CommunityOne

Live or semi liveblogging conferences has been getting more and more difficult for me to do. The combination of meetings, networking/parties, and photographs means that it takes longer to assemble the requisite material. Here’s a bit on CommunityOne, which took place on Monday.

Many people (mostly Sun folks) have been asking me if this is my first JavaOne. My answer is, “it’s not, but it is my first one in ten years”. It’s been quite some time since I’ve been to a conference run by a big company like Sun (as opposed to an O’Reilly or open-source community conference). Even though the basics are the same, I definitely feel a kind of culture shock. I was asked to be on a panel during the general session, first thing in the morning, in order to get miked up and to run though the flow. Production values are much higher than I am used to. I keep thinking of CommunityOne as a small event, but in reality it is huge. I am told that registration was around 5000 people, which is twice the size of OSCON, which is the largest conference that I’ve been to in the last 4 or 5 years. Some pictures might help with the scale and production values:

CommunityOne 2008

CommunityOne 2008

The panel was on community models, although the content was closer to the edge where companies and open source communities meet/collaborate/fight. I think that I had two or three chances to speak, including the final set of remarks before the close of the panel. I have some more thoughts on that topic, but they are deserving of their own post, so that will be showing up after JavaOne is over.

Probably my favorite thing that happened at CommunityOne was the demonstration of ZFS’s reliability in the face of hardware failures. Sun Fellow Jim Hughes has demonstrated this a few times at Sun Tech days, and I’ve been meaning to write about that. I got to meet Jim before the keynote, and I had a very good seat to observe the hardware failure.

CommunityOne 2008

Jim usually destroys 2 of the drives in the ZFS pool, and it looked like Rich Green (EVP of Software) was going to get to smash the other one, until Jeff Bonwick, the inventor of ZFS, showed up to do the honors himself.

CommunityOne 2008

Smashing things makes for cool demos – you can watch the video replay if you like.. I’ve been paying more attention to ZFS ever since Theo Schlossnagle sat with me and a few other people in a bar at ApacheCon in Atlanta last year. We were talking about the voracious storage needs of photographers, and Theo was really singing the praises of ZFS. There were so important things that happened to ZFS for OpenSolaris 00805 (which was launched at CommunityOne). The most important is that you can now boot off of a ZFS volume. I hope (but don’t know for sure) that the work that made this possible will make it possible for Macs to boot off of a ZFS volume. My photo storage is getting all fragmented, and I could really put ZFS to good use. I suppose that I could build a ZFS storage appliance based on OpenStorage, but at the moment that is more work that I want to do.

I spent much of the rest of CommunityOne at the Redmonk unconference. I was drafted for an impromptu discussion on dynamic and other programming languages, which included a drop in from David Pollak, developer of the very cool lift framework for Scala, and organizer of the Scala liftoff which is happening on Saturday, right after JavaOne. There was also a very active session on Twitter – probably the biggest of the unconference. Jim Jay Evans Edwards from Twitter came along to participate in that one

CommunityOne 2008

I have a bunch more photos from CommunityOne. At the rate that things are going, I will probably just do a single post on JavaOne. There are plenty of other people doing liveblogging, for those who need a bigger information flow.

Update: corrected Jay Edwards’ name. Thanks to @monkchips

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