…Hippies and Freaks

Many times over the past several years, I’ve heard the open source community referred to collectively as “hippies and freaks”, or “sandal-wearing, long-haired” whatevers. And for a long time I’ve shrugged it off. However, at OSCON ’06, there seemed to be an extremely large segment of the corporate crowd making similar statements… and to a room full of hundreds of representatives of the community!

There are two points I’d like to make on this point:

First, it’s kind of moronic to assume that this label actually applies to most of the open source community – at least *anymore*. Now more than ever, people who are required to wear collared shirts are being put on payrolls of very large corporations to contribute to that portion of our technological landscape preserved by people who care about the landscape itself more than the almighty dollar.

Second, the people making these statements are those that the open source community generally calls, collectively, “suits”. I have to believe that if someone currently wears a suit to work, they would probably rather forego all of the work that goes into maintaining that wardrobe in favor of t-shirts and sandals.

I noticed these same people making gross misstatements relating to the motives of open source developers as well, as did Nat Torkington, who, in response to one of these bad calls, corrected the speaker and informed him that “if it were more fun to be a gardener, we’d do that instead”. It’s nice to know that a representative of the largest commercial technical media company still gets it, and hasn’t lost sight of what makes open source happen, and what makes it work. Thanks, Nat!

Going to OSCON

I’m off to Portland, Oregon next week for O’Reilly OSCON 2006. There’s so much stuff going on at that conference that I’m not even sure which sessions, tutorials, and BOFs I’ll be attending. I’m doing a bit of work with Python lately, but I’m also doing database design, LDAP, PHP coding, Perl, playing with cfengine, kickstart, PXE, and I’m always lured into security and networking topics.

Are you going? Have you seen any of the talks already? Any recommendations?

Freakin’ HOT

I keep telling my wife that if a whole bunch of tech companies decided to set up shop in, say, Baton Rouge, I’d go in a heartbeat (NOTE: I spent a few years in BR, and it left an indelible impression on my being, but that’s another whole collection of posts). Generally, she replies with eye-rolling and a comment about how incredibly hot it supposedly is there. 

Well, folks, here’s the thing: I’m in NJ right now, and it’s hotter than the hinges of hades here. Oh, it’s only 88 degrees, but it’s something like 4 or 5 HUNDRED percent humidity. It gets like this a good bit in NJ, and when it gets like this, it’s really no different from being in Louisiana. 

To provide an example, today in zip code 08540 (NJ), it’s 88 degrees and 90% humidity according to accuweather.com. In zip code 70817 (Louisiana), it’s 89 degrees and 94% humidity. It’s a wash, really. Today, there’s probably not a noticeable difference between the two places.