Barcamp Portland – May 2008

Notes on everything in which I participated at Portland’s latest session of the international, self-organizing “unconferences” organized by techies for techies that occurred at Cubespace in Portland on May 2-4. (I link to notes if I could find them.)

– Haskell programming language: promising for multicore programming.

Online Community Management, led by Dawn Foster, who has that role at Jive Software. Mostly I think this was a comparing notes kind of session.

– Calagator is an online calendar of Portland technology events and also a community-programmed Ruby on Rails project. See

– Time-centric social networking: for some participants the answer to how to do it already exists: Twitter.

Options for Inexpensive Web Presence, esp. for small non-profits and startups: a session that Jim Tyhurst and I led. Least expensive ($0) is WordPress hosted on WordPress (don’t even need to know HTML). The next level ($20-$40/month) is a VPS (Virtual Private Server, which requires having someone who can put togther environments like WordPress, MediaWiki, Drupal, or Ruby on Rails applications on a server. The next level ($100/month) is a collocated server at a service provider, which has programming requirements similar to VPS but also means putting effort into supporting the server.

– Distributed Collaboration Tools for Software Development: For me, the best thing was finding out about Gobby collaborative text editor.

Migrating from MySQL? Try Postgresql. By Selena Deckelman of the PDX Postgresql User Group. People are evaluating moving from MySQL to Postgres because the latter is a community-driven open source project and has had some important database technology longer than MySQL.

– Wagn: described as a database-like wiki on Ruby on Rails.

– Using WordPress as a Content Management System. Well, you can. Bottomline: Once there is much content, better off moving to Drupal.

– What’s the Web Missing for Bike Culture? Portland-based project to provide Google Maps-style street level views and optimal routing that does not include sending a bicyclist onto the freeway.

– Drupal. Overview of a widely-used content management system in PHP on MySQL. For me, I learned I probably would be well advised to stay away for a while, because there are too many modules and options to deal with and also the transition to 6.0 has created some bumps in the road.

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