Shahzad Bhatti

July 25, 2009

Day 3 at #oscon 2009

Filed under: Computing — admin @ 9:44 pm

On the third day (Wednesday, July 22, 2009, the real conference started. The day began with the a couple of keynotes. First, Tim O’reilly talked about Government 2.0, and other open source organizations that are building applications for the newly opened data. This turned out to be theme of a number of keynote speakers and there was a lot of interest in sunlight labs,, Then Dirk Hohndel talked about netbooks and some of innovations from Intel to improve boot time. He deplored state of graphics on Linux that have changed a little in last twenty years. Finally, Mike Lopp, author of Rands in Repose blog talked about how well intentional evil people can ruin companies using Borland as an example.

I started the sessions with Testing iPhone apps with Ruby and Cucumber, which should have been called Testing iPhone GUI apps with Ruby and Cucumber. It was half decent, but the framework had a lot of dependencies that we didn’t go into. I would like to give it a try as testing on Objective-C sucks. I then attended Introduction to Animation and OpenGL on the Android SDK, which seemed too fast and the presenter rambled on miscleneous APIs of OpenGL that I could not follow.

On the second half, I started talk on Automating System Builds and Maintenance with Cobbler and Puppet. This was somewhat useful and I learned a bit to use Cobbler for creating system images and using Puppet for configuration. This was followed by Best practices for ‘scripting’ with Python 3. This was a good talk that described some good principles for writing scripts (as opposed to Python applications). These principles included using optparse for parsing arguments, layers of I/O to help testing (StringIO), using generators for performance and finally using templates for packaging as setup is hard to configure from scratch. I then attended Using Hadoop for Big Data Analysis, which was sort of marketing talk from Cloudera CEO and prsented a few projects that are using Hadoop such as log processing at rackspace, monitoring electircal grid and large hadron collider. Finally, I attended Distributed Applications with CouchDB, which was really good talk on CouchDB by J Chris Anderson from It described architecture of CouchDB and features of CouchDB. Chris also gave password for private beta to, which was “booom-couch”. You can read detailed examples from his slides.

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