I'm at the the LCA2010 conference in Wellington. Today was the first day, with miniconfs. A few notes:

  • Stephen Blackheath: Haskell, and all the wonderful things it doesn’t let you do. An overview talk of what Haskell is all about. I really need to get back to reading the Real World Haskell book.
  • Kate Stewart: Sharing Package Copyright and Licensing Data Effectively. An overview of the dilemma a distributor of free software stuff faces: copyright and license info has no markup language, and indeed is often out of date, which causes some legal risk. Fossbazaar.org and others are trying to come up with a format that everyone can use and that hopefully most people from upstreams to Linux distros to others will adopt. DEP5 was mentioned.
  • Lana Brindley: Creating Beautiful Documentation. The time slot had been shortened, but good stuff anyway. While I haven't personally done much documentation writing since leaving the Linux Documentation Project in 1997, apart from a manual page every now and then, I agree with Brindley that good documentation is an important factor in a successful project. Tech writers and graphical artists are sorely needed, as is shaping projects so that coders are no longer kings.
  • Scott James Remnant: Cutting down boot times. Missed this talk, but that's OK, Scott seems to have missed it, too, due to travel.
  • Carl Worth: Cairo Graphics - Intro and Future thoughts. Another overview talk. I know very little about Cairo, but at least I now know where it stands in the stack. I should perhaps look into using it for Dimbola. If only I knew any graphics programming.

The conference venue works well, except for occasional wireless problems.

Attempted to see how long my X200s battery actually lasts, and I managed to get through the day without charging. When I left the hotel, the battery was fully charged, and when I came back, there was an estimated 15 minutes left. However, I didn't use the laptop all the time, and I can't figure out from the GNOME Power Manager how much battery time I've actually used up today. The history dialog is entirely incomprehensible to me.

One thing that happens in conferences, including this LCA, is that people realize they've forgotten a cable or a charger or something, and someone else lends it to them. There's a bit of a shuffle for the lender and borrower to meet. I wonder if it would be too big a hassle for the organizers to set up a "post office": the lender would bring the cable, or whatever, put it in a bag, put their own name and the borrower's name on the bag, and then give it to the reception people to keep. The borrower could then fetch if from the reception whenever is suitable. Maybe this would be too much work and responsibility for the organizers, who are overworked as it is.

The weather is pretty nice. Some rain occasionally, but lots of sunshine, too. Pretty warm. People are very friendly.