Monday, October 24, 2005

LOP Weekend

This last weekend was the No Fluff, Just Stuff Atlanta Symposium. Because he had to go back to Dallas, Dave Thomas wasn't available to do the keynote address on Friday night. So, Jay the conference organizer asked me to fill in, with a scaled down version of my Language Oriented Programming talk. I was already scheduled to do the two-part version of this talk (Part 1: Theory, Part 2: Practice) back to back on Sunday. This was turning out to be a LOP weekend! I took the theory portion of the talk and removed a lot of the hard-core technical details (no one at a keynote wants to see page after page of code, especially grammars for custom languages). The keynote went pretty well, with no major gaffes. The flow wasn't as good as I would have liked it (the talk at the time I gave it was almost 8 hours old, but it's a topic I've been talking about all year).

I was afraid that everyone would be sick of this topic by the time Sunday afternoon rolled around. However, I had a good group for both parts of the talk. Several people asked me during the day if it made sense to come to the second one if they didn't come to the first, and I assured them that it was OK. The first part of the talk was up against one of Keith Donald's Spring talks, which is tough competition this year at No Fluff. The first part of the talk replicates the material in the keynote, but at a much higher level of detail. The second part of the talk is designed to be more practical. I show some interaction with JetBrains Meta-Programming System, but mostly the 2nd part encourages discussion about the viability and future of LOP. We had a great discussion, including problem domains that match LOP early adoption and what developers are already doing in this space. One of the more active attendees works for a really, really big company here in Atlanta, and he stated that LOP is currently number 4 on their list of hot technology trends to watch (no, I didn't ask what the other 3 were). He was an evangelist within his company for this evolution, so that's why he was so involved in the discussions around it all weekend.

One of the best things about discussing a topic like LOP at No Fluff conferences is the number of people that you meet that are already doing this. The general level of the audience at No Fluff continues to amaze. For something new like LOP, No Fluff provides a valuable traveling road show to meet and greet the folks who represent islands of cutting edge technology (who generally are just looking for a kindred spirit for discussions). Last year, one of the attendees commented that the best thing about No Fluff is that he could talk about work and everyone around him knew what he was talking about!

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