Pavol Rusnak #Cypherpunk #FOSS #Bitcoin #AI

Google Summer of Code Mentors Summit 2008 - Day 1

Day 1 - 2008/10/25

  • woke up and headed to the hotel parlour for breakfast
  • met Werner and talked a little bit about Java and Java packaging in openSUSE
  • back in the hotel room shown BuildService to David like I promised; he was interested in packaging, because he wanted to build Tux4Kids packages for OLPC
  • we all took a shuttle to Googleplex

googleplex gsocms2008-1 gsocms2008-2

  • all herded into the largest of the conference rooms called Tunis
  • summit’s opening talk held by Leslie Hawthorn and Chris DiBona, the open source manager at Google
  • learned some details about this year’s Summer of Code, e.g. that the youngest mentor Dmitri Gaskin was only 13 years old! he was unable to attend the Google Highly Open Participation Contest so he decided to do mentoring for Drupal :)
  • we were presented with giant grid where rows represented times and columns conference rooms
  • asked to write the name of the session in the correct cell, if we wanted to host it (learned that this type of conference has its own name and it’s called unconference)
  • decided to give a short presentation of openSUSE Build Service on Sunday
  • to my surprise, after a few minutes the board was actually full and it seemed that we’ll have a very interesting program ahead of us
  • met Zonker, the other openSUSE Mentor and Community Manager, told him I’m having a session on Sunday
  • found out that we’ll be attending completely different sessions :)

  • first session - ‘Monetizing Open Source without Being Evil’ by Mixxx guys
  • pretty good, learned a couple of real-life examples:
    • Firefox - has Google search on home page and in navigation toolbar (paid by Google)
    • Rhytmbox and Amarok - / Jamendo / Magnatune integration (increases program value and is paid by the studios/companies)
    • Ardour - optional donation 10$/month - has around 120 subscribers (1200$ a month)
  • short session about developing for iPhone by Matt from Adium; more particularly about how GPL and other open source licenses clash with iPhone SDK NDA

  • veeeeery long queue for lunch; agreed with Assaf Raman from Ogre3D that Americans love queues :)
  • everybody is throwing Google colorful frisbees and balls
  • lunch is actually tasty, but I miss warm food, every choice is a cold dish :(

gsocms2008-6 gsocms2008-3

  • going to session called ‘Human Supercomputer Workshop’ held by James from Audacity

  • have no idea what this could be, but sounds like fun
  • 9 people divided into groups of 3; each group has worker, facilitator and observer
  • worker says how he/she would solve the problem and also refines the problem itself
  • facilitator can interrupt worker to prevent preconceptions of the speaker
  • observer notices when the interactions were most effective and is allowed to give feedback only at the end of the session
  • session lasts for around 15 minutes and after that the groups are dissolved and the new ones are created, ideally so that none of the members of the new group is in group with the person he has met before
  • after 3 or 4 sessions, one large group is created and everybody gives feedback
  • totally fascinated how this “architecture” could solve problems in a very short time
  • interesting thing is that human supercomputer is working better when it is “under-clocked”, i.e. when speakers speak more slowly, as compared to CPUs which work better if they are over-clocked

  • rushed to ‘Dynamic Languages’ initiated by Giovanni Corriga from Squeak project

  • seems not to be a one-man show, rather a large debate
  • it would be interesting if there was a way how to translate programs in various dynamic languages to some common intermediate language
  • unfortunately .NET’s CIL is suited for statically typed procedural languages
  • maybe even design a processor that could run this CIL
  • Update (2008/11/05): learned from Anders Hejlsberg’s PDC2008 talk on C# 4.0 that Microsoft is actually planning to implement something like dynamic languages runtime

  • Android lecture by Chris DiBona, Shawn O. Pearce and Brian Swetland

  • learned about architecture of Android, where the code is and how can we contribute
  • lot of this could be found on Android website

  • concluding remarks held again by Leslie and Chris

  • traveled back to hotel
  • lots of chatting in the hotel parlour and around the pool

  • chat with Brian Swetland about Linux kernel changes in Android
  • learned a lot about NTP protocol and its pitfalls from Harlan Stenn
  • talked with VLC guys about Dominique Leuenberger’s great packaging work using Build Service (he uses it also to create VLC upstream packages)

  • dropped into bed, again very tired, but with a very good feeling after the great day

(Photos taken by me, Pınar Yanardağ and Chris DiBona)