Wednesday, December 3, 2008

OSDC08 Day One

Yesterday (Tuesday 2 Dec, Sydney AUS) was day one of the OSDC 08 conference. It began with a Google Hackathon, where a few Googlers presented some of their latest technologies. These includes both open source projects which they sponsor (or at least contribute developer time) and closed-source but free-access systems. These systems were:
* OpenSocial
* Something about an open map layer system
* AppEngine

This was pretty neat, and I successfully copied-and-pasted my way to a functioning OpenSocial application which would allow me to give my friends virtual acorns in a variety of social network containers. Google make available a number of things to make this easier, including comprehensive examples, a number of free hosting solutions and a sandbox environment for Orkut to deploy test applications.

I haven't been active in this area of development before, but a great deal of the complexity of managing such an application has been stripped away to allow any potential developer to concentrate on application functionality instead of systems maintenance.

Following this, I visited the Google offices as a part of the Sydney Python User's Group meeting. At this meetup I presented on the topic of AI in Python. At this stage, I prefer not to make my slides web-available but would be happy to supply them via email to anyone at the presentation or who would like to engage on the topic offline. Since AI is such a huge area, with so many potential audiences, there is a lot of ground for misinterpretation of a slide or bullet point if taken out of context. I had great fun however, and greatly enjoyed catching up with everyone at the pub afterwards.

Props to Christoph, Mark, Alan, Richard, Mark, Matt, Alex, Joel and everyone else that I met whose names I can't right now recall. Thanks for making my stay a nice one!