Wow. The O’Reilly Open …

Wow. The O’Reilly Open Source Conference is truly amazing. The speakers are excellent. The attendees are intelligent and passionate developers and geeks who “get it” when it comes to open source and the Internet. Tuesday night I had the privelage of meeting Tim O’Reilly over a couple of beers at the Sendmail party. Tim is an incredibly nice guy.

In fact, almost everyone I’ve talked to so far has been very pleasant. It’s almost as if everyone left their attitudes at home. This is one of those conferences where you can accomplish a lot of networking. I’ve met so many people doing so many extremely cool things that I’m getting really excited again over being part of this industry we’ve built around the Internet.

The Mozilla sessions and Birds of a Feather (BOF) meetings are simply packed! I cannot believe how much more interest we are seeing in Mozilla development compared to just a couple of months ago. Surprisingly there is very little extended discussion about Microsoft and their .NET initiative. Part of me chalks this up to it being a very open source kind of crowd who learned a long time ago how to live without Microsoft and their products. Another part of me thinks it’s because Microsoft is purposely being very vague about the whole concept and people aren’t willing to make any bets on it yet.

Funny stuff. Near my hotel there is a new sidewalk with fresh cement. Along with the typical names and graffiti you usually find scrawled into new cement was the word “MySQL.” Heh. Only at an open source conference, I suppose.

I finally met lots of the O’ReillyNet folks who have been emailing with me over the past month or two. These people really have it together. Last night at the Eazel party I had an excellent conversation about Mozilla, book writing and journalism with Derrick Story, the managing editor. I also finally met Rael Dornfest and Dave Sims of O’ReillyNet.

I also finally met Phil Suh of Organic. In fact, after the Content Management Systems BOF on Tuesday night, Phil and I spontaneously announced that we are going to create a mailing list to discuss CMS packages, their strenghts, weaknesses, problems, and the frustrations that people are having with them. This is a hot topic, as witnessed by the heated debates/arguments we all enjoyed. I’ll post more information about this list when it gets set up next week.

Sightings: I also saw but didn’t meet Eric Raymond, Bruce Perens, Andy Hertzfeld, and several other luminaries of the open source world.

I also spent some time hanging out with the Jabber guys, many of who flew in for the conference. Since this is one of the only chances they have to work collaboratively in one location, they decked out a hotel room with an ethernet LAN, lots of junk food and soda. I’m truly impressed by the speed in which they are accomplishing their goals. When I last looked at Jabber back in April, it was still pretty rough. Now there are numerous Jabber clients, a robust server architecture, and loads of revolutionary ideas that could possibly forever change the way we communicate and interact online.

Posted by Cameron Barrett at July 20, 2000 02:06 PM