Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Business Buzz

Mark Shuttleworth is rattling out a high bandwidth talk about "software cadances," the rhythms of development in a permission-free, multiple suppliers environment.

He's passionate about facilitating collaboration across communities and tools within our global free software ecosystem. I'm squeezed between Steve Holden and Duncan in the front row of the Portland Ballroom.

Canonical is interested in the economics of funding this stuff. On the demand side, the advantages are obvious, but how do we innovate on the supply side? He doesn't see how "just advertising" is going to accomplish this, but on-line services just might (I'm thinking "learning a living").

He just got sporadic applause for sharing his vision of raising the Linux desktop to the level of art (beautiful, elegant), blowing right by Apple even. "Software that helps people get laid" as he put it, quoting a favorite philosopher (other bloggers will have the citation).

Prior to Mark's talk, Steve whipped through a State of the Snake report, doing about ten slides in 30 seconds, briefing everyone on where we're going in Python Nation, what with 2.5, 2.6... 3.x.

Jython is going gangbusters these days, with support from Sun Microsystems, with a 2.5 alpha just out recently. He then presented the Frank Willison Award, to Martin von Loewis, a major contributor to Python culture (Steve himself is last year's recipient).

A few Google O'Reilly awards were then granted. Angela Byron was actually present to receive her Best Contributor award, for her work on Drupal. Martin Dougiamas was awarded Best Education Enabler, for Moodle.

R0ml talked next. Then came the White Camel Awards, to Republic of Perl MVPs.