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Summary: Prague PostgreSQL Developers Day

It's been a couple of days since I got back from Prague and the local PostgreSQL Developer Day held there last week. The conference itself was on Thursday, and I arrived Wednesday evening. David Fetter had already arrived directly from FOSDEM in Brussels, but I had to go home and do some actual work in between. I met up with the group in the restaurant/bar at the bottom floor of our hotel - which happens to be an old brewery.

The conference itself started with a quick welcome from the conference organizers, and then I delivered an even shorter version of my What's new in PostgreSQL 8.4 talk from FOSDEM as the keynote. This was followed by Kristo Kaiv talking about PostgreSQL at Skype - happily enough for me (and David I assume) in English.

After Kristo, I gave a repeat of my Deploying PostgreSQL in a Windows Enterprise talk. It's a hard talk to give to an audience like this - it's pretty clear that the large majority were users of Linux/BSD/Solaris and didn't care much for windows. On the other hand, I noticed several people who were very interested in the integration aspects, so I think it was fairly successful anyway.

This was followed by a number of talks in Czech, which I will freely admit to not understanding much more than scattered words like "fsm_pages", "recovery" and so on. Simon Riggs arrived during these talks, and gave his Replication, Replication, Replication talk (the same talk he gave at FOSDEM with some minor modifications/additions). After this there was a nother couple of czech talks, and some interesting hallway discussions.

After the conference, the organizers held an auction of the blue elephants (small size - David brought three from FOSDEM) and a couple of the stressballs. Amazingly, they brought in about €60 for one of the elephants (€25 being the base price) and an impressive €15 for a stressball (sure, signed by me and David Fetter, but the base price for that one is €1..). Finally they put a nice bottle of wine in the hands of each speaker as a speaker gift - unfortunately I wasn't able to bring mine home on the plane due to liquid regulations for traveling without checked luggage.

In the evening, we met back at the same restaurant for dinner and beer. After dinner, the Czechoslovakian PostgreSQL user group was formally formed! Clearly this process was also in Czech, so I can't comment much on that - other than it's good to see the user group formally formed!

That concludes the conferences in February for me, unless something unexpected come up. Thanks to all the people involved in organizing these conferences, the social activities around them, and generally in making sure a good time was had!

FOSDEM is done

That's it - FOSDEM is over for this year. I'm sitting at the airport waiting for my flight home, which should be boarding in about an hour.

I'd say this year was at least as good as last year. The general idea was the same - we had a booth where we sold merchandise and answered questions, and a devroom where we had a full track of talks. We sold slightly less than last year, mainly because we sold almost no t-shirts at all. We ran out of the blue elephants (as usual) and the mugs long before the conference was over. We had a lot of visitors to the booth, so I think we have to declare it a big success. And a great job by all our volunteers who spend the time there instead of browsing what else the conference had to offer. An extra kudos to Gevik who remembered to buy and bring snacks for all the booth people!

The devroom was much larger than last year, which was very good - on the saturday, we filled the room for almost every talk, and there is no way we could've put that many people in the room we had last year. The downside was that it was at the very other end of the conference area, so it was a pretty long walk from the booth (and from the main area of FOSDEM) to the devroom. I think this actually reduced the number of "spontaneous" people we got in there, so if t was closer we would've had even more.

We also had a major FAIL in that the projector didn't work. This was fixed fairly quickly by the FOSDEM staff (thanks!) with a mobile projector, but it left us with a very awkward keynote since we were late and not really ready. We also had a projector with too little light for the room, so we had to have the blinds down all day making the room dark and making it hard to open the windows for ventilation. but in the grand scheme of things, those are trivial issues!

The talk track was very good. My personal favorite (and I know I'm not alone in this) was Simon Riggs talk on replication. Simon's a very good speaker, and the topic is highly interesting. I also liked Heikkis talk about FSM and Visibility Map and Selenas usergroups talk. Well, I realliy liked all talks, but if I have to choose... I think the talk track this year was a clear step up from last year. Even though Greg Stark forgot one of his talks and didn't show up until it was time to take questions.. (sorry, Greg, but you're not getting away with that unpublished)

As for the social track - well, I have yet to be to a PostgreSQL conference (and I consider "our part of FOSDEM" to be a PostgreSQL conference) that did not have a good one, and this was certainly no exception. Great people to hang out with, good food, and good beer - what more can one ask for?

A big thanks to everybody who helped out with tihs conference - both the PostgreSQL specific parts, and the big thing! Already looking forward to coming back next year!

Gearing up for FOSDEM

I'm waiting at the airport to being my travel to this years FOSDEM. Looking at who's coming, and the talks we have lined up for the PostgreSQL/BSD devroom, it looks like it will be at least as good as last year.

So if you're near Brussels, get there! And if you're at FOSDEM, be sure to stop by both our booth and our devroom!

PostgreSQL Prague Developers Day

I've been invited to speak at the PostgreSQL Prague Developers Day. I will be doing one of my "usual" talks about PostgreSQL in a Windows/Active Directory environment, as well as a short keynote around news in 8.4. As far as I know most of the talks will be in Czech, but at least mine and Simons (whom I think is confirmed to go as well) will be in English.

So if you're in or near the Czech Republic, you should be there! And if you're not - here's your excuse to travel to Prague!

Last chance to speak at FOSDEM devroom!

The CFP for our FOSDEM devroom ends in a couple of days!

If you haven't submitted your talk yet, now is the time to do so! We still have a few slots open. We are interested in both full-length, half-length and lightning talks!

And if you weren't planning to submit a talk - now is the time to rethink! We want a good mix of different types of talks, ranging from hacker talks to user experiences.

So, head over to the wiki and read up on the details, and submit your talk!

Lightning talk @west

align="right"Selena tricked me into doing a Lightning Talk here at west today. We almost missed it because lunch dragged out (oops), but we made it just in time. My talk was titled "Creating a debian compatible random number generator in 5 simple slides", and just to make JD happy I have to post the final summary slide here. There needs to be one from each conference... Currently in Jeff Davies talk about streaming queries, I'll probably write up a more complete summary of the conference later on. Should pay attention now...

OpenSource Days - roundup

I got back from OpenSource Days in Copenhagen yesterday, after two and a half fairly intense days. As usual (while up until last year the conference was named LinuxForum, it's still the same conference) the conference itself was great. Lots of very good talks to listen to, and very nice arrangements for us speakers. And a whole lot of interesting people to talk to.

It was the first time I've been both manning a "commericial booth" (for Redpill Linpro) and been a speaker/participant at the same time. I think it worked reasonably well - though my booth colleagues might think differently due to my absence from the booth particularly on the Saturday. In my talk, I specifically tried to avoid mixing in our company services (unlike some other speakers, who shall remain nameless..), because I was there to talk about PostgreSQL. I think that also worked out fairly well.

My own talk went pretty well - got some interesting discussion going afterwards, along with a couple of suggestions for making it better next time. It's nice with an audience that's involved enough to come with those. There are no speaker eval forms at the conference, but I got the impression it was fairly well received.

As a result of the talk, which had a section about how to use pgcrypto to build a secure authentication system, several people asked me what can be done about getting pgcrypto out of contrib, to make it "safer" to use this in a production application. Given the number of people who mentioned it, it's pretty clear to me that we need to do something about this.

Speaking of things that were mentioned a lot - several people asked me during the conference about the state of the CTE-patch for PostgreSQL 8.4. Unfortunately I couldn't say much more than "probably" at the time. Since then, Tom Lane has committed the patch. So for those of you who asked then, and don't follow the list - the answer has now changed from "probably" to "yes".

Obviously, I listened to Jan's keynote talk about Slony. While i did not learn anything new about Slony, Jan did a very good job of explaining some of the more advanced things Slony is capable of doing, which is the reason it's fairly complex to configure. Good talk!

I'd also like to second what Troels writes in his blog - Jan did a good job of not hiding the weaknesses with Slony. Which is something that non-open(source) vendors have a tendency not to be. (And I'll venture as far as to say that there were certainly other speakers at this conference who were not so forthcoming - hopefully myself excluded, but I'll leave it to others to judge that)

I'll certainly be back next year!

October - a month of conferences

Sorry, Devrim. And others. It's been a long time since my last blog post - can't really come up with a reasonable excuse, so I'll just come up with a post instead.

Anyway, on to the actual post. Unlike some people who have said that autumn is a "downtime" period for conferences, I've managed to fill October almost solidly with conferences of PostgreSQL interest. Here's a quick rundown:

Open Source Days, Copenhagen, Denmark : October 3-4. This is the old Linuxforum conference that has been reborn under a new name, and moved from winter to autumn. Always a great conference, and I really enjoy going. I'll be doing a talk on PostgreSQL, and my company will also be well represented in the exhibitors area.

PostgreSQL Conference West, Portland, Oregon, USA : October 10-12. The next in the "JD series" of community conferences in the US. They always draw a lot of PostgreSQL talent, so I'm really looking forward to this one. This time around it will also be including a code sprint - let's see how that will work out. I'll be doing my talk on fulltext search (for search.postgresql.org), and I think JD has some further plans as well.

pgDay.EU/pgDay.IT, Prato, Italy : October 17-18. This is the European PostgreSQL conference this year. Everybody interested in PostgreSQL in Europe really should consider going! There's a whole bunch of very interesting talks lined up both in English and Italian. I'll be doing a keynote together with Dave Page, and I'm generally fairly involved in the organization.

FSCONS, Gothemburg, Sweden : October 24-26. Free Society Conference and Nordic Summit, second year around. Last year I was there just as a visitor, this year I'll be doing a PostgreSQL talk. Arranged by FSF Europe, CC and Wikimedia it seems to be drawing a lot of interesting free software people from around Scandinavia (and elsewhere in Europe as well).

If you're going to be around any of these places, be sure to go to the conferences! And if you're at the conferences, look me up for a chat (or a beer :-P)

It'll be a busy month (there's actual work to be done in between the conferences as well), but I expect it to be lots of fun!

pgCon day 3

align="right" vspace="10" hspace="10"I'm not going to go into any talk specifics, but just say that day 3 was the first day of regular talks, and it had a lot of very good talks. After that, we had the EnterpriseDB dinner party, which was also very good. They clearly won the dinner-party race over Yahoo! - no contest!

I've uploaded pictures from this day as well as the dinner party. They're all in the [ gallery]. Most of the pictures are tagged with names - but I'd love to have some help going through the ones that aren't and fill in the proper names, since I don't know everybody. Feel free to help out by just sending me an email with names that are in pictures which aren't categorized.

The picture attached to this post is one I received from Bruce's boss based on one of my photos. No further comments needed I think.

Right now in Peters talk about our project management and release processes. I actually agree with most of them, which is a good sign - we think at least almost the same on how things are.

PGcon first photos!

align="right"

As usual, I forgot my USB cable. As is becoming usual, Selena came to my rescue and lent me hers so I got the pictures up. The first set is up on my [ gallery] with some tagging and stuff.

More photos to come as the conference proceeds. But for now, I obviously have to post the one of Steven falling asleep at the table long before midnight... Kinda ruins his attempt to build a reputation, I think... But it's hard work being at a PostgreSQL conference - imagine how it was for those of us working at the developer meeting, Steven!

Conferences

I speak at and organize conferences around Open Source in general and PostgreSQL in particular.

Upcoming

FOSDEM+PGDay 2019
Feb 1-3, 2019
Brussels, Belgium
Nordic PGDay 2019
Mar 19, 2019
Copenhagen, Denmark

Past

PGConf.Asia 2018
Dec 10-12, 2018
Tokyo, Japan
DC PostgreSQL Users Group
Nov 14, 2018
Washington DC, USA
New York City PostgreSQL User Group
Nov 13, 2018
New York City, NY, USA
Driving IT 2018
Nov 2, 2018
Copenhagen, Denmark
PGConf.EU 2018
Oct 23-26, 2018
Lisbon, Portugal
More past conferences