OS04 impressions and illness forecast

Sorry for not posting immediately butattending OS04 took until late in the evening and after that I didn't think about blogging.

The OS04 was quite interesting and one of the best things of all was the keynote from Jon "maddog" Hall. In general he compared programming with creating art, how he came to programming free software, how he came in contact with Linux and lots of small anectodes from his life. The fact that his speech took three times as long as planned (90 instead of 30 minutes) and nobody really cared about that speaks for itself.

Later I watched the presentation of the Irrlicht Engine, an open source realtime 3D engine written in C++. The real cool stuff about it is that it is possible to open and display a Quake III level and be able to float through it in roughly 5 lines of code. Whew...

Next point was "Soft Migration" where a nice lady spoke about how to migrate business applications used in companies to open source alternatives. She had good points about the migration but later she got lost trying to explain why it is bad when a state founded "knowledge center" tries to help the open source community and that it is good when a private company would do exactly the same. For me it seemed that she had a simple impression from how the economy and community interactions work. Almost too idealistic...

Moagg was next on my list, a cave-flyer game project created and programmed by one of my work colleagues. Looks fun!

In the next unit we hear about what to take care of when you replace your Windows NT Primary Domain Controller (PDC) with a Samba server. Easiest way works with three clicks in Suse Linux.

Staying in the same room after that talk brought us to "Quality criteria in software projects" by Dr. Klaus Schmaranz. He talked about a large scale EU-pushed project which failed not because of technical but because mainly of management incompetencies. This failure could have been prevented when the management would have recognized some well-known software project guidelines which are already existing almost thirty years...

The talk almost seamlessly continued with a presentation of Extreme Programming and its pros and cons from the view of the referee. Was followed by an active discussion of how extreme programming could be applied in common corporate environments. The referee was quite surprised by the feedback which he isn't getting from his studends normally. Well, thats the difference between theory and practice ;)

This last talk ended at about 19:00 and altough there were still points on the list but I decided to skip them...

All in all it was very interesting event, and I'll look forward attending the OS05 next year.

I also found other impressions from the OS04 on the net: Alfie's OS04 report

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