Category: OpenSource

LinuxCon unveils keynote speakers

LinuxConIt’s no secret that we love the open source stuff around Portland. Tons of cool open source developers, projects, user groups, and as luck would have it, a few cool open source conferences.

And one of the latest open source conferences to call Portland home, LinuxCon, has just announced their keynote speakers:

LinuxCon combines the developer and end user communities to produce more than 75 sessions that address “all matters Linux.” The event takes place September 21 – 23, 2009 in Portland, Oregon at the Marriott Downtown Waterfront.

Speaking of announcing, um, speakers. Word around the campfire is that another open source conference in town, Open Source Bridge, will be announcing its final list of selected speakers Thursday at noon.

Well, okay, yes. I’m privy to that list. No, I won’t let you sneak a peek. More news on that as it becomes available.

(Hat tip to Mike Rogoway)

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Open Source Bridge Town Hall this Tuesday: Where we’ve been, where we go from here

Open Source BridgeI was originally going to title this post “Open Source Bridge: We’ve only just begun” but I didn’t want you to get that song stuck in your head.

What’s that? Oh. Oopie.

Anyway, the fine folks of Open Source Bridge—the 100% volunteer run open source conference being held in Portland, Oregon, June 17-19—would like to do two things: 1) Bring you up-to-speed on all of the progress they’ve made and 2) Outline the programs, plans, and volunteer opportunities for the next few months.

To make it as interactive as possible, they’re inviting all interested folks to meet tomorrow (Tuesday) night at 7 PM at CubeSpace for a Town Hall discussion:

One of the challenges we’ve recognized in organizing this completely volunteer run conference is that sometimes it is hard to consistently and effectively utilize all of the willing people who have volunteered to help. We are hoping this town hall meeting will make some of this easier with the opportunity to interact face to face.

If you’re interested in volunteering, we hope to see you there. Even if you don’t want to lift a finger for Open Source Bridge, we’d still love to see you there. Or if you’re unable to make it—or simply immune to our charms—please check out the volunteer page or join the discussion groups.

For more information, visit the Open Source Bridge Town Hall on Calagator. To RSVP, visit Upcoming.

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Less than 48 hours remain for Open Source Bridge submissions and comments

Open Source BridgePortland’s Open Source Bridge, the entirely volunteer run conference for open source citizens, has been quietly amassing nearly 200 proposals to speak at its inaugural conference in June.

They’ve received so many interesting submissions, in fact, that they’ve already selected some of them for the agenda—and they’re all across the board with topics like Ruby, Drizzle, Git, CodePlex, cfengine, Puppet, Opscode, AutomateIT, and bcfg2. (I honestly don’t know half of what I just said, but I know some of you do and that’s what really matters.)

But have no fear, gentle reader. Despite all the wonderful proposals and interesting early selections, there is still time for you to get involved.

No, I kid you not.

The Open Source Bridge call for proposals remains open until 11:59:59 PM on April 10. So that culturally relevant, language agnostic open source talk you’ve been wanting to give? Get on it, tiger. Or maybe that technology specific hack that’s going to wow the open source crowd? No one is going to be wowed if you don’t submit. So get going. There isn’t much time left.

Oh I hear you, “I love me some open source, but I don’t really have anything about which to speak and as such I am feeling somewhat uncomfortable and left out. If not completely disheartened.”

There, there, little camper. There’s something for you to do too. Yes! Seriously!

Because picking the talks won’t be easy. So any and every comment will help. And that’s where you come in. You can provide feedback on the proposals.

What would you like to see? Who would you like to see? Which topics and technologies should everyone see?

I’ve no idea. You tell me. How? Simply head over to the proposal system, log in to your account with your OpenID, and begin providing comments on the talks that you’d like to see.

Not feeling very verbose? Even a “+1” would help the organizers figure out which talks people really want to see.

But the pressure is still on, I’m afraid. Those comments, like the proposals, should be submitted by 11:59:59 PM on April 10.

So scoot scoot, little bug. Get on over to Open Source Bridge and pitch your open source talk or provide your feedback on those who have.

Go! Now! Just think, if you finish early, you’ll be able to tune into Strange Love Live, Friday night, completely guilt free.

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Open Source Bridge gives all of you slackers more time

Open Source BridgeMan oh man, those folks over at Open Source Bridge sure are nice. (Not me. The other ones.)

They knew you’d been pretty busy. And you had those things come up. Well and then there was all that work.

Trust me, I know.

March 31 probably snuck up on you. You probably forgot all about the looming Call for Proposals deadline. And the early bird pricing.

But the Open Source Bridge folks, beneficent beings that they are, also knew that you had a great—nay brilliant—presentation on open source dwelling in your soul. One that would bring tears to the eyes of mere mortals. And they knew that having you involved in the discussions in the hacker lounge would happen if and only if you could attend the conference for $175.

What procrastination looks like

So they caved. And they extended the deadline. You now have until April 10 to complete your talk proposal and register for the event with early bird pricing.

It’s Christmas in April, my friend. I hope you’re happy. And I trust you’ll take advantage of the extension Open Source Bridge has offered. Please get that presentation proposal completed and register to attend.

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Ada Lovelace Day: Celebrating Portland women in technology

Ada LovelaceToday is Ada Lovelace Day, a day to celebrate women who are excelling in the world of technology.

Who was Ada Lovelace, you ask?

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace was born on 10th December 1815, the only child of Lord Byron and his wife, Annabella. Born Augusta Ada Byron, but now known simply as Ada Lovelace, she wrote the world’s first computer programmes for the Analytical Engine, a general-purpose machine that Charles Babbage had invented.

That got me to thinking. I’m incredibly lucky to get the chance to work with a number of extremely talented and technically adept women. And I get the chance to work with many of them on a weekly basis, which is awesome. Many of you are just as lucky as me.

So I thought I’d list some of the cool female geeks in Portland whom I am proud to know:

Selena Deckelmann

She’s the co-founder of Open Source Bridge, has had code committed to PostgreSQL, attends and speaks at any number of conferences, served as one of the original board members for Legion of Tech, and provides some exemplary guidance on killing chickens.

Audrey Eschright

She’s the other co-founder of Open Source Bridge, a founding member of Legion of Tech, a celebrated Rubyist, the driving force behind Calagator, and one of the most creative thinkers in the Northwest.

Dawn Foster

She’s a wizard with Yahoo! Pipes, a sage with community development, a hardworking startup type with Shizzow, one of the founders of Legion of Tech, and from what I understand, one mean werewolf player.

All of these women have been an absolute inspiration for me. And I’m truly honored that I get the chance to work with them on a regular basis.

And just as I’m in the midst of writing this post, I see a tweet come across from Steven Walling, validating my choices—and adding Amber Case, who is amazing in her own right.

Steven Walling Ada Lovelace Day recommendations

But for as much as I love the local scene, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention two other incredibly inspiring women in the tech scene who have gained—and will continue to have—my utmost admiration.

Kathy Sierra

She’s an incredible speaker and thought-provoking writer whose Creating Passionate Users completely changed the way I thought about marketing and writing—and was a direct inspiration for Silicon Florist.

Beth Kanter

She’s taught me how to think about the power and the promise technology holds for doing good. And her Gnomedex performance, last year, remains one of the coolest technological experiments I’ve ever seen—even though it had very little to do with technology and everything to do with people.

Which women are excelling in technology in your world?

If there are women in technology who inspire you, I’d love to hear about—and I’m sure they would, too. Who are the other women in Portland technology or Silicon Forest technology who deserve some recognition? Why not take a few minutes to write something up? There’s still time.

(Image courtesy Anyaka. Used under Creative Commons)

OpenSourcery Lunch 2.0 Recap

Update: Thomas collected some shots of the lunch. This one of Rick pointing, presumably at the bus as it bears down on him, is a hoot. Thanks Thomas.

OpenSourcey graciously opened the doors of its newish office yesterday to about 150 people for the 12th iteration of Portland Lunch 2.0.

Thomas King handled the hosting duties for OpenSourcery. Their open workspace was perfect for a large crowd, mingling and eating. I heard from several people that this was a really good event, and we’re on a roll because I heard the same thing after AboutUs last month. Large open spaces seem to be very conducive to fluid chatting.

Or maybe the format is evolving.

Nah, it was pretty much the same formula. Thomas did his welcome opening. I stumbled through the brief schedule of upcoming events; I’ve given up on explaining what Lunch 2.0 is, which is for the best. We are putting a Portland stamp on it after all.

Then, I got to throw Rick under the bus, a recurring meme, to talk about our pet project, the Open Source Bridge conference. Then back to Thomas for the unveiling of an OpenSourcery project, CLOVE. David Abramowski, our host for the next Lunch 2.0 on April 8, summarized it nicely:

Opensourcery (our excellent hosts for today’s event – a big thank you to them) told us about a new application they wrote called “CLOVE”. This application is planned to be made available under the GPL open source license. From the really short demo, it appears that the application helps you understand if you are giving your clients the love they deserve. (that was a paraphrase from the demo-dude) Although not ready just yet, Opensourcery will provide links to the application once it is out there for everyone to use. I’ll make an update when that information becomes available. It does however look like a rather interesting way to keep track of all that pesky email that it takes to keep a business relationship moving forward.

Finally, Bryce Yonker from the Software Association of Oregon (SAO) talked about the new healthcare program they are offering members for any size company, even single person shops.

A lot of good information, crammed into a short amount of time, and then, we were back to mixing and mingling. Everyone seemed to have a good time, at least, Twitter search for “lunch 2.0” said so. Apparently, the leftovers were donated to a soup kitchen too. Good on ya OpenSourcery!

Unfortunately, a large crowd is not so conducive to writing code; some of OpenSoucery’s developers bailed to find nearby wi-fi spots to GSD. Sorry to displace you all, and thanks for letting us take over your workspace.

Among those not in attendance was Amye Scavarda of OpenSourcery, who helped plan the event. She was home sick. Get better soon, and thanks for helping put on the lunch.

I’d love to share pictures of the gathering, and I know they’re out there. There were a bunch of people shooting stills and video, but alas, my tweet for help garnered nada. I think everyone is either off to SxSW or on some other mission. Twitter has been a bit quiet today.

Don’t forget these Lunch 2.0s, coming soon:

  • April 8 hosted by MioWorks at the Green Dragon
  • April 22 at TechShop Portland in Beaverton
  • May 20 hosted by WebVisions at the Oregon Convention Center

Big thanks to all the hosts who have hosted or plan to host Lunch 2.0. Drop a comment (or tweet @jkuramot) if you want information about hosting one. It’s easy.

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Big day for Open Source Bridge

Open Source BridgeThe word of the day for the Open Source Bridge team? Serendipity. Or maybe serendipitous.

Either way, it was quite an interesting day for the volunteers working to bring an open source conference to fruition here in Portland in June.

We were excited to get a mention from Dawn Foster in Web Worker Daily as she interviewed Audrey Eschright on community organized conferences:

I’ve worked on FOSCON (a free Ruby event that took place during OSCON in previous years), BarCamp Portland, Ignite Portland, WhereCamp Portland, and now Open Source Bridge. The camps (unconferences) were all quite similar to each other to organize, but Open Source Bridge is much bigger than anything else I’ve worked on. There’s a lot of extra planning involved in doing a 1,000-person conference compared to a 300 person BarCamp. You can pull off an unconference in a short period of time, with fairly limited resources, but a big conference requires more structure.

Then the folks at OpenSourcery were kind enough to give us a few minutes to talk about the conference during a packed Lunch 2.0. Unfortunately for me, Jake Kuramoto successfully threw me under the bus again, much like Seattle Lunch 2.0.

Then, little did we know that, while we were enjoying OpenSourcery’s hospitality, something incredibly—well serendipitous—was happening at the same time.

Dave Winer tweeted:

Dave Winer on OSCON alternate

And then he found Open Source Bridge. And then he wrote a post called “An Alternate OSCON?” offering:

Then someone sent me a pointer to http://opensourcebridge.org/ which is in Portland on June 17-19. Now I have an incentive to see if people want to go there. San Jose is closer to Berkeley, so I’d rather go there, but a really open OSCON would be something that’s worth supporting. There are other new projects that don’t have space at OSCON, so maybe we could all get together in Portland and see what happens.

(If you’re not familiar with Dave Winer, you should be. According to Wikipedia, he is “generally credited with the exposition of RSS as ‘Really Simple Syndication,’ now a world-wide phenomenon, and the first to implement the feed ‘enclosure‘ feature, one of several necessary ingredients for podcasting at the time it first emerged.”)

Whoof. That’s a big unplanned day of serendipity.

It’s incredibly gratifying to see the momentum continue to build for this entirely volunteer run conference. It’s good for Portland. And it’s good for the open source community.

If you’re interested in helping bring open source citizens to Portland in June, we’d love to have your help.

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#afterhours and #getoffmylawn inspire TweetScope, dynamic pages from Twitter searches

Reid Beels has transformed Twitter searching into an art form—matching Twitter search results with thoughtful Web design that allows users to easily keep track of certain topics or hashtags in an aesthetically pleasing setting.

What started with #afterhours soon became an addiction, spawning bacon, electric blankets, CyborgCamp, and of course my personal favorite #getoffmylawn.

getoffmylawn

But Reid couldn’t keep all this to himself, so now he’s open sourced those files as TweetScope, allowing anyone with a few Ruby chops to pick up the code and begin creating dynamic pages of Twitter search results themselves:

I’ve recently cleaned up and improved the code that powers these sites and am releasing it as an open-source project: TweetScope. It’s all written in Ruby using the Sinatra web framework, both of which make me happy.

Setting up your own site with TweetScope is pretty simple.

The files and documentation are available on Github.

I’m looking forward to seeing what kinds of pages you create.

(Hat tip Steven Walling)

Road Trip to Seattle Lunch 2.0

Friday, Kelly, Rick, Selena, and I headed up to visit the Emerald City’s version of Lunch 2.0 for a diplomatic mission.

Rick was kind enough to handle the driving duties, which left the rest of us free to chatter and OH all the pearls of wisdom on Twitter. After about 20 minutes, Rick went into shock from being surrounded by people tweeting, but unable to do so himself.

This spawned a discussion about a steering wheel keypad with a heads-up display that would finally allow Rick to see all his TweetDeck columns without scrolling.

Our meandering discussion went on like this for about three hours, producing conversations about giant robot arms shredding cars, Teamsters, not stopping for bio-breaksbrachydactyly type D (a.k.a. murderer’s thumbs), kittens for lunch, food touching, and much, much more.

But you already knew that because you were following our road trip on Twitter.

What? Oh.

Even though we started off a bit slow, we arrived with plenty of time to spare and then quickly wasted it looking for a coffee shop with a restroom.

Josh Maher, the organizer of the Seattle Lunch 2.0 chapter, holds happy hours as well as lunches, and Friday’s was a happy hour. Since we were on a diplomatic mission, and it was a happy hour, Rick brought a gift, Portland beer. He’s such a thoughtful guy, and that’s such a Portland thing to do.

Axios Law Group hosted the happy hour at their offices in downtown Seattle, and TalentSpring, whose office is in the same building, co-sponsored the event. Dawn wasn’t there to get a count, but I think there were about 30 to 40 people spread throughout the office. Then again, I’m not very good at counting, so it could have been more.

In classic Portland style, we included our Twitter handles on our name tags, which drew attention from several Seattleites, many of whom were just making the jump into Twitter. There were also funny references to how happy were were to get out of depressing Portland, alluding to that recent Business Week article.

We mixed and mingled, and as always, Kelly’s LED name badge garnered a lot of attention. I’m pretty sure John DeRosa wants one of his own. I chatted with John, Matt Woodward and several other people. My pea brain doesn’t do well with names, so apologies for not calling out all the good people who chatted with me.

After about an hour of mixing, Josh introduced the gracious hosts, Adam from Axios and Bryan from TalentSpring. Then I stumbled through a “hello from Portland” and threw Rick under the bus to talk about Open Source Bridge, the other reason we headed up there. As usual, he did a great job despite the tire tracks.

Brian Westbrook and Danielle Morrill streamed the event live to Seattle 2.0, and I’m hoping to get the recordings of the interviews he did with Selena and Rick. If/when I get those, they’ll be added to this post.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get many pictures of the event. All we had were our iPhone cameras, and Rick’s nice camera took a header into the CubeSpace parking lot before we even got on the road. In hindsight, I guess we should have brought Aaron or Mark along to snap photos.

After the happy hour ended, it was back on the road; six hours in the car for a two-hour event. That’s dedication.

Thanks to Josh, Adam and Bryan for having us. If you’re up in Seattle, check out the Seattle Lunch 2.0 schedule and the Seattle 2.0 events calendar if you need something to do.

Maybe Josh and company will take a trip down for one of our lunches. Speaking of which . . .

Don’t forget these Lunch 2.0s, coming soon:

  • March 11 at OpenSourcery
  • April 8 hosted by MioWorks at the Green Dragon
  • April 22 at TechShop Portland in Beaverton
  • May 20 hosted by WebVisions at the Oregon Convention Center

As always, big thanks to all the hosts who have hosted or plan to host Lunch 2.0. Drop a comment (or tweet @jkuramot) if you want information about hosting one. It’s easy.

Diplomatic mission: Portland Lunch 2.0 reps venture north for Seattle Lunch 2.0

Seattle Lunch 2.0Here in Portland, we love the Lunch 2.0. But we can always stand to improve it. So Jake Kuramoto, the Portland Lunch 2.0 guy, has proposed that we take a trip up to Seattle to see how our neighbors to the north handle Seattle Lunch 2.0.

So this Friday, March 6, we’re doing just that.

It’s a diplomatic envoy or something. And it has two goals. The first is partaking in Seattle Lunch 2.0 but the second part? Talking to all the cool open source folks in the Emerald City in hopes of convincing them to come visit us in the Rose City for Open Source Bridge.

Jake, Selena Deckelmann, and I will be heading up for the event. I know that Brian M. Westbrook, who oscillates (wildly, I might add) between Portland and Seattle, will be in attendance, as well.

We’re all looking forward to getting the chance to hang out with our fellow Lunch 2.0 types, like Eric Berto, John DeRosa, Josh Maher, Danielle Morrill, and more. So if you’re from Seattle and debating whether you should be attending or not, hopefully this will be the little push you need to show up.

What’s that? Not enough inspiration to attend?

Okay. Fine. Ben Huh will also be there.

(yes, the CEO of the company that runs FAIL Blog, I Can Has Cheezburger?, GraphJam and other Interweb time sinks), will swing by and give a talk about his view on the world, building a lean business, and how to make a business out of being a blogger.

Oh. So now you’re interested. I see how you are.

For more information, see the Seattle Lunch 2.0 site or Seattle Lunch 2.0 on Upcoming.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there.

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