Next week is OUCE in Southampton UK, where I'll be presenting on my recent work in time-series storage. I've never been to an OUCE, or Southampton, and I'm really looking forward to it.
Since you get to Southampton via London (from here), and since I haven't been back there in more than a year, I arranged to have a day or two there, and scored an opportunity to talk to the Cassandra London Meetup on Monday.
There is still time to sign up for OUCE, so if you're interested in OpenNMS talks and/or training, and can make your way to Southampton next week, consider doing so.
Unfortunately the meetup has a waiting list, but if you're in the London area and would like to chat Cassandra and/or OpenNMS over a pint, I'm your man.
I had tentatively planned on attending OpenNMS Dev Jam this year, but then I got a new job, and it became mandatory.
The eighth annual Dev Jam will be held June 23-28 at the University of Minnesota.
NP: In Absentia, The Mars Volta
Datastax's yearly Cassandra Summit has grown into a two day event this year, June 11-12 in San Francisco. If you are a user of Cassandra (or are considering it), then you probably want to attend this conference (use code SFSummit25 for 25% off).
I'll be there to present on virtual nodes; Find me if you want to chat about databases, network management, beer, or the Can't Hug Every Cat phenomenon.
NP: The Malkin Jewel, The Mars Volta
I'm fortunate enough to be speaking at Berlin Buzzwords again this year. As usual, chats over beer or currywurst (or both) are always welcome. Hope to see you there!
As usual, if you think we'll cross paths and want to meet for beer, coffee, or currywurst, let me know!
See you in Banja Luka!
This year, the organizers are arranging for a number of hackathons and workshops to precede and follow the main conference. One of those will be a Cassandra event hosted by Acunu and Datastax (date to be announced).
If you're in the Berlin area (or can be), and are interested in search, data analysis and NoSQL (and especially if you're interested in Cassandra), I'd recommend you plan to attend.
I've also managed to work in a couple of days after the conference to poke around Berlin, (this will be my first time in Germany). If you're in the area and want to meet up for beers and/or keysignings, or if you have suggestions for sights to see, drop me a line.
April is shaping up to be a busy month; I have several trips lined up.
The hackathon should also be a real treat. It's always great to spend a little face-time with the people you normally only interact with online.
As always, if my travel plans intersect with yours (or if you live in Austin, Columbia, or San Francisco), and you want to chat over a beer (or coffee, tea, etc), drop me a line.
As I mentioned earlier, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend FOSDEM this year. The sheer scale of FOSDEM is amazing, with literally thousands of people in attendance, dozens of projects represented, and hundreds(?) of talks. It's doubly impressive when you consider that it is entirely volunteer driven and 100% sponsored (it's no cost to attend).
The NoSQL track organized by Steven Noels on Sunday turned out quite well too I thought, and it seemed to generate a lot of interest (the room was continually filled to capacity and the doors barred). There were talks from some of the usual players (MongoDB, HBase, and of course Cassandra), along with some less heard of projects (GT.M). Mine was the last talk of the morning and seemed to be pretty well received. I got a lot of great questions both during and after the session, and ended up talking shop with several attendees until the next session was starting.
Finally, here is the video of my talk, or you can view it here with the slides.
I've always wanted to go to a FOSDEM, and getting to see Brussels will be a real treat as well. I can't wait!
NP: Black & White, In Flames
Depending on the circles you travel in, you might be aware of the whole NoSQL "movement". If not, I'm not going try and explain it at this time (explaining it is sort of the problem), but you can get the general idea from wikipedia.
I've spent the last couple of days at nosqleast and one of the hot topics here is the name "nosql". Understandably, there are a lot of people who worry that the name is Bad, that it sends an inappropriate or inaccurate message. While I make no claims to the idea, I do have to accept some blame for what it is now being called. How's that? Johan Oskarsson was organizing the first meetup and asked the question "What's a good name?" on IRC; it was one of 3 or 4 suggestions that I spouted off in the span of like 45 seconds, without thinking.
My regret however isn't about what the name says, it's about what it doesn't. When Johan originally had the idea for the first meetup, he seemed to be thinking Big Data and linearly scalable distributed systems, but the name is so vague that it opened the door to talk submissions for literally anything that stored data, and wasn't an RDBMS.
I don't have a problem with projects like Neo4J, Redis, CouchDB, MongoDB, etc, but the whole point of seeking alternatives is that you need to solve a problem that relational databases are a bad fit for. MongoDB and Voldemort for example set out to solve two very different problems and lumping them together under a single moniker isn't very meaningful. This is why people are continually interpreting nosql to be anti-RDBMS, it's the only rational conclusion when the only thing some of these projects share in common is that they are not relational databases.
The cat is out of the bag though, and the "movement" has enough momentum that I don't think it's going anywhere. And, I'm not really advocating that, it's had the effect of bringing a lot of attention to some very interesting projects, and that's a Good Thing. Maybe Emil Eifrem has the right idea by encouraging people to overload the term with Not Only SQL.
I have several trips lined up for the next few weeks:
There is also a NoSQL meetup on November 2 as a part of ApacheCon; I've offered to present on Cassandra there. I'm also thinking of giving a session at BarcampApache, and I'm scheduled to sit on a "SQL vs. NoSQL" panel at OpenSQL, though I'll probably submit a session idea or two there as well.
There are a lot of Cassandra people in the Bay Area, it'd be great if we could setup a hack-a-thon/bug squashing party/meetup/whatever during ApacheCon. Ping me or post something to the list if you are interested! :)
NP: Calling Dr Love, Kiss
Debconf is over. Boo. :(
Like those I've attended in the past, Debconf9 was well organized with plenty of interesting talks, in a great venue. I had loads of fun, learned a ton, and even managed to get a bit done. Many thanks to the organization team, the local team, the speakers, and the sponsors.
This year I managed to sneak an extra couple of days post-conference which will be spent in the general vicinity of Madrid. I'm going to continue dumping my camera daily so tune into my flickr stream if your interested.
Yesterday was the Day Trip at Debconf, an opportunity for folks to step away from their computers (usually), and leave the venue (always) for some sort of group activity or tourism.
When the organizers first started talking about this years Day Trip there were two candidates, Valle del Jerte and Teatro romano de Merida, or "Roman theater of Merida". I'm kind of a history junkie and generally get pretty excited at the idea of touring ruins so I was heartbroken when Merida lost out. The closer it got to the scheduled day the lower my enthusiasm sank, until eventually I just opted out entirely. The obvious by-product of skipping the Day Trip though was a need to find something else to do, and the obvious choice seemed like a trip to Merida. Michael was pretty keen on the idea too.
The entire thing was thrown together very last minute (we barely made it to the bus station), but luckily there was enough time to spot a generous offer via IRC from itais (a Merida local) for transportation from the bus stop to the theater.
As promised, itais was waiting for us at the bus station and took us on a quick tour to see, among other things, a Roman acquaduct and The Arch of Trajan. He then dropped us off in front of the theater with a recommendation for a place to eat.
After an awesome meal we walked the ruins for a couple of hours, tracked down The Temple of Diana, and then settled into the main square for a couple of beers before catching a cab back to the bus station.
A few of the pictures I took can be seen here, and I'll get the rest up eventually.
A week from today and I'll be headed to Spain for Debconf9. Can't wait!
NP: Worlds Collide, Apocalyptica
A few months ago a group of researchers announced a fairly serious attack that shattered everyone's faith in SHA-1. It has frightening implications for anyone who relies on cryptographic signatures, and while consensus is that there is little danger in the near-term, most people agree that now is the time to start a move to something stronger.
So, I've begun my transition, (document here), and submitted my new key for the Debconf9 signing party later this month. I intentionally left out any mention of a time-line in the transition doc, and I'm in no big hurry. I'll retire the old key once I have enough signatures, or once there is evidence of a real threat, whichever comes first.
Johan Oskarsson has organized a meetup for folks interested in distributed structured data storage and is calling it NOSQL. The event, being held June 11th in San Fransisco, will have subject matter experts presenting on Hypertable, HBase, Voldemort, Dynomite, and Cassandra.
There were 100 slots available slots to attend and they all went in a matter of hours, so if this is the first you've heard of it, it's probably too late. Fortunately I got mine and thanks to the support of my employer I'll be there. I'm looking forward to it.
After 5+ hours on a bus, several hours at Ezeiza airport, and 12 hours on two different planes, I'm back home from Debconf8, (technically speaking I've been back since 8am yesterday, but was in no condition to post).
Debconf8 was definately the best organized of the 4 Debconfs I've attended, and Argentina was an awesome setting, but it is good to be home.
Update: I've updated the Debconf8 set on Flickr with a panorama of the beach and skyline in front of the conference venue.
It's that time of year again!
I'm at the airport soaking up a little free bandwidth (yes, it would seem that San Antonio International finally has free wifi), before boarding a flight to Houston, and then on to Buenos Aires. With the layover in Houston, the four wait before catching the bus to Mar del Plata, and the six hour bus ride itself, I'm looking at a full 24 hours of travel.
This year I am going to try and post at least a couple of times while there, and put up a few pictures while I'm at it.