In an interesing change, there were opening keynotes Tuesday evening by some big speakers that are usually reserved for major conference timeslots. It could be that O’Reilly knows from past experience how many people who don’t attend the tutorials arrive the Tuesday night, but it would seem to me that even if they do arrive that evening, they don’t tend to start their conference until Wednesday morning. So to have a combination of Mark Shuttleworth, Robert “r0ml” Lefkowitz and Damian Conway (great to see him back at OSCON!) on the evening before the bulk of the attendees seem to arrive is, well, it brings me back to interesting.
Not that I, or anyone else there that night, was complaining. The last two of these especially had the audience alternating between enthrawled and in stitches. And it didn’t matter that Damian’s talk ended around 10, or the fact that he talked for almost an hour: the man’s brilliance with original ideas, photoshop and Perl, packaged neatly by his impressive and effortless presentation ability means he could talk for any length of time and still hold an audience spell-bound.
O’Reilly and the conference organizers are to be applauded for putting together a great evening, and a great start to the rest of the week.