Fri 20 Mar 2009
I had great fun at QCon. This was one of my first “commercial” conferences – I’ve mainly frequented research conferences like ICFP and POPL before, partly because Erlang has enjoyed little commercial interest in the past.
I enjoyed Steve Vinosky’s account of the conference, as well as Ola Bini’s. I also enjoyed Steve’s talk on RPC, and Paul Downey’s on standardization in the Historically Bad Ideas track. And of course, listening to Sir Charles Anthony Hoare was a great treat. I’m a long-time fan of Hoare’s and warmly recommend his Turing Award Speech, “The Emperor’s Old Clothes”. There are some great lessons in there.
On Thursday, I stuck with the “Functional and Concurrent Programming Languages Applied” track, hosted by my friend and colleague Francesco Cesarini. When speaking in a track, I want to have heard the talks before mine, and also want to stay to hear the remaining talks.
This time, I was preceded by Rich Hickey’s talk on Persistent Data Structures and Managed References in Clojure. I was greatly intrigued by this talk and made a note to take a closer look at Clojure. Interestingly, Rich stressed that Clojure Agents are not actors a la Scala or Erlang. Part of my talk was to illustrate how Erlang processes are not “fibers”, and trying to use them for data-parallel algorithms can be problematic. Nice setup.
Friday ended with a few quick beers with Rich, Steve, Paul and Joe Armstrong, and then dinner at Francesco and Alison’s with Joe and Steve. Francesco is a great cook!
(Didn’t notice that Paul was taking pictures though. Judging by the angles, he was shooting from the hip…)
I’ll give the same talk at SF Bay Area Erlang Factory, April 27-29. I’m really looking forward to this conference. It should be the greatest Erlang conference yet, and I hope to see you there.