I was in Bruxelles for FOSDEM 2013. As with previous FOSDEM there were too many interesting talks and people to see. Here is a summary of what I saw:
In the Mozilla's room:
- The html5 pdf viewer pdfjs is impressive. The PDF specification is really scary but this full featured "native" viewer is able to renders most of it with very good performance. Have a look at the pdfjs demo!
- Firefox debug tools overview with a specific focus of Firefox OS emulator in your browser.
- Introduction to webl10n: an internationalization format and library used in Firefox OS. A successful mix that results in a format that is idiot-proof enough for a duck to use, that relies on Unicode specifications to handle complex pluralization rules and that allows cascading translation definitions.
- Status of html5 video and audio support in Firefox. The topic looks like a real headache but the team seems to be doing really well. Special mention for the reverse demo effect: The speaker expected some format to be still unsupported but someone else apparently implemented them over night.
- Last but not least I gave a talk about the changeset evolution concept that I'm putting in Mercurial. Thanks goes to Feth for asking me his not-scripted-at-all-questions during this talk. (slides)
In the postgresql room:
- Insightful talk about more event trigger in postgresql engine and how this may becomes the perfect way to break your system.
- Full update of the capability of postgis 2.0. The postgis suite was already impressive for storing and querying 2D data, but it now have impressive capability regarding 3D data.
On python related topic:
- Aldebaran Robotic are currently opening most of their code. And they are a perfect example of the value of python for implementing high level logic.
- Victor Stinner has started an interesting project to improve CPython performance. The first one: astoptimizer breaks some of the language semantics to apply optimisation on compiling to byte code (lookup caching, constant folding,…). The other, registervm is a full redefinition of how the interpreter handles reference in byte code.
After the FOSDEM, I crossed the channel to attend a Mercurial sprint in London. Expect more on this topic soon.