August 2, 2001

O'Reilly Open Source Convention and Perl 5 Conference wrap up

Author: JT Smith

Over a five-day period, more than 1800 developers
gathered from 48
countries to attend highly technical tutorials and
conference sessions,
and self-organized BOFs (Birds of a Feather
sessions). The conference
focused on Perl, Linux, Apache, Python, open source
strategies, Mozilla, PHP as well as other emergent
technologies such as
peer-to-peer technology and bioinformatics.This year's convention theme was "Fueling the Open
Source Alternative."
Keynote speaker Fred Baker, Cisco Fellow and former
chairman of the
IETF, placed open source software at the top of the
food chain, but
appealed to developers to work with commercial
vendors. While open
source development is a good way to get the right
features quickly, he
explained, it is weak on the features that would
make it usable by a
wide consumer and business base.

Keynote speaker W. Phillip Moore, the executive
director of enterprise
infrastructure applications at Morgan Stanley Dean
Witter, predicted
that Linux systems will be increasingly important to
operations in the next few years. One great
advantage, Moore said, was
that he can modify the software to suit Morgan
Stanley's needs, without
having to coerce a corporate vendor to make the
changes, at their pace,
and often in conjunction with exorbitant fees.

Several announcements were made at the O'Reilly Open
Source Convention,

-Sun Microsystems' announcement of its Sun Grid
Engine Project,
an initiative to offer the source code for Sun Grid
software to users and the developer community;

-Hewlett-Packard's launch of Coolbase, an open
source software
development platform for creating mobile

-The release of the technical details of The Mono
Project, a
Linux version of the .NET platform by Miguel de
Icaza, Ximian's
CTO and president of the Gnome Foundation at a
session shared
by Dave Stutz, software architect at Microsoft, who
Microsoft's work on a shared source implementation
of the
common language elements of .NET.

New to this year's convention, the O'Reilly Summit
on Open Source
Strategies looked at open source as a strategic
advantage for
businesses. Industry leaders discussed how to
standardize collaborative
software development within the enterprise, and with
key customers.

The annual White Camel Awards for leadership in the
Perl Community were
presented by brian d foy of Perl Mongers. David H.
Adler, a founding
member of the first Perl User Group--the New York
Mongers--received the Perl User Groups White Camel
award. Ask Bjorn
Hansen received the award for Perl Community in
recognition for his
work in hosting Perl-related web sites and mailing
lists devoted to
Perl. The final White Camel for Perl Advocacy was
awarded to the
YAPC:Europe team for bringing high quality but
affordable Perl
conferences to Europe.

Convention Chair Nat Torkington presented the annual
Perl Conference
Awards. Winners were Mark-Jason Dominus who received
the Larry Wall
Award for Practical Ingenuity; Dan Brian, recipient
of the Damian
Conway Award for Technical Excellence; and Brian
Ingerson and Neil
Watkiss who shared the award for Best Module.

The O'Reilly Open Source Convention served as host
to the annual Open
Source Documentation Summit, uniting twenty-one
leaders of
documentation projects for various free or open
software projects
together for an all-day meeting on Sunday, July 22.
Some of the bigger
issues discussed were how to recruit and motivate
writers of free and
open documentation as well as how to make it easier
for documentation
writers who are unfamiliar with DocBook to write

Evening programs included Larry Wall's annual State
of the Onion
presentation on the state of the Perl world and Jon
Orwant's Internet
Quiz Show (teams of four pitted against each other
in a contest of
Internet technology and culture). The "Defending
Champs" reclaimed
their title in a victory over the "President's Dog,"
in a near replay
of last year's match.

For complete O'Reilly Open Source Convention and
Perl 5 coverage, go to Read Tim
O'Reilly's take on
Freedom Zero, Sun's analysis of the Microsoft/Open
Source debate,
weblogs featuring cool stuff emanating from the
O'Reilly Open Source
Convention and Perl Conference 5, and check out our
convention photo

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