and fixed working hours, he had this to say,
If they can't make people work, they can at least stop them having fun!
which has to be one of the best quotes to come out of the day. Paul's pitch seems to be for a new model of investment in start-ups rather than the traditional employment model. Interesting, as always...

Following Paul we then had David Adler presenting the 2005 White Camel Awards before we moved on to last talk of the evening which was given by the irrepressible Damian Conway who gave a talk entitled "Fun with Dead Languages"


As Brad says, "All Damian, all the time"...

How anyone can can go from this,
There is one good thing about being a professional Lara Croft impersonator in Russia, you have much better access to real armaments.
to this,
Lisp might not be dead, but it's definitely pining for the Fijords...
in only a handful of slides, and make it seem natural, continues to bemuse and amaze me...

Update: Brad was blogging the session as well...