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Mon, 15 Nov 2004
Hackathon Day 2

Here are some highlights of the second day of the Hackathon:

I did end up spending some time helping people with PGP keys, and the web of trust now extends to ASF developers from Sri Lanka and Japan, among other places. I was sitting at a table that was a bit preoccupied with PGP. Ben Laurie and Robyn Wagner were engaging in a bit of one upmanship regarding the number of signatures per PGP key. This set Ben Hyde off and we had a discussion about the best way to extend the web of trust. In particular, Ben wanted to find the single person whose key he could sign that would cause the greatest extension of he web of trust. He and Stefano have been collaborating on a bunch of RDF hacks, so (in Dirk's words) Ben got "emacs look" while writing Perl script that turns a PGP keyring into N3 triples. He then passed the N3 to Stefano, who fed it to Welkin, the RDF version of his Agora software.

In the middle there, we joked about the way that we were using open source jujitsu on each other. This of course, s the ability to get someone to do work for you. You've been particularly effective at this if the other person will actually get great enjoyment out of doing that work.

I was also very happy to meet Robyn in person. The ASF has recently decided that we need to retain our own counsel (a necessity of the times). Robyn's background is in patent law, and I learned a bit about patent law as a specialty. We talked a little bit about the various kinds of "soft" infrastructure needed by open source projects, legal, public relations, etc. She also said that I should try to make it to CodeCon in February, which only reinforced my desire to try to get there next year.

Ben Laurie showed me his cool Sony digital camera, which can take photos in the dark via infrared. He's used the camera to take some cool photos of bats inside a bat house. I wonder how long it will take for this to become a standard feature of digital cameras.

I met David Johnson, the author of Roller in an interesting way. Ben H, Dirk, Stefano, Santiago, and I were having a discussion about RDF, N3, and AI. We discussed some of the problems with processing RDF, the aspects of RDF/N3 that are amenable to network effects, and all that AI stuff that was done years ago that is making its resurgence via the Semantic Web efforts. As the discussion wound down, David, who had been sitting at the table turned and introduced himself. Recalling his enthusiastic pre-ApacheCon blog posts, I told him that I hoped we hadn't convinced him that we were all insane.

I talked a bit with Sam about the hacking he's doing on Python for Parrot. I'm looking forward to trying to run Chandler on top of Sam's stuff. One of the things that is a prerequisite for that is the ability to use Python C extensions.

[11:24] | [computers/open_source/asf] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
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