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OSCON 2010

Posted by Sam in Uncategorized with the tags , , , , , on July 28th, 2010

The O’Reilly Open Source Convention has been held annually since 1999, allowing students, entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, and professionals to attend informative sessions and tutorials as well as visit the expo hall and mingle with others holding a common technical interest. This year, for the first time ever, phpBB was among the exhibitors in the Expo Hall.

Left to Right: Yuriy, Nathan, Cullen, Sam

What we expected

Despite phpBB3′s fantastic security record, we expected to meet some attendees who were only familiar with phpBB2. Anticipating questions dealing with security, we came prepared with laminated placards displaying pie charts and details of all issues reported for the phpBB3 line – the flagship phpBB version for the past 3 years.

What we didn’t expect

Very few people asked about phpBB’s security and walked past the placards to ask us questions about features, bridges, future plans, etc. Many of the other Open Source project exhibitors visited our booth and expressed their warm feelings toward the project and positive experiences using the phpBB software. Rather than having to defend ourselves, we were instead answering interesting questions and tipping our hats to compliments.

New Beginnings

Of all the different questions we were asked, the most common was surprising, to say the least. Over the course of the two days, we heard “Does phpBB integrate with Drupal?” so often that we began keeping count. This sparked some internal discussion, and we visited the Drupal booth, which was conveniently located just around the corner from us. There is already a community developed Drupal module for integration with phpBB, but multiple reports suggested that it was unstable and poorly written. Its scores within the Drupal database suggest that it is largely unusable in a live environment, which was a huge shock to us. After the first night, we returned to our hotel room and began planning a new phpBB-maintained Drupal plugin. Work on this has already begun and more information will be available soon.

Some very popular open source projects were present at OSCON, and a number of them approached us about presenting at their upcoming events. We are, of course, very excited about these plans and will keep you updated on our upcoming speaking/presentation engagements either via this blog or on the board.

After the Expo

On Thursday evening, we attended an informal “Birds of a Feather” session. Organizer Douglas Bell (Webmacster87), Cullen Walsh (ckwalsh) and Lorelle VanFossen all spoke about running online communities. We later joined them for dinner at a local restaurant.

phpBB.com server

Left to Right: Nathan, Yuriy, Lance, Cullen, Sam

The following day we joined the OSUOSL Open Bus Tour for a view of the Oregon State University campus and Open Source Lab. OSUOSL rented a wifi and power equipped bus for the 90 minute journey and we had a blast with the other attendees. You can see us with Lance from OSUOSL and the 2 phpBB.com servers (underneath the Berties) to the left.

We are very grateful to have such friends in the Open Source world.

What we took from this

We are glad to have met so many wonderful people at OSCON and look forward to maintaining the new bridges that have been formed. Speaking directly to phpBB users was a unique experience and we walk away with a better perspective of what the community expects from us. We will continue to improve over the next year and will be ready to address your updated concerns at next year’s event.

Please discuss this blog post in the phpBB OSCON 2010 topic in the Discussion Forum.

Please discuss this blog post in the phpBB OSCON 2010 topic in the Discussion Forum.

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