Two more days in Kraków

I was very lazy on Saturday. Took it very easy, then went to a dinner with some of the presenters and organizers for SFI. And after that I gave my presentation, which I personally felt went very well. I had to adapt the technical level some, because it seemed most of the audience didn’t know much about compilers. After that, Lukas held his presentation about Seaside, which also went well.

Then we celebrated. Then there was headache. And a look at the Cathedral. And a taxi driver who didn’t understand one word of English. And he took me to the wrong terminal at the airport. But I finally got on the right flight and got home.

Two days in Kraków

So, I’ve been in Kraków for two days now. I will fly back on Sunday. It’s a very interesting town. On one part, it’s lovely. The buildings are absolutely amazing, and very beautiful. On the other hand, many of them are very run down, and the wear and tear is obvious all around. To me, the whole town seems sort of depressing, but on the other hand the people here are very up beat, and from some of the presentations I’ve seen, the technological future for Kraków looks very bright indeed.

I haven’t really been able to see most of the presentations. Almost all have been in Polish, sadly enough. I did see two interesting ones yesterday. The first was Michael Foords talk about IronPython. This was very neat and I’ve talked some with him after that too. I’ll get back to that. The other talk was about Google Ads, by Greg Badros. As always, hearing about how Google does things internally is always amazingly interesting. I would have enjoyed hearing more about the machine learning and NLP stuff they’re doing, but obviously they can’t discuss that too much.

Today I haven’t been able to see any presentation, due to Polish. On the other hand me, Michael and Lukas Renggli have had some very interesting discussions both yesterday and today. Now, the company Michael’s part of has the largest IronPython code base in the world, as far as I understand it. It’s basically 90 000 LOC, where 20 000 is production code and 70 000 are testing code. That sounds about right… =)

Lukas Renggli is one of the core developers of Seaside, a framework which I’m quite fond of. What we three have in common is our interest in dynamic languages, so we had some very common ground to talk about. What’s nice is that many of the things Michael talked about in his presentation is stuff we in JRuby also speak much about. In the same manner, it seems the IronPython guys have had basically the same problems we in JRuby has had. It seems there is some common ground to be found here, and possibly also a basis for conversations. I for one would find that very interesting, since I enjoy hearing about dynamic languages getting foot holds on statically typed virtual machines; that is just such a sweet spot.

Tomorrow evening is my talk. I’m going to be at an official dinner in the middle of the day, and then get over to the conference and give my presentation at 17:00. I think it’s going to be interesting, and it will be an obvious counterpart to Michael’s talk, since the reason for existing is so similar for IronPython and JRuby. It will be interesting to see how the audience react.

After that, I’ll see Lukas talk about Seaside, and after that people are talking about having a party, so tomorrow will be quite intense. And finally, on Sunday I’m going back to Sweden. As far as I know now, I won’t travel that much for at least a month now, which feels sort of nice. This week has been far to intense, and also have had some really great – but tiring – moments.

Tomorrow is today – or from London to Stockholm to Krakow

Part I: London

I got up at 5am, got dressed and packed and headed of to the airport. Finally got on the plane to London (thank god for online check-in) and tried to get some work done. That didn’t go very well, but I got to read some instead. I’m rereading Ubik. Classic. Landed at Heathrow about 10 minutes behind schedule. Ran to the Piccadilly line, tried to talk with people in Sweden, but the connection was kinda bad. Arrived at Covent Garden, walked in brisk pace to the place of my meeting. Finally arrived, 5 minutes late, to find out there was no hurry. Sat down and had a pleasant chat with Dan North and Simon Stewart. Very nice. (Hey Dan, if you read this, get in touch when you’re in Stockholm for ExpertZone. I know places with good beer.).

Then, Lunch. Haha. What a joke. I found a place that seemed to offer great vegetarian burgers, so I settled down for a quorn burger and some British chips. After 15 minutes waiting I got told the grill wouldn’t light up. Lucky me. Instead, I had to make do with a Pret sandwich and a spicy vegetable Cornish pasty (someone told me it was the day of the Cornish patron saint yesterday, so I guess that fits). A few minutes walk on Oxford street was nice. I got photographed by some guys from an Austrian fashion magazine. Then back for the real meeting.

Cyndi Mitchell is a very formidable person. I was impressed. We had a 2 hour talk; very interesting. I will tell you all about it as soon as I can. But suffice to say, I was very happy when I left. Until I realized that I had exactly 2 hours until my flight taxed out from Heathrow. So, back to Covent Garden. Back on the underground. Which through some bad communication on the drivers part, almost ended badly when the train reached the end stop before Heathrow. Thanks to the people who told me to get of the train and switch to the other side. =) I finally got to Terminal 3, realized I already had a boarding card, found my way to the security check, got my boots scanned two times, and found the gate about 20 times before takeoff. Of course, as soon as the aircraft had taxed out, the flight management decided that we should stay 30 minutes on ground before finally taking off towards Copenhagen. It’s a wonder I actually got there in time. So, in Copenhagen I walked 2 klicks to the transfer center, got a new boarding card and walked back to almost the exact place I started from, got on my flight to Stockholm and finally landed. Wow.

Airport coach to Stockholm city, and night bus home to my dear old mental hospital. When I finally got to bed I ached all over, and had been awake and active for 22 hours solid. Sleep was nice at that point. Especially since the day had been a success on all accounts.

Part II: Stockholm

I finally woke up, took care of mail and told everyone about London. Thought I’d take it easy, maybe practice on my presentation for Saturday, possibly start writing on the presentations for the CS course I’m going to speak for this April. But alas, after some mailing with Poland, I realized I’ve made a big mistake. I thought I was going to Kraków this Friday, and staying until Sunday. That’s not entirely right. I’m actually going tomorrow. Surprise!


Part III: Kraków

As mentioned above, I’ll land in Kraków tomorrow (Wednesday) evening. This is good in several ways. I will have a chance to see the city, and I will have the opportunity to see some more presentations at the conference I’m at. There are many interesting things to be had; I’m sad half of them are in Polish. I guess I can look at the slides and have some fun trying the guess the meaning. I am going to see the talks about IronPython, Google Ads and Seaside. And, of course, if anyone is nearby and would like to take a beer and talk computers, programming languages, AI, or whatnot, please hit me a mail, or a comment on this post. My evenings will be mostly free it seems.

That is, unless someone knows any good clubs with nice music; especially electronic stuff and/or postpunk, new wave, darkwave or gothy things.

Anyway. Time to sleep.

The world is spinning

If you didn’t know that, the title tells it all. Of course, that’s old news.

I haven’t really been able to blog as much as I wish I could have, lately. There are reasons for this, of course. Two very exciting reasons, in fact. If everything pans out, I will be able to write about it in 2 to 3 weeks time.

In other news, we are gearing up for another JRuby release. This one will be a biggie. Many nice things will be in place, and it will set the record for both new features and bug fixes. I think no one will be disappointed by it, actually.

I have a few presentations lined up too. The closest to now will be in exactly two weeks. I will speak at the Academic Computer Science Festival in Craków, Poland. If you’re somewhere close, by all means offer to show me the city. =) I will land March 9:th and fly out again March 11:th. My presentation will be at 17:00 March 10:th, CET. If you would like more information, it can be found at the festivals homepage, here. The presentation will be in English (since I don’t speak Polish, obviously), and it will be slightly more technical than the usual JRuby presentations. There will probably be some detail about our runtime, interpreter, parser and lexer, and hopefully I’ll get some info in about our YARV and Java bytecode compiler efforts. This will be very exciting to talk about, I’m kinda salivating just thinking about it. =)

Another, more long term presentation, has just been decided. I will attend TheServerSide Java Symposium Europe, in Barcelona, from June 27:th to June 29:th, and talk about JRuby from the perspective of a Java developer, and what it can do for you. Hopefully I will have time to see the city too.

I will update with more information when possible.