August 01, 2003

Technical Sessions

Yesterday was the first day of the conference proper, and while parts of it were interesting, some of the presentations were less than stellar. We had a keynote speaker by the president of BitMover, who told us at great length that it's painful to create really beautiful (i.e., MS Windows-like) GUIs in Tcl/Tk. Which is true, and there are apparently plans already afoot to do something about it, and it wasn't necessary that the topic dominate the rest of the day. But the company was good, and of course that's the real point of going to a conference like this--getting to chat with all kinds of people. And Tcl people are generally very nice people.

This morning has been more interesting. My favorite presentation so far was by a guy from a satellite radio company. There are apparently dozens of satellite radio receivers on the market and they need to test all of them. And they test all of them by putting them in a car (or, in one case, a BMW motorcycle) and driving for eight hours a day. They've circumnavigated the United States twice, they say. Testing the audio signal requires a fair amount of computer hardware, and they are using Tcl to glue everything together.

And of course I did my presentation as well. I won't talk about it here, as the topic is really only of interest to Tcl coders, but it went well, and people seemed to like it.

More papers will be presented this afternoon, followed by a roundtable discussion on the future of Tcl, and then, later on, something called the "Wine BOF". A BOF is a "Birds Of a Feather" session, in which people with shared interests get together and argue about them; the Wine BOF seems to involve tasting fine wines and arguing about anything in the world. (I'll have more about that later.)

Posted by Will Duquette at August 1, 2003 10:43 AM