DevJam

Sunday afternoon was “DevJam”, a somewhat more interactive series of sessions designed as an information exchange concerning Java and packaging. Tom Fitzsimmons started this, with an excellent presentation. He covered all of our needs very well and remembered all kinds of important things that I’d forgotten.

Even though DevJam was probably the most important session, I lamely skipped out early. Jim Blandy was giving a presentation on gdb, and I wanted to see him speak and catch up with him in general; I’ve known Jim from his days with Cyclic (remember them?). Jim did a presentation on using gdb tracepoints in the kernel. He wrote all the code the week before FOSDEM, didn’t sleep that weekend, and was still debugging at 10am the day of his talk — now that’s a real man.

Jim said he’s looked at SystemTap a bit and liked it. He liked the idea of a real program having a type inference engine in it, and he thanked Frank Eigler and Graydon Hoare by name. (This seems out of place but it was in my notes and I thought it would be nice to pass along.)

On a related note, in case you care, gdb has been showing signs of life again.

Since I stayed at DevJam a bit too long I actually missed most of Jim’s talk. However, I’ve seen tracepoint demos in the past and they are very cool.

After this I stayed in the same room to watch Federico’s talk on profiling Gnome applications. Jim slept, I think :). Federico is an entertaining speaker and had some important things to say, but the talk was aimed at a somewhat more basic audience.

I’ve got one final FOSDEM post coming. It will be a bit more personal, I think, maybe touching on a few personalities, my future, and some other things.

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