Thursday at ApacheCon

… and suddenly it’s Friday, ApacheCon almost over for another year. I try to squeeze in a little bit of everything, while still trying to get done the things that I’m responsible for, and there’s never enough time.

Yesterday was pretty cool, all things considered. Starting the day with seeing myself in the New York Times, and ending with the South Austin Jug Band.

In the morning I gave my “20 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do With Your Apache Web Server” talk (less interestingly titled as “HTTPd Power Tools” in the schedule) which was fun. I have to admit that it wasn’t as fun as giving it at Ohio LinuxFest. Just a very different audience. The folks here were much more serious. And there were roughly 300 fewer of them in the talk.

Following that, John Coggeshall and I gave a talk entitled “2.2 rocks. Quit using 1.3 already.” This was in part about what’s new in Apache HTTPd 2.2, but was also about the half-truths about PHP on Apache 2, and the finger pointing that “PHP people” and “Apache people” engaged in over the last few years. The talk was well received, I think. Unfortunately, John had to bail out about halfway through to take a call from work, so the conversational nature of the talk stopped there. Anyways, people said nice things about it.

Then I spent a little time with Howard Tayler, the guy who does Schlock, and who is doing our keynote today (Friday). I showed him some photos of Sarah, and he did a wonderful full color sketch of Sarah with Captain Kerchak. Because she likes monkeys, that’s why.

Several of us had lunch down in the hotel restaurant, and then I gave my “Intro to WebDAV” talk. It’s not much fun anymore, and I think I need to either rewrite it from scratch, or scrap it entirely and do something else. It wasn’t as well attended as usual, and I feel like I rather rushed through it.

In the afternoon there were the Incubator minitalks, which were surprisingly well attended, and very good. I got to learn what several of these new Incubator projects are, and what they do. However, I have to say that some of these projects really need a little more practice telling folks what their stuff does. If you can’t explain to someone in 5 minutes what your stuff does in the real world, then you need to reconsider whether it does in fact do anything useful. And it’s also going to be amazingly hard to get new developers interested in the project unless it’s something that they have to do for work.

And then there were the lightning talks. Ever since I gave my “Why I Hate Apache” lightning talk in Stuttgart, folks expect me to be able to give a funny lightning talk. Unfortunately, I think that was a one-time thing, as everything I’ve tried to do since then has rather fallen flat. Perhaps I’ll start now planning my lightning talk for May, and see what I can come up with. Ken did his “What’s on Ken’s belt?” talk again, and it was almost as much fun as in Dublin, but, as usual when these things are repeated, it lacked a certain something compared to the first time.

John, Chris, and Amy wanted to go to the comedy club, and I agreed to join them there in time for the 9:30 show, and went to dinner with Ken et al. We walked down to Iron Works, which is a wonderful barbeque place just a few blocks from here. Excellent food.

On the way back from there, I stopped in at Moonshine, where the Virtuas party was winding down, to see who was still there. Will Rowe and some of the Covalent guys cornered me and dragged me kicking and screaming (ok, not really) to Thorngills, where the South Austin Jug Band was playing. I don’t know what this kind of music is classified as. They had two fiddles, two guitars, and a double bass, and occasionally a banjo. It was amazing. I haven’t heard fiddle playing like that before, anywhere. I wish I could play like that. And they were clearly having a lot of fun, talking and joking with one another between and during songs. It was in an outdoor biergarten with a firepit in the middle. It turned quite cold while we were there.

About this time I realized that it was quite late, and that I really should get back, since I am giving more talks this morning. A few of us called a cab while the rest of the crew moved on to their dinner. While waiting for the cab, a station wagon pulled up – *clearly* not our cab – and one of the guys asked the driver if she was there to pick us up. She agreed to take us to the Hilton, and we piled in and she brought us back. It was very odd. The car was just about held together with strange bumper stickers, and was stuffed with knick knacks, plastic aliens, Spock figurines, and a variety of other strangements. It was very cool that this stranger gave us a ride in order to “be good to the visitors.”

So. That was yesterday. Today I’m giving my mod_rewrite talk and my url mapping talk. Hopefully they will be fun. I’m still kinda tired.