Although it has been nearly a month since the event took place, I thought it would be good to share some my experiences. This year I decided to get to the venue Friday eve instead of waiting until Saturday morning. Shared a ride out to OLF with my buddy Mack. I used some microblogging tools to connect with co-founders of BlacksInTechnology (BIT), Greg Greenlee and Ronnie Hash. In fact, I had a great conversation with Greenlee a couple weeks back. We talked about engineering, the importance of BIT, and hacking as it pertains to people of color. It was different not to be the one asking the questions; however, I was flattered that anyone cared enough about my story to give me a few minutes to shine :-)
I sat in on the OSCAR talk. It is amazing how personal health registries and client / server based technologies have come full circle. OSCAR client software seems to be built on a Java stack. It would seem that Java isn't going anywhere, but developers of OSCAR are very worried about Oracle's evil intentions. I'm not sure where it will end. I do know that in the near term they will need to consider alternatives. I met OpenEMR developer, Fred Trotter at one of the medical track talks. It was great to converse with him. I was particularly interested in electronic billing clearing house. He threw me a couple bones, and gave me some ideas on how I could help the OpenEMR community and also get a couple of my itches scratched at the same time.
Trotter offered some interesting advice.. He said, "If you're spending your time working on things that do not improve the bottom line.." I suppose I always fall into that trap. Limited resources will make you become a jack of all trades and master at none. Nonetheless, if I have to manage telephony solutions, email server, etc.. I still believe that I rest easier knowing that I own and manage my data end-to-end. Perhaps one day it will be ok to give up some of this control.
The other talk was the Nagios Project. Truthfully, I really have not done much with network infrastructure tools. Actually, had intended to use Zenoss, but after sitting through the Nagios discussion, it was clear which software had the market share. In fact, in a weird coincidence the Zenoss discussion took place immediately following the Nagios talk in the same room. I noticed a stark decrease in the number of attendees. Apparently, Nagios has greater uptake in the community non-commercial space. For Nagios to work for my needs, I'd likely have to install it in a virtual machine on a cloud computing install. I'll eventually get down to explaining my first foray into cloud computing in a future entry.
Lastly, I ran into Dave Yates of LottaLinuxLinks netcast fame. He was a cool guy who was helping out at the TLLTS booth. He showed me his Nokia N810 tablet complete with his comics collection on microSD. Pretty slick. We agreed to collaborate on a project in the future. I was so formal that I gave him one of my business cards, hopefully he didn't think I was some flake. I have yet to hear from him ;-) Jokes aside, I really do miss my netcasting days. It was fun virtually meeting people and have technical dialogue on a variety of subjects. Although, "AG Speaks" has been on extended hiatus, I do plan to eventually resurface begin putting out content.
The keynote was delivered by Christopher "Monty" Montgomery the creator of the ogg container and the founder of Xiph Foundation. Xiph is responsible for the ogg multimedia containers for both audio (vorbis) and video (theora). Ogg is free as in free speech, and is not patent encumbered like mp3 and aac multimedia codecs. Monty briefly touched upon the fact that H.264 can now be used royalty free. He does not believe ogg will be effected in negatively by this development. However, he understands that free software should be the vanguard of change and he insisted that developers help in that effort. He was actively recruiting the best and brightest to work along with Xiph Foundation. The GOOG's WebM effort and Xiph will make for an interesting discussion. I am not sure that he addressed that development at any great length.
It appears that OLF grows each year. I am glad that they are adding new tracks each year. The medical track appeared to be a huge success. Hopefully, they do it again next year. There was a Diversity in Open Source discussion which I missed because I took off late Saturday eve. Perhaps if they change the scheduling of that particular discussion, it might receive a larger audience. There really is a dearth of hacker specific Linux conferences. I have not attended South East Linux Fest (SELF), nor Southern Cal Linux Expo (SCALE). Oh how I long for the days of Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts (ALE), which was actually my very first Linux Conference. OLF comes extremely close to that experience. Linux World Conference and Expo (LWCE NYC) was a good conference but later became saturated with suits.