Now that I have your attention … last night was FOSCON II – Ruby
Rodeo. I was there, though not at OSCON. It was nice to meet folks like
Jim W., David A. Black, Phil T., Amy Hoy, and nearly all of our
neighbors from the “Zen Ruby” brigade up in Seattle. If I had known
there was going to be code sharing, I suppose I would have brought a
laptop and a wireless card.
Actually, though, this is a semi-serious post, brought on by Amy’s talk
at the end. It’s not so much about the main thrust of her talk, which I
certainly agree with. It’s about some of the things she said at the
beginning, and some of the things I’ve heard recently. More
specifically, it’s about the fact that
a. The upcoming Ruby Conference in Colorado had 73 proposals for papers
submitted, of which only 16 could fit into the schedule,
b. There are only 240 slots for attendees to the conference, while
there are most likely thousands with the means and desire to attend, and
c. Given b, people are actually running scripts to poll the conference
web site and grab the registration form, in the hopes that they’ll be
one of the lucky 240.
I’m not sure what this all means yet, and I’m not sure it’s mostly a
good thing. For example, some people who have made major contributions
to the language and the community will most likely be shut out of the
opportunity to attend. And interest in Ruby, as Amy noted, seems to be
far outpacing the supply of volunteers to help the Nuby, even if they
aren’t what Amy called “help vampires”.
Certainly the regional conferences will help … I think between Seattle
and Portland we have enough talent to put one on – how about Centralia?
But the wider issue is, “Is there more demand for Ruby resources than
there is supply?” That’s especially a concern when there seems to be an
endless supply of Java and Perl and PHP resources, and maybe even
Anyhow, what do other people here think?