The Old Blog Archive, 2005-2009

OpenVanilla at WWDC 2006: Day -1

This is my first WWDC and second time visiting San Francisco, so while everything is for me fresh and anew, I’m also feeling kind of awkward walking around in a unfamiliar city embracing an equally unfamiliar event to come.

That being said, I’m very glad to be here. Sunday was the day before WWDC, and one can sense–if he or she happens to be a Mac developer, or a gadget fan–the gathering of the Mac herd in town. Sunday was the first official check-in day (although I knew a friend who’s already got his badge on Saturday), and you could see people coming out of Moscone Center with their souvenir laptop handbag. In fact, you could easily spot one carrying that in downtown San Fransisco. You could also see them coming in and out of the Apple Store just three blocks away. Inside Moscone the atmosphere was jolly. Indeed a party is coming.

I am never a Mac fan. It is true that I care about Apple products and latest development, but it is because Apple makes a tool that I happen to love using. And I don’t even own an iPod till today (just ain’t the music type). I’ve become an OS X software development by accident, but I enjoy making useful things and that what we at the OpenVanilla Project do helps people.

People seem to have high expectations for this year’s WWDC. Since the Intel cat was let out of the bag last year and Intel Macs have been materialized way ahead of schedule, what comes next is now really hard to say. I for one don’t see how much more dramatic this year can be than the Intel transition last year, but a cheaper/smaller MacBook Pro and built-in virtualization support will fall into my sweetspot. Maybe I should just bring along with the Apple bingo game card with me, too.

Today has been a long day and tomorrow will be even longer (reasons below), so here’s a quick summary of my WWDC Day -1:

  • Apple Asia has held its own reception this evening and has gathered close to 100 people here. According to them, this year we’ve seen a larger number of developers coming from Asia. This year the number is close to 200 (among 4000+ total conference goers). Among those I have met today, Professor Wenjun Zhou leads a group of nearly 20 students from Shanghai Tongji University (Prof Zhou has even made a guest appearance in the Developer Testimonials, and that’s how I came to recognize him at the reception party). A number of them are doing NLP-related work and Steve Van der Hoeven is the mastermind behind DialKeys–the technology used by Microsoft’s UMC (its formal codename, Origami, seems to be more well known and more liked).
  • I’ve asked specifically when I shoulde show up in line for entering Moscone West‘s main hall, in which Steve Jobs’s keynote speech will run. The answers varied, but on average it seemed that standing/queueing in line around 6:30 AM will be wise, 7:00 adviced, and anything after 7:30 AM will make you be at the disposal of fortune.
  • Which also means tomorrow is going to be a long day.
  • Although the schedule is already there, some sessions are not yet announced. For the time being I’m interested in topics related to WebKit (on which OV might eventually rely heavily), development tools and UNIX-related technology, and some little CoreImage/computer graphics thing as distraction.
  • I had been to Apple Store San Francisco and it was quite a store, with tutorial workshops running continuously–some of them of great quality and helpful tips–and very crowded genius bar. Although once again I ran into this sorry-sir-but-your-AppleCare-data-ain’t-found-in-our-database episode (last time it was in France; dear Apple Taiwan, please pamper your users more!), finally I had got my dead power supply replaced.
  • A latest news (totally unrelated to WWDC) for those who had spent their childhood in Taiwan: 7-Eleven Taiwan is announcing the return of the Slurpee, 思樂冰, or translated back literally into English, the “think happy ice.” Not that I was particularly fond of Slurpee, it’s just that I didn’t know if was called so if wasn’t the news, I noticed it in 7-Eleven’s here, and gugod had made a comment on that too… (N.B.: Perl knowledge required).
  • One last thought, the conference is huge. Tons of sessions and thousands of participants. I have to say I’m totally inexperienced and have no slightest idea of what the social dynamics will be. Still, I’ve made a list of the issues that OpenVanilla has run into so far, and the issues of East Asian text processing in general, and some issues of my personal interest–such as when, if ever, will Apple make an open-source version of CoreFoundation’s C++/Objective-C equivalent? Will Apple keep an eye on the Objective-C++ feature that wasn’t pushed into GCC 4.0 last year?

It’s 11:00 PM (and I’m into this AM/PM habit now that I’m in the US…), and so much for today’s update.

Thanks again for everyone who has supported OpenVanilla and made this trip possible. Orcas & family have sponsored my accommodation and Apple Asia has helped much in the visa application and trip preparation.

Some of my WWDC photos will be available at flickr. I’m travelling light this time and may not find much photo occasion, but if I run into someone’s flickr set that’s interesting, I’ll bring it up here too.

Blog entries in the series are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License. (All other entries in this blog remain their “all rights reserved” status though, unless specified like this WWDC 2006 series.)

One Response to “OpenVanilla at WWDC 2006: Day -1”

  1. on 07 Aug 2006 at 7:46 pmGugod

    Just to say, the bifty link might not be permanant as it’s only a demo in the part of current agile developing. :)