Doug Bryant

Tech thought and notes

OSCON 2005 - Thursday Keynote

Arrived about 15 minutes late…

Transforming Software Architecture into Internetwork Architecture

  • Not tied to any platform
  • Extensible
  • Generic – general purpose
  • Federated
  • Identifier, Formats, and Protocol Standards

Internetwork Architecture of Global trade mirrors Internet/Sofware architecture. Standard containers and standard port protocol.


Secrets behind Ruby on Rails (same talk given at FOSCON)

Ruby on rails is an integrated stack of integrated frameworks. Ships with O/R mapper, MVC controller, etc. In other words a bunch of stuff that makes web developers happy!

Has had ~100k downloads in the last year.

Has created an ecosystem of people either partly or fully earning a living from developing w/ Rails.

250+ professionals from 36 countries. More than 5K+ weblog posts says Technorati. First book already has 6K+ orders. 7 more books coming. Definite interest and buzz around Rails.

Why is rails interesting?

  • convention over configuration (no xml situps – how many time do you have to tell the computer to do the same thing?)
    • As long as you follow the rails conventions, you don’t really have to do any configuration. But if you need to step out of the convention, rails supports it.

class Post ActiveRecord::Base
belongs_to :weblog
has_many :comments
has_one :author, :class = Person
For example, there is no Author object in the database, so you can override the default and map it to Person (has_one line above)

  • Change is instant. Goal for rails was instant changes. Make a code or db change, refresh webbrowser, and you see your changes. No redeployment, no re-compilation, just save and referesh browser.
    • This is built in functionality of Ruby, not Rails. Ruby has Introspection, Open Classes, and you can execute code in class definitions.
  • Rails ships as a complete, integrated, and familiar stack. Gives you everything you need out of the box. Might seem like that reduces your freedom and flexibility but actually gives you more. Kinda like Apple computer. You buy the way they do things from hardware to software. Everything works and works well. That eliminates many of the problems with OS such as windows or linux and allows you to run and solve problems. (may have paraphrased the Apple computer comparison from last night FOSCON)
  • Flexibility is overrated. Too many technologies are chasing technologies as if flexibility were free. Rails trumps flexibility and you get alot in return. Constraints are liberating. Don’t have to worry about all that infastructure and can solve problems.

HP w/ Linux (more vendor wind…)

and more wind, and more wind, and more wind touting how important opensource software is and how cool linux is. Thank you Mr. Obvious. Now talking about how much HP does for opensource. Thank you, that’s very valuable but I don’t think it earns you a spot as a keynote speaker.

Computational Origami

Origami is the japanese art of paperfolding. Decorative abstract stapes. The modern extenstion is sculptural art achieved by folding paper, usually folded from one piece of paper.

Showing picture of origami folded from one piece of paper – incredible. One sheet, no cuts, only folding. Wow!

So what changed in the world of origami that change the old way of using several sheets of paper to the artsy form of today? Mathmatics.

Can model on computer and translate to paper. Take a stickfigure, measure all the lengths and construct a set of equasions. Then can solve for the crease pattern. Has a program called TreeMaker available for download that aids with this.

Applications in the real world

Space telescopes, automotive applications to name a few. Speaker designed a lense for a sattelite/space telescope. Needed to compact it to put it into space. How did they get it on the shuttle? Origami creases to reduce size.

Airbags – used to design how an airbag flattens inside the steering wheel of a car.

Mitchell Baker Chief lizard wrangler

Portland U. Now distributes mozilla/firefox downloads – bouncer – distributes load for mozilla/firefox downloads. Portland U. is the “hub” for all the downloads.

Started a commercial (for profit) mozilla arm to pay ongoing development, be able to accept money from online ads, etc.

Lastly, Dick ? from (perhaps .org) was speaking. Very good speaker about and good presentation about the next generation of identity management and why stuff like Passport did not work.