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Flourish Conference 2009 Wrap-up

Yesterday the Floursh Conference wrapped up. What an exciting two days. I kicked off Friday’s events by giving a presentation on KDE and Kubuntu, and I was really impressed with the Friday morning turnout. With all of the people sitting in on the conference, I am sure there was a bit of revenue loss in a couple of Chicago companies :)

This years conference had some really awesome speakers, and I sat in on a couple of talks that really impressed me. I got to meet some really great people, and before the pictures start showing up, I got kissed by a Spanish guy. I love you Roberto!!! Last night they held a social mixer where everyone, 21 and over, hung out and enjoyed some pizza, beer, and good conversations.

I was able to meet and talk to:

Christoph has recently moved to Chicago, so that puts 2 Debian “old-timers” near by and Christoph came up with a good idea that we need to run past the other old-timer, Dirk Eddelbuettel. He brought up the idea of starting a Debian Users Group here in Chicago, and yesterday after speaking with a few of the other Linux hackers here in Chicago, they were interested as well.

Like I said, the talks were great. One of my favorites was the OpenStreetMap talk that Steve gave and it was absolutely brilliant. I would have to say his talk probably motivated more people into contributing. Chicago even has a Map Group who meets up. This Thursday they are having Mappy Hour at the Map Room. I think this summer you will see a bunch of us on our bikes with our GPS units touring the greater Chicagoland area.

Another talk that I really liked was the one by Daliah Saper, an attorney, of the Saper Law Offices. She broke down open source licensing and explained how to use it legally and broke it down to where morons like me could understand it.

In closing yesterday there was an Open Source Panel in which it was Christoph Lameter, Daliah Saper, David Heinemeier Hansson, Cedric Hurst, and myself. We took questions that were asked during registration and through Twitter as well as fielded questions from the audience. Great responses. I think my favorite exchange during the panel was when someone asked “What dynamic language do you think will be the big one moving forward?” Of course David responded “RUBY!” Christoph of course responded “C!” Cedric went wild with a few languages. I sided with Christoph and C, but had to poke some fun at David and said “NOT RUBY! The only thing I got from it was the fail whale. My honest answer was of course both Python and Ruby, as the buzz around them today are big, especially here in Chicago.

I want to say thank you to all of the Flourish organizers, sponsors, speakers, and attendees. It was a great conference this year and I am definitely looking forward to next years!

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