Monday, October 29, 2007

Squeak, Erlang and Startups @ chennai.rb meet

I was pleasantly surprised when the word 'erlang' sprung up in a discussion at ilugc threads courtesy one of Vamsee 's posts. I was naturally excited and looked forward to the talk scheduled at the local ruby user group chennai.rb on the same Saturday. Weekends usually begin at the beach at 5.30am to sweat it out in a awesome non-contact rugbie like sport called ultimate frisbee. Check out the yahoo group which has a 60 members and growing , and include most of the 20-30 odd people who turn up before sunrise on weekends despite the ballistic rains!

Speaking of rains, i guess the rubyists in chennai did think twice before venturing out yesterday . The venue was also changed last minute, but i had no problem of having a meet with just 5-6 people. And i'm glad i did go ! There was John - from Tachyon whose innovative work i've had real appreciation for earlier,(they've made quilpad and rediff even invested in them some time ago)

John's talk was interestingly on squeak -an avtar of smalltalk in which he demo'ed the tightly integrated concept of user and system generated object , scriptable etoys, several ways in which programming could be tackled by children in a more user-friendly and 'just works' manner . It's a real treat to have someone like him around who understands the intricacies of so many languages and core computer science concepts. I've attached the mind map exported jpegs (cmaps)of both talks ,and you access my cmaps of the talks here.

Vamsee's talk on erlang started with the history and introduction of the language , neatly swapping between code showing the assignment,basic operations and arithmetic, strings handling, tuples atoms and lists, and indeed was a nice opportunity to throw open the discussion comparing with the same in other languages.

Gapp , was there as well and he talked about his upcoming project that involves capturing one moment in the lives of chennai' ites, more specifically - November 3rd 2007 by aggregating pictures into a flickr pool with snapshots of wherever u are in chennai at that point of time . check out the details at the official 311pm website.

Overall, i think with the talks especially of the one on erlang, the stage is set to work on yaws , and take the startup to the next step indeed 8 ) Railsfactory and reviewsaurus apart from a 360 degree employee turned up. It was a little funny when they realised that i was aka Bosky since I've grown a real thick beard. I usually always introduce myself as Bhasker. Nice to know that ur known in some circles ! 8 ) .

After the talk, we talked about what all of us were upto. Very exhilarating to know that each and everyone who turned up were involved in either a 2-10 strong startup or some project creative project . Vamsee talking about the good,bad and the ugly facets of working on google knockoffs . Challening all the same ! I might even think of taking two seats in their office as well for working on my venture . Left around 7-8, Gapp tells me that they even continued with beer and more talk till 11. Shoot,missed out on that 8 ) !

Vamsee also suggested that i, or anyone for that matter have a shot at the next speaking session which would continue to be at his neat office of his company Viamentis. Clearly the ruby user group definitely stands out because we did'nt even have a formal session on ruby itself ,although we did compare other languages and compare notes with the nice projector (coutesy sayid of TKF) Perhaps i would have a go at the functional nature of javascript ,or perhaps hopefully even erlang. I'm sure PVS would have loved to be at the meet, especially since he's the one who encouraged me to venture into the abyss that is erlang by his experiments with ejabbered and take concurrent programming . Moreover, The apache Vs yaws debate seems one-sided enough to convince me to get my own testing environment setup on my lappy. As with most languages, the best way i feel to learn a language is indeed porting x from language A to language B. Looking forward to a little unlearning , more such meets ,more frisbee on weekends ,and a lot of addictive hacking ahead 8 )

Keep Clicking,
Bhasker V Kode

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